Ashley, teacher and mom of 2, discovers an easy-to-use database of educational activities for kids.
I’ve spent hours searching Pinterest for weekend activities for my kids. When I find something I like, I realize the activity is too difficult for my kids to do on their own, the supplies are too expensive, or there’s not enough directions provided to do on my own. Then, I discovered Lesson Zest on Educents.
Lesson Zest is an online subscription that offers a database of hundreds of hands-on lessons designed for kinder to 5th grade – already planned for you and ready to go! Choose from a database of crafts, food, movement activities, experiments, STEM, and more. Most lessons are very inexpensive should not cost more than a few dollars per child.
It’s like Pinterest… but a lot easier to filter by time difficulty, needed, cost, activity type, materials needed, educational values added, and you will always be equipped with instructions on how to complete each activity (instead of searching through links for it!!).
How to Use Lesson Zest
Parents: Enhance lessons with hands-on activities for a topic your child is currently studying or struggling with. Plan a day of activities for the weekend when friends come over, or when you leave the kids with a babysitter.
Teachers or Parent Volunteers: Use the Common Core standards to relate these interactive lessons to your studies. Or, plan fun and educational party games for upcoming fall carnivals and festivities.
Homeschoolers: Supplement your lessons with hands-on activities. Let your children test their theories with this ready-to-go experiments and discuss the outcome during your studies.
Educators or Caregivers: Use these low-cost activities in an after school program, or take them with you to grandma’s house.
Easy to Search for the Perfect Activity
Use the following options to search for the right lessons:
- Topic (autumn, colors, candy)
- Type of lesson (movement activity, STEM, craft)
- Duration of lesson
- Materials needed
- Cost of lesson
- Level of difficulty
Once you have found a lesson that fits your criteria, it’s easy to prepare your activity and get started! Lesson Zest provides directions, materials needed, estimated cost, and any Common Core standards you can choose to follow for the activity.
If you’re ever feeling lost, you can refer to Lesson Zests’ additional facts to improve each lesson, links to more sources about the topic, or handouts for the activity.
The Apple Taste Test
When it was time for me to give Lesson Zest a test spin, I choose an activity to do with materials I already had on hand. I chose to complete a lesson in the Halloween, candy and autumn categories.
My daughters are 3.5 years-old, so I searched for an activity that would be easy for young children to do with mom’s help. We talked about the apple facts and tasted some apples.
Pipe Cleaner Spider Craft
In this activity, we learned about the Nephila Spider, then crafted one using pipe cleaners. I could see students loving this activity during Halloween. It was a slightly more involved lesson, so Lesson Zests gives it two-stars on the difficulty rating. One star means kinders can complete the activity independently, and 3 stars meaning older kids will require some assistance.
Floating M&Ms Experiment
The object of this STEM lesson is to see the white M on M&Ms float to the top of the water. This was another easy lesson that could be used with a variety of age levels as long as they are patient enough to observe the M&Ms (and not eat them!!).
Lesson Zest simplifies lesson planning for any adult looking to instruct students with engaging and hands on lessons. It can be used at camps, after school programs, homeschool or the traditional classroom. The easy to use lessons, complete with standards and objectives, make it an invaluable tool for educators. The fun, interactive and engaging lesson make Lesson Zest a favorite for students. If you need to enhance your lessons give Lesson Zest a try!
I am Ashley the blogger behind Teaching in Bronco Country. I am a Christian, mom, wife and elementary teacher. I teach kindergarten through fourth grade character education and digital citizenship. In my spare time I love to cook, read and blog!