Last Day of School - Activities for the Summer!

Even though the school year has officially ended, that doesn't mean you need to stop learning! Danielle has some activities for you in math, language arts, and science (a weather station!) that will keep your brain moving. Follow along!

Solar Oven Science!

Join us in learning about heat in this fun STEM lesson from Joy at Brain STEM Studios! Follow along and make your own solar oven at home and cook some yummy snacks!

Robot Arm / Anatomy Lesson

Hello everyone! This is Danielle from Neighborhood North Museum of Play. Today we are honoring all the nurses and essential workers who are bravely still serving this country as we go through this tough time with an anatomy-based children's craft! We will be making robotic arms!

Gather items around your house such as cardboard, a hot glue gun, some straws, string and some items to measure like a ruler and a pencil, Velcro and an embroidery needle may be optional. We'll learn how to cut out the robot arm and how to make it move while also learning about the anatomy of our own hands! Twenty-seven bones can be found in our hands, and joints help them all to move; we'll attempt to mimic these parts in our robotic hands. The carpal bones, metacarpals, and the phalanges make up the major groups on bones you'll find inside. These parts along with several other muscles, nerves, ligaments, tendons and blood vessels we won't have in our cardboard hands, are what make our real hand so incredible. Did you know you can speak an entire language with just your hands? It's called Sign Language! Sign Language is mostly spoken by people who may have difficulty speaking like those who are hard of hearing or deaf, but anyone can learn!

In this video, we'll see how to start by learning the alphabet and a few small words like thank you. You can practice these words by saying thank you to all the essential workers and nurses for their incredible work during this pandemic. In the end, some members of our community would like to do just that and say thank you for keeping us safe!

From all of us at Neighborhood North, we thank you and hope you and your kids enjoy this video! See you next time!

Make a sensory board at home!

Let’s join Miss Joy for the latest STEM activity geared toward ages 2-4. Everything 2- to 4-year-olds see, touch and feel can be a STEM learning activity!

Learning About Air: Mini Air Cannon

Let’s join Miss Joy for the latest STEM activity to talk about air and air pressure.

Playing with Shapes!

Let’s join Miss Joy for the latest STEM activity to learn about Geometry (without even knowing it!).

Earth Day Activities!

Let’s celebrate Earth Day every day with the help of Danielle at Neighborhood North!

Hello everyone and Happy Earth Day to you! It’s Danielle from Neighborhood North. I know this year looks a little different from years in the past, but don’t worry, there are still plenty of ways for us to learn something new, show the planet a little much-needed love, and yes even get outside! So let’s find some of those ways together, let’s go!

Water Cycle: Let’s start off with a little indoor water cycle experiment. This one is simple, all you need is a sandwich bag, ¼ cup water, some blue food coloring, a sharpie, and some tape. Start by drawing a little sun and cloud figure on the top of your bag. Then add your water, about four drops of blue dye, seal it tight then tape it closed. Find a sunny spot on the window and tape your bag up. Over the next few days, use this experiment to observe a miniature water cycle. But just what exactly is a water cycle?

As the sun outside heats up the water from our rivers, ground, and in your bag, it draws the water upwards by turning it from a liquid to a vapor state. This process is called “evaporation”. As the vapor is pulled higher into the sky, it begins to cool down and form back into tiny liquid droplets. Water changing from vapor to liquid droplets is called “condensation”. Clouds are made from these droplets and as more collect the clouds get darker and heavier. Eventually, these droplets fall back to earth in a form of “precipitation” or as we know it, rain, snow, sleet, or hail. Then, the sun comes out and the water cycle can start all over.

Planters: For our next activity, we’ll be making planters using items we might normally throw away. I have with me some milk jugs, an old juice bottle, a coffee canister, some plants obviously, extra soil if needed, scissors, and some art supplies for decoration. First I cut a hole in the top half of my milk carton. I left the handle intact but you don’t have to so long as the hole is big enough to fit the plant.

Next, I added some decorations. I found some old paint and got to work. I didn’t have any paintbrushes so I cut the tip off an old sponge and dipped it in. I like using a sponge to paint because you can make a lot of different textures that are hard to get with a brush. While I waited for the paint to dry, I took my other milk jug and simply poked some holes in the top to make a water canister. I took my juice jug and laid it on its side so I could cut a rectangle shape out of the top. I also chose not to decorate this one, hoping I could maybe see the roots grow when it's planted. No holes to cut in the coffee canister, and I chose to decorate it using some scrapbook paper. I did, however, laminate the paper in between clear tape so it wouldn’t get wet when I watered the plants. I wrapped it up, and it was good to go. In all my containers I also added a little hole at the bottom to drain water. Then I took my soil, my containers, my water jug and my plants outside. I filled the containers with a little extra soil, added the plants, topped it off with a little more soil ~always pickup your run-away trash~ and gave my plants their first drinks. And that’s it! Now take them home and watch them grow.

Nature Hikes: For our final Earth Day activity, go play outside! It’s absolutely allowed under social distancing rules, and a great way to show Earth you care is to spend more time with it. Go on a nature scavenger hunt. See how many different kinds of birds, animals, and insects you can find. Look to the trees! Do they have leaves yet? Are they budding? What kind of fruit will this tree produce? Nuts? Or just leaves? How can you tell? Can you spot every color of the rainbow from what you find in nature? On a bug hunt? Under every rock, there’s bound to be some creature wiggling around.

If you’re planning on doing some gardening, here’s a simple soil test you can do. Simply grab any jar and fill it up about halfway with the soil you’re hoping to plant in. Test out a few areas if you like then screw the lid on tight and wait till you get home. Top it off with water and give it a good shake. After about 24hrs, the sediments will settle from lightest to heaviest particles. Sand on the bottom, followed by silt, clay, water, and then debris. “Loam” is a term used meaning the perfect combination of sediments. As you can see we’re not quite there yet. There are tons of ways for you to explore the world around you. The important thing to get outside, to make discoveries and to have fun.

Thank you, everyone, so much for hanging out with me today! I hope that you are all able to find a great way to celebrate Earth Day this year whether it be by picking up trash around your neighborhood, doing one of the activities we did today, or coming up with something on your own! There are plenty of creative and helpful ways we can say thank you to our planet. As always to be sure to let us know if you like this video and if you want to see more. Have a fantastic Earth Day and we’ll see you next time!

Origami Art



Here’s an activity for you to do with your child that utilizes things you have around the house to create art together. We can use art to teach larger concepts, and in this lesson, we are learning the value of slow-and-steady precision, the skill of thinking outside the box, and the joy of a finished product!

This activity will teach your kiddos (and you!) to make a simple origami bird, and if they really get into it, they can turn it into a DIY mobile. The lesson teaches about the art of Alexander Calder, who reimagined what we think of when we think of sculpture. Our communities are going to require a lot of reimagining in the months ahead! Let’s practice together and use this time to talk about inventive uses for things. Practicing innovation is a great exercise for us all!

Supplies & Amount Needed

Source Links

Origami Bird Instruction

Alexander Calder Video

Origami Bird Mobile Instruction

Healthy Earth



Recycling is a simple way to teach children how they can care for the environment. Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. Recycling reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and combustion facilities, conserves natural resources, prevents pollution, saves energy, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, helps sustain the environment for future generations, and can help create jobs.

Grade Level: 1st-3rd

Topics: Recycling

Process Skills: Problem Solving – Critical Thinking – Communication – Collaboration – Creativity

Supplies & Amount Needed

Activity 1 – Take a Nature Walk

  1. Go outside for a nature walk. Discuss what you observe/notice. What plants do you see? Can you smell anything? Do you see or hear animals? Use the five senses as question starters.

  2. Find a spot to sit, gather, and play I Spy. Choose a few students to find something to “spy” too.

  3. If you can’t go on a nature walk bring nature objects inside and use magnifying glasses to look at – leaves, sticks, rocks, feathers, shells, etc. You can play “I Spy” with these objects too.

Activity 2 – Recyclable Sorting

  1. Look at a bin of recyclables.

  2. What do you think we should do with all this trash? What would happen if we left it all over the classroom or if I had left it in the park? What might happen if an animal found this trash or if it got stuck on a plant?

  3. What is recycling? When we recycle, we don’t throw trash away but we send it somewhere to be made into something new. We use it again so it doesn’t get left somewhere and hurt nature.

  4. Sort the recyclables. Set out bins labeled Paper, Cardboard, Plastic, Aluminum, and Glass.

Activity 3 – Read The EARTH BOOK by Todd Parr

  1. Ask questions as you read, if you wish. Perhaps have students show you a thumbs up if the page discusses an action they can do to help save Earth.

  2. Reflection and Discussion.

  3. To conclude, ask what is one thing I can recycle or one thing they can do to help protect Earth.


What is Earth? What is nature?

Earth is the planet we live on. Nature is the stuff outside – animals, plants, bugs, weather, etc.

Garden in a Bag



Every living organism on Earth needs some basic things in order to survive. The amount, way, form, or kind of these needs vary from organism to organism. Environment plays a large role in determining in what amount and in what way animals and plants need the following: water, food/nutrients, sunlight, air, a habitat with the right temperature, shelter, and sunlight.

Grade Level: K-3rd

Topics: Biology

Process Skills: Problem Solving – Critical Thinking – Communication – Collaboration – Creativity

Supplies & Amount Needed

  1. Plants are also living things, but they are different than animals. What do you think plants need to survive? Some of the needs are the same as animals (food/nutrients, sunlight, air, and space to grow).

  2. Make a garden in a bag. Get a Ziploc bag, a paper towel, and a dry bean (such as a lima bean).

  3. Dampen the paper towel in the sink (you don’t want it dripping wet), fold it up, and put it in their Ziploc bag.

  4. Now, place the dry bean on the paper towel, inside the bag. You should still be able to see the bean.

  5. Seal the bag tightly.

  6. What will this bean need to grow? Does it have water? Space? Air? Yes – the paper towel is damp, there is air inside the bag, and there is enough space in the bag for the bean to sprout.

  7. How could we get the bean sunlight? Tape the bags on a window where there is sunlight and warmth.

  8. Observe your bean over the next few days. It might start to sprout because you provided what it needed to live!

  9. Once the sprout is about ½ to 1 inch, find a pot, add dirt, plant the seed (leave the sprout part a little out of the dirt), and watch it grow.


Discuss Animal Needs

What are some animals you know? People are animals, too! What do animals need to survive? Animals need five things in order to survive: food, water, shelter, oxygen/air, and a place to live that meets their needs. Show students pictures of each of these needs, taping or magnetizing them to the black/whiteboard.

Discuss Animal Environments

Animals live in environments. An environment is the place where an animal lives and includes plants, animals, air, lakes, rivers, trees, etc. An animal has to live in an environment that gives them food, water, oxygen/air, shelter, and the right temperature and space to be able to live.