Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Honoring the Military

You might not like war or fighting, but I think you will agree that we should honor our military. They put their lives on the line every day so we can enjoy freedom. What a great country we live in!

Take some time this month to talk to your child about the military men and women who protect us. Explain how Moms and Dads have to spend time away from their family and friends. Talk about what it is like to serve in a foreign country where they are not used to the culture, food, or language. Touch on how soldiers are exposed to danger.

Here are two ideas that might encourage your child to honor the military:

  • Letters-write a letter or letters to active military men and women. Sometimes they get lonely, miss their family, or just plain get homesick. A letter from your child would be a bright spot in their day. Organizations like Operation Gratitude accept letters to send to the military.
  • Care Packages-Put together a care package. You can get flat rate boxes free at the local post office. Don’t forget to include a letter and maybe a picture. The site, Any Soldier, is a great place to find out more information about what they might want or need, and how to go about sending your package.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Food Chains

A food chain show the steps of who eats whom in a an ecosystem to obtain their nutrition. Simply stated, it shows how animals eat other animals or plants. For example, a fish eats plankton then becomes food for larger fish like mackerel or tuna. The mackerel and tuna are then eaten by larger fish and animals, such as the shark and dolphin. Who eats the shark? Look on menus at seafood restaurants. You just might see shark listed. A food chain always starts with plant life and ends with an animal. Each plant or animal is called a link in a food chain. Most food chains only have about four or five links.

Let your child decorate his room or the kitchen with colorful food chain art. Food chain art projects give visual-spatial learners a better understanding of how food chains work.

Have your child draw animals and plants inside one another to represent the progression through the food chain. The largest element of the painting should be a picture of the highest animal in the food chain. For example, a lion may be painted as the largest animal. Just inside the lion could be a zebra. Inside the zebra could be a drawing of grass, and inside the grass could be the sun.

Create a paper food chain mobile. Make a sun by gluing orange paper triangles around a paper plate that was painted or colored yellow. Use a hole punch to make one hole at the top and two or three holes at the bottom. Put the phrase, "All energy comes from the sun" in the middle of the paper plate. Color and cut out strips of paper with the names and drawings of producers and consumers. Glue the strips together in the right order making a "chain". Attach to the sun shape with string or yarn.

Another food chain mobile can be made by attaching animals in order of succession. The animal that is highest on the food chain should hang at the top of the mobile. Attach the next animal in the food chain, using string and tape. Continue adding the pieces of the food chain in order, with each piece of the chain hanging from the one before it.