Friday, February 19, 2016

Lift Off!

I believe that every kid wants to be an astronaut. When clouds and rainbow aren't enough for them, they quest for something bigger, something over the clouds. So did my three little princesses. They asked too many questions about the stars, the sun, the planets, even the black holes. Reading books and watching videos about space couldn't fill their long and arduous search for that matter. They aim to be one of those selected people to space. 

In order to delight their NASAish dreams, I decided to make this simple straw rocket craft. We also watched and read fascinating facts about rockets and stuff. They couldn't comprehend why initially human sent flies, dog and monkeys to the space, "How can they tell us what they saw?" asked Iris. And the moment they saw the rocket detaching its booster and cried in unison "Look!" was priceless. And of course the 'Whys' and 'Hows' would naturally comes from these little creatures. 

So, here is our kick start for our first NASA project. Hopefully there will be more to come. I'd like to share some interesting facts and videos that I've watched with my future astronauts.

Fun facts about rockets - read here, here and here.

Videos on rockets - watch here and here.

On 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, lift off! Bye everyone!

 Things we used

1. Draw a rocket on a white card stock paper. 
2. Cut out the rocket.
3. Color the rocket.

 Glue the rocket on the straw. Glue the rocket and the star on the black paper.

By Astronaut Iris (She couldn't be happier once she knew NASA used her name in 2015. IRIS is abbreviated for Image Reversal in Space.)

 By Astronaut Iesha

By Astronaut Iyra

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings ~ Salvador Dali

 What you need:
Felt papers
Shredded tissue papers
Googly eyes
Craft bird feather
Craft glue

 1. Draw the bird body on the felt paper.
2. Cut out the bird shape.
3. Glue the googly eyes onto the bird body.
4. Glue the feather at the back of the bird.
5. Put some glue to make bird's nest.
6. Paste the shredded paper as the bird's nest. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Does bird feather absorb water?

We investigated how different materials absorb or not absorb (repel) water. As we tested different materials, we know that they react differently towards water. Some materials absorb, while some repel water. First, I had them to make prediction. It was easy for them to guess which one absorbs and which doesn't. But of course they didn't have any scientific reasoning for that. It is good to tell them that scientist starts by making prediction before they run the experiment. The purpose of the experiment is to find out whether we've made a wrong or right prediction. I need to retell this every time we did new experiments, as Iesha hates to make wrong guesses. 

It was also a good time to explain about porosity and material structure. I've discussed why it's important for certain materials to absorb and some to repel water. Here are some of the questions I asked the girls during the experiment:

  1. What thing do you use daily that absorb water?
  2. Why is it important for that thing to absorb water?
  3. What thing do you use daily that does not absorb water?
  4. Why it is important for that thing to not absorb water?
  5. What happens if our house is made of paper?
  6. What happens if the umbrella is made of cloth?
  7. Do you think the bird's feather absorb/ not absorb water?
  8. What happens to the birds when they're flying in the rain?
  9. What happens if the spoon is made of paper?

It was no surprise that they responded with funny answers. Some of the answers were written in the experiment report. You can download the report for free. The reasons why some materials absorb/ repel water lie on the porosity level of the material. I told them the smooth paper look differently under the microscope. They aren't smooth as what they say with their naked eyes. The paper has lots of very tiny holes to enable water to go through it. The larger the holes, the easier the water goes through.

You may refer to this video for kids-friendly explanation on this. 

Till then.

 Materials we used.

 Drop some water onto each material.

 Report the observation.

 I let them continue with free play.

Report by Iris.

 Funny answers, though.

 See how accurate Iyra drew a pipette.

 Further investigation on porosity. 

 Clearly this is not the result from our microscope. This is however kitchen sponges under SEM. This has made Iris shouted "Told you, Horton is right!" (Source: here)

And this is paper under the microscope. 

Report template

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Cutey Croc Craft

We still used bubble wrap for this craft and other recycled things we found in the house. This time we made cutey crocodiles inspired by positivelysplendid. I also shared some fun facts on crocodiles and we watched few videos on this snappy long-tailed reptile. We browsed for differences between alligator and crocodile too. Iesha preferred to say alligator while Iris preferred crocodile. Never did I know that there are big differences between those two words. 

Fun facts on crocodiles (Source: sciencekids)
  • Crocodiles are reptiles.
  • Crocodiles are fast over short distance.
  • Crocodiles have sharp teeth.
  • Crocodiles have the strongest bite of any animal in the world.
  • The muscles that open crocodiles jaws however are not so powerful, reasonably strong people could hold a crocodile's jaw closed with their bare hand. (The girls went ooh with this fact.)
  • Like other reptiles, crocodiles are cold-blooded. ("So they need to sun-bathe", said Iris).
  • Crocodiles release heat through their mouths rather than through sweat glands.
  • Some crocodile species can weigh over 1200 kg!
  • Like alligators, crocodiles are part of the order 'Crocodylia.'

Fun facts of alligators (Source: sciencekids)
  • Are also reptiles.
  • Alligators have been living on Earth for millions of years and are sometimes described as 'living fossils.
  • Can be found in USA and China.
  • Alligators eggs become male and female depending on the temperature, male in warmer temperatures and female in cooler temperatures. (Again they went ooh-ahh!)

Videos on crocodiles and alligators
  • The differences between Mr Croc and Mr Ally here.
  • More differences here.
  • Amazing video for kids on alligator here.

 What we need:
Bubble wrap
Styrofoam balls (for the eyes)
Craft blade
Paints (green, yellow and red)
Sharpie (to draw the eyes)
Pipe cleaners (to make a sturdy tail)

1) Roll the bubble wrap. 2) Secure the end with the tape. 3) Insert the pipe cleaners into the rolled bubble wrap. 4) Paint it. 

 5) Draw the eyes. 6) Cut out the legs. 7) Paint the legs. 8) Cut out a spiky hair for the crocs. Finally, glue all legs, eyes and spiky hair onto the roll.

 Meet Miss Melina Crocky crafted by Iesha.

 Liza by Iyra

Mr Croc by Iris

Oh, look how adorable they are!

Smile on the croc-o-dile!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Our Beautiful Carrot Garden

Materials needed:
Rolling pin
Bubble wrap
Orange art paper
Brown acrylic paint
Yellow acrylic paint
Green/ yellow string
Glue and scissor

 Draw some carrots on orange art papers.

 Cut out the carrots and glue them on the paper.

 Roll the bubble wrap around the rolling pin. Secure the end of the bubble wrap with tape. 

 Dip the rolling pin onto the paint. Then roll it back and forth on the carrots. Roll harder till you heard the pop sounds.

 Cut the strings and glue them on top of the carrots.

 Let dry.

Hang them proudly on the wall.

Monday, February 1, 2016

"I keep pointing at the child, they keep staring at my finger."~ Maria Montessori

It's Time to Spa, Lego!

Inspired by mamapapabubba, we made our own mini spa for our Lego people. We gathered all the materials commonly found around the house. The girls splendidly spent four hours pampering the minifigures. Yes, four hours!!

I eavesdropped their making-up conversation with teeny-weeny Lego people.

Iyra: Oh my, so cute. Jangan takut, Mia tak lemas. (The bath tub was clearly too big for her Mia.)

Iesha: Cutey cutey little Melinda. Let me help you wash your wig. Whoops, I'm sorry. Iesha pasang kepala balik okay. (She accidentally pulled off Melinda's head.)

Iris: This spa opens for all. To people and animal. (I spotted a big grizzly bear joined the crowd too.)

 Materials needed: 
Bowls of foamy water
Squeeze bottles of water (I used travelling shampoo bottles)
Chunks of bar soap
Mini towels (I cut out fleece cloth)
Two small cases of shower cream and shampoo 
Lego minifigures

 Waiting to be pampered. Gosh, the girls charging for this?

 Wash my hair please. 

 The bear obviously can't wait.

 Too excited!

 Emma Peel wants some perfume.

What a great day for us Lego people! Thanks big people!