Saturday, July 21, 2012

Science Experiment: Mentos and What??

For my daughter's Science Birthday I was dying to do the famous Mentos and Diet Coke explosion experiment.  It is so cool looking.  But... it's not that pretty.  So for the Sparkly Science party, we decided we'd test out different kinds of sodas. We did the Diet Coke, but we also did Diet Cherry 7-Up, and diet orange soda.  It was awesome!  All the sodas worked just fine, and since we had a variety of drinks the kids could compare to see which went the highest!  I preferred the colored choices for sheer coolness factor, and they went plenty high!  Here are some pics

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Globe Pillow =)

I made this fleece floor pillow for my godson Everett!  His room has an adventure/map sort of feel, so I thought this might work well.  I chose the fleece so I didn't have to worry about raveling.  I just used steam a seam for the applique, sewed around it with my machine to make sure it wouldn't come loose, and that was it!  I lost Madagascar somewhere but other than that it's great! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Birthday Balloon Surprise =)

Since we celebrated her birthday party on Saturday, I didn't plan to do much for Serenity's actual birthday.  I promised we'd make cupcakes together since we had birthday pancakes at her party.  At the last minute though I headed out to the dollar tree to pick up a dozen mylar balloons.  We filled her room with them so she'd wake up to a happy birthday surprise!  She LOVED it!  We woke up to her happy shouts of "Balloon!  Balloon!"  Donovan soon ran to join her and added his, "Boon!  Boon!"  He was mesmerized.  I got a variety, so Serenity sorted her balloons into stars, flowers, circles, and then by color. =)  And she counted them.  So we had a little learning fun too. 

Planned Discoveries: Doctor's Office

A few things I've been reading on the internet came together last night!  One blog I follow (Momformation) recommended the show Doc MacStuffins.  It's a Disney Jr. show about a little girl who is a toy doctor...she fixes all her sick toys.  Then, I read another site about "planned discoveries."  I also saw something similar on Teach Preschool.The basic idea is to set up a vignette of some sort for the kids to come across and play with however they want.  Since today is Serenity's four year old checkup, I thought it was a great time to try this out! 

After she went to bed, I set up our game table with an assortment of doctor tools.  Our play doctor kit includes a stethoscope, otoscope, blood pressure cuff, thermometer, and syringe.  To this I added some cotton balls, a craft stick to use as a tongue depressor, an ace bandage, a clipboard, a medicine dropper or two, her lab coat from her birthday, and a box of real bandaids.  The bandaids were the biggest hit of course.  I set out a few stuffed animals, and they all immediately had boo boos.  After she asked in an awed and disbelieving voice, "can I give them REAL bandaids?"  She also asked for some tweezers, which we had from her Primary Science Set.  She performed a splinter removal operation, which she followed with a bandaid and a sticker as Lambie had been so brave.  She has played with this stuff for a couple of hours now!  I love listening to her creative play as she treats her animals and fixes them right up.  She's coming up with all kinds of stories and comforting her little patients.  Too cute. 

Totally worth the box of bandaids.  If only she didn't need a doctor's assistant to pick up all the wrappers. =) 

The bonus is, the doctor kit is something she doesn't really play with much.  So getting it out and putting it in an obvious place like this is better than buying her a brand new toy =) 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Serenity's Fourth Birthday Party!

Serenity's Birthday Party Journal

The theme for Serenity's fourth birthday party was Sparkly Science!  Her favorite subject in school this year was science, and sparkly crafts rule in this house.  Plus they both start with the letter S, and she is all about that.  We had sparkly explosions, glitter jars, and mentos geysers.  Plus festive breakfast food, with a syrup experiment in test tubes!

Serenity's party was SO much fun!  For the kids too =)  I set up the experiment table about an hour before the party started, and Serenity couldn't wait to get started.  By the time the guests arrived her fingers were already dyed from the food coloring and all the cups were full of black water.  I dumped those and made new colored vinegar for the first experiment. 

When most of the guests arrived, we got started with the outdoor experiments.  We lucked out with the weather, it was nice and cool so we could have done it all outside, but originally I'd planned to do just the Sparkly Explosions outside.  Sparkly explosions were vinegar, baking soda, food coloring and glitter.  We explored this reaction both directions.  On one table I had trays set up with baking soda, cups with colored vinegar, and pipettes.  The kids squirted pipettes onto the baking soda, watched the little fizzes, and mixed colors.  Serenity was so excited already, she kept saying, "oh, oh, my fizzes!!!"   The next table had the volcano setup.  I got lots of gatorade bottles thanks to Dad, and I had bought a pound of glitter from oriental trading.  The kids got to mix their colors of choice, glitter, and baking soda.  Then we used squirt bottles to quickly add vinegar.  The sparkles were spectacular!  By the end of the party, the table was a solid mass of glitter.  The kids kept coming back to this until the entire two gallons of vinegar I'd bought were gone.  I have to say though, I thought the explosions were even more fun in the little clear plastic cups I used to hold the vinegar.  After they'd colored the entire trays of baking soda in truly beautiful swirly colors, Samantha and Serenity went back after the party was done and dropped big spoonfuls of the baking soda into the vinegar that was mixed with colored water.  I think this looked more spectacular because the food coloring was so much brighter that way, and it took less to overflow the cup. =)  And the mess is the best part!

After the Sparkly Explosions, we came in and explored density with our Glitter Jars.  These are all over the internet right now.  Some people use them as Calm Down or Time Out Jars.  I just like them cause they're pretty, and glittery was the name of the day. =)  For this we used fine glitter, glitter glue, clear glue, and a variety of sequins.  We had food coloring, but that backfired a bit.  Too much food coloring and you can't really see your glitter.  Serenity's turned out awesome, pink glitter glue and aqua glitter, plus every shape sequin you could find.  It's almost like an I-Spy Jar.  I hot glued all the lids shut, and I just have to say, hot gluing in a hurry is a baaaad idea.  Take your time, and use a low temp glue gun =) 

As people finished their jars, pancakes and eggs were coming off the griddles.  The birthday girl loves breakfast foods, so that was the menu.  I ordered custom donuts shaped like beakers and test tubes.  I made mini monkey breads, partially because they are delicious, but mostly because I wanted some place to put the cupcake toppers I made.  My sister was in charge of the griddle and made scrambled eggs.  She even put the sprinkles on top of Serenity's pancake stack in the shape of an S.  Serenity is addicted to letters, part of the reason the party is Sparkly Science is because they both start with the letter S.  We had strawberries too for that reason. =)  The experiment part of breakfast came in with the syrups.  I filled test tubes with six different kinds of syrups for people to mix and match.  Serenity asked for pancakes the next three days so she could continue to play with her syrup stash.  Oh, we also had fruit to try and balance some of the sugar.  =)  And I made gluten free donuts with the help of my Mom's fancy little donut maker. 
I'm bummed, I forgot to take pictures of the donut beakers and test tubes!  Fortunately Corwyn modeled them for me =)

After the food, we did our traditional fishing.  The kids get so excited for those dollar store prizes!  Serenity got a glow stick wand with a Grand Old Flag on top.  And she got the leftovers later too. ;) 

The final big experiment was the awesome Mentos and Diet Coke experiment.  Actually, we got diet orange soda and diet Cherry 7-Up.  So our experiment was to see which one worked the best.  I think they all worked fine.  The Diet Coke maybe went slightly higher than the Cherry 7-Up, but the 7-Up was pink and pretty.  This is always a crowd favorite.  We got the Geyser Tube from Steve Spangler which made it so easy, and it was fun to play with the different tops.  The kids loved counting down to Blast Off! 

After that it was mostly free play.  Serenity opened her wonderful presents (so fast I might not have written down everything people got her, so if your thank you note is wrong, I'm so sorry!  Just know she loved and plays with all her new things even if she thanks you for the wrong one ;)  I did get out the gak for my nephews to make at the end.  Unfortunately, I ended up with a teal carpet for that one.  So it's probably better outside or at least in the kitchen.  Or just keep an eye on the ten year old with the bright blue glue. =)  It did come up from the carpet for the most part.  Miraculously.  Or not, since I'm aching to tear out that carpet.  =) 

Oh, I forgot to write about the favors!  When they arrived at the party, each child was greeted with Safety Glasses, lab coats, and nametags.  The glasses were definitely a big hit.  Oh, and magnifying glasses too.  I got pictures of a few of the guests in front of the Sparkly Science backdrop.  That's still up, I'm still reveling in my success with the Silhouette.  I may have to hang it in Serenity's room, it matches. 

The party was a blast, and Serenity kept experimenting with Samantha until it got dark.  And she hasn't stopped since then, we've done dancing raisins, shiny pennies, color mixing, and just random concoctions of glitter, water, and flowers.  I love it, and I love how creatively she can play with all the science tools I got for the party.  The day after her party she woke up, gave me a big hug, and said "thank you for making me such a nice party."  I am so lucky. =)  She's my sweetheart. 
A little glitter aftermath

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Science Experiments: Coloring Flowers and Sense of Smell

Well, ever since Serenity's birthday last week, we've been doing science experiments nearly every day!  (I promise I'm going to write and post about the party very soon!  I just have to catch up on their baby journals first)  Anyway, today we had two experiments, mostly using our great test tube set from Oriental Trading. The first was the Sense of Smell!

I went around the house collecting different smelly things, like perfume, coffee, vanilla, almond extract, lemon zest, cinnamon, curry, etc.  The liquids I squirted onto a cotton ball, and then put each thing in a test tube.  Serenity and her Daddy took turns guessing the scents with their eyes closed.  Of course, Daddy was better about keeping his eyes closed, but they both enjoyed the experiment!  I turned Serenity loose with the ingredients for the rest of the day, and she had a blast adding water, mixing spices, and creating all kinds of crazy concoctions!  She did taste some, so next time maybe I'll make them all edible as I just hope she didn't drink any of the water she added to the perfume vial. 

The next experiment we really just set up tonight, hopefully we will see interesting results in the morning!  I picked up a bunch of carnations and a stalk of celery.  We filled test tubes and beakers with colored water and put one flower or stalk of celery in each.  Tomorrow we can talk about how plants absorb water!  I LOVE this experiment!  I almost made it as a centerpiece for the science party, and then I remembered that we weren't really planning to ever sit down for the party. =)  I know, I'm a tease, but I'll share party details soon! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Science Signage

I've finally settled on the experiments for the party!  We're going to start with Glittery Volcanoes (vinegar and baking soda), then do Glitter Jars (we can discuss viscosity and surface tension, and play with glitter and sequins =)  If we have time, we can do Marker Chromatography and make Sparkly Gak.  We'll finish up with some Mentos and Diet Coke.  Here is the signage I made for each experiment.  After the party I promise to post how each experiment works!

I used the Candice font and Girls Are Weird.  The papers are from the same set I got for the Invitations. =)