Cole and I just had some fun and my whole family learned something new. We were playing with the PBS Wild Kratts app on my Kindle yesterday and learned that red kangaroos jumped an average of 30 feet per jump! That seemed like huge amount but I couldn’t really imagine it and I knew neither could Cole. So I decided to go outside and measure how far 30 feet actually was.
We initially started on our deck, but it only made it to about 20 feet, so we had to go to our driveway. We took one of our strings for kits and our measuring tape. Just like with measuring cups, I only used a 6 foot tape and just talked it out like, “ok, so we have 6 feet then we add another six feet for 12, then another for 18” and we kept going until we got to 30. Cole then took the chalk and drew a line for the length. Once that was done, I had both of us jump as a comparison. Then, apparently, next on the agenda was for Cole to create his own 30 foot jump – that is the line you see going up and is all wiggly :).
Once we had exhausted that (which took a while!), Cole went on to measure everything he could find until I finally had to say, “Stop! That’s enough measuring for now. Let’s come back out later with your brothers and do some more. ” This part is KEY – don’t ever let young children do whatever they want until they are finished. Always stop before they want to stop because it leaves them wanting more.
Once my teenage sons woke up (ok, let’s be honest – once I gave in, and let Cole jump on them to wake them up hours later), we went outside to be kanagroos. He made them each jump as far as they can – but then made them jump like bunnies for the entire 30 feet. While they originally did it to make their brother happy, they didn’t realize how far a red kanagroo jumpped either and they thought it was really cool.
While this activity that includes science, math, reading, writing, and exercise is really engaging for pre-school to elementary students, it’s a hit with all ages – even teenage boys. It brought us all together for about an hour while we learned something really interested.
Let me know what animal you measured and what your family learned.