Sunday, December 29, 2013

Katrena's Scavenger Hunt #8: Under the Same Sky

Katrena's Indoor Scavenger Hunt #8 Under the Same Sky
I recently received a nice note from an 11-year-old who requested that I develop scavenger hunt #8. Although I live in the United States, this reader is playing my Wildflower Bouquets games on the other side of the globe! That has inspired me to create a scavenger hunt that reminds us that we are all under the same sky and that we all call Earth our home.

Aizaz, this one is for you. I hope you like it!

This hunt includes ten rhyming riddles with a celestial theme. As each riddle is solved, the leader can give players a hint where to look for the next clue. I hid each riddle inside a folded letter found in the last graphic on this game. Suggestions with several options for hiding the clues make this scavenger hunt great for home or school. The letters might be hidden in order or scrambled to add another challenge level for the players to spell the terms at the conclusion of the game.

This hunt involves basic astronomy terms. Because the riddles rhyme, younger kids may be able to guess some of these, or you might take the opportunity to learn more about our sky together. Here are a few web sites that you might wish to study before attempting this treasure hunt. Some of the terms are easy, but others might be a bit more challenging!
  1. Click on the images below to enlarge.
  2. Choose file-print to print the images.
  3. Hide each riddle in the locations designated below - you may wish to fold each inside a letter spelling the hidden message or you might exchange a letter for each solved clue.
  4. After all riddles are solved, players can assemble the letters to spell the secret message.
Here are the ten riddles for my Under the Same Sky scavenger hunt. You may wish to fold these inside each letter to spell the secret astronomy term:
Free Rhyming Riddles for Treasure Hunt
Here are the answers to the rhyming riddles:
Indoor Scavenger Hunt Rhyming Riddle Clue Answers
Here are suggestions for hiding places for the riddles that might be used at home or in school, or you might play the game again and choose other options for hiding places:
Fun Scavenger Hunt for Home or School
After the player(s) solve each riddle, offer a hint for where to look for the next riddle.
Free Astronomy Scavenger Hunt
Print and cut these letters or you might make them larger by cutting a piece of colored construction paper into ten pieces and writing each letter on a piece. I folded these around riddles #2 through #10 and placed the last one where players would look after solving the last riddle. Younger players might wish to name each letter. Scramble the order that players find each letter to make this treasure hunt more challenging.
Fun Ways to Teach Kids About Astronomy
Readers may also wish to try:
Scavenger hunts are a fun, unique way to learn all sorts of concepts as simple as letter recognition or as complicated as astronomical terms. Parents, teachers, babysitters, and many others might utilize scavenger hunts to break the boredom of staying inside. I welcome feedback in the comments section below and hope all of you enjoy this latest game.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Favorite Versions of Christmas Songs – Music to Remember

Great Music for the Christmas Season - Photo by imelenchon
Music is one of the most memorable parts of the Christmas season for me. For as long as I can remember, I've played and listened to music. Sometimes I just want to sit back, close my eyes, and transport myself into the rhythms.

I have some personal favorites that I'd like to share with you, and I have provided a link to each one below. These are familiar Christmas songs with versions that pull out all the stops with their unique renditions. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Little Drummer Boy by Pentatonix

This Christmas song has a special place in my heart because my dad and I used to play it together. This version is a cappella with some great beat boxing and a beautiful view behind the singers. One would expect a traditional drum, but the human voicebox can create some pretty unusual and unique rhythms as well.

Sugar Plum Fairy on a Glass Harp

If one were to play this without any video, most would be hard pressed to name the instrument being played. With a table lined with glasses partially filled with water, this duo creates a magical moment of music.

Carol of the Bells (for 12 cellos) by ThePianoGuys

This group pushes the limits and stretches the imagination through their choice of instruments and unusual settings. They also stretch the limits in how they play the instruments. A broken string does not hold them back – they just celebrate the moment and don't miss a beat.

Wizards in Winter by Raleigh Ringers

Those who are musicians will appreciate the difficulty of this piece with numerous bell changes and many sixteenth notes throughout the song. I only recently learned about this group and am quite impressed with so many of their pieces. They infuse some of their songs, such as The Grinch, with a bit of humor that keeps the audience watching to see what they will do next!

O Holy Night by Celtic Woman

This Christmas carol calls for top talent, and these ladies rise to the occasion with crystal clear voices that are unique but blend beautifully. Celtic Woman captures the audience's attention from the first note through the end of the song.''

Christmas Canon by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

This version combines the voices of children with an orchestra that takes each song into new heights. I love the peaceful feeling of this carol created with the sounds and sights.

Silent Night by Jackie Evancho

This young girl has been gifted with amazing talent, and I'm so glad that she has chosen to share her voice with the world. You don't break world records and reach platinum on mediocre music.

What Child is This by Lindsey Stirling

Many people that I know name What Child is This as their favorite Christmas carol. It seems only fitting that Ms. Stirling would choose to play this song in a minor key outside where nature tends to play in minor keys as well.

Mary Did You Know by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene

Some of my roots dig deep into country music. Buddy Greene is an amazing harmonica player, and the haunting words capture this mother's heart. This newer Christmas song combines hope with the hindsight of those who have a human's glimpse of what that Baby accomplished.

Hallelujah Chorus by a Flash Mob

I would have loved to have been shopping there that day! This group does a nice job of pleasantly surprising folks in the mall. It is fun to simply see the reactions of the many people who happened to be at the right place at the right time.

12 Days of Christmas by Straight No Chaser (original 1998 version)

A lot of people find this song to be annoying and cannot wait for all twelve of those days to be done. However, this version throws in some unexpected twists and turns. I won't be the spoiler. Trust me – I think even those who are not big fans of this song will get a kick out of this one.

I wish that Landfill Harmonic will create a Christmas collection. These children who play instruments made from recycled garbage are creating hope along with their music – many kudos to those who are helping to make that happen.

Additional articles by Katrena:
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