Learn Binary Code with a Valentines Twizzler Necklace

What’s more fun than an edible candy necklace? It’s a candy necklace with a secret message!   Every year I pursue Pinterest to find a fun easy class Valentines card for my kids. This year I thought why not make it a fun learning activity too since Allie is old enough to help me assemble them.

I ran this idea past her and we thought the secret code could be the computer language of the ASCII alphabet.  This alphabet is made up of 1’s and 0’s (a binary code) and can be deciphered using two different colored Twizzlers.

What you need: Rainbow Twizzler Twists and jelly cord. (Not only are they fun colors but I found that Rainbow Twizzlers are easier to string on a necklace.)


How to do it:

  • Print out this pdf of ASCII binary code

  • Decide what secret word you want to put on your necklace (we chose the word ‘LOVE’ which is fourteen 1’s and thirteen 0’s)
  • Cut two colors of Twizzlers to 1-1/2″ sections  ( You’ll get about 7 sections per rope)
  • String the last letter on first and tie a knot
  • Continue stringing the binary code for each letter with a knot in between letters
  • Tie a bow to connect the ends of the necklace together

What’s the science?

Here is a fun video of why computers use a binary system of 1’s and 0’s to represent numbers and letters. This was a great hands on way to learn coding while making super fun gifts for friends! What kid doesn’t like a decoding challenge? (Actually the real challenge is to not eat it before you decipher the code!)  Happy Valentine’s Day y’all!

 

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, gift guides, lovely conversations, science art Tags: , ,
Science Stocking Stuffers Under $10

stocking-stuffersstarI usually wait until the last minute to buy stocking stuffers for the kids because I never know what to put in there. I want their stockings to be a cool extension of their already cool Santa gifts instead of filled to the brim with chocolate kisses and candy canes.

Somehow this year I’ve stumbled across a TON of science stocking stuffers each under $10!  I still can’t believe how many things I found at Dollar General, Target’s Dollar Spot, and Hobby Lobby!  Many of them can also be found on Amazon.

Dollar General

Science Kits – This was an amazing find by a friend of mine in Houston. It includes 4 separate experiments (grow your own crystal tree, make water gel beads, grow snow, and make purple/pink crystals) each for only $1! Wow… you can’t beat that!  Check out Dollar General or watch for a restock on Amazon here.

Growing Crystals – Here’s another amazing find for growing crystal deposits on a rock. Again $1 people…. you can’t beat that for a science stocking stuffer! You can also find it here.

Tornado Tubes – I love tornado tubes especially after parties when I have half opened flat bottles of Dr. Pepper in my pantry. Pour out the pop, screw on these tornado tubes, add water, and a bit of dish soap and you’ve got hours of entertainment. You can also find it here.

Target Dollar Spot

Excavation Kit – Aren’t these excavation kits cute?! They include dinosaur, seashell, and pyramid excavation kits. Allie already pinched one and said she wanted the pyramid because it had jewels in it!  Here is a similar one if Target runs out.

Grow your Own Dino – Leave it up to Steve Spangler to make another amazing science doo-hickey. This one contains 3 separate experiments with growing a dinosaur, disappearing water, and absorbent baby diapers…

Hobby Lobby

Energy Stick – If you’ve ever been to one of my book signings I usually bring one of these energy sticks. Kids love them and its a great way to teach about circuits and teamwork. Another amazing toy from Steve Spangler!  Also found here.

energy

Lemon Clock – I’ve been wanting to try out a lemon clock with the kids for a while but didn’t want to pay for it. Then I saw this at Hobby Lobby and thought heck why not! You can also find it here.

Bug locket – Is it just me or wouldn’t this be so fun to have a real live bug necklace? I think your kiddos will love opening this on Christmas day! Find it here.

bug-locket
Mentos Geyser Tube – We are big fans of celebrating birthday’s with Mentos geysers. You can check out all the fun we had here and trust me… its pretty amazing to watch. Also find here.mentos

MaKit & BaKit – Not your traditional science toy but I LOVED these as a kid. You can have all sorts of discussions from the temperature at which plastic melts to how light is effected when passing through different colors.  You can also find here.

makeitbakeit

Start early on stockings and don’t forget to give the gift of science this year!

Categories: gift guides Tags: , ,
DIY Science Kit for Girls

FullSizeRender (5)

How many of us have bought a doctor’s kit for our daughter? Why not her own scientist kit? Perhaps we thought it would be too expensive and would be a waste if she didn’t like it.

Wouldn’t it be a powerful message to make her very own science kit?  One that she can use to create, invent, dream, and experiment?

You can make your own kit for under $20 at the dollar store and to-date we’ve done at least 5 experiments with it.

Set her up with her own corner to explore (with some adult supervision) and she can create her own unique experiments.

Giving her this freedom to explore is key to helping her love science.

Here are the 5 experiments with instructions and items to include in your kit.  You can also enter you email –> here <–to receive a free printable with 9 experiments that she will love adding to her kit.

Candy Catapults (here)

    • Rubber bands
    • Plastic spoon

Magic Science Bag  (here)

    • pencils
    • Ziploc bag gallon

Amazing Magic Milk (here)

    • Dawn dish soap
    • Food coloring
    • Cotton swabs
    • Milk – supply your own

Groovy Lava Lamp (here)

    • Alka seltzer
    • Vegetable oil
    • Water bottle – supply your own

Happy Oobleck (here)

  • Cornstarch
  • Water

Science equipment:

  • magnifying glass
  • calculator
  • composition book (to record all your observations)

What other experiments did your daughter invent?  Leave a message below in the comments or tag me on Facebook with a picture from her experiments.

I hope she will feel empowered, confident, and ready to take on the world with science!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, gift guides, STEM Tags: , , ,
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: , ,