Free Games for Teen Parties

Free Games for Teen Parties

Photo Courtesy – Rodrigo Della Fávera

Finding suitable games for your teenager’s birthday party need not be the ordeal it usually is. After all, the idea is to entertain a bunch of 13-19 year olds, not to embarrass them. So check out these cool free games that will make it a party your teen will definitely want to host. Here goes:

Guess what!

  • Choose four participants per round and ask three to step out of the room.
  • The fourth participant is given twenty seconds to mime a silly, improbable scene – bathing a giraffe; changing baby’s diapers; turning the hands of a gigantic clock, etc.
  • Before he starts, a second person is invited to watch the demo. When it is over, the third person is invited into the room and watch as the second person acts out what he thinks he has just seen. When this is over, the fourth person is invited into the room to watch as the third person repeats the mime. The fourth person is asked what he has just seen and gets three guesses.
  • Let the fun begin!

Hitman!

  • Create small chits of paper for each player and mark one of them with an X.
  • Fold and distribute the chits.
  • Everyone must look at their chits secretly and put them away.
  • The player who gets the X is the hitman and must not reveal his identity.
  • Have everyone sit in a circle and examine everyone else carefully.
  • When the hitman winks at a player, the player says “I’m dead!” and drops out of the game.
  • If another player spots the hitman or thinks he has, he must say “I suspect.” He is the first ‘detective.’
  • The game then pauses and another player must support the first detective saying, “I second detect.”
  • The first detective then names the person he thinks is the hitman.
  • If he is right, the hitman drops out and the game continues with another hitman. If he is wrong, the first and second detectives drop out and the game continues.
  • If the hitman eliminates everyone successfully, he wins!

Two Truths and a Lie

You’ll need an index card and a pencil per player for this fun free game.

  • Each player must write his name on an index card and write three pieces of information about himself below that.
  • Two of these must be true, one must be a lie.
  • Everyone must then exchange their cards and see if they can spot the lies.

This game works really well as an ice-breaker.

Understanding dry ice with science experiments

Many science experiments explain in detail how dry ice can be made but very few list its usage and application. Here is a detailed study of dry ice with possible science experiments, usages, and applications of dry ice in our daily lives.

What is dry ice?

The cold dense white mist produced by solid carbon dioxide in air is commonly known as dry ice. In chemical terms, dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide, a normal part of our earth’s atmosphere. Dry Ice is particularly useful for freezing, and keeping things frozen because of its very cold temperature: -109.3°F or -78.5°C. The coolest thing about dry ice is that it changes from a solid directly to gas without changing into liquid. Wearing insulated gloves is a must while handling dry ice.

Making dry ice –

Follow these easy steps to make dry ice easily.

Supplies

  1. CO2 fire extinguisher or carbon dioxide tank
  2. Cloth bag
  3. Insulated gloves

Directions

  1. Put on your insulated gloves first.
  2. Carefully insert the nozzle of the fire extinguisher into the cloth bag.
  3. Clamp your hand around the mouth of your bag and discharge the fire extinguisher.
  4. Turn off the extinguisher and seal the bag.
  5. You will soon see dry ice in the bag. Store it in the freezer for longevity. 

Science experiments with dry ice

Blowing up balloons –

Supplies:

  1. Balloons
  2. Empty plastic bottle with a narrow mouth
  3. Pellets of dry ice
  4. Insulated gloves

Directions:

  1. Blow up a balloon with your breath and keep it aside.
  2. Put a few pellets of dry ice in a bottle.
  3. Hold a balloon over its mouth and see it getting inflated with the carbon dioxide that releases when the dry ice sublimes.
  4. Once it inflates, tie it up with thread.
  5. Toss up both the balloons in the air and notice their flights.

Observations and questions – Which balloon comes down sooner? Can you explain why?

Explanation – Carbon dioxide is heavier than air which is why the balloon that contains dry ice falls down faster!

Hot pot –

Supplies:

  1. Dry ice
  2. A large pot
  3. Hot water

Directions:

  1. Place a few pellets of dry ice in the pot.
  2. Pour hot water in the pot and watch the cool cloud forming almost immediately.

Observations and questions – How soon does the cloud stop forming? Don’t add any more water till all the cloud is over. How does it happen?

Explanation – Over time, the dry ice will make the water cold and the “smoking” will slow down. Dry ice will blend only with hot water to produce carbon dioxide and smoke.

Aren’t the science experiments cool? They can be easily tried and tested at home with adult supervision and by wearing proper safety gear, especially insulated gloves. Dry ice will get you cold blisters if you don’t use gloves. Have fun with science!

New Obsessions – Healthy Diets

I have a Pinterest addiction. Everyone who knows me know that once you show me even one pin, you’re not likely to get me to anything else for the rest of the day. Having said that, Pinterest has helped change our lives somewhat. For example, my latest obsession is Bento Lunch Boxes.

The Japanese are a health conscious race – some of the oldest people in the world are from there and it is due in large to how healthily they eat. I started experimenting with them a while back and realized that it is possibly the best way to get your kids to eat their veggies and fruits. I’m no artist and my lunch boxes look nothing like this but it has worked for me.

The drawback is that it’s not something a homeschooler can make everyday. Still, maybe a weekly treat isn’t too much to add to the timetable? I’ve already pinned a few Bento Lunch Box ideas on my Pinterest page. I’m going to, hopefully, start ticking them off as done.

Have any of you tried Bento lunches? Has it worked for you? Would you give it a try?

Cosmically Cool Crafts for Dad!

corinnebjacob:

LOVED some of these crafts! A must try for Father’s Day!

Originally posted on The Math Blaster Blog:

Call your Blasters back from the space station to put together an out-of-this-world Father’s Day craft! If you and the kids are not looking to break the bank, visit Math Blaster’s official Pinterest page for ideas on how to surprise dad with something special yet affordable. Best of all, crafting can be a great opportunity to practice basic educational and developmental skills with early learners like your Blasters!

mbfathersdaycrafts

How are you celebrating dad around your home? Do you have any special traditions that you enjoy doing each year? Share some of your favorite craft and activity ideas with us now or start following us for a world of amazing online resources!

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Summer Science Games for Kids

Summer is here and so are lazy afternoons and loads of playtime. Most kids look forward to unstructured summer schedules and you definitely don’t want to take that away. But it’s important to remember that learning is a year-long activity and summer break is no exception. In fact, you can put the hot weather to good use by linking it to simple science concepts that can be taught without investing too much time and do not require special equipment. No matter how old your child is, they are sure to enjoy these fun science games for kids. 

Reading Shadows

Reading Shadows

Photo Courtesy – dvs

Invite your child outdoors to enjoy the sunny weather. Have him observe his shadow at different times of day. Explain how the length of his shadow is related to the sun’s position in the sky. Use chalk or a stick to trace his shadow and ask him to measure and chart it. Why does it grow and shrink at different times?

Grow your own Veggies

Summer is a great time to encourage your child to grow something in the yard or garden, or a pot on a windowsill. Let him grow flowers or herbs or veggies you can use later in the kitchen. Take an empty egg carton, fill it with water and use last night’s avocado pit to grow a houseplant. Explain that not all plants need soil to grow and why.

Stargazing

Stargazing

Photo Courtesy – vincent.limshowchen

Stargazing can be a fun science activity for kids and is perfect for clear summer nights when you can easily spot the stars and planets in our solar system. Camp out in the yard or any open space and ask your child if he can identify the North Star, various constellations and the phases of the moon. Take your child for an outing at the beach and discuss how the tides of the ocean are affected by the moon.

Go Butterfly-Watching

Watching butterflies can be a fascinating pastime. Go to a local park where they have different kinds of flowers and ask your child to observe which ones attract the most butterflies. Discuss how butterflies go through different stages of development and what they look like during each stage.

Make your own Bird Feeder

Bird Feeder

Idea via Pinterest

Spread peanut butter on a roll of toilet paper with your fingers and roll it in bird seed. This is your homemade bird feeder. Hang it on a tree branch, get a pair of binoculars and watch those birds flocking hungrily! It’s a great way to meet the birds that throng your neighborhood and observe their habits.

What have you got in store to prevent the dreadful brain slide?

Hiccup and Toothless: The Book Versus the Movie

For those of you who know me, you know what a huge How to Train your Dragon fan I am. I love the movie and the books even more than my kids and for a while, I had to hide how into a “kids” movie I was. In order to expand my style of writing, I thought I’d start doing little review pieces about movies I love, their connections to books, character descriptions, things that stood out in my mind etc. Here’s the first of what will hopefully be a regular series! 

DreamWorks’ blockbusting animated movie ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ is loosely based on the book of the same name by Cressida Cowell. Apart from a few of the main characters and basic elements of the story, there are numerous differences between the book and the movie. A mere look at the main characters Hiccup and Toothless in the book versus their portrayal in the movie reveals the extent to which the movie deviates from the story in the book.

Hiccup and Toothless as Individual Characters

The character and appearance of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III in the movie closely resembles his description in the novel. He is a scrawny Viking from the Hairy Hooligans tribe, unusual because of his physical appearance as well as his intelligence. He is commonly teased and looked down upon by the other Vikings, just as in the beginning of the first movie. However, he owns two dragons, one named Toothless and the other Windwalker.

Toothless the dragon is drastically different in the book and the movie. While the film portrays him as a huge black Night Fury, the rarest and the most intelligent of the dragon species, in the book he is a tiny green and red dragon, believed to be a Common or Garden Dragon. Later on, he is found to be a young Seadragonus Giganticus Maximus. As his name suggests, he does not have teeth.

The Relationship Between Hiccup and Toothless

In the book, Cressida describes Toothless as a disobedient, selfish and ungrateful dragon, but very attached to Hiccup. The film portrays Hiccup and Toothless as best friends, sharing a great rapport and being in tune with each other’s needs and wishes. Toothless is very obedient in the movie, except when he thinks he has a better plan than Hiccup. While Toothless is small enough to sit on Hiccup’s arm in the book, he is a huge dragon that Hiccup loves flying on in the film.

Another important difference is the way that Hiccup and Toothless’ relationship evolves. In the book, the villagers of Berk have a tradition of capturing and training dragons, and Hiccup captures Toothless in order to train him in accordance with the rite of passage. However, Toothless’ disobedience gives Hiccup much trouble, and he finally figures out his own way to train the dragon.

The story of the film is entirely different, as the Vikings of Berk consider the dragons to be their enemies. Hiccup, in an attempt to prove his worth to the village, tries to shoot down a dragon. He successfully manages to strike a Night Fury, and goes looking for the injured creature in order to finish it off. However, when he finally finds the dragon, he is unable to bring himself to kill it. Finally, he sets the dragon free and even designs a makeshift tail for him when he realizes it cannot fly on its own. As Hiccup spends time with the dragon and helps it take to the skies once more, the two become good friends. Eventually, Hiccup manages to convince the rest of the village that Vikings and dragons can co-exist peacefully, and even teaches the others how to befriend and train dragons.

Teachers Speak on Lesson Plans

As a teacher I have often wondered if the routine task of making lesson plans is redundant or essential. What do the other teachers from the U.S. have to say on that? Here’s what I gathered after talking to them.

Lesson Plans: The Not-so-Good

Many feel that lesson plans don’t have any quantitative outcome. A veteran teacher I once met at a conference told me that teachers should step into class with an open mind that is ready for discussion. Relying on pre-made notes and lesson plans is a bad habit. According to her, free-minded teaching is an art.

The typical habit of preparing lesson plans on Sunday evenings seems to have never worked for many a teacher. Though it involves meticulous planning and intensive research, somehow, lesson plans have failed for many teachers who have walked into the classroom with a set list of points and have been unable to effectively answer students’ questions.

However, many teachers agree that self-made lesson plans are more helpful than the ready-made lesson plans available online, if at all we choose to adopt them. The online resources have a broader perspective that cannot be applied to a variety of talent and intellect present in the classroom.

Lesson Plans: A Necessity

Here’s what teachers who swear by lesson plans have to say. Janice, a friend of mine and a teacher for 30 years, says she has walked into the classroom without a lesson plan almost a dozen times in the beginning of her career and it failed every single time. She eventually started to create lesson plans which ran into pages! She started using her own notebooks because the pre-issued standard lesson plan booklets never had enough space to accommodate her elaborate planning. Now that she has retired, young teachers still visit her to borrow her detailed lesson plans as she has tried to include the learning needs of the different kinds of kids she came across during her teaching years. Lesson plans are never “one size fits all”, she adds.

Planning lessons is a learning activity for teachers too. It involves selecting and prioritizing content, choosing activities to introduce kids to the content (unique activities to suit different needs of children), and sampling their learning through assessments. If at all lesson plans are needed in the classroom, they have to have an in-depth representation of the content and a perfect blend of teaching, activities, and assessment. Too much teaching and very little assessment can never make a perfect lesson plan. Teachers suggest that consulting with their colleagues result in the best lesson plans that help them shape the future perfectly!