Make an easy thaumatrope (for the love of Texas)!

I’ll be completely honest, this is a hard post to write after experiencing Hurricane Harvey up close and personal. I didn’t know when it would feel like the right time to start sharing science experiments with you after such a devastating event that happened in Texas.

The cities that were devastated by Hurricane Harvey were places of my childhood. I was born in Corpus Christi, grew up in Victoria, spent many summers in Rockport and Port O’Conner and have tons and tons of friends and family up and down the Texas coast. Not to mention that downtown Houston was my home for 13 years before I moved north to the Woodlands.

Many of you that read this blog left before the storm only to come back to flooded homes and a future of rebuilding. Some of you stayed only to watch the flood waters rising, prayed that it would stop before it got in your homes, and hoped the tornado alarms wouldn’t wake your sleeping babies. It was scary. It was raw. I love you and I am still praying for each one of you.

I still remember the day that the sun finally came out. My 7 year old drew this picture about 20 minutes before it broke through the clouds here in the Woodlands. I’ve never been so happy to see the sun. (It beat seeing the solar eclipse any day.)

There are many places that are accepting donations for Hurricane Harvey. Please consider donating to the American Red Cross to continue helping the people that desperately need your support.

Many of your kids do not have school starting back up for a few more days. I hope this post will help you bring a little sunshine and science to them. Won’t you consider making this easy unique craft for the love of Texas!?

What you need: 8.5X11″ paper, tape, straw, scissors, crayons, black marker

How to do it:

      • Fold 8.5 X 11″ paper three times
      • Unfold and cut paper in half and cut in half again
      • Fold paper and write “WE” and “TEXAS” with a space in the middle
      • Turn the paper over and draw a heart in the middle of the paper and color
      • Tape a straw in between the folded paper
      • Tape the folded paper to make sure it stays together
      • Twist the straw between your hands and watch the thaumotrope in action!

    What’s the science: A thaumatrope is a type of optical illusion and an early precursor to animation. Assemble one with your kids and see how creative they can be with imagining shapes to fill the blank space. It will inspire their curiosity which of course is what science is all about!

Categories: 5 minute experiments, science art Tags:
Easy No Sew Big Dipper Pillow – That GLOWS in the dark!

Some of my fondest memories of science as a kid were looking into the night sky with my Mom in search of the Big Dipper and another time trying to spot Halley’s Comet with my granddaddy’s old telescope. So it warms my heart when today my 7 year old daughter tells me that when she grows up she wants to be the first person on Mars. As her mom I cringe a little thinking of the long journey and the dangers of space travel, but I also want to help her reach for the stars. So, I decided we would make an easy no-sew pillow with a Big Dipper design to keep her dreaming big dreams while teaching her about my favorite constellation. You can try it too with your science girls!

I am so honored to write this post for a blogging friend of mine with a similar passion at Go Science Girls. For instructions to make this awesome pillow check out her site here

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, science art Tags: ,
Rainbow Science

Who doesn’t stop and stare when they see a rainbow? And what kid doesn’t want to do science when the results burst into a colorful rainbow pattern? I hope you enjoy this colorful roundup on this first day of spring!

My kids love this simple walking water rainbow.

Candy and science. It’s what classics are made of!

Watch a rainbow of color explode in the Rainbow Milk experiment.

I dare you to do this Rainbow Magic Bag over the over your head like we did!

Add all the colors of the rainbow to make an amazing shaving cream Rain Cloud!

And my favorite, make your very own rainbow in your own backyard!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, science art Tags: ,
Valentine Heart Soap Boats

I ran across an easy surface tension experiment using soap boats and thought I would give it a twist for Valentine’s Day!  Needless to say it was a hit with the three year old and I can’t wait to show my first grader after school.  Check this out!

Here’s what you need:

  • an index card
  • a shallow baking dish
  • water
  • dish soap

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Draw a heart on an index card, color, and cut out
  2. Fill a shallow baking dish halfway with water
  3. Place the index card heart in the water
  4. Add a small drop of dish soap to the “V” in the heart and watch the heart zoom along!

What is the science?

The index card heart floats on top of the water due to surface tension. Surface tension is the water molecules creating a skin on the surface of the water. When you add dish soap the surface tension breaks and propels the heart boat forward.  Once the surface tension is broken you have to start over with clean water for the second (and third) boats.

This is a definite must to entertain the kiddos for Valentine’s Day! Enjoy!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, 5 minute experiments, science art Tags: , ,