We play with baking soda and vinegar so much that sometimes its a stretch to find new ways of exploring this early science principle. I put together this activity for LittleMan and our neighbor’s daughter recently and it was just such a hit.
First I started with a tray of clear shot glasses and two pitchers of clear liquid.
I sat in front of the children pouring from one pitcher into half of the cups, then pouring from the other pitcher to fill the rest of the cups.
I then took out three bottles of food coloring: red, blue, and yellow. I randomly added a drop of food coloring to each cup and swished it to mix.
Then I gave the children a bowl of baking soda and spoons.
The first thing the children did was scoop baking soda and dump it into the various cups.
The other day I was setting up for an activity outside when I discovered a special little visitor hiding under our paddling pool. I quickly grabbed a critter-keeper from our shed and secured him so the children could get a good look. Their fascination with our new friend, “Mr Croak” inspired me to throw together a quick activity to learn about frogs. While they were preoccupied with snack time I quickly printed and cut out some frog anatomy nomenclature cards for free from Montessori Print Shop and pulled all of our frog books from the shelf.
First the children worked with the cards as they normally would, but stopping occasionally to compare the photos with Mr Croak. We talked about the uses of webbed feet and strong hind legs. Diet and habitat were also discussed.
We’re capping off rainbow week with a hands-on exploration of color mixing.
I set up outdoor stations, one per paddling pool, dressed the kids in their swimsuits and let them loose.
Its been raining here a lot lately. And rain of course means puddles, glorious muddy puddles to stomp and splash in.
Beyond stomping in puddles, I thought it might be fun to have boats. Our last attempt to make boats was a complete fail. I’m still not sure what we did wrong. I made walnut shell boats as a child and they always floated just fine, but these ones sunk to the bottom immediately.
So today, in order to avoid the disappointment of two failures in a row, I opted to use something I knew would float: ice.
I filled an ice cube tray with water, put a toothpick in each one, and added food coloring. For sails I just wrapped a piece of masking tape around each toothpick. It wasn’t pretty but the kids didn’t care, they had fun.
In an ideal world we’d live in small house with a large backyard, and we would be able to keep hens for eggs, perhaps a pygmy goat. I had one as a child and they really are delightful pets. But back to the subject at hand, a personal petting zoo isn’t really an option when you live in an apartment. Luckily for us, our apartment complex is dotted with beautiful full-grown trees everywhere you look. Along with trees comes wildlife. Wood bees. Moths the size of your fist. Metallic ground beetles. And the birds, ugh. Cardinals. Wrens. Robins. Just last week we found some beautiful pieces of robin’s eggs on our patio! I suspect there is a nest in my upstairs neighbor’s rafters.
We are so very, very blessed to have all of these wonderful teaching moments available to us, surrounding us. So today the Homeschooler family focused our attention on the wildlife in our own front yard.
We started off making bird feeders for the large tree about 15 feet from our patio.
Yesterday I spoke about the influence of Montessori in our home but I left out one of the most treasured gems we have:
our recently added nature table.
Now, I’ve seen some pretty amazing nature tables online. Ours is…not that extravagant. Nor that beautiful.
Its ours and we love it!
Last week our family did our first grocery trip of our no spend month and we had all agreed that we would only buy what was on the list, so I made sure to put a couple small treats that we don’t normally get on the list. The first of those treats was a box of generic Fruit Loops.
I am all about stretching a dollar and I couldn’t help but wonder, “how much could we do with a single box of generic Fruit Loop cereal?”
We had a ton of fun answering that question!
Here’s what we came up with…