How to make a fall garden 

During the days leading up to Hurricane Harvey we watched a LOT of the Weather Channel. Needless to say my kids had their fair share of watching cartoons to pass the days stuck indoors. So when the sun returned and things dried out we decided to turn off the TV and iPads and head outside.

What happened astonished me.

The kids wanted to play outside for hours and hours. One day they started planning where to plant a garden. Andrew dug up one of my backyard flowerbeds with a hoe while Allie made a master plan of what our garden was going to consist of. They found earthworms and grubs and even starting making a compost pile to prep for the garden.  (Should I have been more upset about my backyard flowerbed? Probably. But they were happy and were on a mission.)

From the beginning I was super skeptical of planting a garden in the fall. But my hope is to share with you our garden so you’ll be inspired to build one yourself and learn from our successes and mistakes along the way.

What you need:

  • A pre-made raised garden bed kit – This was the secret to a super simple small garden. You can find one here in several sizes
  • Visit here if you are in Texas and want guidance on what to plant in the fall. Here is another resource from HGTV.
  • topsoil

Our garden consists of cauliflower, parsley, sweet basil, rosemary, onions, spring mix and romaine lettuce, and sweet beef tomatoes.

What’s the science:

I love how gardens are full of science lessons from the beginning. We have had so many conversations about earthworms and grubs and what makes good garden soil.  Allie is making her own journal about how the garden will grow and change – the ultimate nature experiment!

This book is one of my favorites to discuss that we eat the tops, bottoms, and middle of so many different plants. For example, a carrot is the bottoms of a plant and broccoli is the top. You can find it here

Tops & Bottoms (Caldecott Honor Book) by [Stevens, Janet]

 

Here it is. Day 1 of our fall garden. Wish us luck and we’ll keep you posted on how it’s going!

Categories: he loves science too!, lovely conversations Tags: , , ,
Hello Halley Harper; Science Girl Extraordinaire

Just in time for summer reading, Halley Harper is now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle complete with action packed adventure and do it yourself science experiments!

Watch the book trailer below!

This is the first book of a series of children’s chapter books that follow the adventures of 9 year old science whiz Halley Harper.

Science camp is all about learning the laws of motion but someone wants to put the brakes on Camp Eureka for good. Can 9 year old science whiz Halley Harper find the culprit by using her knack of turning ordinary into the extraordinary? Will she find out who is sabotaging the experiments before anyone else gets hurt and camp closes forever?

Get your copy today here for yourself, your friends, and for your kiddos. It’s time for the world meet Halley Harper!

Ge

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, 5 minute experiments, gift guides, he loves science too!, lovely conversations, STEM, Summer Bucket List, thoughts of a girl engineer Tags: ,
Color Mixing: Walking Water Rainbow

walkingrainbow

Do you know what gets me through my 3 year old not napping? Science. I’ve been wanting to try this walking water rainbow for a long time and the opportunity presented itself this afternoon when I was scrambling to find something productive that a sleepy nap resistant preschooler could do.

Luckily we’ve done an activity like this before here during a Preschool Science Party so I knew how amazing and simple it would be.

What you’ll need:  6 clear plastic cups, 6 strips of paper towels, food coloring, water

How to do it:

  1. Fill 3 glasses full of water
  2. Add red, yellow, and blue food coloring so each glass has it’s own dedicated color
  3. Arrange 3 empty glasses in between the colored water glass
  4. Add a strip of paper towel to connect the red glass to an empty glass. Then from the empty glass to the yellow glass. Connect all glasses with a paper towel.

What happens:

The water “walks” up the paper towl by capillary action. This is the same way that plants get water from the ground and up through their roots and stems.

We also talked about color theory and how primary colors can mix to form all the other colors. (By the way, I have never seen my kids understand color mixing quicker than they did with this experiment.)

After we watched the colors mix together, I gave them plastic pipettes and let the go to town mixing and playing in the colored water. We found that we could make brown by mixing all the water together.  Allie put a cup in the middle and formed brown through capillary action.  (That’s my girl!)

So the next time you are frustrated during naptime consider this simple science activity. You’ll be thinking to yourself, “Maybe naptime is overrated.. we can do science instead!”

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, he loves science too!, science art 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: , ,