So I'm a dinosaur huh?


Doodlebug (9): Hey Mom, can you guess what’s in my pockets?
Me (much older): Tomatoes
Doodlebug: HOW DID YOU KNOW?
Me: I’m smart like that.
Taderbug (6): MOM IS LIKE A TROODON!
Me: I’m like a dinosaur?
Taderbug: Yep!
Me: Cuz I’m big?
Taderbug: Nope. Troodon’s were smart! You’re smart! So you are like a Troodon!
And that’s how we do science class kids.
 

Observe, Compare, Contrast: A Science Worksheet

One of the easiest ways to “do” science is to just use your eyes and observe the world around you!
Look at fruit, trees, bugs.
Examine types of floors, colors of flowers, smells from the spice rack.
Here is a simple chart we print and use to fill in our findings.
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Observe, Compare and Contrast Science Worksheet
In column one we simply write (or draw) what we see.  What color is the apple?  What shape is the cinnamon stick?
In the second column we compare how they are alike.  The apple and orange are both round.  The tree and the bush are both green.
In the last column we show how they are different.  Red vs. Orange.  Tall vs. Short. Strong smell vs. No smell.
Please feel free to download our simple spreadsheet and add to your collection of fun worksheets!
Come back and let us know what you observed.

Science Experiments: Osmosis, Part One, The Worms

My kids LOVE science experiments. For the most part, I enjoy them as well.  They are, unfortunately, the first part of our homeschool plan to get cut when things get crazy busy.  This year, I’m trying to make sure we get at least one in every week.  The topic is unimportant, as long as we practice the observation and journaling of the process.

Osmosis, Part One: The Worms

Osmosis is the movement of water molecules across a selectively-permeable membrane down a water potential gradient.[1] More specifically, it is the movement of water across a selectively permeable membrane from an area of high water potential (low solute concentration) to an area of low water potential (high solute concentration). Less specifically, it is when water moves. –Wikipedia

The unofficial definition we used over lunch while admiring our worms? Osmosis is when water moves to dryer areas.

Supplies:

Pie pan, dish, or bowl

Water

Gummy Worms (or bears… but worms were available)

Ruler

Paper and pencil

 

1. Measure gummy worm (bear) and draw a picture of the ‘before’.

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2. Put gummy worm or bear in the water. Mark the time on your paper.

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3. Pass the time by eating some gummies.

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4. At regular intervals, enjoy observing your worms.

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5. DO NOT try to move the worms… they break… and little people cry and start thinking they will “never be a scientist!” **oh my gosh the drama**

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6. After 24 hours, mark the time and draw a picture of your ‘new’ gummies.  If you can, take new measurements.

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Mama Smiles did this experiment with her littles! Check it out here!

Here is a great pdf worksheet of the experiment from Science-class.net with directions for making a worm growth chart!

DIY Bath Salts, a healthy science experiment with a bonus!

Salt Crystals (150X)Image by kevincollins123 via Flickr

We have four (so far) little divas at our house, one of which is me.

Well, I’m a diva when I they aren’t around! 

Few things tickle these girls more than having something special to use in the bath tub: bubble bath, hotel soaps and shampoos, and mommy’s bath salts.

With a little looking I found an easy peasy recipe for perfect princess bath salts, and a groovy science experiment.

For the salts, we’ll need Epsom Salt.  How about we really start this from scratch and just make our own!
Here’s the how to on making epsom salt.  It takes a few days, much like making crystals or rock candy.  I can give you specifics soon as I plan on making some immediately!

I picked this recipe for the bath salts because they didn’t require glycerin.  They actually use baking soda which I have on hand.  I’ll be eliminating the oil because my girls don’t care much for the smelly part.  They think they are just magic princess crystals for the bath tub!

Now for the really cool part!  It’s good for you!  My midwife, shortly after I delivered Bubbagirl, told me to put 1/2 cup of Epsom Salt in my bath water because it was antibacterial (ok, maybe it just slowed it down, or something like that… but I’m pretty sure she was talking about killing germs). 
Here are a few more benefits I found:

“Researchers and physicians suggest these health benefits from proper magnesium and sulfate levels, as listed on the web site of the Epsom Salt Industry Council:

  • Improved heart and circulatory health, reducing irregular heartbeats, preventing hardening of the arteries, reducing blood clots and lowering blood pressure.
  • Improved ability for the body to use insulin, reducing the incidence or severity of diabetes.
  • Flushed toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances.
  • Improved nerve function by electrolyte regulation. Also, calcium is the main conductor for electrical current in the body, and magnesium is necessary to maintain proper calcium levels in the blood.
  • Relieved stress. Excess adrenaline and stress are believed to drain magnesium, a natural stress reliever, from the body. Magnesium is necessary for the body to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of well being and relaxation.
  • Reduced inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps.
  • Improved oxygen use.
  • Improved absorption of nutrients.
  • Improved formation of joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins.
  • Prevention or easing of migraine headaches. “
Health Benefits of Epsom Salt Baths a Care2 favorite by Melissa Breyer

I’ll let you know how our crystals turn out!  Let me know if you decide to make your own Princess Crystals!

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Scientific Celery (gotta do something with it, no one will eat it)

Last Sunday night I started a science project for my girls.  I knew it would take a day or two to really show up, especially with wilty looking celery, so I best get it started before time to talk about what was happening.  Unfortunately the week got away from me.  We did talk briefly about what was going on, but mostly it was “wow that looks cool” and off they went.

 
I can’t seem to find the science project book I have that had this experiment in it, so I went online and found these fun sites:
 
  • Science Fair Adventure – they have detailed times to check the celery and report the new changes!
  • A to Z’s Home’s Cool Homeschooling – didn’t see this project but they had tons more, even for higher grades, some with wonderful YouTube videos!
  • The Homeschool Den – this family impressed me!  They did a whole month of science experiments!  What a way to survive a dreary January when everyone is stir crazy and tired of book work! **totally stealing this idea**

Let us know what your newest, craziest, or messiest science project has been this year!  Leave us a link! (I’m always on the lookout for new ideas)

Lesson in States of Matter, with snacks!

Let me confess, up front, that I walked in on a PBS show where the classroom was doing this and I thought it was a great idea! I’m trying to give credit where it’s due, but I don’t know which show they were watching (probably Sid the Science Kid).

The teacher filled a small shoe box tub with water, about 1/2 full or so, and froze it.  Then she layed in a layer of lemons, grapes, etc. and added some more water and froze that.  Looked like she may have done even another layer of water after that.  I’m thinking I’ll do a small block then set it inside a bigger one and so on so my layers are all around.

Then they flipped the ice block out and put it onto a deep tray (hmm.. roasting pan maybe?).  The kids took turns touching the ice, drawing pictures of the ice with the fruit ‘floating’ in it.  As they did work, and talked about ice, it started to melt.  After a while the kids could pick off the ‘snacks’, and the conversation moved to discussing the liquid state.

With it being so cold outside and everything so frozen I think this might be a fun activity for my girls to do.  We might even break out a hair dryer to speed it up a little.  Doodlebug is old enough to boil water, maybe we’ll take the melted liquid and move it to a pan where she can watch it become vapor.

ohh the ideas!

Here’s a cool site (FREE) that I found on states of matter… called Chem4Kids.com!
**no affiliation, just sharing a cool find**