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Butterfly Hanging Garden


Preschool and up

30 minutes or more

Type of Activity

Materials needed
•     Monarch butterfly pictures.
      (Click here to download: Butterflies 1, Butterflies 2, Butterflies 3.)
•     Milkweed picture (Click here to download.)
•     Flower pictures (Click here to download: Plant 1, Plant 2.)
•     Construction or other colored paper
•     Felt squares in different colors
•     Scissors
•     Crayons, color pencils, and/or magic markers
•     Glue stick or all purpose glue
•     Tape -- both regular and double stick

What to do
1.     Print out the pictures of the Monarch butterfly and the plants that you
        want to include in your “garden.”
2.     Have your child color them.
3.     If your child can use scissors safely, then let him cut out the colored
        pictures. If not, then do it yourself.
4.     Have your child arrange his pictures on the brightly colored paper.
        Glue them on.
5.     Hang in a sunny location!

Cut out different flower shapes in felt or construction paper. These can be
glued onto a heavier paper such as poster board.

Older children may be interested in having the plants and butterflies look exactly like the real ones.

Build an Edible Bridge

Do your kids ever ask you how bridges work? Why they don’t collapse? How
much weight they can carry? Turn this fascination into a learning activity.
Challenge your kids to build a bridge that can span two chairs and hold the
weight of a book or magazine. Have them work together to create the lightest
possible bridge that can hold the most weight.

8 and up

30 minutes or more

Type of Activity

Materials needed
•     Toothpicks or straws
•     Gumdrops or mini-marshmallows
•     Pencil and graph paper (optional)
•     Two chairs
•     A book or magazine

What to do
1.     Have your kids investigate the construction of things in and around the
        house. What kind of supports hold up the kitchen table, dining-room
        chairs, the roof, the mailbox? Have them build a few geometric shapes
        out of toothpicks and gumdrops and test them for strength. Kids will
        soon discover that the triangle is the strongest shape -- all three of its
        sides work together to support the weight you place on it.
2.     Some kids might like to map out how they’ll build their bridge on graph
        paper. Others may just want to start building using the trial and error
        method. Either way, it’s nice to have paper handy to jot down notes.
3.     Put the bridge to the test. Place it between two chairs and place a
        magazine on top. If the bridge can hold the magazine, move on to the
        heavier book.
4.     If your kids can part with their masterpieces, deconstruct and eat!
        Bridge building can be as simple as joining a few marshmallows
        together, or as complicated as using precise measurements and
        mathematical theories in competition with other would-be engineers.


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