I’m working on a polar bear unit even though winter isn’t quite here yet. I wanted to go ahead and share this idea for super simple polar bear cookies. All you need is four ingredients and a few minutes to make them!
Polar Bear Cookie Ingredients
- cream filled cookies (Mega Stuffed or Double Stuffed Oreos work best)
- mini marshmallows
- mini chocolate chips
- edible candy eyes
- Carefully twist the cookies apart to separate the top and the bottom. Keep the part of the cookie with the cream. Eat the part without the cream.
- Take a mini marshmallow and slightly press it between your finger and thumb to flatten it just a bit. Place the marshmallow on the center of the bottom part of the cream.
- Press the pointed end of a mini chocolate chip piece into the top center of the marshmallow for the nose.
- Place the edible candy eyes on the cream and gently press into place.
- Cut one mini marshmallow into fourths with kitchen scissors. Use two of the fourths on top of the cream for the ears. The marshmallows are a bit sticky once you cut them so they hold nicely when stuck to the cookie.
That’s it! They couldn’t be easier or quicker to make. No baking is required and they’re virtually mess-free! My kids are 7 and 10 and they’ve loved making them. These polar bear cookies are a great treat to make during a polar bear or arctic animal unit.
Kids LOVE learning about the human body. It’s so fascinating! Videos are a great way for them to learn about different body systems and organs. Here is a list of human body videos for kids on YouTube that are a perfect fit into any human body unit for lower elementary grades:
The Muscles and Muscular System
KidsHealth.org is an amazing human body resource for young learners. The site has videos, articles, and activities about the body. This muscular system video is one of their many videos. It’s a great intro to muscles and how they work.
This video is animated, but goes more in-depth about how muscles work. It explains the difference between voluntary and involuntary muscles, as well as the three types of muscles.
I’m a HUGE fan of SciShow for Kids. Their videos are outstanding! This video describes how the muscles, bones, and nervous system all work together to help us move.
The Bones and Skeletal System
StoryBots are another favorite of mine. Their catchy songs teach quality content without kids even realizing it. Students will love this song about the bones.
“The foot bone’s connected to leg bone”…This fun song has been around for a long time and kids today will still enjoy it!
SciShow for Kids packs a lot of interesting facts about bones and the skeleton in this short four-minute video.
The Brain and Nervous System
This StoryBots’ song about the brain is great way to learn basic nervous system facts.
KidsHealth.org shares about the different parts of the brain and their functions in this video.
This video explains how challenges help our brain grow. (Growth mindset, anyone?!) After watching the video, give your students’ brains a workout by having them complete several challenges like write with the opposite hand, say the alphabet backwards, or draw an object with their eyes closed.
Heart and Circulatory System
Another StoryBots’s song that will help students learn a basic understanding of the heart and circulatory system.
This SciShow for Kids video about the heart is a great introduction or review of how the heart works and how blood circulates through the body.
At a little over six minutes, this KidsHealth.org video gives an overview of the circulatory system and goes into greater detail about the heart. It talks about the exact path of blood through the heart, as well as provides information about the different chambers and valves in the heart.
This video is neat because it is told from the point of view of an animated drop of blood. The blood droplet explains what happens as it travels through the circulatory system.
Lungs and Respiratory System
Another fun Storybots’ song about the human body. It explains basic respiration, as well as how we use our lungs for things like playing an instrument.
KidsHealth.org provides another great video about how our lungs work.
Mr. R.’s Songs for Teaching has some really fun songs for students. This respiratory system song provides lots of repetition and rhyme to help students remember the concepts. The lyrics appear on the screen throughout the video. This video is almost three minutes long and might be better for third grade and above.
Stomach and Digestive System
I love that the Storybots’ song about the digestive system is titled “Food Into Energy”. It helps students’ understand the main reason we need food- for energy!
KidsHealth.org gives a fun, animated look at digestion as the characters take a trip through the digestive system.
This Mr. R.’s Songs for Teaching is so cute and kids will love it! Lots of repetition and funny words will have students singing this catchy digestion song in no time.
Kidneys and Urinary System
When we studied the human body, I had a hard time finding videos and books about the urinary system that are appropriate for young learners. Here are two videos that do a really nice job of presenting it to kids:
KidsHealth.org provides a perfect explanation of how the urinary system works.
Make Me Genius gives another overview of the urinary system that young students will understand.
General Human Body
This five-minute video provides a brief introduction to all the major body systems.
These videos are just a small portion of the videos I’ve collected. When we studied the human body, I spent HOURS searching YouTube for the best human body videos for kids. I’ve watched all of them to make sure they’re great quality and appropriate for young students. I suggest you preview the videos before you show them to make sure they’re a good fit for your students.
You can find over 50 human body videos for kids on my playlist below. The videos are grouped together by body systems. The videos are perfect for introducing body systems, using as a review, for early finishers, or as a center activity. I hope these videos are a meaningful addition to your unit!
Very early on in our math curriculum I knew my kids were going to need to know their number sight words pretty quickly. They were required to read and write numbers in words right off the bat and that’s hard to do if you don’t know them! So, I set out to teach the number sight words using fun and engaging games that had them learning without even knowing it. No worksheets allowed!
This game was always a favorite! Have a student draw a number sight word card from a stack and read it. Then, they do that amount of a certain action you call out. For example, if a student draws and reads the word “five”, they do five jumping jacks or spin around five times. Here are some of the actions we used: jumping jacks, spin around, hop on one foot, clap, snap fingers, touch toes, blink, take giant steps, take steps backwards, hop like a frog, walk like a crab, and push ups. After they finish the action, have them read the number sight word one more time before drawing the next card. This game is great for kinesthetic learners and for getting those wiggles out sometimes!
Have students close their eyes or turn around. Arrange several number sight word cards in order, but turn one over or leave it out. Students turn around or open their eyes, read the number sight words, and figure out what number is missing. This game also practices counting and sequencing.
Mix up the number sight words and have students put the cards in numerical order. You might have them order the cards from least to greatest, or greatest to least. This is another game that practices sequencing and also comparing.
Played like the traditional “War” card game, each player has a stack of number sight word cards placed face down in front of them. Each player turns the top card over, and the one with the highest number keeps both cards. The players keep playing until all their cards are turned over. The player with the most cards at the end wins. What students don’t even realize is that they’re also practicing comparing numbers with this game. It’s a win-win!
This game is the always fun matching or memory game. Make two copies of each number sight word, turn them over face down, and have players turn cards over two at a time to try to find the match. This game can also be played with regular sight words.
Hide number sight words around the room and have students go find them. This game can also be played with regular sight words.
This game was probably the second favorite one to do after Act It Out. Line the number sight word cards up across the room away from the students. Call out a number and have a player run down and get the number sight word card and race it back to you. You can divide students into teams and make it a relay. This game can also be played with regular sight words.
If you’re interested in doing these activities with your students, you can download and print the number sight word cards I used by clicking HERE. It contains the numbers one through twenty and there are four cards per page.
You can create your own number sight word cards by clicking here. Scroll down the page until you see the words “3. Quarter-Page Sight Words Flash Cards (4-up)”. Click on “Custom Flash Cards”. It will take you to a page where you can enter the number sight words you want to use, click “create flash cards”, and then it will create your flash cards for you using the number sight words you entered. Four sight word cards will be on one page. Cut them apart and laminate for durability.
I hope these activities give you some fun ways to teach number sight words to your students. Do you have any special games or activities you use to teach number sight words? I’d love to hear your ideas!
As we studied about insects, I searched YouTube again for engaging, high-quality videos that would complement our unit. I was looking for videos that explain insect traits and characteristics, as well as videos about specific insects. Here is a small sample of what I found. You can find all thirty-three videos on my Insect Videos for Kids playlist on YouTube.
SciShow for Kids has fantastic science videos for kids. In this “Inspect an Insect” video, kids learn three traits of insects that help them tell insects apart from other animals. (K-3)
Students learn about insects, different kinds of insects, and how insects differ from spiders in this seven minute video. (K-1)
This short video teaches young learners about insects and how they’re different from spiders. (K-1)
SciShow for Kids is a favorite go-to source for me. This video explains metamorphosis in a kid-friendly way and is great to include when studying insects or life cycles.
This time-lapsed video of a caterpillar going through complete metamorphosis is amazing! A must-see for kids of all ages. (K-6)
Harry Kindergarten’s fantastic song that teaches kids the stages of metamorphosis and the butterfly life cycle. (K-3)
Young students learn about bees, types of bees, and how bees make honey in this short video. (K-2)
A young girl interviews a scientist to learn about why bees are important in this Earth Rangers’ video. (K-3)
This video is fascinating! Learn about the honey bee dance as you go inside a hive to learn about the roles of different bees. (2-6)
I had a hard time finding great quality videos about ladybugs, but this short video is a nice introduction. It talks about the most common type of ladybug, the habitats in which they live, and how ladybugs can be colors other than red.
Did you know that the eggs and larvae of the firefly can glow? I didn’t! Learn about the fascinating firefly and how it glows in this awesome video. (1-4)
Students might be curious to learn why mosquito bites itch. They’ll learn the answer in this video! (1-4)
While not specifically about insects, this short video about mimicry uses the owl butterfly, drone fly, and painted locust border beetle as some of the examples. (1-4)
These videos are great for visual learners. They can be used as a lesson introduction, review, a center activity, or for early finishers. I hope they enhance your students’ understanding of insects!
Here’s a fun graphing game printable that is perfect for an insect unit or to use when students are learning to graph. Students move around the game board, collect bugs on their hunt, and graph their results!
- Going on a Bug Hunt game board
- game pieces (buttons, coins, etc.)
- paper clip
- bug hunt graph
- Print out the “Going on a Bug Hunt” game board and directions sheet onto heavy cardstock paper. Laminate for durability. The game board and directions sheet also fit perfectly inside a file folder to create a file folder math game. These are great for math centers!
- Print out the bug hunt graph, one per student.
- Players put a game piece on “Start”. I use buttons or coins for game pieces, but you can use whatever is handy.
- A player puts a paper clip on the center of the spinner, holds it in place with the tip of a pencil, and spins the paper clip.
- The player moves their game piece the number of places on the spinner. *I provided two different spinners: one that says “Go back one space” and one that says “Spin again”. The “Go back one space” spinner makes for a longer game and larger numbers to graph. For a shorter game and less numbers to graph, use the directions with the spinner that says “Spin again”.
- The player fills in a space on their graph to show the bug he/she landed on. For example, if they land on a ladybug, they will color in one space on the graph for a ladybug.
- Players take turns spinning, moving, and recording the bugs they find on their bug hunt on their graph until they reach the end.
- The player with the most bugs at the end is the winner.
- Students answer the questions on their graph.
This game is a fun addition to my week long insects unit. If you’re in need of a cross-curricular insect unit with detailed daily lesson plans, click on the picture below to hop over to my TPT store and take a look!
The weather is finally warming up, flowers are blooming, and we’re all abuzz about insects! I’ve just wrapped up a huge insect unit. As part of the unit, we learned why insects are important, with a particular focus on bees. Bees are so critical for the pollination of our fruits and vegetables. They also provide us with honey and beeswax that is used to make candles, soaps, crayons, and many other items.
After learning about bees, we made this adorable torn paper bee craft and wrote something about what we learned. The torn paper gives it a great texture like a fuzzy little bumble bee. Here’s how we made it:
- Bee body templates
- yellow and black construction paper
- black pipe cleaners (2 per bee)
- paper towels
- clear tape
- stick glue
Print and cut out all of the bee body templates.
Tear the yellow construction paper into small 1 to 2 inch square pieces. Glue the yellow squares onto the bee body and head templates, overlapping the squares to completely cover the templates.
Tear the black construction paper into 1 inch wide strips to make the bee’s stripes. Glue the stripes on and tear off the excess strips at the edges.
Cut a small black triangle out of the construction paper and glue on for the stinger.
Glue the eyes onto the head. Draw on a wide smile and then glue the head onto the body.
Tape the black pipe cleaners onto the back of the head in the center above the eyes.
Lay the wing template onto a paper towel. Trace the template and cut it out. Glue or tape the paper towel wing onto the template to create a textured wing. (Be sure to use glue that dries clear or it will show through the paper towel.) Glue the wing onto the body.
Print out the “You Won’t Bee-lieve This” writing template. Have students write something they learned or an interesting fact about bees on the template.
Cut out the template and attach it to the bottom of the torn paper bee.
These make an adorable hallway display! Another cute display option is to hang all of the honeycomb shaped writing templates together to create one large honeycomb. Hang the bees around it and add the title “You Won’t Bee-lieve This” over the display.
This bee craft is just one of the many projects in my insect unit in my TPT store. The week-long unit for kindergarten and first grade includes daily detailed lesson plans, literature suggestions, literacy, science, math, handwriting, music, and art. There are also links to YouTube videos that fit in perfectly as well. Click on the picture below to take a look!
I’m so excited to share this post with you because this activity was such a huge hit in our house! My kids love playing with playdough even at the ages of seven and ten. While playdough mats are usually used in preschool and kindergarten classrooms, I thought I’d create some just for fun and see what my kiddos thought. I had no idea how much they’d love these weather playdough mats!
I picked up this Play-Doh Rainbow Starter Pack to use for this activity. It comes with eight cans of playdough. Each can is the mini size, but the amount of playdough was really perfect for these mats. They each had plenty to work with on their picture.
I created six weather playdough mats. Each mat has a picture of a different type of weather and asks them to add something to the picture.
They wanted to each try making three different mats. They worked so intently and spent a lot of time creating each one.
My son wanted added some hail, too!
I just love the boy my son made holding the kite string! He worked really hard on it.
My daughter tore tiny pieces of playdough apart and dropped them onto the mat to make her small snowflakes.
You know your kids had fun when they ask you if you’ll make some more! They gave me some terrific suggestions that I’ll try to create soon.
These weather playdough mats would be a fun complement to a weather unit study for young learners. They would be perfect for a center activity or early finishers. I simply put the printed sheets into a page protector and that worked fine, but I suggest laminating them for long term use. You can download these FREE weather playdough mats by clicking on the link below.
I hope your little ones enjoy them as much as mine did!
*This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small compensation from Amazon for purchases made through this link.
We’re smack dab in the middle of a weather unit and I wanted to share with you the weather videos for kids I’ve put together. I’m a huge fan of incorporating videos into whatever unit we’re studying. Sometimes I use them to introduce a topic or review material we’ve already covered. It’s just a great way to help meet the needs of visual and auditory learners. I hope you’ll find them helpful as you teach your students about weather!
What is Weather?
This video provides a very helpful explanation of the difference between weather and climate.
A real meteorologist defines what weather is, all the different aspects that go into predicting the weather, and gives a behind-the-scene look at being a meteorologist on TV.
You really can’t talk about precipitation with talking about the water cycle. This Crash Course Kids video walks students through the water cycle. It includes a discussion on what precipitation is and shows you an experiment you can perform to make it rain.
SciShow for Kids explains how snowflakes are formed and what their different shapes are called in this three-and-a-half minute video.
Some kids might have a hard time understanding the difference between sleet and snow, but they won’t after watching this short video. It does a great job explaining the difference!
Another Met Office animated video that shows kids how hail and hailstones are formed.
We watched all three of these videos last week when we studied clouds. They really helped my kids to understand how clouds are formed.
This video talks about the water cycle and how clouds form. It also provides information about the different types of clouds.
Another terrific SciShow for Kids video that begins with a brief discussion of the three states of matter. It also touches on how scientists classify clouds and the different cloud types. Their videos are high quality and packed with information.
This was actually a question my daughter asked me: “How do the clouds stay up in the sky? Why don’t they just fall down?” This video does a fantastic job explaining the answer. It also gives some other really interesting facts about clouds. We really enjoyed this one!
The following videos take a closer look at types of extreme weather such as thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes.
These videos are just a few that can be found in my Weather Videos for Kids playlist on YouTube. I’ve put together a collection of over FIFTY WEATHER VIDEOS FOR KIDS that covers many different weather topics. Use them for introducing a concept, for review, for centers, or even early finishers. Your students will love them!
We just started our unit on weather and this week we learned about clouds. Here’s a peek at what all we did. I hope these cloud activities for kids will be a helpful resource to you as you teach about weather!
Let’s Read-and-Find-Out Science books are great beginning science books. This book explains how clouds are formed and the different types of clouds. It also includes an experiment in the back for how to make a cloud in a jar.
Beloved children’s author, Tomie de Paola’s fun book about clouds covers a lot of ground. It describes the different types of clouds, along with stories and myths about them.
A nice introduction to clouds for students in PreK to first grade. Lots of real pictures paired with simple text on each page make this a great book for young learners.
We also had a few books about weather in general that had information about clouds in them that we read. A great one is National Geographic Kids: Everything Weather. My oldest has been reading a book from our local library called “Weather and Climate” by John Bassett. (I can’t find it on Amazon.) It’s a fantastic weather resource for older elementary students.
This video explains how clouds form, why clouds appear white, and all about the different types of clouds. I like that it tells what each cloud name means. Did you know that cumulus in Latin means “heap”? Me either!
SciShow for Kids explains what clouds are made of and a little about the types of clouds in this three-and-a-half minute video.
This was actually a question that my daughter had: How do clouds stay up in the air? Why don’t they just fall down? This six-and-a-half minute video does a terrific job explaining the answer, along with some other interesting facts about clouds.
After learning about how clouds are made, we focused on learning about the different types of clouds. The three main types of clouds are cumulus, stratus, and cirrus. All other clouds are some form or combination of these three types. We also talked a lot about cumulonimbus clouds because those are fascinating!
We decided to display our new knowledge about cloud types in an art project.
First, we folded a piece of heavy cardstock in half lengthwise. We used a pencil to lightly draw lines across one side to divide it into four equal sections.
Using a white crayon, we drew an example of a cloud type in each section. For the cumulonimbus cloud, we used gray and white crayons.
Next, we painted over the entire paper with blue watercolor paint to reveal the clouds we drew. A little watercolor goes a long way here. It’s best to water down the paint quite a bit. We also used a napkin to wipe off the excess paint on the crayon before it dried.
We let out paper dry and then we glued another piece of blank cardstock on the back. We folded the papers in half lengthwise again, and cut along our pencil lines we had drawn earlier to create four flaps.
Under each flap, we wrote information about the cloud type.
“Cirrus means in Latin “curls of hair”. They bring good weather and they are ice crystals.”
We tried both of these experiments to make a cloud.
This one was the easiest and turned out the best! My kids were completely mesmerized and did it three different times. It really helped them understand how clouds are made.
We had so-so results with this one. We tried at least eight times and never got it to work as good as he does in the video. I’m guessing it had something to do with our pump and/or opening that we couldn’t get sealed good enough. It looks really cool in the video, though, and is worth a try!
We also spent time observing the clouds each day. We would name each cloud type we saw. They came to see that weather and clouds are constantly changing; We might have stratus clouds in the morning, but cumulus clouds in the afternoon!
We read It Looked Like Spilt Milk and made our own cloud pictures.
I had them draw a shape of an object on a white piece of cardstock. Then, they tore out the shape with their fingers to make it resemble how the shapes looked in the book. We took turns guessing what each cloud picture was and they LOVED it!
Now that they’ve learned about cloud types and how they form, next week we’re moving on to everything that falls from them: precipitation!
*This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission from Amazon from purchases made through the links.
Learning to add money, make change, and compare money amounts are skills that are coming up in our money unit. I’ve been working on putting together lots of fun games and engaging opportunities to practice. Here are some money activities for second grade that I’ll be using. These activities will have your students learning about money without even realizing it!
Don’t Break the Bank
- Don’t Break the Bank game board
- real or fake pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters
- paper clip
How to Play:
- Students place a paper clip onto the center of the spinner and hold it in place with the tip of a pencil.
- They spin the paper clip and place the coin they land on onto the piggy bank. They keep spinning and adding coins to the piggy bank.
- Watch out for the hammer! If students land on the hammer three times, it breaks the bank! The game is over and students count up to see how much money they collected.
Students may like to play the game more than once to try to see if they can get more money into the bank before it breaks again. They can also play with a partner or group. The person in the group who gets the most money into their bank wins the game.
You might explain to students that long ago some people stored their money in ceramic piggy banks. These banks did not have a removable plug like the ones today. The only way to get the money out of the bank was to literally break the piggy bank. Today, the phrase “Break the Bank” means to spend all of your money or that something is too expensive. It’s a great way to throw in a little mini-lesson on idioms!
More Money Activities
- Play “What’s in My Wallet?” This is a fun game that your students will love. Tell students the number of coins and/or bills that’s in your imaginary wallet and have them try to guess the amount. For example, you might say “I have one bill that is under ten dollars and two coins. What’s in my wallet?” Then students try to guess the bills/coins and amount. You might provide younger students with more clues: “I have one dollar bill and two coins that are less than ten cents.”
- Money Scavenger Hunt: Hide a certain amount of coins and/or bills around the room. Tell students how many coins and/or bills are hidden and let them go find them. After finding all of the coins and/or bills, they add up the amount.
- Shopping Trip: Give students store sale ads. Tell them they have a certain amount of pretend money and let them go shopping! Have them draw and write about what they were able to purchase, how much money they spent, and how much change they had left.
- Money Videos: Watch videos and learn songs about money using YouTube. I’ve put together a collection of videos I think are perfect for this here.
Here are a few of the other money games and activities that I’ll be incorporating into our unit:
This quick, print-and-go game has students roll a die and add the money amounts together until they get to $1.00. I also created a Five Dollar Dash, too, where students race to add up to $5.00.
What’s in Piggy’s Bank?
Another no-prep game that has students roll a die, graph the coins they land on, and then total up all the coins to see how much money is in the piggy bank.
Take It to the Bank
Students roll and move around the game board, adding money amounts as they go. The student that collects the most money by the end of the game wins.
Farmer’s Market Task Cards
This will be my first time using task cards and I couldn’t be more excited! Students use a picture of a girl at a Farmer’s Market with different fruits and vegetables for sale to complete the 24 different task cards. Four of the task cards have open-ended questions that require students to give a longer written response.
Piggy’s Bank Write-the-Room
Write-the-Room is always a favorite of my kiddos. 20 numbered piggy banks are placed around the room. Students search for the banks, count the coins on each one, and record their answers on the recording sheet.
Spin and Spend
Spin and Spend is another easy, no prep game. Student spin the spinner and subtract the amount they land on from the amount on a piggy bank. I also made a version that uses dollar amounts.
My kids have actually played this one already and they LOVED it. As soon as they finished, they asked, “Can we play this again?” “Of course!” I said. So they sat back down and played another round. I loved hearing them chant “1, 2, 3, 4, let’s have a coin war!”
Played like the card game War, students each turn over a card from their pile. They count the coins on their card. The student with the highest amount keeps both cards. They keep playing until all their cards have been turned over. The student with the most cards at the end wins.
I hope these games and activities are helpful to you when you’re teaching money. You can download the first game “Don’t Break the Bank” for FREE by clicking the link below.
A black and white version is also included in the download if you’re concerned about using colored ink. Students might enjoy coloring it.
All of the other games can be found in my Money: Centers, Games, and Task Cards product in my TPT store. It comes with all of the directions and templates you’ll need to create these activities, plus ideas for how to differentiate each game for special needs learners and above level students.