Freebie Roundup

BALLOONS, ART, CIVICS & CLASSICS

Here’s this week’s goodies:

MAKE YOUR OWN BALLOON ANIMALS!

You just KNOW somebody in your household needs to know how to make some cool balloon animals this summer. It occurs to me that a nice stock of balloons from the local party store along with these links would sure keep ’em occupied for a long while. And who knows? They might be a big hit at your next party or get-together.

So Here’s a neat PDF ebook on BALLOON TWISTING 101 for beginners!

And below is a great site with dozens of well-illustrated tutorials on how to make your own balloon animal sculptures… from very basic shapes to crazy, intricate creations. Have fun!

Click here and then click through to all the tutorial links.

i-CIVICS

iCivics is chock full of interactive games, curriculum and lesson plans for teaching young people more about civics… and it’s all free! Here’s what they say about their mission on the site:

There is an important link between civic knowledge and civic engagement. Our system thrives if Americans understand how our government and its branches work. In fact, our public schools were founded to teach young people to understand these structures, and to cultivate informed citizens. Yet students are growing up in an uncivic-minded era. Civic education has nearly disappeared from the school curriculum. More than ever, youth are not voting and are becoming disillusioned with the political process. This is why, after serving 25 years on the bench of the Supreme Court, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor founded iCivics in 2009: to restore civic education in our nation’s schools.

The success of any democratic system depends on the active participation of its citizens. iCivics gives students the necessary tools to learn about and participate in civic life, and teachers the materials and support to achieve this goal. Our free resources include print-and-go lesson plans, interactive digital tools, and award-winning games.

iCivics teaches students how government works by having them experience it directly. Through our games, the player steps into any role – a judge, a member of Congress, a community activist fighting for local change, even the President of the United States – and does the job they do. Educational video games allow for concepts to happen to us. They convey information while teaching skills for effective civic engagement.

Click here to go to the site!

OVER 100 EDUCATIONAL COLORING BOOKS

If your kids enjoy coloring, or YOU enjoy coloring, we’ve got a great resource site for you today!

This site, organized by The New York Academy of Medicine Library, features over 100 free downloadable coloring books and coloring pages for children and adults from museums, schools, and institutions all across the country. Each reflects the materials that they hold in their collections. The range of participating organizations and their available subject matter is impressive; from rare books to scientific diagrams to ornate Art Nouveau. There is truly something for everyone—and hours upon hours of relaxing (and educational!) entertainment.

Click here to go to the site!

CHEAP AND EASY CRAFTS FOR EVERYONE

Originally created for library program use, this neat little guide offers dozens of fun and simple craft projects using inexpensive materials you probably already have on hand. Lots of full color photos, simple instructions, and some great projects that are easy for you to prepare for, and that your kids will enjoy.

CLICK HERE to download this PDF ebook!

10 CLASSICS IN 10 MINUTES

Want to know what 10 classic living books are all about… in just 10 minutes? Your tweens and teens may get a kick out of following along and deciphering these humorous 1 minute summaries of these famous stories. Along with partners Jim Becker and Andy Mayer, John “Mighty Mouth” Moschitta recorded a pugnacious take on ten classic novels in which he summarizes each book’s entire story in approximately one minute. Included in this collection, entitled Ten Classics in Ten Minutes, are Herman Melville’s Moby Dick; William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet; F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby; Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind; and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.

Yep, this resource is really just for the fun of it, but students will also at least get a notion of what these classic stories are about. If you want to have some fun with these and see if your student actually listens, have your student tell YOU what the story is about after watching one of these videos. Then try it with someone else in the family (mom, dad, siblings, etc.).

CLICK HERE to go to this YouTube playlist.

TORN PAPER COLLAGES

Looking for a fun art project that can be either simple OR challenging for all ages? Here’s a GREAT guide to creating beautiful torn paper collages using old magazines, newspapers, junk mail, sheet music, photos, scrap paper, construction paper or whatever you have around the house. It includes step by step instructions and lots of wonderful full-color project examples!

CLICK HERE to download this PDF lesson guide!

Freebie Roundup

ASTRONOMY, LEGOS, PHYSICS & 100+ HS EBOOKS

AT HOME ASTRONOMY

Want to build a lunar settlement, launch an indoor rocket, make meteor craters and explore our solar system? You can do all that with a little imagination and these fun hands-on science experiments for the entire family, from the Space Sciences Laboratory at UC Berkeley.

CLICK HERE to go to the site!

SHELLY LOVETT’S PRE-SCHOOL TEACHING TIPS LIBRARY

Shelley Lovett’s ChildCareLand page on YouTube offers a HUGE library of short teaching tips and learning activities videos for preschool and kindergarten age students — over 500  practical, helpful ideas, crafts, activities and demonstrations that will enhance any pre-school or kindergarten age learning time. If you’ve got a little learner in your home, check it out!

Click here to go to the video library site on YouTube! Be sure to bookmark it for future reference!

HOMESCHOOLING EBOOKS FROM CREATION MINISTRIES

Creation Ministries has a library of well over 100 homeschool-oriented ebooks and PDF articles on a huge variety of topics. Some of these are creation science oriented, but most of them cover other topics, such as

Language Arts
Math
Reading
Writing
Charlotte Mason topics
Classical homeschooling
Unit Studies and much more.

You’ll definitely want to bookmark this great page of goodies!

Click here to go to the download page!

LAND OF THE LOST LEGO PLANS!

ALL THOSE LOST LEGO PLANS – FOUND FOR YOU! If yours is a Lego household, you have all these Legos blocks and pieces jumbled together in boxes and tubs and drawers, but have likely lost the original instruction guides on how to build the individual projects, right? Not any more. We found them for you!

Here’s a great site that has dowloadable PDFs of practically EVERY Lego kit instruction guide you can think of, and loads more you’ve never even heard of. It’s every frustrated Lego builder’s dream site. Bookmark it and keep for future reference. Happy building!

Click here to go to the site!

PHYSICS EXPERIMENTS YOU CAN DO AT HOME

Physics is primarily the study of motion and energy, but that energy can take many forms: Motion, Heat, Sound, Electricity, Magnetism and Light. Each of these forms of energy is demonstrated and explained with easy to do, fun experiments in this neat little 22 page collection published by Professor Clint Sprott and his associates at the Physics Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as part of their Wonders of Physics outreach program. Your kids will really enjoy these. Highly recommended!

To download this PDF, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save link” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key then click the link and save to your mac.