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!

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