Staying Fit While Social Distancing

My name is Camber Barko. I am a Marketing and Development Intern at Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo (CIS). I am thrilled to join the marketing and communications team at CIS, not only because this directly correlates with my studies at Florida International University with a major in Public Relations, Advertising and Applied Communications, but because I have a passion for kids.

As far back as I can remember, I have always enjoyed staying active and learned, from my own experience, the value in maintaining an active lifestyle. As part of our new blog series, I am excited to connect these two passions of mine—physical health and kids!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children ages 6-17 should be participating in about 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. This is very important because child obesity has become very prevalent in the US, about 13.7 million children are affected by obesity. Not only will physical activity help reduce child obesity numbers but it will also help students improve academically, increase school attendance, assist with cognitive performance and classroom behavior.

I personally choose to stay active by riding my bike and participating in outdoor activities like long walks and hiking. Although I do these activities for myself, I know life during the pandemic is different and challenging. While parents are working, helping with virtual learning, and so much more, maintaining exercise and outdoor time may be difficult. We have gathered a few ideas for you to try at home.

Fitness Bingo:

Create a bingo sheet with simple exercises (here is a link to sheets that you can reference). Each time a token is placed on a space the child will do the exercise under the token. This activity keeps the brain active when looking for the correct spaces on the bingo sheet while staying active.

Nature Walk:

Take your kid to a simple trail near you, a park, or even your back yard. Give them a list of things to find while they are on the nature walk. This will get your kids excited to look for the items and help to keep them entertained throughout the walk.
List ideas include: 3 rocks of different colors, 3 twigs of different sizes, a fluffy cloud, a furry animal, a spider web, a flowerpot, a leaf, a bird, a bug that crawls, pine needles, etc.

Hallway Bowling:

If you have a little extra time and space, set up an indoor bowling alley. Use plastic water bottles or anything you can find in your house that can act as bowling pins. While this activity is not educational, it will definitely keep your kids active and entertained for a long time.

3 Easy Science Projects Students Can Do At Home

Guest blogger Chris Hybels is helping us kick off our new blog series in which we will cover topics and resources that we hope will provide support to students and families during these challenging times. Chris is one of our Marketing and Development Interns, and he graduated from Kalamazoo Public Schools in 2016. After graduating from KPS, Chris went to Michigan State University using the Kalamazoo Promise and graduated with his bachelor’s degree in 2019. He is now pursuing a master’s degree at MSU in advertising and public relations.

Science projects are a great way for students to take what they learned from textbooks and bring it into the real world. They get to use their hands to explore problems and find the solution to them. However, science projects don’t always have to be about finding solutions, they can just be fun ways to discover how things work! Below are 3 awesome science projects that can easily be performed at home and rely on the skills students have learned from textbooks.

Build A Lava Lamp

• A clear plastic bottle, preferably with smooth sides
• Water
• Vegetable Oil
• Fizzing tablets (like Alka Seltzer)
• Food coloring

1. Fill the up to a quarter (1/4) of the way with water.
2. Add a few drops of food coloring into the bottle then swirl around till the water has changed colors.
3. Pour the vegetable oil into the bottle until it is almost full.
4. Break the fizzy tablet into two pieces and drop one of the halves into the bottle and get ready for the colorful bubbly blobs to appear!
5. And you can repeat Step 4 once the tablet is completely dissolved in the bottle.

To a watch video tutorial for this experiment click here.

Make Your Own Rock Candy

• A wooden skewer, or popsicle sticks
• A clothespin, or clip wide enough to sit on the glass
• 1 cup of water
• 3 cups of sugar
• A tall narrow jar or glass
• Food flavoring (optional)
• Food coloring (optional)
• A pot

1. Place the water into the pot, then pour in the sugar. And mix them together to create a sugar solution.
2. Next, dip your skewer into some water, and roll it in sugar. Set aside until it dries
3. Move the pot onto the stove and turn the heat up to high. Stir the solution as it warms up.
4. Once the solution begins to boil, stir rapidly until all the sugar has dissolved into the solution.
a. Stir in food coloring and/or food flavoring at this time.
5. Then, take the sugar solution and pour it into the glass you will be using to grow your rock candy, and let the solution cool for ten minutes.
6. Next, place the wooden skewer coated in sugar into the glass and clip it using the clothespin or clip so it is submerged in the solution without touching the bottom or sides.
7. Place the jar in a warm, dry place to cool. Sugar crystals will begin to grow
8. The process of growing the sugar crystals can last from a couple of days to a couple of weeks.
9. Check daily to make sure the crystals from the stick aren’t touching the crystals on the bottom. Reposition the stick as needed.
10. Once the crystals have stopped growing, use a knife to break the top shell of your solution, and remove your skewer and place it into another a jar to drip and dry.
11. When the skewer is dry you can then enjoy your rock candy!

To a watch video tutorial for this experiment click here.

Build A Soap Powered Model Boat

• A toothpick
• Liquid dish soap
• A cookie sheet, tray, or boat filled with water
• A foam tray (like the kind meat comes in) of non-corrugated cardboard

1. Cut the foam tray or cardboard into a boat shape, about two inches long.
2. Dip the toothpick into the soap, and use the toothpick to place soap on the sides of the notch at the back of the boat.
3. Place the boat in the water and watch it glide across the surface for several seconds.
4. To make the boat move again, rinse off the soap from the boat and start again from Step 2.

To a watch video tutorial for this experiment click here.

Can’t get enough science? Check out some these awesome resources for more fun experiments:

Science Bob
Science Fun for Everyone
We Are Teachers
• The Sci Guys
• Science Max