DIY Toy Cars

Crazy about cars? Why not make one on your own? Grab some recyclable items that can be found at home with some stationery and you’re good to go!

Some items that you can consider are CDs, milk cartons, cereal boxes, plastic bottles, chopsticks, straws, bottle caps and skewer sticks. So, you’ve got the stuff? Read on to find out how you can start making your own toy car!

My first attempt in making toy cars using plastic bottle and milk carton was using the tutorial from Wikihow. It provides clear pictures and detailed step, that you definitely can’t go wrong with.

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Source: Wikihow

Here are some other ideas using other materials (with tutorials)…

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Source: Make it at your library
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Source: Almost unschoolers

Modifications

Rubber-band powered car
You can tweak the toy cars by adding a rubber band. A clear video to make rubber band-powered car can be found here.

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Source: DIY.org

There’s also another full tutorial by Crafts by Amanda with clear images.

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Source: Crafts by Amanda

 

Balloon-powered car
Instead of rubber band, you can add balloon instead. Watch how you can do so in the video here.

 

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Source: Wonder How To

 

And hey, while you’re at it, why not make it into a race with your friends?

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Source: Leo Kerner Elementary School

If all the above are still too difficult for you, lets just stick to Lego 😉

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Source: Topinvehicles

Planetary and Solar System STEAM Activities

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Activity

1. Solar system card (with free printable)

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Source: Research Parent

2. Constellation tube

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Source: Momma Owl’s Lab

3. Constellation Lacing cards

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Source: Kids Activities Blog

4. Solar system flip book

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Source: An Art Family

5. Moon phase wheel

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Source: Krieger Science

6. Moon clock

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Source: US Sidewalk Astronomers

7. Moon crater

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Source: I heart crafty things

8. Trading card game (free printable)

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Source: Amazing Space

9. Moon phases book (digital download)

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Source: Free Homeschool Deals

10. Moon phases flipbook (free download)

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Source: Deceptively Educational

11. Moon phases card game (free download)

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Source: Deceptively Educational

12. Moon phase puzzle

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Source: What we do all day

13. DIY Moon phase viewer

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Source: Ehow.com

Planetary/ Solar System Model

14. Playdough

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Source: A little pinch of perfect

15. Distance chart

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Source: Messyjofu

16. Mobile

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Source: Crafts and Coffee

Sun-earth-moon Model

17. Science Alive

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Source: Science Alive

18. Enchanted Learning

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Source: Enchanted Learning

19. NASA

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Source: NASA

20. Toys from Trash

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Source: Toys from Trash

Moon phases Model

21. Paper plates

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Source: Mrs Parzych’s Kindergarten

22. Oreo Moon phases

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Source: Science Bob

Colouring pages printable

Best Colouring pages for kids

Super colouring

5 Activities for respiratory sytem

 

respiratory
Source: BBC Bitesize

1. Model Making

Introduce the parts of respiratory system by making a model using straws of different sizes and Q-tips. Large size straws using straw from bubble tea, regular straw and a narrow straw, such as those for hot coffee (but don’t forget to cut it through the middle).

respiratory system
Model of respiratory system using straws

Start with the bubble tea straw to represent trachea, then regular straws to represent bronchi, coffee straws as bronchiols and finally the cotton end of Q-tips as alveoli (similar to the sac-like shape of alveoli). What you’ve done is a model to represent the passageway of air as you breath in and out.

Use of analogy
You can also compare this to the road system, for example…
Trachea ≈Expressway
Bronchi ≈ Exit of expressway (unlike expressway with multiple exits, there are only 2 bronchi in our body)
Bronchiole ≈Regular roads (branches off to streets and avenues, similar to branching observed in bronchiole)
Alveoli ≈ Carpark (loading and unloading taking place in carpark is similar to gaseous exchange taking place in alveoli)

2. Model of lungs

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Source: Science Sparks

What’s the science behind it?
When you pull down the knotted balloon, it increases the volume in the bottle, which lowers the pressure. As the environment has high pressure than the model, air rush in (because air moves from high to low pressure), hence inflating the balloon in the bottle. As the knotted balloon is released, volume in the bottle decreases, hence pressure increases. Hence, air moves out from the balloon and it deflates.

How similar is the model to lungs?

lungdiab
Source: Hyper Physics

The knotted balloon in the model represents the diaphragm. Diaphragm is dome-shaped muscles located below the lungs. Its rhythmic contraction and relaxation results in breathing. Pulling down the knotted balloon is similar to diaphragm contracting. When the diaphragm contracts, it moves downwards, increasing volume of chest cavity.

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Source: Online Sources

When the knotted balloon is released, it represents relaxation of diaphragm. The diaphragm moves upwards when it relaxes, decreasing the volume of chest cavity.

4. Chest measurement

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Source: Vlinder

During inhalation, chest moves upwards and forward as it expands.

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Source: Ekshiksha

Grab a measuring tape to do a simple activity with your child. Lets compare the measurement of chest during inhalation and exhalation. Your child can compare the measurement and you can use this results to link to concepts of breathing. Also, let your child to do it on friends and family members too to inculcate scientific skills such measurement and communicating data.. You can use template here to record the results.

template chest measurement acitivity
Click to download template

Extension (for 10 years old above)
Make it into project for your child as he/she do the measurement on friends and family members. Extend it for your child to make it into a report or poster to incorporate science skills and elements of STEAM.

template poster for chest measurement acitivity
Click to download template

Incorporation of STEAM (where applicable)
Science skills: measurement, recording results, communicating data into table/graph
Technology: Use of Powerpoint to make poster/report
Art: Design of poster/report
Math: Use of table, comparison of data

Not sure how to start? Grab the template here!

5. Measuring breathing rate

Here’s another idea for a science project. Why not compare the breathing rate for various activities?

template breathing rate acitivity
Click to download template

To determine breathing rate, count for each time you breathe in for 1 minute.

Through this activity, you can introduce the concept that breathing rate increases during strenuous activity.

Science behind it
During physical activity, such as running, the muscle cells need more energy. Breathing rate increases to transport oxygen at a faster rate to cells to increase the rate of respiration, hence release more energy.

10 Cactus craft for lesson on plant adaptations

Explore science concept of plant adaptation through cactus!

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Source: Keyword Suggestion
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Source: Youtube

Make one of these cactus craft and share ideas of its adaptation with your children. Most activities listed here are appropriate for those above 4 years old.

Some questions/pointers to introduce to children…

– Cacti are one of the common plants in desert
– Describe the conditions of desert (learning opportunities to expand vocabulary, eg hot, dry, arid, sandy)
– Challenges of desert climate (lack of water to support/sustain life)
– Describe a cactus (thick, fleshy stem, green stem, spines/thorns/thin and sharp leaves)
– Extend discussion with adaptation of desert animals, e.g camel

BBC KS3 Bitesize has a good resource to facilitate learning on this.

Which of these are you gonna make?

1. Painted rock cactus

Collect some pebbles and get down to painting them green with some patterns as the thorns.
Place them in pots with soil…

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Source: Craft Berry Bush

or a pot containing smaller pebbles,

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Source: El Nido De Mama Gallina

or cans of marbles..

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Source: Think, Make, Share

Voila- the painted pebbles have been transformed into cactus!

2. Popsicle stick cactus

If you have spare popsicle sticks lying around, here are some ideas to make cactus from them.

Put them upright…

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Source: Michaels

Or lay them flat…

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Source: Glued to my crafts

3.  Hand-print cactus

Get your hand dirty, literally, with some hand-printed cactus.

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Source: Clickacraft

4. Balloon cactus

Tape a few pieces of yellow and green balloons of different sizes together.

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Source: Design Improvised

5. Toothpick

Toothpicks can be used to represent the spines. So, why not add toothpick to your drawing…

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Source: Creativity Takes Flight

or to modge-painted Styrofoam ball…

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Source: Modge Podge Rocks

6. Card-stitching cactus

Template provided by Handmade Charlotte with easy, simple stitch for the thorns of the cactus.

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Source: Handmade Charlotte

7. Cactus pen-holder

Make your cactus for creative use, for example, as a pen holder.

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Source: The Creative Pair

8. Paper craft cactus

Plenty of variations for paper craft cactus and with template provided. Cut, colour and fix them up. Easy peasy!

Template by The House that Lars Built with instructions here.

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Source: The House that Lars Built

You can also get template from Good To Know with instructions here.

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Source: Good to Know

Make spiny cactus with template and instructions from Vashechudo.

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Source: Vashechudo

Watercolour paper cacti with template from Think Make Share and instructions here.

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Source: Think Make Share

Paper Mache Cacti on Styrofoam piece by Design Sponge.

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Source: Design Sponge

Simple paper cactus by Henrietta & Clementine.

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Source: Henrietta & Clementine

9. Fork pattern

Use a fork to paint over the cactus cut-out to represent the needle-like leaves.

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Source: Preschool playbook
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Source: Preschool playbook

10. Using wire from old clothes hanger

Unwind them, then twist and turn it into cactus. Then, add some ribbons to represent the spines. Pretty, aren’t they?

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Source: The Jungalow

Ice-cream in a bag

Here’s another Kitchen Science experiment – ice cream in a bag. You can easily get ingredients needed for this activity and with easy steps that kids can do it without making a mess (just make sure the ziplock bags are tightly sealed! and double ziplocked if you’re really worried). It’s also quick so kids won’t get impatient with it. The best part? It’s yummy and you can create your own flavour!

Ingredients:
-1/2 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
– 1/2 cup milk
– 1/4 cup sugar
– 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 6 tablespoons salt
– ice cubes, enough to half-fill a large plastic container. (crushed ice preferred over ice cubes as it has larger surface area)

Materials:
– Large plastic container
– 2 pcs large zipper-lock bags
– Towel or mittens

Steps:
1. Add heavy cream, milk , sugar and vanilla in a container. Stir well.
2. Transfer the content into a zipper-lock bag.
3. Seal the zipper-lock bag tightly.
4. Place it into the other zipper-lock bag. Seal it tightly.
5. Add crushed ice into the large plastic container until it’s half filled.
6. Add 6 tablespoons rock salt.
7. Place the zipper-lock bag in the container. Seal it.
8. Shake and roll it for 10-15 minutes.

 

Science notes
Possible science topics that you can explore with your child through this activity are state of matter and changes in state. Below are possible questions you can discuss with your child.

  • Is ice-cream a solid or liquid? Is it simply frozen ice-cream is solid and melted ice-cream a liquid? Frozen ice-cream is actually a mixture of different states of matter! This website by American Chemical Society explains the state of matter of ice cream for young children.
  • What is the change of state observed? Quite a few changes of state take place in this activity! Th obvious ones are change of state from liquid to solid (milk to ice crystals) in the first bag and change of state from solid to liquid in the plastic container. Probe your child to observe the water droplets in the second bag after the shaking and rolling as most might missed this. The bag is empty, so how do water vapour appear in the bag? This is another change of state, from gas to liquid.
  • Why is salt added to the ice? The dairy mixture need to be colder than ice to freeze. The salt added to ice lowers the melting point of ice. This makes the ice colder than it was before, to even below 0 degrees Celsius, hence increases the freezing rate of the diary mixture.

Extension

Another possible extension to explore this property of salt is to compare the freezing rate or melting of ice in normal water and in salt water.

Lastly, some videos to support your child’s learning in the topics mentioned above.

 

5 Sea-themed activities for young children

1. Shoe box aquarium

Shoe box aquarium using template from Mocomi.
Shoe box aquarium using template from Mocomi.

It’s a simple craft activity that requires a shoe box, string, papers and colouring materials. Mocomi provides template of sea animals and plants, which means, you’ll just need to just print, cut and colour them.

You can also add pebbles and shells.
Source: Huggies, Australia

Another variation is to make 3D fishes using styrofoam balls.
Source: MollyMoo

2. Jellyfish in a bottle

Source: PBS Parents

Create jellyfish in a bottle using plastic. Check out the instructions here or watch the video below to find out how.

3. Sensory bin

Create a sensory bin with rocks, pebbles, shells and sea creature toys. All you need is a water container and stuff to fill it with.

Water container
Materials to fill the bin

Read here for  a parent’s experience with the ocean sensory bin.

4. Fishing Game

Have a fun game with your child with magnetic fishing. Kidspot provides a template and instruction for you to create one.

5. Sock-topus

Create octopus using a piece of sock. The Gold Jelly Bean provides detailed instructions on how to make one.

5 Science-based activities after a trip to the park

Pick up a few pieces of different types of leaves the next time you’re out at the park. Let your children be budding botanists as they explore the leaves.

1. Parts of a leaf
Equip them with magnifying glass to observe the parts of the leaf. Let them draw or trace the outline of leaf on blank piece of paper. Then, label the parts of the leaf.

Credits: Adaycare.com

This can also be done by colouring only certain parts, as shown in the diagram below.

Credits: A2Z Montessori

2. Classification and sorting
Let your children sort the leaves collected, for example by colour, size, vein pattern, texture, margin pattern etc.

Garden Notes from Colorado State University Extension has comprehensive details on leaflet arrangement, venation, leaf shape, leaf structure etc if you would like to describe more to your children.

3. Leaf printing
Simple craft with leaf printing. The end product can be framed, used as bookmark or even as wrapping paper.

Here’s another idea for leaf print activity, Leaf Prints Tree.
Credits: First Pallette

Credits: First Pallette

4. Hammered Leaf
Another craft activity, but this is to preserve the natural dye of the leaves on paper. Taken from Instructables.com.

Things you’ll need:
– flowers or leaves to print
– watercolor paper
– selection of hammers (including ball-peen or cross-peen, if you have them)
– hard work surface (cutting board, slab of wood, etc.)
– paper towels
– scissors
– a pen
– tweezers or toothpicks
– tape (optional)
– acrylic finishing spray (optional)

Trim any chunky or squishy bits off of the plants and arrange them on the watercolor paper. You can tape them down if you would like, but make sure that the tape doesn’t get between the plant and the paper.
Cover the plant with 2-3 layers of paper towels. On the paper towels, sketch the borders of the area you’ll need to hammer.
Start by making small, even taps using the flat side of one of the hammers. This will set the flowers or leaves in place. Then go carefully over the entire area with a ball- or cross-peen hammer. Start by going in rows up and down (see the arrows in the previous picture), then do another pass from side to side. You’ll need to hit every single bit of the plant, so be patient. It can take a while.
Peel back the paper towel to check your progress. If the pattern on the towel is filled in, then you’re probably done. If not, replace the paper towel and start again. When you’re done, peel away the leaf to reveal the print. If it sticks to the paper, just let it dry for a bit and you’ll be able to brush it off.
Once your print is to your liking, you can spray it with UV-protective acrylic spray to help keep the colors bright. Be sure to do this in a well-ventilated area.

5. Extract chlorophyll from leaf
Taken from eHOW:

Things you’ll need:
Hot water
Large green leaf
Rubbing alcohol
Glass container

Place the leaf in boiling water for 2 minutes. Then, remove the leaf.
Place a heat-safe glass container in the a pot of hot water. Pour 1 cup of rubbing alcohol in the glass container.
Place the leaf in the glass with the rubbing alcohol. Ensure that it is fully submerged.
After an hour, the rubbing alcohol will turn green due to the chlorophyll.