A Thankgiving Science Bucket List

Thanksgiving break is upon us and my kids will be out of school all week next week. In between trips to grandparents house, football games, turkey meals and being stuffed why not throw in a bit of fun science to entertain the family?

turkeybombHow many times have you said you’ve eaten so much turkey you are going to pop? This year pop a turkey instead! pineconepic

My kids will be playing outside a lot during this break. Have them collect a few pine cones and try out this experiment. Let them dry and paint them for a beautiful fall craft!

This one is just plain fun. Before you chunk the Halloween pumpkins to make room for Christmas decorations, make a hypothesis (an educated guess), then chunk that leftover pumpkin into some water to see if it will sink or float.  Did you guess right?

pumpkinpicmonkeyOnce you’ve seen if the pumpkins can float… try burying it in your garden. Chances are by the time the kids go back to school in a week a sprout will have formed. Who knew you could grow a pumpkin in a pumpkin?

Are you like my family and still have Halloween candy in the house?  Ok, truth be told by this time last year I had eaten all the left over candy… But this year why not try a bit of science?  Amaze the kids – then chunk the results!  Easy, entertaining, and future cavities averted…

IMG_8977

Will you be waiting in restaurants with the kiddos during the break?  Bring along a string and pass the time by fishing for ice. Trust me… this one will entertain until the food comes out! 

(Photo Credit: Live Science)

And if you are still looking for interesting dinner table entertainment…Did you know turkey’s are related to T.Rex?! Who knew!  Check it out here on Live Science.

We have so much to be thankful for this year. I hope that you and your family enjoy Thanksgiving together because isn’t that what this time of year is all about?

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, 5 minute experiments Tags: ,
A Happy Scientist Costume

This year my older kids chose a profession for their Halloween costumes; one will be an astronaut and the other a policeman. Of course my youngest is still too young to have an opinion but I thought, “Hey, it may be my one of my last years to get to choose her costume so why not make her a scientist!”

But when I searched for DIY girl scientist costumes this is what I found – mad ones. What is to be mad about on Halloween? Why not make science just a tad bit sunnier? So I tweaked these Michael’s costume instructions to make my littlest scientist a happy one. 


What you need: 

  • Tie dyed t-shirt  (about two times bigger than normal size): I found mine here
  • Pink duct tape
  • A black sharpie marker
  • Safety glasses: These are old ones that we have but you can also buy safety glasses at Walmart or LakeShore Learning.
  • Plastic beaker

How you do it: I followed Michael’s tutorial here for turning a tshirt into a labcoat but substituted the white shirt for a tie-dyed one!  Easy-peasy!

Who says being a scientist means going mad and having crazy hair. Let’s have happy adorable scientists who can experiment AND rock the tie dyed lab coat!

I hope you are having as much fun as we are getting ready for Halloween!

Categories: science art Tags: , ,
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: , , ,
Screeching Ghost Balloons 

Is it just me or when stores cleared their back to school items in late August then Halloween decorations were put in their place?  Stores have wanted us to feel like it’s fall but it’s even hard for me to drink a pumpkin spice latte when it’s still 90°F outside.

I do LOVE the fall especially because my youngest has her birthday around Halloween so I always have my eyes peeled for cute party decor and Halloween games with a science twist of course!

I recently saw this experiment on Steve Spangler and thought what a great Halloween science activity! All you have to do is draw a cute little ghost on the balloon and you’ve got a real haunted house sound! And of course my youngest really got the hang of it!

What you need: a white balloon, a black permanent marker, and a hex nut


 What you do:

  1. Place hex nut in balloon
  2. Blow up balloon and tie
  3. Draw a ghostly figure
  4. Twirl the balloon around until the hex nuts spin on the inside

Warning: Depending on the age of the hex nut it could cause the balloon to pop if it nicks the side. Supervise young kiddos when trying this at home.

What’s the science:

This experiment demonstrates centripetal force – the force that keeps the hex nut moving on a circular path. Other examples of centripetal force are satellites when they stay in orbit around the earth or when a hula hoop continues to spin around your body when you hula! The screeching sound is caused by the vibration of the balloon when the hex nut comes in contact with the latex.

For more fun Halloween experiments check out this blog’s header menu labeled ‘Halloween’.  It has my favorite She Loves Science Halloween posts over the years!

I hope you are able to enjoy this experiment with cooler fall temperatures!

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