Archive for Science

Science Table- Loose Parts

Monday, September 9th, 2013

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Discovery Bottles in the Back. Glass beads, unbreakable mirrors, plastic beaded necklaces all for fun and discovery.
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Categories : Loose Parts, Science

How to make a Wind Tunnel

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

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When we visited my parents in Washington there was a great Kids Museum we visited that had a wind tunnel. Mikey and Kaia probably spent about an hour there playing with it. I didn’t mind I was there playing with it to. Ever since then I have wanted a wind tunnel of our very own. I found one made by Kodokids (that is where the picture above is from). I am completely obsessed with the kodokids wind tunnel. It is on my wish list. Unfortunately I cannot convince my husband that a wind tunnel is a necessity. So I think the beautiful Kodokids Wind Tunnel will remain a dream. Well when I obsess over something I really obsess. So I think about it often, I try to figure out how I can make something similar with what I have and so I came up with what you see below.


I looked through my house unfortunately I do not have any fans even remotely the same size as the one pictured. I did however find an old hair dryer in my garage so I had a jumping off point. I knew I had to direct the air. If you read my blog you know I have a thing for upcyling plastic bottles. I found a plastic bottle and used a box cutter to cut off the bottom of the bottle.

I placed the bottle over the hair dryer

I then used duct tape to attach the bottle to the hair dryer. I did not want the hot air to melt the bottle or to burn the kids hands so I taped down the cold air button. I now needed something to hold the dryer in place. I wanted it covered so the kids would not play with the on off switch to much. I had a Styrofoam cooler I thought would be perfect so I cut a hole in the top. I used a dowel to hold the hair dryer in place. I placed it all on top of a wire rack that came with my fridge. I wanted to make sure there was plenty of ventilation.

The result was better than I had hoped for. It works great. Mikey figured out we can have two balls going at once. He is able to move the balls without touching them. We will practice with more objects later. I am just so excited that this actually worked. While I am still dreaming of the Kodokids Wind Tunnel . I at least have my make shift wind tunnel to let the kids learn and discover with.

Let me know if you try this out. I would love to hear all about it and see pics too. Any ideas on what we should use to play with on our wind tunnel? Leave a comment I am so excited to see what you all can come up with.

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Ice and Oil- Fun Preschool Science

Friday, April 26th, 2013


For this project you will need the following:
Ice cube tray
oil
water
Food coloring or liquid water colors
Jar
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Last year I did a project with the kids called color explosion using food coloring oil and water. I thought it would be fun to revisit it changing it just a little bit. The outcome was fantastic!
I actually froze some lamp oil as well for our project. It did not turn out as well as I had hoped so I would advise against it. It adds unnecessary complications and does not add very much to the project.
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This project was a lot of fun it was very cool to see how the ice melted down and to watch the droplets of color at the bottom of the jar.
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Mikey loved perdicting which color would melt next
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We talked about why the ice water would melt and fall down and about the density of water and oil. We also talked about the density of the lamp oil which unlike the water melted up instead of down.
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The beautiful colors were mesmerizing it was really a very pretty project as well as being educational
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This was a lot of fun and we will definitely be doing this project again. It was fun, easy, and pretty cheap. Plus we already everything we needed at home.
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I love kitchen Science!
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Have you tried a project like this? I would love to hear about it leave a comment telling me what you did and how it went.
H

Predict, Measure and Pour

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

While searching for something to do on a boring morning at home. I came up with a simple project that was fun and completely free.
Here is what you will need:
something to pour- we used birdseed, rice would work, beans, waterbeads etc.
A container to keep your pouring material in
empty clean jars/ containers in different sizes, shapes and so on
a measuring cup or spoon
funnel to make pouring easier on small containers
a bin to contain it all or a table cloth/ mat something to make clean up easier for you

VARIATION:
Use a marker, rubber band, or washi tape to make a mark on the jar. Ask how many scoops to make it to that point? Then how many more to make it to the top?

We did this project outside. Just because I like doing projects like this outside it could easily be done inside. I had the kids predict how many scoops it would take to reach the top of each jar. These were all jars I had saved from around the house. Some were the same volume containers just in different shapes to fool the kids. We used a 1/2 cup measuring cup to measure and pour. The kids got better about predicting as we went on.

There is real learning going on in this simple, and fun activity. We talked about which bottle they thought would hold the most birdseed and which they thought would hold the least.

So what did they learn? They learned how to measure, how to make comparisons. How to make judgements based on prior knowledge and based on assumptions. They were also developing hand eye coordination all the while.

Have you ever done a similar project with your kids? What did you do and how did it go? Leave a comment I would love to hear about it.

Harbor Breeze Cruises: Whale Watching with Children

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

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*I received tickets for whale watching in exchange for this post. This did not change my opinions which are solely my own and may differ from others.
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I love whale watching when Mike and I were younger we used to go once a year. Since we had children we have not gone. I for whatever reason thought they were to young to go on a whaling boat or perhaps they would not understand what they were seeing. Plus a 3 hour tour on a whaling boat with my kiddos was a little scary to say the least. Thinking of all the what ifs kept me from giving my children an experience that I myself loved.
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We often visit our local Aquarium. My kids are always enthralled by the wonderful exhibits at the Aquarium of the Pacific. If you have not visited and you are anywhere near the Long Beach Area you need to check it out. It is especially fantastic for young children. On our last visit my children were so excited to see and learn more. When you walk out of the Aquarium you can see the bay and the boats. Kaia started asking about going to see whales and dolphins in the ocean. So our first Whale watching Tour was booked with Harbor Cruises.
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My children were thrilled. We chose there outfits the day before (layering is essential when Whale Watching). I packed the snacks, drinks, and sun block. We got there early and had fun talking about what we saw in the Marina. The different boats, birds and DOLPHINS. Yes we saw wonderful marine life before even stepping foot on the boat. We knew this would be a good day.
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Once we were on the boat their little faces lit up. They had smiles from ear to ear. During almost the entire tour we were surrounded by Dolphins and Sea Lions. We even got to see a baby dolphin and its mother. The entire trip was filled with my children yelling out in excitement “Did you see that?!”, “I saw one!”, “Mommy, Daddy I love you!”.
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This was such an amazing experience for my family even Liam would smile and kick his legs when he saw a dolphin. We had been surrounded by a Mega Pod of Dolphins. My children got to experience seeing these wonderful creatures in their own element. They saw dolphins leaping and playing through the water. They saw sea lions bobbing in and out and swimming on their backs looking straight up at us.

This experience will not soon be forgotten by my children. As I type my daughter is drawing pictures of the dolphins she saw on the tour. I know we will be going every year now and I am so excited I can share in this experience with my children. The wonder, delight and the exceptional learning opportunities are priceless. Our children are active learners they need active experiences to capture and create lasting memories.

Here is my list of Whale Watching Essentials with Children

Sunscreen
Dress in layers
Water resistant jackets (in case of ocean spray)
Snacks and Water (most boats offer snacks and drinks, I prefer to bring our own)
No skid shoes (boats can be wet and slippery, even when they aren’t the rocking can put you off balance)
Camera

There you have it, my list of whale watching essentials. Anything I left off? Have you ever taken your kids whale watching? How did it go?

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