Who knew that you could create an entire homeschool unit study around one simple, hardworking, school supply? Rubber bands have hundreds of uses, and one of them is playing a central role in this fun unit study. Check out this Homeschool Living for five homeschool activities focusing on different subjects, all featuring rubber bands as a major component of the lesson. You might want to try all of these activities as a week-long unit study, either by incorporating them into your homeschool day or by forgoing regular lessons for a week. This is a great way to inject some interest and energy into a school year that may be wrapping up or to incorporate lighter days into summer homeschooling. Of course, you can also pick and choose just an activity or two or spread them out over a greater period of time–whatever works for your homeschool!
Start out strong on Monday by exploring engineering and math with these rubber band racers. One of the great things about this activity is that it will be fun for any age. Even preschoolers will be able to help collect the household items you’ll use to build your race cars, and will enjoy playing with the finished creations. The older the student, the more structure you can incorporate into the lesson and the deeper you can dig into the design process, background concepts, vocabulary, and real world application.
Science & Music
On Tuesday, you can practice both music and science with this rubber band guitar activity. This is another simple project that can easily be tailored to older and younger students. Learn about sound and vibration with this lesson plan from Science Buddies (note that you do need to sign up for a free account to access the full lesson plan.)
Switch it up on Wednesday with lessons geared specifically toward younger kids. This will help you include everyone, and even older students can help guide younger siblings in these 15 fine motor skill activities with rubber bands. Bonus: Switching the main focus of the unit study’s lessons from an older student’s level to a younger one’s gives older siblings the opportunity to practice patience with younger ones, and keeps younger kids from feeling like they’re always trailing behind..
History of Rubber Bands
Thursday is a great day to cozy up with some read-aloud resources to learn the history of rubber bands. You’ll be surprised how far back the use of rubber goes and appreciate the inventiveness of societies from thousands of years ago.
A fun, messy, rubber band art project is the perfect way to wrap up your homeschool unit study week on Friday! Weather and space permitting, this is definitely a project best done outside–and in old clothes–but it can still be done indoors if necessary. Just be sure to use plenty of newspaper or a drop cloth to protect your work space from paint splatters. The fun is worth the mess though!