RSS Feed

Category Archives: Science

Frozen bubbles!

It has been so cold, but today that was a good thing.  I have been putting this activity on lesson plans for years, but the weather has never been righ for it, today the wind chill was -15 degrees, so I knew we wouldn’t have any problems getting our bubbles to freeze. We bundled up really good and took our dish-soap and water bubble solution outside.  We used pipe cleaner bubble wands and we were able to make some really big bubbles, but after a little practice, we found that the smaller bubbles didn’t pop as easily, so we were actually able to watch them freeze.  This was so cool, and definitely worth getting a little chilly to see!

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

When the bubbles got really cold, they would start to shrink, and they tore like tissue paper.  When they popped in the air we could see the bubble float to the ground like a balloon. Take advantage of the cold weather to give this activity a try.  We might even see if we can think of other ways to do it. Could we put a bubble in the fridge? The freezer? what happens when a bubble gets too hot?

Advertisements

Top 10 Fun Sensory Activities to do at Home

 

1. Water Play: taking a bath, washing babies or Legos in the sink with soap wash clothes and water.

2. Shaving Cream: you can do this on a cookie sheet or even during bath time put some on the surround of the bathtub. You can make it bathtub paints by using a muffin tin, put shaving cream in each and then mix a drop of food coloring in each, add a paint brush and they are ready to be Picasso in the tub.

3. Play Dough here are a couple of our favorite recipes http://www.prekinders.com/play-dough-recipes/, add more to it by just adding a drop of lavender oil or even add a little sand for texture.

4. Sensory Walk: I love taking sensory walks this time of year, go outside and listen, look, touch, taste (edibles only) and smell. Then talk about each of the items.

5. Cloud Dough: mix about 4 cups of flour to ½ cup of oil and mix, put it a plastic tub with spoons, measuring cups and you have fun for hours

6. Sensory Bottles: clean out small old pop/water/juice bottles and add water, food coloring and a little vegetable oil, popcorn kernels, water glitter and oil, beans or whatever you can fit in the bottle. Take a glue gun and put some in the cap and screw it on quickly.

7. Remove a Sense: use a blindfold to focus on using other senses as they move around the room

8. Walk inside and outside with no socks on

9. Dirt Play/Sand/Mud Pies: go outside and give your child old pie tins spoons and cups and their imagination will run wild.

10. Colored Rice or Noodles: super easy a little planning ahead for a lot of fun: you will need 1 large bag of rice cheaper the better, you can use either vinegar or rubbing alcohol, food coloring, gallon bags, and a cookie sheet or two. I put two cups of rice in each bag along with 1 tsp. of rubbing alcohol. Then add a generous amount of food coloring mixing colors if needed to get the right color. Seal the bag and shake, squish, and smoosh until all the color is distributed evenly. The smell of the alcohol/vinegar goes away once it is fully dried. Another variation of this is to cook the noodles with a couple tablespoons of vinegar and food coloring and drain it let it cool and then let the children explore.

 

Taking the spooky out of Halloween

Image

Halloween is quickly approaching, and though many people enjoy the opportunity to be someone else for the day, for little ones it can be very scary. Not all costumes are kid friendly, and while you can do your best to make sure your child loves his or her own costume, there is no way of knowing what they may encounter other children (or young teens) wearing while participating in Halloween related festivities.

It is important to encourage your child to celebrate in the way that makes them most comfortable. Make sure to take the time to explain that they may see things that look scary (and even just the act of being out after dark, or seeing others run around outside in the dark can be scary), but this is a day that is all about pretend. Help your child that being scared is part of the fun, and make sure they know that they do not have to do anything that they do not want to do.

They may not want to dress up in a new costume, but you may get them to agree to a costume that they play with often, or you may even be able to borrow one of your child’s favorite dress up costumes from his or her teacher. If he or she does not want to go trick or treating, try to find another way to celebrate the holiday, they could help you pass out candy at your home, or you could find an age appropriate Halloween movie to watch, and a few fun games that you could play at home to celebrate.

Holidays are not about what the rest of the world does, they are about the traditions that you create with your family, so make sure that your celebration is one that your child feels comfortable with, and you will have happy memories for years to come.  

Glow Night!

We had a great time last night at our Glow in the Dark Family Event.

Image

ImageImage

Image

C is using a glow stick, string and pony beads to make a glow necklace.

Image

C was exploring the sensory table that was filled with golf balls and frozen water balloons with glow sticks.

Image

C was working on his large motor skills by participating in a little glow hopscotch.

Image

Fairy Jars, one of our Pinterest finds that we absolutely had to try.

Image

Black light exploration: anything neon or white we set out for the children to investigate as well as glow books.


Image

 One of the night’s big hits was the glow in the dark stacking cups. All that was used was the glow in the dark bracelets that we put on the outside of small clear plastic cups. Children were not only invited by the glow but the challenge of using different building materials.

We were motivated by an in-service several months ago that we attended with Brianne Teevan. One of her YouTube videos inspired us so much that we decided to do our own version on a much smaller scale. Check out the Bambini Creativi Light the Night:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPRsj-Eo1Sg . Is there anyone or anything that has inspired you, let us know.

 

It’s good to get messy!

Image

Many people shy away from attempting art with infants for a number of different reasons. The excuses offered most frequently are that an infant will eat the paint, and that it will make too big of a mess.

i won’t argue with the fact that it will probably get messy, but I’m sure that you can tell by now that we believe that you can learn a lot from making a mess. Today I want to tackle that other excuse. Just because infants and toddlers are known for eating nearly everything that they come in to contact with ( age appropriate exploration of their surroundings), does not mean that they need to be kept from certain forms of artistic expression. 

There is a large variety of non-toxic paint available, that is perfectly safe for infants and toddler to use, and while ingesting it will never be recommended, it certainly will not harm the child. However,I have always been an advocate for DIY solutions, and many of the following ideas may help you feel more comfortable with the idea that infants explore and learn using all of their senses, even taste.

There are a ton of recipes available for edible paint, look it up on Pinterest, but you don’t need a recipe to help the youngest children explore art and their senses safely, just take a look in your pantry. Any food items that you can add food coloring to can realistically be used as paint. Here are some of our favorites:

Water (think water colors)

cool whip 

frosting

pudding

Corn syrup

baking soda and water or cornstarch and water mixtures

sweetened condensed milk

these are just a few ideas that are perfectly safe for little ones to paint with, and each provides its own, very different sensory experience for their fingers as well. While we encourage you to try out some of these ideas yourself, please remember that food coloring, when used in high concentrations, will stain. We suggest using as little pigment as possible to color your paints, and painting in an area that is okay to get messy, like a high chair or kids table on the patio.

Blowing Bubbles!

DSCN0225

I thought for those of you who were unable to join us at Bubble Bonanza, I would share some of the many bubble ideas we did and found.  Summer is a great time  to head outside and blow some bubbles!  These days there are so many things you can find to do with bubble mixtures and you don’t have to buy the tiny bubble filled bottles at the store, you can just make your own solution and even add colors or scents to it too.  The bubble solution we used was just water with dish soap and we experimented with the amount of soap to add depending on which activity we were trying to do; glycerin helps the bubbles from popping so easily too.  Adding color makes for bubble art and color or scents create more sensory experiences for children. DSCN0230

Bubble Snakes uses recyclable materials from around the house to creates a line of bubbles.  We just cut a plastic water bottle in the middle and you can attach a washcloth with rubber band or hook a sock around the bottle which is now a large hole.  Dip the cloth covered bottle into bubble solution and blow out of the top of water bottle.  See how long your snake can get!  Experiment with various sizes of bottles or try adding colors to bubbles.

DSCN0244 We searched our homes high and low to find different objects with any type of holes or slits in them.  We then experimented to see if we could blow bubbles with any of them.  Another idea would be to have children have a chart to see if it did blow bubbles or didn’t or even which ones worked best, blew biggest bubble, blew most bubbles, etc.  We used items such as canning rings, fly swatters, slotted spoons, strainers and much more.  We liked the giant flyswatters and the Styrofoam plates with center cut out the best!DSCN0251

 The other stations we had were:

 ~ the human bubble with hula hoops and baby pool to try to get inside the bubble!  We used lots of soap for this one!!

 ~pipe cleaner bubble wands and refill station; the children could try different ways to make wands with pipe cleaners and then tested them out.  We used an empty laundry detergent container with the side spout button as a refill station for the children to get more bubble solution.

~ bubble art canvas with colored bubbles to blow on paper and create art as they popped!

All of the other ideas we had found our on the Bubble pin board on our Pinterest.    And remember to let the children explore and engage as they want, if they are not hurting anyone let them go at it!

DSCN0279

Inspirations Events: Bubble Bonanza

Last night’s Bubble Bonanza was a huge success! We always love to see Children, parents, and teachers working together and enjoying themselves, and these fun activities, not to mention the close proximity of the playground, were a great combination! Thank you to every one who attended, we hope to see you at the next Inspirations Event: Art at the Park Tuesday August 20, 2013. ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage