Ice Excavation Activity

img_6134.jpgMy children absolutely loved this activity. Although it needed a little pre-planning (which they were part of), this activity kept them busy for nearly an hour.

Collect (or get your children to) lots of small plastic toys. Put them into a large bowl and fill with water (leave about an inch at the top for the water to expand)! Put the bowl in the freezer.

The next day get a washing up bowl and upturn large frozen bowl into it. Give the children spoons and a squeezy bottle of warm water and let them get excavating!!

img_6139It took about an hour, and lots of warm water, to free all the plastic toys from the ice. img_6135What fun!! Thanks for reading!

How to make a water volcano đźŚ‹

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Being able to do this activity is all about having the right size and shaped containers. Having said that, our small jar was far from perfect, right size but the shape was a little off! A small jar with a narrower neck or a very small bottle would have been more effective.

For this volcano, you will need a large glass jar, a smaller glass bottle, wire, red food colouring and hot and cold water. Tie some wire around the small glass bottle so that it can be picked up without having to hold the glass.

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Pour cold water into the large glass jar so it’s about 2/3 full. Fill the small glass jar with hot water and add a teaspoon red food colouring. Z went a bit over the top with the food colouring as she poured it in!

img_6094Carefully place the small jar into the large jar and watch the water volcano erupt. This happens super quickly so you (or the children) may want to do this a few times. This volcano shows how cold and warm water mix. The hot water expands, taking up more space. It is, therefore, lighter than cold water and rises to the surface.

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We found this activity in My First Science Book it’s full of 23 really simple, doable science experiments that can easily be done at home. Well worth getting for any young science enthusiasts.

Have you done any volcano experiments? I’d love to hear about them. Please comment below.

Thanks for reading

Sarah 🙂

*This post includes affiliate links (see disclaimer)

 

Collaborative Landscape Art

I love the work by landscape artist Andy Goldsworthy. It really draws together two things that I love… nature and art. This piece of art was parcially inspired by Goldsworthy.

I absolutely loved working on this art piece with a lovely group of children (aged 4-8).  It was wonderful to get their input in how the art should look and it was amazing to see their respect for the work they were creating.

I wanted the children to be able to get on and create and not to spend the majority of our time collecting resources to make our art. I collected a load of leaves, sticks the day before and raided our home of all collections of cones, conkers, acorns etc… and also asked others to bring along some resources.

We began by raking out the area so we could begin work. We then created the shape of the star and the heart.

The children soon became interested and got creative with the leaves, cones etc… One of the children suggested we added an I, so the picture became ‘I love stars’

The small star was especially susceptible to being knocked and had to be re-made many times. It was lovely to see that whenever it got knocked one of the children would rush to fix it.

We gave the ground a final rake before our piece was finished, this really helped create a good contrast between the ground and the art.

Lacing the ABC’s

Today I am posting a guest post from Jessica over at education.com

“Lacing is a great way to practice hand-eye coordination, which will help later with writing. Turn it into a fun art project, by stringing up some ABCs!

What You Need:

  • 26 colored foam sheets (you can get this at any craft store, but in a pinch you can use cardboard)
  • Safety scissors
  • Lots of shoe strings (or yarn lengths, taped at the ends)
  • Hole puncher
  • Pencil
  • Lined paper

What You Do:

  1. Make the letters. Take out the first foam sheets and ask your child to use the pencil to write the letter “A” on it. Continue, using one piece of craft foam for each letter of the alphabet. As she finishes each letter, look over her work and if you see any letters written incorrectly, coach her on how to write them, using lined paper. Once she’s gotten the hang of it, you can flip over the foam and write the letter correctly on the other side. When all the letters are written she should carefully cut them out using her safety scissors.
  2. Connect the dots. Have your child draw dots along the strokes of each letter, as if she were making a “connect the dots” alphabet. Then, punch a hole in each dot, using the hole puncher. Be careful not to punch too close to the edges of the letters.
  3. Ready to lace! Help your child string each letter using the shoelaces or yarn—and don’t forget to do it in the direction she’d write. For example, for the letter A, start at the top middle, where the letter comes to a point, and lace down the left side. Then go up the back of the foam and begin at the top again so you can lace down the right side. Then string through the middle, moving left to right.

As she’s working, remember to talk to your expert lacer about the sounds each letter makes. Brainstorm words that begin with the letter she’s working one, such as A= apple, or B=bear. And don’t forget to have some fun!”

This is a fun activity that can be adapted to suit your child. We took the idea and had some fun creating some shapes and doing our own threading.

Thanks for reading

Sarah 🙂

 

Jurassic Kingdom

We were joking earlier today that maybe the dinosaurs would come alive and chase us. My son advised us not to wear red or the dinosaurs might think we were meat and try to eat us!

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We spent the day at the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham where the dinosaurs from Jurassic Kingdom have come to spend a couple of weeks. They are touring round the UK so there’s plenty of opportunities to see them.

I thought I’d share small selection ​​of pictures and video from our day. I don’t want to spoil all the fun, just give you a taster.

​​​These animatronic dinosaurs are very clever and seem very life like. Each dinosaur has an information board with interesting information… Sadly no information of how to phonetically say all of the crazy dinosaur names.​​

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​It’s always lovely to spend the day with friends, though the Botanical Gardens was super busy.

Little Missy spent a long time on excavating dinosaur bones and making a sandman. All in all a good day. Well worth visiting the dinosaurs! 

DIY 5 minute bird feeder 

These bird feeders are super quick to make and I’m hoping they will encourage some birds into our community garden.

All you need is some pine cones, bird seed, lard, twine and a blunt knife.

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Use the blunt knife to spread lard generously on the pine cone. Cover the lard in birdseed and tie a piece of twine tightly around the pine cone.

Hang up the tasty treat on a tree and wait for some birds to come looking for their lunch!

Science School – Magic Ice

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We picked up a new book from the library entitled Science School by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom. The book is full of science experiments that can be done at home. So here’s our first one…Magic Ice.

Could we get an ice cube out of a glass of water without getting wet?

We were allowed some string and some salt!!

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Here’s how we got on. With our ice in the glass, Penguin lay the string on the ice and sprinkled some salt over. We waited for about a minute.

The salt caused the ice to melt a little, the water seeped into the string and the ice caused it to re-freeze and then we could pick up the string and the ice was attached. No wet hands!

Penguin then went in to pick up much more ice with his string. I could tell he was having fun!

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Have you done any science experiments at home that worked really well?

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Monkey and Mouse