Things That Go: Cars Program

Kids love transportation: cars, trains, planes, you name it, they are fascinated with it. I decided to run a loosely structured program all about cars.

I had various stations for the kids to play on.


Station 1:  matching colored cars to their spots. You can find an example of it on The Princess and the Tot site. We had these great plastic cars and instead of normal spots, I taped down color construction paper into boxes so it would seem more like a garage than a parking spot.



Station 2: Race to a Letter. I found this idea on the True Aim Education site. Instead of a cookie tray, I used one of the tables at work. The children let the car slide down and had to say what letter the car landed on. This ended up being my most popular station as the kids simply loved sliding the cars down the table.


Station 3: Masking tape road. I used duct tape instead. I found a picture of what I was aiming for on Pinterest. I put out a variety of cars for the kids to drive on. We also have a playmat of a road that I placed next to this so they could drive around more.


Station 4: Magic marker cars. I taped magic markers to the back of a few cars. On paper, the children “drove” the cars around while creating a drawing at the same time. I saw the idea for this on Housing a Forest.


The kids all loved playing at the various stations and playing with all the cars we had.


Full STEAM Ahead: Technology

I had three things for the kids to do for this program. On one table, I had some printables and Legos to keep them busy while other things were getting done.

We began making bristlebots. You can find them on the BristleBots site. I had an older version of the kit, so the ones we made looked like the picture below.


The double sided tape wasn’t the best and I did have to wire strip each bots wires (which is why I had the Legos out, so they wouldn’t rum amok while I was doing that).

Each child was successful at making their own bot and very excited about taking it home.

I also had a bunch of toy dinosaurs out on a table with three tablets and a phone. I installed the Lapse It app on all of them and we all played with stop motion animation. Unfortunately, I could not get the camera to work on two of the iPads, but the kids didn’t seem to mind.

Before we did each thing, I explained to the children how bristle bots worked and discussed kinetic energy. We also talked about stop motion animation before playing with the app.

The kids all had a great time.

Full STEAM Ahead Program

This program will be held in parts in March, April, and May. In March, I will be tackling the Science and Technology part of STEAM. This class was created for children in grades 3-5.

I had three stations set up for the science program. In retrospect, I should have added more because we went through the experiments so quickly.

First up was candy experiments. I had three different ones that are easily found on the internet.

  1. We dissolved Skittles in water and watched the S float off the candy. This was actually really cool. The kids loved seeing the color melt off and the S float away.
  2. We soaked gummy worms in water to see how much they would expand. I got mine at the dollar store, so they didn’t expand too much. I’m wondering if pricier one would have.
  3. We put sour patch kids in water and then added baking soda to watch them fizz.

I definitely bought extra candy for the kids to eat.

We then attempted to make invisible ink with lemon juice. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a really good lamp on me, so the lemon juice didn’t burn through. The kids still had a fun time painting the juice on the paper. We did see some because we rubbed some salt in the lemon juice.

Lastly, we made rainbow paper. I found the instructions on how to do this on Science Kiddo. I bought a big aluminum tray from the dollar store and filled it partway with water. You then only need to add a few drops of clear nail polish for each piece of black paper you dip in. The nail polish adheres to the paper making really interesting looking paper once it’s dried.


Jedi Training Camp

This is a two part program that I ran the first part of. It’s for kids in grades K-5 with teen buddies helping the kids do their tasks.

We did four things during this program.

We started off with a simple R2D2 craft that I found on Mom Inspired Life. I had the templates cut out on card stock and gave the kids the shapes needed to make their own R2D2’s. Some decided to use our crayons instead to create them. Below are two examples of what the kids made.













The second one was where the teens really came in handy. We made Death Star Crayon resist art that I found on Fun a Day. The kids crew a circle on the paper and the teens placed thin pieces of duct tape (masking tape could work too) where the kids wanted and then colored over everything. Once you peel off the tape, you get a negative space Death Star.


My co-worker, who is doing the second part of this program found the next two items. Using number two pencils, paint, duct tape, and electrical tape, we made Light Saber Pencils. The idea was found on Keeping It Simple. We used washable tempura paint, which ended up flaking off some of the pencils, so you may want to use a more permanent paint for these.

Lastly, we played Star Wars Bingo. My co-worker found printables on The Kiwi in the Clouds and made different bingo boards from it. I don’t know which site he used, but there are many out there to create bingo cards.

The program lasted a full hour and the kids all had a great time with their Star Wars stuff.

Explore Your World Program

I ran this program for children ages 3-5 years. We played different games and danced to songs from around the world.

I began by creating a smaller version of a hopscotch board and showed the children how to play. Although they didn’t play it exactly the way it should be, they had a great time jumping into the boxes.

All the songs we did were from “Children’s Folk Dances” by Georgiana Stewart. During the program, I played the following songs: Polly Wolly Doodle, Walking Song, Go Round & Round the Village, Jump Jim Jo, Troika, Everyone Likes Calypso (with shakers of course), and Tarantella Doll.

We played three other games other than hopscotch which I found doing a basic web search:

1,2,3 Dragon: This game is from China. The children all form a line and put their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them. Once all connected, we wove around the room like a dragon.

Andar, Bahar: This game is from India. All the children stand in a circle. When the leader calls out “Andar,” they jump inside the circle. If “Bahar” is called, they jump outside.

Olika Bolika: This game is from Germany/Belgium. Children sit in a circle with their legs out. The leader should chant “Olika bolika Susan solika, Olika, bolika, Nob!” At the last word, the children must quickly tuck a foot under their legs. I shortened the chant as I had younger children in the program and just chanted the last three words.

The kids all had a fun time trying the games and dancing to the songs.