Drinking Straws

Bon Appétit: A Brief History of the Straw - This article talks about:

  • How the first drinking straw was made.
  • How the bendable straw came to be.
  •  How they went from paper to plastic.
  • Krazy Straws.
  • Modern straw designs and uses. 
  • How we've gone back to paper straws and why.

The Atlantic: The Amazing History and the Strange Invention of the Bendy Straw - The story of the how the bendable straw was invented.

Smithsonian: Inventions - The Straight Truth About the Flexible Drinking Straw - How the first flexible drinking straw was invented.

Wikipedia: Drinking Straw - History of drinking straws and their modern uses. Also types of straws.

Howstuffworks: How are Bendy Straws Made? - The first page talks about what straws have been made up of, click on the word "NEXT" under the video and the second page will tell you what straws are made of now and how they are made. The third section is an author's note.

The Inventors.org: Drinking Straws - This short article starts with the history of the drinking straw and ends with other things spiral wound tubing lead to.

Days of the Year: Drinking Straw Day - January 3rd of each year is drinking straw day. Learn about the history of drinking straw day and how to celebrate the day. Try a recipe for Mint Julep - an adult drink. A kid-friendly mint julep recipe can be found on Twice As Good Show.com

NASA: Rockets - Rocket Pinwheel - This cool experiment requires a straw, balloon, pencil, a sewing pin, and tape to make it. Go to the site for full instructions.

Manufacturing.net: Va Plant Produces 4B Drinking Straws Annually - Information about a plant that makes more then 4 billion straws a year.

Going Plastic Straw Free

Seattle Time: The last straw? Seattle will say goodbye to plastic straws, utensils with upcoming ban - News article about a new ban.

Washington Post: A campaign to eliminate plastic straws is sucking in thousands of converts - News article about a young man on a campaign to eliminate plastic drinking straws.

Straw-Free.org - Find out what you can do to help the campaign and go straw-free.

Strawless Ocean.org - Find out who's going straw free and what you can do to help.

Engineering.com: Engineers Develop Edible Straws to Combat Plastic Pollution - New developments in drinking straws that are plastic free.

One of the ways to help the straw-free movement is to reuse the plastic straws that you do have in positive ways such as in art projects, science experiments and math activities. Below, you will find videos that show you fun ways to reuse plastic straws. Once you are done with them, clean them out well, and get creative!
Straws can be cut down and melted, and used in some cool ways, as you'll see in the selected videos.
If you like to use straws, purchase reusable straws in stores and online.
Once your plastic straws are gone, make straws from other materials, as show in the videos below.


HowStuffWorks: Stuff of Genius: Joseph Friedman: The Flexible Straw - This 1:27 minute video tells you about the inventor of the bendy straw.

YouTube: Drinking Straw Playlist - This playlist includes information about the history of drinking straws, and fun activities you can do with them such as science experiments, art projects, and math activities.
Some videos will require adult supervision to use a lighter, hot glue gun, or cutting tool.
Here's one of the video from the list...

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Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!

The Poe Project

I'm pleased to announce a brand new publication is available in my Etsy store, Funschooling Press, called 'The Poe Project'.

'The Poe Project' is a 16 page Research Project and Activity based publication, written and developed by Fran Wisniewski.

This publication offers some interesting facts about Poe, more than 10 questions to start you on your learning journey, ideas to help spark your curiosity and help you express your creativity, and fun and inspiring family-friendly activities that include: A word find and cryptograms. The Poe Project offers printer-friendly templates, activities, and a coloring page.

The Poe Project is great for families who enjoy learning and playing together, self-directed learners, and anyone looking for activities related to learning about Edgar Allan Poe, one of the most famous classic authors in history, in a fun and informal way.

This one-of-a-kind publication contains: 

  • Facts about Poe's life and accomplishments.
  • Leading questions to help get the learning process going. 
  • Poe inspired writing pages: One blank and one lined.
  • A word find and answer page.
  • Tips and suggestions for creating your own personalized Poe study. 
  • A printable information page to help you collect your thoughts.
  • Secret messages you can solve with a code I created for you.
  • A printable page of grids so you can design your own secret codes.
  • A printer-friendly page so you can create your own secret messages.
  • And a Poe coloring Page.
Plus, you have access to a time-saving resource page that'll help get you started as soon as possible. 

Once you purchase your instant download, you'll be able to begin your personal learning adventure.

I hope you'll take the time to check out The Poe Project and get your copy today for $10!

Connect with Funschooling and Recreational Learning!

Plant Propagation

Better Homes & Garden: 
Propagating Houseplants &
Making More Plants From Cuttings - How to make more plants from plant cuttings.

Gardening Know How: Starting Plant Cuttings – How To Root Cuttings From Plants - Types of cutting and how to root them.

The Balance: Best Plant To Grow From Cuttings - 19 Plants that can start from cuttings.

WikiHow: Plant Propagation: Offers steps to propagate plants. Includes pictures.

Wikipedia: Plant Propagation - Explains the process of plant propagation and methods.

National Seed Swap Day 
(Official Day is the last Saturday of the month each year.)
Save your seeds all year long then plan a seed swap!

Tower Garden: 7 Ways to Celebrate National Seed Swap Day - The author talks about his experience at a Seed Swap Day, why they are important, and how to celebrate the day.

Seed Savers.org: National Seed Swap Day 2017 - Info about the day and the benefits of going to one.

Days of The Year: Seed Swap Day - Information about the origins of the day and how to celebrate it.

The Herbal Academy: How To Plan A Seed Swap Day in Your Neighborhood - How to save seeds and plan the event. & How to Save Seeds: From Harvesting to Using Them - Tips for saving seeds.

Extension Services: National Seed Swap Day, January 31st, 2015 - Information about the day and how seed swapping was done by other cultures.

YouTube: Plant Propagation Playlist - The videos in this list show you how to propagate a variety of plants, including fruits, vegetables, flowers, and houseplants.
Here are one of the videos in the list...

Connect with Funschooling and Recreational Learning!
Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!


Wikipedia: Dragon - Information about this mythical creature, including animals that may have inspired dragons, plus European and Asian dragons. Also:
Dragons in Greek Mythology
Japanese Dragon
List of Dragons in Mythology & Folklore

Smithsonian Magazine: Where Did Dragons Come From - Article talks about the possible origins of dragons.

LiveScience: Are Dragons Real? Facts About Dragons - Article: The history of dragons from a cultural and religious perspective.

American Museum of Natural History: Natural History of Dragons:

Article: How dragons have been described through the ages.

Draconika: Dragons: The History of Dragons - How and where dragons showed up in history.

Mythology Wiki: Dragon - This is a Fandom page with information about dragons: How they are portrayed, attributes, and types. 

The Guardian: Top 10 Dragons in Fiction - Pictures and information about the current top 10 dragons in fiction.

Dragon Tales

World of Tales: Here are some of the folktales that can be found on the site, use the search icon (the magnifying glass in the lower left-hand corner of the page) to look for more dragon related tales from around the world.
The Four Dragons Asian Folktale
The Dragon-Princess - Chinese Folktale
The Dragon's Strength - The Story of the Youngest Prince Who Killed the Sparrow  - Slavic Folktale
The Boy and the Dragon - Canadian folktale
The Dragon's Tail - German Folktale

Lit2Go: Stories from Around the World: “THE DRAGON AND THE PRINCE” (Serbia)This story has a 16 minute audio file you can listen to or read along with. It can be downloaded as well. 

Storyberries: Dragons - This site offers 8 stories about dragons that are kid friendly.

Sam & The Dragon - An illustrated story about Sam and a dragon. (IMHO cute!😉)

How to Draw Dragons
Each site offers step by step instructions.

How 2 Draw Animals: Dragon - This is an advanced drawing.

WikiHow: The 4 Best Ways to Draw a Dragon - A mix of advanced and easy drawing methods.

HelloKids: How To Draw Dragons for Kids - An easy to draw dragon.

Dragoart: Dragons - Site offers quite a few different types of dragon to learn how to draw, easy to advanced.


YouTube: Dragons Playlist - This list includes information about dragons and dragon activities such as: Origami projects, puppets, and drawing tutorials.
Here's one of the videos in the list...

Connect with Funschooling and Recreational Learning!
Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!

Types of Calendars

Article & Information About Calendars

Timely: The Importance of Calendars - This article talks about some of the import reasons communities and individuals should keep calendars, along with the benefits.

Wikipedia: Calendars - Offers historical information about calendars.

Egyptian Calendar
Mayan Calendar &
List of Calendars - Lists over 80 types of calendars.

Holidappy: Birth Symbols - Each month has its own bird, flower, tree, myth, etc. find out what they mean.

Ducksters: Today In History - Find out what happened today in history and scroll down to the bottom to find out about the rest of the month. Click on a month, then you'll find out: That month's birthstone, flower name, name meaning, most recognized holidays for that month, how to say that month's name in different languages, and fun facts, plus you'll see a calendar of days. Each day will tell you a few things that happened on that day, and the year it happened.

Lifehack.org: The Evolution of the Calendar: How to Use a Calendar Today - This article talks about how calendar use has changed over the years and how technology has helped those changes along.

The New York Times: Paper Calendars Endure Despite the Digital Age - This article discusses trends in paper and digital calendar usage.

Make Use Of.com: Why Paper Planners Are Relevant in the Age of Smartphone Calendar Apps - Article talks about the positive points of both digital and paper calendars.

Calendars That Feature: Events, Wacky Holidays, & Other Special Days

National Day Calendar - Main page - Find out what the day's holidays, birthdays and events are and look at the whole month at a glance.

Time & Date.com: Fun Holidays - Site offers a list of fun, wacky & trivial holidays. Click on the month you're most interested in.

Homefires: Monthly Learning Calendar - This calendar changes from month to month automatically to keep you updated on interesting things to learn about.

Apples 4 The Teacher: Holidays - Scroll down to the month you want to look at to find out what special days there are for the month.

Holiday Insights: Holidays - Daily holidays for each month. Click on the month you want to view. This site offers food days as well.

On This Day: Click on the area you want to know more about each day. Search by name, month, day, or event, birth, wedding, and death.

Still Learning Something New: Special Days Calendars - Archive - You'll get a nice long list of important days that that month offers, featured themes (ex: National Pizza Month), and featured food items/themes for that month.

The Nibbler: American Food Holidays: Index of food holidays by month.

Cultural Calendars


National University of Singapore:  Chinese Calendar (PDF) also Calendars in Singapore covers: The Islamic Calendar, Indian Calendar, and other information.

University Washington Dept of Education: The Chinese Zodiac - This informative site gives information about the Chinese Zodiac.


WebExhibits: Calendars Through The AgesThe Mayan Calendar - Information about the history of the Mayan calendar and how it works.
NOTE: If you click on the link for Calendars Through The Ages link, you will connect with other types of calendars that are in use and not in use to learn about.

Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian: Living Maya Time: The Calendar System - Explains the Haab cycle.

Native American

Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center: The Lakota Moon Calendar - Find out how the moon played an important roll in keeping time and the name and meaning for each moon. 

Crystallinks.com: Native American Calendars -Article offers information about how some Native American tribes kept track of days, months, and years.

Native Net: Native American Calendar - Learn the various names for each month's moon.

Other Calendars

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center: Eclipse: Calendars - Includes: Intro, Gregorian, Hebrew, Islamic, Indian, Chinese, and Julian Calendars

Calendar Zone: Cultural Calendars - Many of the links on this site are not working but the information about the dozens of different types of calendars of the world from various cultures offers many more choices and learning directions that can be studied.


YouTube: Calendars Playlist - Learn how the modern calendar evolved over the centuries. Here are one of the informative videos in the list.

Connect with Funschooling and Recreational Learning!
Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!