Category: Fall

Do Pumpkins Float or Sink?

After reading Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie by Jill Esbaum and seeing all the different types of pumpkins in the book, I decided that it would be the perfect time to do the simple sink or float experiment.  I wanted to do this simple experiment last year with the boys, but I just ran out of time.  So I was determined to get it done this year.


Supplies:
Pumpkins of various sizes
Anything else that can get wet
Chart

Directions:
1.  Take one object at a time.  Let the kids guess whether it will sink or float and then throw it into the water.
2. Record the results on a chart.

The boys had a great time.  We discussed the real science behind it for a bit, but in the end they understood it was because most of the pumpkins were hollow.

Have you done the sink or float experiment?

 

Our Thankful Tree

This year, since the boys have a better grasp of what thankful means, I decided it was time to start a thankful tree.  Our tree is pretty simple.  I have a 4 year old, 3 year old and 15 month old.  I needed a tree that would last until Thanksgiving.  So, instead of creating a beautiful tree out of butcher paper or construction paper, I made a tree outline out of electrical tape.

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Yes, I said electrical tape.  The back of our front door has an outline of a tree make out of electrical tape, and I am happy to say it has lasted  6 days.  Pretty impressive with Thing 3 walking around.

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Each evening at dinner I ask the kids what they are thankful for that day.  I then write them  down on the leaf and we go and hang the leaf on the tree.  Thing 1, Thing 2, and I each have a specific color leaf.  

I know what you are thinking, leaves are falling off of trees right now, not going on them.  However, in this house they have to go on the tree because if they fell down, Thing 3 would play them and we would have no leaves for our tree at all.  In the future, I will probably put all the blank leaves on the tree and each day we will take one off, write what we are thankful for and tape it back on near the ground. 

Do you have any fun ways to remind your kids what the holidays are really about?

Leaf Impressions

Today the home learners group that Thing 1 inspired me to create, meet today for another fun learning activity.  The leaves are finally starting to change colors and fall off the trees here in North Texas and the weather has been beautiful.  So we meet at a local park where we then headed out on a nature walk.

Supplies:

salt dough (1 cup salt, 2 cups flour, 1 cup of water)
bags
paper plates
dough rollers
leaves, flowers, etc..

Activity:

First we headed out onto a local trail and let the kids collect.  They collected leaves and flowers.  A few (Thing 1 and Thing 2) collected sticks and acorns.  We also saw a small snake on our walk.  Each kiddo had a bag to hold their treasures.

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Once we were done collecting or really we told the kids we done collecting we headed back to the park.  Since it was noon, we ate lunch first.  It is all about priorities with the kids.

Once lunch was over, I provided each kid with a paper plate and some salt dough.  They then worked hard rolling the dough flat.  The rolling pins really came in handy because they helped with the rolling process but also smoothed out the dough so that we had a nice smooth surface for making impressions.

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After the dough was pretty thin and smooth, we helped the kids place leaves into the dough.  We found that using the rolling pins on top of the leaves helped make the impressions a little more uniformed.  Then the kids would pull the leaves up and we could see the prints. 

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Thing 1 really enjoyed the project.  He took his time and worked hard to make his impressions work.  Thing 2 never really got around to putting leaves into his salt dough, instead he finished eating and then stuck his trains into the dough.

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Taking the activity further:

To take the activity further you can work on classifying the different leaves that you have collected.  Leaves can be classified, by shapes, vein patterns, edges, the tip of the leaf, the bottom of the leaf, whether it is simple or compound, and so on. 

We are actually going to go into a little more detail about the different types of leaves next week as our science study.  I am excited and yes I am kind of weird like that.

What have you done with leaves?  

Linked up at Outdoor Play Party at Momma Pea Pod.