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Entries in science (53)


Science Week!

We LOVE science around here so we are excited to experiment and play a lot this week for science week! I thought we'd start off by looking at some of our favorites that we've done so far!

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Building Week Part 2: Strong Shapes

This is an easy, fun experiment to find out how strong different shapes are.

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This is another one of those make it your own activities. Depending on the age of your kids or their attention span there are so many different ways to play with boats and floating objects.

ALWAYS watch your kids around water.

We planned to do this project in our pool but we got some crazy winds and the pool is a disaster so we moved it indoors to the tub. You could do this in a plastic bin, kiddie pool, sink etc.

First we made a paper boat. You can use the instructions we posted on our hat/boat/life jacket post using a regular piece of paper instead of a newspaper

The paper boats DO float - make sure you pull open the bottom a bit to stabilize.

Then we turned it into a "let's see what floats" experiment

Of course minifigs got involved.

I try to leave activities like this open ended even now as they are older so it can go where they want it to.

For the building portion leave plenty of supplies at their disposal to create and experiment with. We went the quick and easy route with some styrofoam packaging. It makes a perfect boat.

I love that activities like this lead to natural questions and experimentation (the best way to learn). Build off of these activities and see how much each floatation device can hold before sinking.

Have fun!


Water Bottle Prank

I got pranked this weekend and the boys thought it was the best thing ever. It's an easy one too - perfect for April Fool's Day.

You just need a water bottle and a pin. Fill the bottle pretty full with water. Over the sink poke holes all around the center of the bottle.

Wait until the water stops dripping, very gently wipe off and place on the counter somewhere you know it will get seen and picked up.

When someone finally picks it up (I did in frustration of the boys leaving things out everywhere)...

Yep, you get sprayed. It was pretty funny. This works best with the thinner plastic water bottles. Have fun!

(Obviously young kids should be supervised when using needles)


Hex Nut + Balloon

We have a quick easy activity for you today that's fun anytime especially because it makes noise. All you'll need is a hex nut (a smaller one) and a balloon.

Put the nut into the balloon and blow it up.

Tie off the balloon. Hold in one spot while spinning the hex nut inside around the balloon. You'll get a screechy noise!

We made a quick video so you can hear what it sounds like since photos can't show you that.

If you shake the balloon too crazy and against things it will pop and the hex nut will go flying - so play with caution (this is said from experience).


Exploring: Da Vinci - The Genius

If you follow us on Instagram you know that my 10 year old and I went out for a date to the Arizona Science Center last weekend. We got to check out Da Vinci - The Genius. A bit about the exhibit:

Da Vinci - The Genius is the most comprehensive exhibition on Leonardo da Vinci to tour the world and brings to life the full range of his genius as an inventor, artist, scientist, anatomist, engineer, architect, sculptor and philosopher. Da Vinci - The Genius blends science, engineering, art and culture in an exploration of ten themed areas, including the world exclusive Secrets of Mona Lisa - a ground breaking analysis of Leonardo's most famous painting. This amazing exhibition provides a fascinating insight into not only the mind of a genius; but also into the fundamental scientific and artistic principles that he discovered. Da Vinci - The Genius is an inspiration for the whole family.

We checked out his codices (little notebooks) first and were so interested in how he wrote (like a mirror as he was left handed) and how amazing his mind truly was. It also made me a little bit more lenient to all the notebooks lying around my house ;)

The exhibit has several areas with models of his inventions. What we thought was so cool was how some of his inventions were so far ahead of his time, there wasn't a way to construct some of them yet.

Of course he loved the "ok to touch" signs. It is amazing how many different tools there were.

Da Vinci wasn't allowed a formal education, instead he learned through the power of observation and experience.

It was cool to see how they went about finding out what The Mona Lisa's original colors were and I got to share with him about when I saw The Mona Lisa in the Louvre. Hopefully some day I can take him!

If you're in Phoenix Da Vinci - The Genius is an awesome exhibition that you'll want to check out! It's here until June 9, 2013.

Da Vinci - The Genius was created by Grande Exhibitions, with the assistance of the Anthropos Foundation, Italy, and Pascal Cotte, France. It is sponsored locally by JP Morgan Chase, The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com and located in the Sybil B. Harrington Galleries.

We couldn't be at the AZ Science Center and not check out all the other fun spaces!

We had a great time and museums are one of the BEST ways to learn without it feeling like "work". One of our favorite ways to spend time together too!

Disclosure: I was given passes to the AZ Science Center but all experiences, opinions, and photos are my own!



I've been seeing a "clean mud" tutorial making it's rounds again but it involves shaving 3 bars of soap. I prefer less work and prep for a fun activity where the longevity is unknown ;)

"Clean" dough is SO simple - baking soda and water. Pour some baking soda onto a tray or in a bowl.

Then pour in water little by little

Mix until you get a consistency you like

That's it!

Minifigs optional

If they start to lose interest add in a squirt bottle of vinegar for fizzy fun! The best part is that clean up is super easy! Have fun!


Failure (and a free printable)


There have been many, many times when we've thought of an activity or experiment to share here on the blog that just don't go as planned. We never want to share something with you that doesn't work for us so you never get to see those. I thought I'd share one with you today.

We'd seen this solar bag experiment done before and were talking about it this weekend. My son thought that we should be able to do it with a regular black trash bag so we thought we'd give it a try. The theory behind it is that heat rises (density of air mass based on temperature) and the black bag + sun = heat. The air inside the bag DID get hot, but unfortunately that's about all that happened. No matter how much they tried they couldn't get it to "float" too much. They think it was just too heavy ;)

I plan on getting them a Solar Bag of their own at some point so we can see it really work! I see the importance of failure. Tweaking and trying different ways of doing the same thing to see what works and what doesn't or what works best and what my kids to experience it as well. If they bring me an idea (even if I know it won't work) I encourage them to think it through and try it out. Most of the time they are ready to try their ideas out without fully thinking them through but that's ok with me because even Edison said - I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that don't work. (this isn't his direct quote but was taken from a quote he said)

If you want your kiddos to remember this quote you can print your own! (free for personal use only)


Do you have lots of project fails under your belt like me?