Monday, February 16, 2015

Fizzing Hearts Valentine's Day Science Experiment

Obviously, Valentine's Day is over and we had tons of activities and crafts that never made it to the blog.  That is the problem with trying to work full time, be a Mommy of 5, and keep up with a blog. Sometimes activities that I really want to share just don't make it to the blog in time.  This activity, though, is just too fun and too versatile not to share.  I'm sure you've seen lots of versions of this.  It is all over the blogosphere and for good reason!

A few weeks ago, the big kids were home for a snow day so we decided to have a little science fun. For our exploration we used:
Heart Cookie Cutter Set
Baking Soda
Vinegar
Eye Droppers
food coloring

My older boys love to be my big helpers when they're home so they had fun setting this invitation up for the Daycare kids.  I put a beach towel over the table to help contain spills and we put the cookie cutters on a  cookie sheet.  My 9 and 6-year-olds filled the cookie cutters with baking soda.
Fizzing Hearts Valentine Science Exploration - This would be fun for any time!  Just change out the cookie cutters! 
Then, we filled a few ramekins with white vinegar and added food coloring to make it more fun for the kids.  Setting up was a great time to work with colors and counting with the little ones.  We talked about the different colors of food coloring and made purple by combining red and blue.  Then, we counted how many spoonfuls of baking soda could fit into each cookie cutter, being sure to point out that the big cookie cutters could hold more spoonfuls than the small cookie cutters.  It seems so simple, but this is really how my 2 and 3-year-olds learn their colors, numbers, shapes, and vocabulary.
  Fizzing Hearts Valentine Science Exploration - This would be fun for any time!  Just change out the cookie cutters! 
Once everything was set up the kids took turns (at first) using the droppers to add vinegar to the baking soda.  They were so excited to watch the hearts fizz and bubble.  We did this one at a time at first so the kids could really focus on listening to the baking soda fizz and watching it change colors.  My 3rd grader was able to appreciate this as a chemical change and my 2-year-old was just happy to make it fizz!
Fizzing Hearts Valentine Science Exploration - This would be fun for any time!  Just change out the cookie cutters! 
After everyone had a chance to be the "star scientist", I let the kids explore adding more vinegar and baking soda as necessary.  Fizzing Hearts Valentine Science Exploration - This would be fun for any time!  Just change out the cookie cutters! This was a fun way to work on fine motor skills as the little ones practiced squeezing liquid into and out of the eye droppers.  And, I loved watching the older ones help my toddlers so they could participate in the fun!  This would be a great activity for sibling bonding of all ages!Fizzing Hearts Valentine Science Exploration - This would be fun for any time!  Just change out the cookie cutters! This kept the kids busy for quite awhile even after the fizzing stopped.Fizzing Hearts Valentine Science Exploration - This would be fun for any time!  Just change out the cookie cutters! Everyone was working so well together!
  Fizzing Hearts Valentine Science Exploration - This would be fun for any time!  Just change out the cookie cutters! 
Before we finished, we had to try at least one traditional volcano by dumping some more baking soda in a small cup with a little food coloring and some glitter.  Isn't everything better with glitter?Fizzing Hearts Valentine Science Exploration - This would be fun for any time!  Just change out the cookie cutters!

You may also like:
Scented Valentine Dough with 3 basic ingredients and it smells SO GOOD!

Hidden Valentine Messages- Preschool Art Project - Mamas Like Me



Monday, February 9, 2015

Melt My Heart Valentine's Day Science Experiment

I have been wanting to do a salt and ice experiment with the kids for awhile now, so when I stumbled across these Wilton Heart Cookie Treats Pan in my holiday boxes, I knew it was time to act.  The kids had so much fun with this and it was a great way to engage our sense of sight and touch (and yes, some of them got a little taste in there, as well)!
  Melt My Heart Science Experiment for Kids - this looks like so much fun! 
For our experiment, I used two different pans.  One was a Wilton Mini Ball Pan and the other was a Wilton Heart Cookie Treats Pan .  I also used some plastic heart molds to show that size makes a difference in how quickly the hearts melted.  To keep the water from leaking, I used some painter's tape to cover the groove where the sticks would be inserted.  It did the trick for us and I froze everything overnight so it would be ready for our experiment bright and early.Melt My Heart Science Experiment for Kids - this looks like so much fun! To help the ice cubs come out easily, I dipped the bottom of the pan in a shallow pan of warm water.  Most came out perfectly, but a few broke and the kids didn't mind at all.  Just tell the kids they're "broken hearts"!  We put our hearts on a cookie sheet and got to work.Melt My Heart Science Experiment for Kids - this looks like so much fun! Before we got started with the salt, the kids all took turns touching the ice and describing what they felt.  I heard lots of cold and smooth.  Then, we talked about what would make the ice melt.  We decided that we could put them in the sun and they would melt, but then I told them that we could make some melt even faster by using salt.  The kids all took turns shaking salt onto the hearts.  Using a salt shaker helped to keep the little ones from just dumping salt and not being able to see the effects.Melt My Heart Science Experiment for Kids - this looks like so much fun! We were able to see ridges and holes from the salt almost immediately, but then we added some food coloring and we were really able to see what the salt was doing.  The kids loved this part! Melt My Heart Science Experiment for Kids - this looks like so much fun! I held some of the hearts up to the window so the kids could see how the salt was starting to eat through the ice and where the food coloring was seeping in.  This is such a cool effect! Melt My Heart Science Experiment for Kids - this looks like so much fun! After awhile we grabbed the eye droppers and had fun squeezing the colored water back onto our ice.  The kids interacted with this experiment for about 40 minutes, which is amazing when you consider how long 2 and 3-year-olds typically sit still for!Melt My Heart Science Experiment for Kids - this looks like so much fun!

Now, we just need another good snow and ice storm so the kids can really appreciate why the plows are putting salt on the road!

You may also like:



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Scented Valentine Sensory Dough

Over the past year, my kids have really enjoyed exploring different types of sensory doughs and bins.  At first, I was so nervous to experiment with my own.  I assumed there must be some recipe I had to follow to make the perfect dough.  Over the last few months, though, I've discovered that most sensory dough recipes must come from a mom looking in her pantry and bathroom cabinets thinking, "how am I going to keep these kids occupied today?".  At least, I know that's where most of mine come from.  So, without further adieu, here is my "recipe" for Valentine Sensory Dough.  It makes more of a kinetic sand/moon dough  than a traditional play dough and my kids LOVED it!
Scented Valentine Dough with 3 basic ingredients and it smells SO GOOD!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

In Defense of Similac - Can't We All Just Get Along

You've probably seen the latest Similac commercial floating around. If you haven't seen it, the commercial portrays several parenting stereotypes and then brings them all together.  Check out the link if you haven't seen it.  It's worth watching.  When I saw it, I cried.  Maybe it's the raging baby hormones or the fact that since I became a mom, I can't look at a baby commercial without tearing up.

I thought, "Good for them. Way to deal with a bigger issue than which type of formula is gentler."   For me, it highlighted how ridiculous we all look, standing in our corners touting our own beliefs.  It always makes me smile when authors choose to highlight the fact that we're all moms, we're all in this together.  I think that's a message we need to hear and see over and over until it actually sinks in. We don't need to agree on everything.  We don't even need to like each other's decisions.  We can all come together on the single premise that we're moms and we love our kids.
 photo DSC_0930edit2_zpsrn8f1pe2.jpg

Monday, February 2, 2015

We Love Books February Reading Incentive Board

Want more ideas for spending time with your kids?  Be sure to follow us on our Facebook orPinterest pages and sign up for emails to keep up with all the latest crafts, activities, and kid-friendly recipes! 

When I was in the classroom, I used Bulletin Boards and displays throughout the year to get the kids excited about Reading. Now that I'm home, we try to do "door boards". I find they're just as exciting at home and can create enthusiasm for holidays, working on specific behaviors, and (of course) reading. The kids especially loved our Countdown to Halloween door and our Easy Advent Tree door.
We Love Books Bulletin Board - This is a great way to encourage reading in February!  Free Printable for home or school!
My 6-year-old is a bit of a reluctant reader right now.  He wants to read the chapter books that his older brother is reading, but he's just not ready for Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.  I whipped up this quick We Love Books printable to encourage him to read more books on his level throughout the month of February. Right now, he's excited about reading to me and being able to fill out his own hearts. It's a great reminder for me that I need to make time with him each day for reading. Something I know, but often forget in the evening rush hour!
We Love Books Bulletin Board - This is a great way to encourage reading in February!  Free Printable for home or school!
I added a simple "We Love Books" sign to the door and then printed up a bunch of the hearts for the kids to use in different colors.  The hearts are designed for all different ages.  The ones that I'm using with my Daycare Kids just include the title, author, and why we love the book.  Others include story elements like main characters, setting, and problem.
We Love Books Bulletin Board - This is a great way to encourage reading in February!  Free Printable for home or school!
My oldest son gravitated to it right away and wanted to fill one in as soon as he finished his latest book.  My 6-year-old is slowly coming around to the idea and likes that he can fill out more hearts than his brother because the books he is reading to me are shorter!  Of course, the Daycare Kids love that we're going to cover the door in hearts and their parents get to see all the fun books that we're reading.
We Love Books Bulletin Board - This is a great way to encourage reading in February!  Free Printable for home or school!
At the end of the month, I'll share the list of all of our favorite books!



You may also like:
Sight Word Pop and Other Sight Word Activities - Mamas Like Me


 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Shape Snowman Puppet and Book List

Want more ideas for spending time with your kids?  Be sure to follow us on our Facebook orPinterest pages and sign up for emails to keep up with all the latest crafts, activities, and kid-friendly recipes!  

I love doing crafts with the kids to help work on shapes and colors.  They love to create and they don't realize that we're really reviewing lots of information while developing fine motor skills.  The holidays give us lots of excuses for crafting like our Shape Witches, Shape Trees and our Shape Vehicles.  These snowman puppets were so much fun for the kids and we were able to use them later in the day for story time!
 Shape Snowman Puppet - includes a list of Snowman Books for Kids!
For our puppets, we used:
White Paper Lunch Bags
Black, brown, and orange construction paper
Buttons, Googly eyes, and foam stickers courtesy of craftprojectideas.com
Felt - various colors
Scissors
Glue

Shape Snowman Puppet - includes a list of Snowman Books for Kids!

Before we began, I cut the basic shapes that we would need for our puppets.  The kids helped identify each color and shape that I was making.

Each child needs:
1 large black square (hat)
1 long rectangle (brim of the hat)
2 long brown rectangles (arms)
1-2 small brown rectangles ("hands")
1 orange triangle (nose)Shape Snowman Puppet - includes a list of Snowman Books for Kids!

After identifying each shape, we got to work creating our snowmen.  For the glue we used a paintbrush instead of a glue bottle, which made it easier for the little kids to craft.Shape Snowman Puppet - includes a list of Snowman Books for Kids!

The kids chose their own buttons and flowers to decorate their snowmen.  The buttons and eyes served as our circles.  They practiced their fine motor skills removing the backs from the foam stickers and manipulating the small pieces just how they wanted them.
 Shape Snowman Puppet - includes a list of Snowman Books for Kids!

Each of the puppets turned out a little different and reflected it's creator.  This one happened to be mine that I showed the kids as an example.Shape Snowman Puppet - includes a list of Snowman Books for Kids!

We used our snowman while we read Sneezy the Snowman which is one of my 6-year-old's current favorites.  This is the story of a snowman who does lots of things to keep warm with lots of silly results!


Snowballs by Lois Ehlert
 

Snowmen at Night


100 Snowmen


Snowman's Story (wordless book)


You might also like: