Category: Tricky 2

{Science} : Leakproof Holes

A couple of weeks ago, I set up a series of different science activities for the boys to do.  I am just now getting around to blogging about the rest of them.

Leakproof Holes

Leakproof Holes

zip top bag
sharpened pencils

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1.  Fill your zip top bag with water and make sure there aren’t any leaks.  Our first bag had a hole in it to start with.

2.  Take  pencil and slowly stick it into the bag, and out the other side.

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The bag should not leak.  This demonstrates some of the properties of plastic formed by polymers.  Polymers are molecules strung in long repeating chains.  The chain stretches around the pencil and then tightens around it, so the water doesn’t escape while the pencil is in place.

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The boys thought this was pretty cool and continued to stick pencils into the bag.  Then they thought it was fun to watch the water come out as they pulled the pencils out.

What fun experiments have you done lately?


Cleaning Pennies

There have been several times that the boys have complained about the smell of vinegar when I clean, however, they don’t complain as much as Daddy Cameron.  Thus I thought it would be good to show the boys the cleaning power of vinegar.

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Cleaning Pennies

pennies (the dirtier the better)
3 cups/bowls
liquid soap

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1.  We began by talking about the different ways to clean things.  Thing 2 mentioned water.  Shortly after Thing 1 mentioned soap and water.  I then introduced the vinegar, which they immediately recognized from the smell.

2.  I then let each boy set up one cup.  Thing 3 set up the water cup and dropped his pennies in.  Thing 1 set up the soap and water cup.  Thing 2 set up the cup with 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1 tsp of salt.

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3. We then let the cup sit for about 15 minutes.

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When we looked at the pennies after 15 minutes, Thing 1 immediately wanted to change his hypothesis from soap and water to the vinegar.  The pennies in the vinegar and salt solution were pretty shiny.

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This was a great visible example of why I use vinegar to clean our house.

Have you ever cleaned pennies?

Apples Go Brown

How do we keep apples from turning brown?  The boys and I did a little experiment to find out.

Apples Go Brown

Apples Go Brown

small bowl
lemon juice
paint brush
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1.  Cut the apple into at least 3 pieces.
2.  Take one piece and  place it in the bowl.  Then cover it with just enough water so it is cover.
3.  Use a paint brush and paint both sides of an apple slice with lemon juice.

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4.  Take the last piece and do nothing too it.
5.  Let it sit out and observe the changes.

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When the apple is exposed to open air, chemicals in the apple combine with the oxygen to turn the apple brown.  The lemon juice helps protect the chemicals in the apple.

The boys thought it was pretty neat to see what a little bit of lemon juice can do.  They also enjoyed eating several pieces of apple.  Experiments with food are always a winner!

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Have you painted your apples with lemon juice? 

Our Butterfly Book

On Monday, the boys and I headed to the Texas Discovery Gardens.  The boys loved the butterfly house.

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While we were walking through the butterfly house, Thing 1 came up with the wonderful idea of taking pictures of the butterflies and turning it into a book.  Luckily for him I was already trying to take pictures of the different types of butterflies.

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I took all the best pictures of the individual butterflies and inserted them into a publisher document.  I intentionally left the pictures blank so the boys, mainly Thing 1, could identify and write out the names of the butterflies.

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The boys were super excited about their book and Thing 1 has done an amazing job of identifying the different types of butterflies.  Our field trip turned into great reading and writing practice. YAY!

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When he finished identifying all the butterflies, I bound the books so that each one has a reminder of our trip.

What have your field trips inspired in you?


Absorption Experiment

Right now we are in the middle of our month”off” before we start the new school year.  Although we are “off,” I still want to do some fun activities with the boys.  One night I was surfing the internet and found this simple experiment to do with the boys.

Absorption Experiment

Absorption Experiment 2

2 clear cups
paper towel
food coloring


1.  Put some water and food coloring in one cup.
2.  Take the paper towel and fold it lengthwise.

absorptionnaturewalk 001 3. Place one end of the paper towel in the cup with the food coloring and water and the other end of the paper towel in the empty cup.
4.  Watch and Observe!

Absorption Experiment

The boys thought it was pretty cool to watch the blue water travel up the paper towel and slowly start filling the other cup. They couldn’t believe it at first.  However, it did help me explain why we sometimes use paper towels to clean up messes, like milk.

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My husband thought it was interesting how the cups became filled with the same height of water in the end.  Even after it sat there for a couple of days, once the cups had the same amount of water they stayed that way.

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As always there are many ways that you can expand on this simple experiment.  My kiddos were just happy watching the “magic” unfold.  However, you could always, make a chart and measure the water levels in each cup at a predetermined interval and then graph it.  There is also researching the reason why it happens.  You could also experiment to see if it works with other types of liquids.  This would then allow you to compare how fast the different types of liquids absorb.  Just a few ideas!



Stained Glass Shamrocks

Last Wednesday, the boys and I hosted a craft play date.  With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, I decided to do a St. Patrick’s Day themed craft.  After searching the internet for ideas, I decide to have the kids make stained glass shamrocks since it would allow all the kids to participate.  We had 2 to 5 year olds doing the craft.

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Stained Glass Shamrocks

Contact Paper
Tissue Paper

1. Cut the contact paper to size.
2. Take the paper backing off the contact paper and lay it sticky side up.
3.  Place pieces of tissue on the contact paper.
4.  When you have finished putting all the tissue paper on the contact paper.  Place another piece of contact paper on top of the other one so that there will be contact paper on both sides.
5.  Cut the contact paper out into the shape of a shamrock and cut it out.  I created a template out of construction paper that the kids could then trace using a crayon.
6. Now hang it in a sunny place.

What the other mom and I found interesting was that none of the kids made a green shamrock, they all elected to make rainbow shamrocks.  Whatever makes them happy!



Fun with Magnets!

Today we had friends over to explore magnets.  I thought I would share some of the things we did.


What is magnetic?
To start, I had collected 6 different items, three which I knew were magnetic and three which I knew that weren’t.  We then went around the table and I let the kids chose an object.  All three kids would then hypothesize whether it was magnetic or not and then the child who chose the object would see if it was magnetic our not.  They would then record their answer on a chart that I had printed out beforehand for them.

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Magnets Have Poles
Next we talked about how magnets have poles just like the earth does and we discussed the names of the poles.  Then using two different horseshoe magnets  (the ones we used had N and S on them), we had the kids test what would happen if we put the North and South together, North and North together and South and South together. This also allowed us to discuss the words attract and repel as they recorded their answers on the chart I had provided.

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After we used the horseshoe magnets, we uses two star and two donut shaped magnets I had.  These magnets do not have the poles marked, however, I had taped colored squared to the poles.  Red for North and blue for South.  We then repeated the same experiment as above, just using the colors.  It was a great way to reinforce what we had talked about and the words attract and repel.

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Once we were done discovering what was magnetic and the fact that magnets had poles, we then moved onto a few just plain old fun activities that you can do with magnets.

First we tried to make a tissue paper butterfly fly without actually touching the paperclip.  This was hard than I suspected, but it was probably because I needed a stronger magnet.

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Next, we magnetized a pair of scissors.  I showed the kids how I could not pick up a paperclip with the scissors, then I rubbed a magnet, in the same direction, several times along the metal part of the scissors.  This magnetized the scissors and allowed me to pick up some paperclips with the scissors.  (I guess I didn’t get a picture of that one…)

The kids then used the magnets to move paperclips and cut up pipe cleaners around in plastic bottles.

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We then tested to see if we could move paperclips using magnets, even if they were in water.

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There was just also a lot of playing with lots of paperclips and the different magnets.

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Overall, I would say the kids had a great time exploring magnets, especially since they didn’t immediately get up and go back to playing.

What fun have you had with magnets?

{Tricky Two} : Week 3

We had another great week!

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Putting beads on a pipe cleaner.

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Moving beans from one bowl to another bowl using a spoon.

The rest of the week was spent a couple of different learning dates.

On Wednesday, Thing 3 explored static electricity.  You can see more pictures {HERE}.

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On Thursday, Thing 3 enjoyed the book Smiley Shark and then he made a shark using construction paper and a paper plate.  YOu can see a few more pictures from the post {HERE.}

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What did your two-year old do this week?


{Tricky Two} : Week 2

Thing 3 is still going strong with his desire to do school every day with his brothers.  Here is a quick look at some of the activities he did this week.

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PomPoms in the egg carton.
We worked on color this week by Thing 3’s choice.  First, he started off matching the pom pom colors to the colors painted at the bottom of the egg carton.  Then we moved to using tongs to do the same thing.  He was in love with the tongs.  I have no idea how many times he did, and re did this activity.

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Block color stacking.
I bought these blocks a couple of years ago and they have been awesome.  I started off initially just wanting him to build towers.  However, it turned into a color learning activity.  He would stack the blocks and I would say the color of the block, which he would them immediately repeat.  That soon turned into him choosing the blocks and telling me what color they were. He also would look through the pile of blocks and make matches.  We also had a few different shapes which we would talk about.  Toward the end of our 20 minute period he was able to name the colors and the shapes that he was putting in his towers.  The best part to him was when the towers would fall over.

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Pattern Blocks.
Thing 3 picked this activity out of the busy bag bucket that I have sitting in the corner of our classroom.  I wasn’t sure he would completely grasp the concept, but we worked through it anyway.  After I did a few examples for him, he surprised me and was able to create the pictures himself.

Thing 3 had another great week.  Besides the structured activities listed above, Thing 3 also made a snow globe with his brothers at a play date, played with some homemade slime, and enjoyed some outdoor fun at the park.

Just a peak at Thing 3’s week!

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