Guest Post: Girl Scout Gold Award Playground project

This guest post is written by my daughter Allie.

For my Girl Scout Gold award I decided to build a playground at my church to be available for public use.

My eyes were opened to see the need for local support of playgrounds when my church decided to install a playground on the church property. I also saw this need when the whole county came together and raised funds to build the only public playground in the county. All over the nation and around the world there is a shortage of safe outdoor spaces for children to play due to a lack of public funding. It is important to set the example of people coming together to support outdoor spaces for children to play.

Play is children’s first method of engaging with other people and the world around them. Studies on children’s development demonstrate that open-ended, self-directed play in the outdoors is vitally important for children’s well-being and development.

Some people might ask, Why is play so important? It is important because play increases brain development, helping children concentrate better. It reduces stress, which hinders learning. As they play children are able to practice skills of teamwork, this helps them to make new friends. They also have time and space for solitude; time to think and dream.  Play is a method for children to process trauma; to reconnect to the world because it involves understanding that an item can represent something else. Play is essential for children’s physical development; it encourages them to move and stretch and to run and climb. As they play, interacting with peers, children learn emotional self-regulation and resiliency, which is critical for success throughout life. Play encourages creativity.

My Gold Award Project will inspire people to make the effort to provide other outdoor spaces for children to play; this will help children to be more active, healthier and to develop into productive citizens.

Go out and play safe!

-Allison Hackett, soon to be, Girl Scout Gold Award recipient

curriculum reviews, homeschooling, scouts

Home School in the Woods Make-A-State Review

I have used many items from Home School in the Woods and have loved them.  This time we got to try the newest Activity-Paks:  Make-A-State Activity.   This hands-on history curriculum is super versatile.  This one product makes lapbooks for all 50 states and Washington DC.  We received this as a digital download.  It is $18.95 for a download and $19.95 for a CD.  I thought this is great price to be able to make 51 lapbooks!!!

We started with making the state we live in: North Carolina.  I used this with David (11) and Evie (6).  David will be very honest with you and tell you he doesn’t like hands-on projects.  He’s an auditory learner.  Evie on the other hand has to craft EVERYTHING or it’s not “school” to her.  She’s a kinesthetic learner after my own heart.

There are 20 elements to the lapbook (and a game).  David doesn’t prefer to put these together and Evie is still on the younger side, so I printed and prepped all of the elements for them ahead of time.  Since this can be used for all the states, there is some prep in looking up some state specific information on your own.  There was a fact sheet for each state and some of the elements are state specific like the state coin, symbols, cover and a few others.

They learned about topic while putting the lapbook together.

The directions for making each element and putting the lapbook together were very clear and easy to follow.

I love that the kids have a lapbook that they can refer back to in the future.  Even though David doesn’t like putting these together, he did learn a lot about North Carolina and does go back to look at all the neat things in here.  Evie doesn’t understand it all yet, but learns more every time she picks it up.  She is finally old enough to work on badges for American Heritage Girls.  She is a new Tenderheart.  Completing this lapbook fulfilled the requirements for the Living in the USA badge for her.

I am planning to continue to add to our Make-A-State lapbook collection in the coming school year.  We will work through the original 13 colonies then work our way west with our American history reading.

Home School in the Woods has so many great products! This one is from the Activity Pak Series. Along with Make-A-State Activity Paks they offer The Old Testament, the New Testament, Composers and Artists. The Time Travelers American History Series includes New World Explorers, Colonial Life, The American Revolution, The Early 19th Century, The Civil War, Industrial Revolution through Great Depression and World War II.  Lap Paks include U.S. Elections, 20th Century in America, Wonders of the World, Benjamin Franklin and Knights.

Home School in the Woods recently started offering some of their products A-La-Carte.  There are currently about 50 to choose from.  You can now select just a few items for a topical study and not have to commit to the whole unit.  I think this is a great option and I will be checking back frequently to see what new items are added.  Want to try one?  The are offering on about the Erie Canal for free by using the code alacarte.

Here are some links to other Home School in the Woods products we have used:

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Many families on the Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review this product and many others.  Click on the banner below to see what they had to say about their experience.

Hands-on History {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

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