Activity Array

Here you'll find an array of activities for elementary children that can be used in Children's Ministry, after-school programs, in the classroom and by homeschoolers.

Solution in Motion

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This is a week long theme which follows chapter 8 of What to Do When Your Temper Flares by Dawn Huebner, Ph. D.   This book helps children of all ages gain techniques to control anger whether they have a major anger management problem or not.  We all get angry at times.  How we respond and control this volatile emotion can either put a solution in motion or build a problem.  In her book the chapter is entitled, “Anger-Dousing Method #4:  Solve the Problem.”

I went through this book with the kids attending our after school program.  We did a chapter each week so that we could review and practice the concepts taught.  Since we had the full afternoon each day, I found activities that went along with each chapter. These activities could be a stand alone unit on solving puzzles.   The compilation of the activities follows.  The daily themes are:

  • Solve It
  • Problems
  • Agreement Bridge
  • Solutions
  • Puzzles

Solve it

Getting Started

  • Read What to Do When Your Temper Flares by Dr. Dawn Huebner Chapter 8
  • Discuss: How to solve problems then role play some of the problems and solutions on pages 64-69.  Another option is to do this as another activity.  This option can be found below under Drama.
  • Main Ideas:  First, slow down so you can open the door to your thinking brain, then either work out the problem or just move on.

Snack & Nutrition

  • You might want to go all out and get puzzle cookie cutters, which you can also use on bread and make fun sandwiches.  Here are some ideas from Pinterest.
  • You can make your own like shown on the video below.  This one is done with hearts, but you can let your kids get creative and use other shapes, too.

Art & Crafts

  • Tangram puzzles / Shape pictures – make pictures using shapes – Can you figure out the shapes needed or where the given shapes go when just given the outline of the picture?  What options are there?
  • Printable cards by Making Learning Fun
  • Tangram puzzles by Tangram Channel
  • Video showing some samples by AJ Pierce

Drama

  • Role-play  — Get some friends together, choose and practice one of the role-play scenarios on pages 64-69 or make up one of your own problem and solution scenario to act out.  This scenario might be something that happened to you or someone you know.
  • Puppets — Make or choose a couple puppets to do one of the role-play scenarios or make up your own problem and solution scenario for the puppets to act out.
  • Plan to present the above skits or puppet shows during the Getting Started time tomorrow.

Construction

  • Puzzle time!  Get out your favorite puzzles and enjoy putting them together!
  • Puzzle Challenge — Have a puzzle for each team which are similar in ability level.   Get ready!  Get set!  Go!  Each team tries to be the winner in putting together the puzzle.

Fun With Math

  • Really all the above activities are encourage the math concepts of geometry and problem solving.

 

Problems

Getting Started

  • Discuss: Review how to solve problems.
    1. Calmly and clearly state how you feel and what you want
    2. You may need to brainstorm or talk about possible flexible solutions
    3. You may need to compromise
    4. You may need to just move on.
  • Have those who did the Drama activity the day before present their problem and solution scenarios either as a skit or puppet show.

Snack & Nutrition

  • Buddy snack:  Have various snack options or various things to make either a smoothy or a trail mix out of.  Everyone chooses a buddy.  Each pair of buddies will be eating exactly the same snack.  They will make a trail mix to share or a smoothy to share, or choose the same thing from the options given.  By doing so they will practice discussing their owns wants, listening to the other person, compromising and agreeing.

Drama

  • Puppet shows —Aesop fables – have puppets and recording of fables available along with book to look at.  Check out the scripts on the kidsinco website.
  • Play Kid’s Choices or a Character Kid’s Game where kid’s answer various scenarios
  • Here are some fun examples:

Construction and Science

  • 3-D puzzles
  • Use Lego’s or K’nex to construct a simple project from a given picture.  Here are some picture ideas for Lego and K’nex.  Given a picture of a completed project – can you make this?  Figure out how to complete project.  How close were you able to come to the picture?  Variation:  Have one of the kids build something simple and have others duplicate it.
  • Marble mazes – make a Lego maze for a marble to go through like a pinball machine.  Start with one marble.  The more marbles you try to do at once, the more difficult it will be.   Our kids got creative with tunnels and ramps, too.
  • Roll It — make a maze or marble run on the wall with toilet paper rolls and other cylinders or funnels to make a marble go from point A to B.  Make it simple:

Or more complicated:

 

Number Fun

Fun With Words

  • The plot thickens — In most good stories the characters have a problem to solve.  Map out your plot.  Write a story.  Do you want to take mapping a plot to the next level?  Check out this Writing Workshop blog.

Fitness Fun

  • Check out these problem solving activities for kids by Icebreaker Ideas.  Activities include: Walk the Plank, Laser Web, and guess my Animal
  • Have a treasure hunt.  Each clue should be a riddle or give a problem where the solution is where the next clue or treasure is.  Here’s a sample from The Spruce.

Agreement Bridge

Program Potpourri/Circle Time

  1. The Agreement Bridge comes from a class I took before doing this unit.  The theory and idea behind the Agreement Bridge is explained in the following article:
  2. Discuss: What the Agreement Bridge is and how to play – see hand-out – basically, each person has a marker on an end of a ruler and move it closer to the middle when they feel they are closer to an agreement.  To come to an agreement they take turns talking about various topics.  Person 1 chooses a topic and they both take a turn to talk about that, then Person 2 chooses a topic.  Topics include: Greetings, Problem (own perspective), Swap (problem from other’s point of view), Smart choices, Foolish choices, & Changes willing to make.

Snack & Nutrition

  • Spilt milk – spill 3 tablespoons of milk or colored water on a plate.   What does it look like?  Work with a partner and come to an agreement on what the random shape looks like.

Art & Crafts

  • Partner art – draw or paint a picture with a partner – talk about what you will be drawing and how it will look – come to an agreement & do it
  • Play the Agreement Bridge about a problem you have had before (or now)

Drama

  • Puppet Show — Continue making and practicing your Aesop or problem & solution scenario puppet shows or skits from yesterday

Construction and Science

  • Building project:  Build a bridge using items of your choice.  Who can build the longest bridge? – strongest?  – widest?  – tallest?  Which worked the best? Lego, K’nex, blocks, or _____________?

Fun With Words

  • The Plot thickens — continue your story.

Fitness Fun

  • Play football (or your favorite ball game) – work as a team; Show good sportsmanship

Solutions

Getting Started

  1. Review the Agreement Bridge and chapter 8
  2. Solutions (in science) — Solutions are groups of molecules that are mixed and evenly distributed in a system. Scientists say that solutions are homogenous systems. Everything in a solution is evenly spread out and thoroughly mixed. Heterogeneous mixtures have a little more of one thing (higher concentration) in one part of the system when compared to another.Let’s compare sugar in water (H2O) to sand in water. Sugar dissolves and is spread throughout the glass of water. The sand sinks to the bottom. The sugar-water is a homogenous mixture while the sand-water is a heterogeneous mixture. Both are mixtures, but only the sugar-water can also be called a solution.
    1. Solute – item dissolved or made to disappear in the other (solvent)
    2. Solvent – substance in which the other item is made to dissolve in
    3. Solute + solvent = solution
    4. In mixtures the items mixed can be separated (such as in a trail mix or salad)
    5. In solutions, the solvent and solute is mixed so thoroughly they aren’t recognized as separate substances. However they can be separated

Snack & Nutrition

  • Juice Mix – make a solution of water, and various juice concentrates – enjoy!
  • Lemonade Solution — use equal portions of water, sugar, and lemon juice.  Try this Lemonade recipe from Simply Recipes

Arts & Crafts (and a little science, too)

  • Mix colors of liquid paint – separate using chromatography – put a strip of paper towel or coffee filter in the cup with the solution and see the colors spread up to different heights

Science Solutions

  • Is it a solution? Mix in separate cups of water:  sand / sugar / salt / borax — use various temperatures of water – Which temperature can you blend in more salt or sugar?
  • How can you separate the solvent from the solute? Start the process  (put a string in the salt, sugar, or borax and watch for crystals while the water evaporates)

Fun With Words

  • Finish your story and share it with some friends.
  • Practice your skit or puppet show.  Be ready to share it tomorrow.

 

Puzzles

Getting Started

  • Have those who have written stories or prepared skits or puppet shows share them with the group, if they desire.   Or they can share it with a smaller group at the Fun With Words area.
  • Discuss: Puzzle and Problem solving strategies – ask kids and make a list of strategies they’ve learned over the week.

Snack & Nutrition

  • Sticks and Squares –  Here are some fun puzzles to figure out using sticks to make squares from Learning Tree or triangles from Puzzle

Art & Crafts

  • Magazine puzzles – cut out a picture from a magazine. Option A glue it to   construction paper & cut it out in large puzzle pieces with lots of turns.  Option B:  line up enough popsicle sticks side by side for the magazine picture to fit on, then glue it to the popsicle sticks.  Cut between the sticks to make a puzzle.

Construction

  • Puzzle Time — Choose a challenging puzzle to do

Fun With Words

  • Share your story with friends
  • Share your puppet show or skit

 

See more themes that follow the other chapters here.

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Author: Janelle C

I enjoy planning lessons, directing VBS and child care programs. Children's ministry is my passion. God Almighty is my strength and inspiration. For fun I choose hiking, canoeing, camping, cooking, and reading.

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