Skittles Experiment

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I’ve seen this experiment several places online and the results looked so impressive that I just had to try it out with the kids.  Check out the beautiful pics of our Skittles experiment!  I know that we’ll be repeating this experiment to see the beautiful color combinations–probably whenever we have company over.  They’ll think we’re magicians!

Materials:

  • Skittles
  • large plate
  • warm/hot water
  • measuring cup

Directions:

  1. Arrange Skittles in a circle around the outside edge of the plate, making sure to alternate colors.  Plate should sit on a level surface.  (This really does affect the outcome of the experiment!)
  2. Pour warm water in the middle of the plate so that it spreads out just beyond the line of Skittles.
  3. Watch closely because the colors will disperse fairly quickly.  Try not to shake the plate or it will cause the colors to shift about and muddy.

This experiment is a fun jumping off point for talking about diffusion.  You can see that concept in action by watching the colors diffuse through the water.

 

Marshmallow Painting — Art

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This is a very easy art method to use with your children.  We simply squirted out blobs of different colored tempera paint onto foam plates and dot-painted with marshmallows.

You can use mini, regular-sized or jumbo ones.  You can even find novelty-shaped marshmallows during the holidays.

Just be prepared to let your kids eat a few marshmallows on the side!

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My youngest daughter enjoyed making an abstract picture.

Maker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects by Jack Challoner

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This post contains an affiliate link.

I found Maker Lab when we went to the library in a nearby town.  I was hoping that we would be able to do a few of the projects in our homeschooling, but that will have to wait.  We’re packing up to move and most of our supplies are languishing in storage right now.

Premise:

This book is aimed at kids who want to do their own maker projects.  The 28 projects fall into four categories: Food For Thought, Around the Home, Water World, and The Great Outdoors.  Each project has a supply list, clear instructions, a sample, and a short explanation about how it works.  The pictures are colorful and engaging, and enhanced by whimsical doodles.  There is also a short glossary at the end of the book to explain some of the more scientific terms.

My thoughts:

If I were a child, I would want this book!  That’s because I’m a perpetual crafter/project-tackler.  Any child who enjoys doing those hands-on projects will get excited when they see the awesome projects they can complete themselves.

The illustrations and projects are great, but there are only 28 total projects.  So while this is a fun book, it will not keep the dedicated project-maker occupied for too long.  Once you’ve tackled all of the projects, it would be a nice gesture to pass it on to a friend.

I would recommend this book for children of all ages.  The younger ones will need help with the projects, and the older ones will gain satisfaction from completing the projects on their own.

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Cake Decorating – Art

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Cake decorating is a fun, edible form of artwork that you can do with your children!  The cake above is one that we did for Halloween one year.  My son found the design in a book and asked if we could recreate it.  We were very happy with the results.

The thing I like best about this type of cake is that it doesn’t depend on stellar frosting skills.  As long as you can get a basic coating of frosting on there, the rest is fairly simple.  It’s just a matter of assembling the different components and arranging them on the cake.  This is my favorite way of decorating cakes.

Decorating a cake this way, as opposed to using six different colors of frosting, five different decorating tips, and several custom cake decorating gadgets, is so easy that your kids could even lead the charge.  And there’s something magical about a cake when the design becomes 3-D.

Your kids will learn all about design, mixing colors, food artistry, flow and form, and how to translate their design into physical components.  It’s a great learning opportunity and you get to eat it when it’s done!  What could be better?

5 Educational Videos – Pt. 1

I’m transferring a bunch of posts from an old blog of mine, so get ready to be inundated!  Here’s the first one!

My kids are addicted to TV.  Any chance they get, they’re clamoring for a chance to watch a full-length movie, a cartoon episode, anything at all, so long as it appears on the television screen.  I would like to cut down on the frivolous things they watch, and promote educational viewing instead.  I’ll be doing a little experiment with educational videos and see what the results are.  Here are the videos we’ve watched this week.  I think I’ll stick to one video per day (depending on length), in the morning, so that we have a chance to think over and discuss it throughout the day.

How Sugar Affects the Brain

Pizza Physics

Should We Eat Bugs?

The Arctic vs. the Antarctic

What’s Below the Tip of the Iceberg?

After watching the bug video, we had a short discussion on which of us would be willing to eat bugs, what type, and the method of preparation.  The kids said they’d be willing to try chocolate covered bugs, I would try insect flour, hubby would try pretty much anything, and one child was not at all willing.  I quick got online and bought some mealworms.  Let’s try this out before I chicken out!