Dictionaries – Day #5 Words Within Words

Looking for a fun game that uses a dictionary? Try this one out!

How many words can you find in the word…

Grab a piece of lined paper, write the word DICTIONARIES on the top of the page, and then find, and write, as many words as you can using the letters provided. Each letter can only be used once, unless there is more than one of that letter. Use a dictionary/spell checker to challenge words or to make sure a word is ‘real’!

When playing the game with multiple players, have players take turns writing down words. Use a timer to give each player between 30 seconds and 1 minute to say a word. If a usable word can not be given, the player can pass his turn to the next player.

Decide how long the game will run or how many words need to be found before starting the game.

If you would like to find some ways to make this game more challenging, please visit my post Words Within Words where you will find some interesting ways to play and links that will reveal the ‘hidden words’.

FYI: More than 1500 words can be made from DICTIONARIES!

🐞 If you have someone who is not spelling words on their own yet, play around with the letters together. Talk about vowels and consonants and ask them to pick out a vowel and two consonants and put the letters together in some way and read the word. Sometimes it will sound like and be a “real” word, sometimes it won’t. There are a bunch of 2 and 3 letter words that can be made with these letters.

You can also play with the letters that may be more familiar to them, like their name. The game: What’s In A Name? uses the person’s name and easy to manipulate letters to make learning more fun. 

Have a fun!

Related Post: Dictionaries – Access all the days in one place!

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25 Fun Activities You Can Do Inside, When It’s COLD Outside!

When the temperature drops, and it gets toooo cold to play outside for long, here are some fun things you can do inside!
Below, you will find drawing activities, brain games, dice games, science experiments, paper folding projects, and other fun things that can be found on FranW.com. 

1. Learn about Fractals –  There’s a good chance that you’ll find frost on a window or a snowflake or two to look at for this activity! After you observe them, draw/make a few of your own.

2. Make your own Geometrical Designs – Draw a variety of shapes, add some lines, and grab your coloring supplies for this fun activity!

3. Try Zentangles! – If you enjoy drawing while you’re chilling out, you may find this activity de-stressing.

4. Observe Spirals – Spirals are fun to draw and there are a few different types. Find out more by visiting this page…but before you do, make a list of something of the things you can think of that are naturally shaped as a spiral…fruits, animals, plants….

5. Ten Fun Projects You Can Do With Symmetry – Make one half of a picture and give it to someone to finish off in the same way! Draw it, use building toys, Tangram pieces, or something else.

6. Play with Circles – Grab your craft supplies and find out how many cool things you can make from a simple circle.

7. Tangrams – Can you believe that over 5900 puzzles can be made with the 7 shapes offered in this puzzle-game! How many can you make? Find out with the resources on this page. Turn those puzzle pieces into a work of art too.

8. Make Folded Hand Puppet – Create a few puppets, decorate them, and make a puppet show with them.

9. Paper Airplanes – Learn how to fold some simple planes and cool stunt planes, check out the plane that won a world record, and get helpful flying tips.

10. Rainbow Code – Grab a friend and play a game where colors reveal the code.

11. Yatch – Dice Game – There are so many cool dice games out there and this is definitely one of them. Play with a friend, on your own, or on line.

12.  Make your own: Bottle Cap Stamps – Take a minute to raid the recycling bin and take all the bottle caps you can find, big and small, then put on foam sticker on it and get ready to have some fun. Stamp a story or play the brain game offered in this post.

13. Holiday and Winter Origami – Fold a sled, snowman, pine tree, penguin, or a snowflake and make a wintery scene with them.

14. Magic Square Puzzles – In the mood for a brain teaser? Try the Magic Square puzzles in this post, then make some of your own to share.

15. Roman Numerals – Spend some time learning how to add, subtract, and multiply in a fun new way.

16. Hangman/House – Use a whiteboard and colored whiteboard markers to play this old favorite…with a fun twist of course.

17. Solitaire Challenge #1 Peg Solitaire – Whether you decide make your own game board or print one out, have fun trying to finish this puzzling game with one last piece in the middle.

18. Make Your Own What’s Missing Picture – You can use stamps, stickers, or draw something out to play this tricky observation game.

19. Petals Around The Rose – Play this brain game on line or with a set of dice. If you figure out the pattern, don’t tell anyone, give them a set of dice and let them figure it out for themselves.

20. Snowflake Activities & Resources Learn about snowflakes in fun new ways, make some of your own, and look at some cool photographs of these elusive little wonders!

21. Mini Marble Run This mini marble run is great for older kids who want to do something different. How long can you keep your BB from getting to the end of the run?

22. Make Your Own Tic-Tac-Toe Game Board Did you know that Tic-Tac-Toe is a strategy game? Grab your craft supplies and make your own board to play on with a friend over and over again.

23. Inspiring People Cardstacker – Make sure you have a few decks of cards ready to use after watching what this man can do! Amazing!

24. Bubblegum Find out who invented bubblegum then how big of a bubble can you make with the activity offered in this post. There’s an experiment you can do with chewing gum as well.

25. Shadow Puppets – Create your shadow puppets during the day and tell your story while you show them off at night. Perhaps a story about cold wintery night!

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Yacht – Dice Game

Yacht, better known by its commercial name Yahtzee, started around 1938, and has many excellent educational benefits, in addition to being a fun and exciting dice game to play! It can be played by one player, multiple players, or as a team, and can be played at just about any age. 

Note: Very young children should be supervised so they don’t swallow the dice. Large dice can be purchased and used to play instead.

Learning Perks…

As you may already know, games are an excellent way to learn or hone multiple skills at once. Yacht is no exception! Here are a few of the more obvious educational perks, or benefits of the physical game:

  • Yacht has a strong basis in math, mainly: Counting, addition, and multiplication, and sometimes, depending on how you tally the dice, subtraction.
  • Mental math skills are used to quickly total up the dice thrown.
  • Writing Skills: Players need to keep track of their score by writing them down on the score sheet, which is a chart. 
  • It is naturally a game of: Probability, strategy, problem solving, deductive reasoning, and decision making.
  • Young children, people with special needs, and older people can build dexterity by picking up the dice, putting them into a cup, shaking them, and spilling them out. Larger dice can be used as well.
  • Observation skills and quick thinking are needed to make decisions.
  • Learn how to be a good sport when things go wrong… or right!
  • Empathy for other players when they are trying to reach a goal and succeed or fail.
  • Being supportive when a goal is not reached.
  • Following the rules.
  • Waiting for your turn increases attention span!
  • Reduces stress when you keep it fun and interesting!!!

What you need to play…

5 dice, pencils, instructions, and a scoring sheet

Optional items include: A cup and something to throw the dice into such as a bowl. You can also purchase the full game. Look for Yahtzee game sets in the toy department of your favorite store or online.

The History of the Game, The Rules, Downloadable Score Sheets, Fun Ways to Play, Online Resources and Videos…

Wikipedia: Yacht (dice game) – Information about the game, its history, and how to play. Also see Yahtzee for information about the commercial game made by Milton Bradley.

Math Is Fun: Yacht – Play a one player online version.

Game Rules Guru: Yacht – Game instructions and downloadable score sheets for Yacht.

Yacht Lawn Dice Game: PDF Scoring Sheets – Free. This scoring sheet is for the Lawn version of the game. See video below for how to make outdoor dice.

Yahtzee Online: Printable Yahtzee Score Sheet – Printable score sheets, score cards, and Triple Yahtzee Score Cards. All PDF format.

Memory Improvement Tips: Printable Yahtzee Score Sheets – Large print format available. Prints full page. Also offers Team Play Version of the score sheet.

TIP: Look for an app for the game in your favorite App Store as well!

YouTube: Yacht Playlist – How to make your own lawn dice, how to play the game, and probability of Yahtzee. Here’s a video from the list…

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Hula Hoop Stop & Go

Here’s a fun family game you can play with a hula hoop and music. There are two ways to play:

Version #1: Multiple Hoops – Give every player a hoop. Put on some music and ask everyone to use the hoop in some fun and safe way while the music is playing. As soon as it stops, players must hold their hoops and freeze in motion. The person still hooping or moving after the music stops is out for the rest of that round.

Version #2: One or Two Hoops – If you only have one or two hoops, players can toss them back and forth to each other while the music is playing. The person holding the hoop when the music stops has to do something fun with it: A little dance, twist it around a body part, jump with it, etc.. The game ends when the players are ready.

Feel free to make up your own rules!

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Card Flipping Challenge

Today’s challenge will include a deck of cards, and can be played alone, or with multiple players.

What to do: Stand up, hold a card in your hand at waist height, and flip it onto the floor. Do your best to match the flip with other card.

Tips and Suggestions 

There are a few different ways to flip the cards, find one that works well for you.

Start with 6 cards and match them 3 for 3, then add more.

Challenge yourself to match 12 or more cards.

Play with other players and have the winner collect the cards at the end of each round. The person with the most cards wins.

Make up your own fun version of a card flipping game.

Add a scoring element to the game to see who collects the most cards.

Related Posts:

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Stacking Cup Challenge

Today’s challenge includes:
Stacking cups, paper, pencil and a timer

Challenge: Stack as many cups as you can in a pyramid, circle, and/or square. Next, time yourself to see how long it takes to do it. Beat your own time for each pattern chosen. Keep track of your results.
Once you feel you have achieved your best time, stack your cups, then put them back in one single stack as quickly as you can. Beat your own time.
If you can, play a challenge round with someone else.

Here are the rules…

Use any size unbreakable cups you have on hand: Recycled yogurt cups, small bathroom cups, large plastic cups, etc.. You will need 30+ cups per player.

Do the best you can, then try to do better. Keep track of your results on paper.

If you play along with another player, be encouraging, and practice good sportsmanship.

Add more cups if the challenge is too easy.

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Animal Antics – Game

To play Animal Antics, you will need: A deck of letter cards or letter tiles (A-Z),
and a container.

A color or black and white set can be printed from here.

You may also write letters on index cards.

Directions: Put all the letters in a container, have players close their eyes before choosing a letter, then act out an animal that begins with that letter.

Tips & Suggestions

Turn this into an Animal Charades game by allowing players to guess what’s being acted out.

Play indoors or out. 

Try this game in a pool too!

To liven things up, have players choose a category before starting the game such as…

Marine/Aquatic Animals           Desert Animals           Arctic Animals 

Jungle Animals          Grassland Animals           Forest Animals

Fish          Birds          Insects          Reptiles          Etc.

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Petals Around The Rose

Answer: 6
Supplies Needed: You will need 5-6 dice to play this game.
What to do: Roll 5 or 6 dice and say the answer. The object of the game is to figure out what the puzzle’s pattern is.
Here’s what you need to know:
  • The name of this mathematical puzzle, ‘Petals Around The Rose’ is really important.
  • The answer will always be an even number or 0.
  • Any age can play.
  • Once you succeed at working out this brain game, you will be considered a ‘Potentate of the Rose’ and must not divulge the secret of the game.
  • The fun is figuring it out, no matter how long it takes, then offering it out to others.
You can use the following sites to play the game with answers until you figure out the game. Once you get it, please don’t tell anyone the puzzle’s secret, instead play it as a family with regular dice until everyone gets it, then play it with extended family members and friends.
Lloyd Borrett: Play Petals Around The Rose – Play this brain teaser online until you get it.
Petals Around The Rose.net – This site offers the origial game, then some advanced ones as well.

Celebrate Summer!

Summer items by Fran W.

The warm weather is here! It’s a great time to plan a summer celebration! 

Who will you invite?

Whether you’re inviting everyone you know, or keeping it a family-only event, invitations help to set the stage for fun and give everyone something to look forward to!

Make a list of all the people you want to invite, then make and give/send out theme-related invitations.
Remember to write the date, time, and place of the celebration on your invitation, and ask people to RSVP (to let you know if they are planning to attend) by giving them your contact information, which can take the form of an email address and/or a phone number. 
Invite people to the beach, park, your house, or some other place.
Tip: Think about making invitations that are shaped like your favorite summer icon!
Symbols of summer…
What are some of things you think about when you think of summer?
I think about:
The beach, sand, shovel and pail, sand castle, beach balls, sunshine, sunglasses, bathing suits, flip-flops, suntan lotion, a cool drink, ice cream, the ocean, sailboats, watermelon, flowers, butterflies, fireflies, mountains, lakes, camping, cookouts, bonfires, swimming, sports, and so many other things! 

What are some of the things you think of when you think of summer? 
Write or draw a list of your own and use these symbols to help make your invitations, decorate your home, plan activities, and anything else you can think of!
Plan your celebration….
What will you eat and do during your celebration?
Here are some food suggestions:
If you are going to have a cookout, hamburgers and hot dogs are very easy to make, but you may enjoy having ribs, chicken, veggie burgers, or something else.

A beverage such as lemonade, and easy to eat food such as chips, dip, veggies, salads, watermelon, marshmallows and ice cream are also great to have!

You may want to give a fish fry or a clam bake a try!

Think about hosting a Jello eating contest!
Let people know what they can bring along with them when they RSVP!
Here are some activity suggestions:
Swim, have a water balloon toss, play outdoor charades, volley ball, Frisbee, balloon badminton, do a bottle toss or make and blow bubbles!

Tip: Use your, “Symbols of Summer” word list to make a game of outdoor charades!

Your guests may also enjoy having a relay race, a scavenger hunt, or a contest such as hula hooping, or bubble gum blowing.

If it gets dark while your guests are still enjoying themselves, play a game of, “Ghost in the Graveyard“, or catch fireflies!
Have a wonderful summer celebration!

Victorian Era Information, Games, Crafts & Foods

Polar of Emlen Physick Estate 1879

Information about the
Victorian Era

BBC: Primary History: Victorian Era – An interactive tour of Victorian Britain.
WikipediaVictorian Era – The history of Queen Victoria’s reign.
Victorian Web: Music in the Era of Queen Victoria – Article.
eHow: Children’s Games in England – Instructions for 3 games.

Victorian Era Games

Victorian World: Victorian Games – Information about games played during this era.

Victorian DaysVictorian Pastimes – Indoor and outdoor pastimes, music, songs, dancing and more.

The Victorian Era: Games and Activities for Kids

Victorian EraGames of the Victorian Era

Victorian Crafts
Victoriana MagazineVictorian Crafts – Assorted crafts from the Victorian era, includes these projects: Glass bead pillow, scrapbooking, stencils and more. Check out their section on Victorian Cards & Christmas CardsFree downloads.
Victorian Embroidery and Crafts – Victorian needlework and crafts.
Victorian Crafts – Site contains links to Victorian related activities.
Education.com: Throw A Kids’ Victorian Tea Party – Activity suggestions.
Victorian Foods

Back In The Day: Victorian Era Foods: Foods of the Victorian Era were based on what was available seasonally and by what could be afforded by the family. This site focuses on the UK.

This Victorian Life: Victorian Food – Learn about Victorian era foods via informative videos that not only talk about the era, but show some of the technology of the time.

NOTE: There is a book series offered for purchase on the site as well, but I am not affiliated with this site or the book author in any way.

Victoriana MagazineVictorian Recipes, Holiday Entertaining Ideas, Party Planning: Site offers Victorian Era food related information.


Victorian Era.org: Music – Article talks about Victorian Era music and how it changed.
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Charles Dickens

Celebrate the life of Charles Dickens by learning about him, listening to and/or reading his stories, and living as he would during his time period.


Biography: Charles Dickens – Offers a 45 minute video and written information about Dickens.

BBC: Charles Dickens – Information about Dickens’ life.

A Christmas Carol & Other Writings

Planet PDF: A Christmas Carol – Printer friendly version.

Librivox:  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens other versions can be found here. His other writings can be heard here.

The Literature NetworkCharles Dickens – Read Dickens’ literary works on line or download them.

Charles Dickens.org – Complete works all in one place.

Charles Dickens Coloring Pages, Printables, & More
Grandma’s Graphics: A Christmas Carol Images – Download as a Word or PDF file. These are great for illustrating your own version of A Christmas Carol or for creating your own book.

Charles Dickens Coloring Pages – Printables



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Word Hop

Once a person is familiar with the alphabet, or with certain letters, put large letter tiles made from foam or cardboard on the floor and have them hop from letter to letter to form small words on their own. Someone can suggest a word, or picture/word cards can be made or used to go with this game. As the player steps on the letter, have them say it so they can learn how to spell the word. Someone can tell the player the order of the letters if needed, or they can try working it out their own first. 
The word can be acted out once it has been spelled correctly, when possible.
Play for as long as there is an interest in the game.
Other versions…
Version #2: The large letter tiles can form words by hand instead of being hopped on.
Version #3: The sound of the letter can be said as well as the name of the letter.
Version #4: Play this game outside by drawing letters with chalk.
Word Hop is fun for all ages!
Note: We play with large foam letters purchased from a toy store.

Benefits: Letter recognition, word formation, large motor skills are used, letter-sound recognition (when played that way) and fine motor skills are used (when hand version is played).

This post is part of the Building Writing Skills series on FranW.com. If you are interested in reading more from this series, please use the following links:
Building Writing Skills Naturally – Offers links to activity suggestions that have many built in benefits.

No More Tears! – Introduction page.
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