Easy Magic Slider Notes 

magic slider pic

My kids and I love magic slider cards but the YouTube tutorials I found looked pretty labor intensive.  Allie wanted me to make her one but I knew I did not have the patience for a complicated craft. So for her first day of first grade I decided to surprise her with an easy-to-make magic slider note in her lunchbox.  She was so excited and your kids will love them too!

Here’s what you need:

  • cardstock
  • free lunchbox note printable here
  • sandwich size Ziploc bag
  • black permanent marker
  • clear tape
  • Post it pulls
  • scissors

Here’s how:

  1. Cut out printables along with a blank piece of cardstock (to place on top)
  2. Tape the printed note on the back and place in Ziploc bag
  3. Place blank card on top of printed note
  4. Cut Ziploc bag around note and tape one side to make a pocket
  5. Place Post-It Pull on back side of blank note
  6. Trace outline of image with permanent marker on plastic
  7. Voila! EASY magic slider card for a surprise lunch note!

How to video:

What’s the science? Magic slider is a type of optical illusion. Put these together with your child and see if they can figure out how to do it without the instructions. It will inspire their curiosity which of course is what science is all about!

I hope you love these cards and they put a little magic into their school year!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, 5 minute experiments, gift guides, he loves science too!, how to videos, lovely conversations Tags: ,
6 Amazing STEM Apps for Girls

STEM Apps

I’ll admit, I was a complete newbie when it came to finding educational apps for my kids. Honestly, I’m still overwhelmed with all the options out there. So, over the past year I decided to try out 6 apps with the hopes of building my daughter’s STEM skills. So far, these are her favorites (and mine too!)

SCIENCE:

humanbody The Human Body – This is an interactive model of the human body and by far the COOLEST app I’ve ever seen. She can see what happens to the nervous system when a bee stings, watch the circulatory system pump blood, and yes, watch a digestive system in all its glory.

crazygears Crazy Gears – This is a game using gears, magnets, engines, and chain reactions to lift doors to the next level.  I never mind when the kids ask for help because we end up talking through the solution together.

TECHNOLOGY:

daisy Daisy the Dinosaur – If you want to introduce basic computer programming to your kids this one if amazing. The object of the game is to do “drag and drop” coding to make Daisy the Dino jump, turn, shrink, and spin. I found that it’s also a great conversation starter about how apps are made possible through programming!

ENGINEERING:

water Where’s My Water – This is by far her FAVORITE app. The object of the game is to get trapped water to Swampy the Alligator’s bathtub. The levels increase in difficulty by combining obstacles of acid, algae, and steam. It’s all about problem solving and imagining how fluids will flow.

shaun Shaun the Sheep – If you are familiar with the TV show Shaun the Sheep (and we are huge fans around here) then she’ll love helping Shaun get his lamb friends out of all sorts of scrapes. It’s another problem solving app that I even catch Allie’s dad playing too!

MATH:

mathfish  Hungry Fish – Learn addition and subtraction by combining bubbles and feeding a fish with numbers. I’ve found it increases her math speed, helps with number recognition, and is a great alternative to flashcards!

There you have it, our favorite STEM apps. I’d love to hear what your favorite apps are too! Leave a message in the comments below!

Categories: he loves science too!, lovely conversations, STEM Tags:
Catch a wave in a bottle 

We had an amazing beach trip to Perdido Key, FL a few weeks ago.  Allie and Avery enjoyed the sand but Andrew was not so happy with the sand OR the waves. He preferred to go to the nearby pool and swim.  At one point he asked us how he could turn off the waves and get rid of the sand!

Needless to say I thought he would appreciate this experiment by keeping the waves IN a bottle.

Here’s what you need:

  • empty bottle (these are nice since they are only $1 at Target)
  • vegetable oil
  • water
  • sea creatures  (I used these…)

Here’s how to make your wave in a bottle:

  • fill the bottle halfway with water
  • put a few drops of blue food coloring in water
  • place sea creatures in bottle
  • fill the bottle the rest of the way with vegetable oil
  • take super glue or a hot glue gun and seal off the lid (to prevent oily messes!)

What’s the science? This is a lesson on density and what liquids will float on top of each other. Like salad dressing, the vegetable oil floats on top of the water. Its fun to see where the sea creatures end up floating. Ours always tend to stay right at the water/oil interface.

Andrew thought this was pretty amazing to watch a wave this way…. Thanks to seeing “Finding Dory” early this summer he wanted to know where his favorite creature Hank the Octopus was!

I thought you’d like to see a few pictures from our Florida trip…

We stayed up late to catch sand crabs one night… Allie caught them with her bare hands! Andrew enjoyed checking them out in the bucket!

When the littles were napping, we stayed inside and played games. Allie loved playing Periodic Table Battle ship. Guess who was wining? You can find the instructions here.

And of course Miss Avery thoroughly enjoyed the white sand of Florida. It was a sensory experience at is finest!

This was a great experiment to remember the summer days… We hope you have an amazing start back to school.

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, he loves science too!, Summer Bucket List
5 Science in a Bottle Experiments


It’s safe to say I will never look at an empty 2L bottle the same way again. Now that I’ve had the pleasure of doing several science demonstrations, I’ve learned that there are at least 5 amazing experiments you can keep mostly contained to a 2L bottle.

The best thing though is watching the kids come back to see the experiment over and over again. You can see their little gears spinning each time they observe it with new guesses and theories.

Note: I’ve rated these experiments from 0 to 10 (0 being the least messy and 10 being the most messy) so you can choose the level of clean up afterwards. (You can thank me later!)

Tornado in a Bottle (Messy rating = 0)

This one is just mesmerizing. Kids and adults alike will stop and try it out. You can make it even more fun by adding glitter and a few sponge animals to recreate the movie Twister. I’ve also found that it calms down kiddos so they are ready for a nap… score 1 for Mom! Check it out here.

Bottle Diver Experiment  (Messy rating = 2)

I’ve been wanting to try this experiment (also called Cartesian Diver) for a long time but was majorly nervous that it wouldn’t work. Then I found Danielle’s site with amazing step by step instructions here. It turns out this is amazingly simple and it is fascinating to watch!

(The messy rating is a 2 because if the diver’s “tank” gets flooded then you have to fish him out of the bottle by dumping all the water out and filling the bottle back up.)

Blowing up a Balloon with Yeast (Messy rating = 3)

This is a classic experiment you’ve got to try if you are into making homemade bread. It helped answer Allie’s question abut why bread can be so fluffy. Check it out here.

024

Groovy Lava Lamps (Messy rating = 5)

The messy rating is going up but all you need for this one is a water bottle, water, vegetable oil, and Alka Seltzer tablets. The messy rating is a 5 because I have anxious kiddos who like to toss lots of Alka Seltzer tablets in already bubbling bottle of oily water. I’d advise doing the experiment over a pie plate to catch the oily water. Check out our lava lamp here.

A Mentos Geyser (Messy rating = 10… I think you can imagine why!)

Technically this does not start with an empty bottle but it will become empty in less than 15 seconds after this explosive experiment. I suggest you do it outside around a sprinkler or a pool for easy cleanup. Trust me, you will become an instant science celebrity to your kids! Check out Andrew’s birthday Mentos geyser here.

rockCan you think of other experiments in a bottle? I’d love to add your suggestions to the list!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, he loves science too!, Science Shows, Summer Bucket List Tags: , , , ,