Sunday, February 22, 2009


Even if there isn't any snow outside in your front yard...we're making our own snow fun!

Salt Crystal Snowmen can glisten anytime of year! You can use normal table salt (NaCl) for this activity.

You will need:

An adult to help with this

Cardboard tube from kitchen roll or toilet roll

Felt tip pen





Shallow dish or saucer

1. Draw a snowman outline on one side of the cardboard tube. (If using a kitchen roll tube cut it in half first so that it’s shorter - after all, who makes a tall thin snowman?) *I let my daughter decorate the snowman with markers

2. Cut around the outline of the top of the snowman making sure that you leave a thin circle of cardboard at the base of the tube. i.e. leave the base intact so that the snowman is supported but from the front you should see a snowman shape. (Be careful when using scissors)

3. Pour 100ml of warm water into a cup. (A tablespoon is about 15ml)

4. Add a teaspoonful of salt and stir till dissolved. *Let your child check the line of the measuring cup to see if you have enough warm water and allow her to dump in the salt and stir.

5. Continue adding salt in this way until no more will dissolve and you have some salt left at the bottom of the cup. This is known as a saturated solution.

6. Pour the solution into a shallow dish or saucer and stand the snowman in it.

7. The solution should slowly start to rise up the cardboard. Now leave the whole set-up in a safe place for a few days.

What's happening? The salt is dissolved in the water to form a saturated solution. As this solution starts to travel up the cardboard snowman the water evaporates leaving behind salt crystals. In time your snowman will look as if he is glistening! As more salt solution travels through the cardboard it allows the small salt crystals to grow even bigger.

*I have also had success from boiling 1 cup of water and adding 1/4 cup of salt, stirring, and perhaps adding a little extra salt until the solution is super saturated. Boiling water (heat) helps to break the salt's ionic bonds and dissolve the salt into solution.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Hello and Thank you for watching the SMMART Science segment on "Good Things Utah". If you missed can catch it on the abc4 website for the next few days:

Watch for SMMART MATH ideas
on abc4, 10:00am on "Good Things Utah" on
March 25th!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I'm sharing next week's post a little early, in time for Valentine's Day. My sister sent me this recipe e-mail from Hawaii...don't know if it's made it around the loop to everyone yet.

Anytime you are baking or cooking with your child, it's an excellent opportunity to learn math skills with measuring cups and measuring spoons. Compare the size of 1cup to 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup. Let your child pour 1/4 cup into 1 cup until the 1cup is full.

Of course, involve your child in the recipe...cracking the egg, pouring in ingredients, sprinkling a few chocolate chips on top.

Science comes into play as you combine dry ingredients and then add the wet...observe texture and let your child feel the mixture as she stirs. Then it's fun to watch in the microwave as the heat expands the mixture and the cake batter rises.

The original recipe is to be cooked in a tall mug. I separated the batter into 3 ramekins and microwaved all 3 together. It worked beautifully...especially with an extra helping of powdered sugar dusting over the top of the finished product (thanks to my 3 year old helper).

Serve with a dallop of vanilla icecream on top if you like...I like.


4 Tb Flour
4 Tb Sugar
2 Tb Cocoa
1 Egg
3 Tb Milk
3 Tb Oil
3 Tb Chocolate Chips
Small Splash of Vanilla Extract
1 Lg Mug

· Add dry ingredients to mug and mix well.
· Add the egg and mix thoroughly
· Pour in the mil and oil (Add in chocolate chips if you like)
· Put mug in microwave and cook for 3 min on High (1000 watts)
· The Cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed!
· Allow to cool a little and tip out onto a plate if desired. Serve a la mode.
· EAT!

And why is this the mots dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from a chocolate cake at any time- day or night!
(Unfortunately I don't know who to credit this recipe to, so if you know, let me know and I'll give props where they're due.)



Tune in for SMMART SCIENCE ideas on February 18, abc 4 at 10:00am.

Thanks for your support!!!

Monday, February 9, 2009


Many children’s books have free coloring pages available to print. Search the web to find your child’s favorite characters. This picture comes from, where there are a variety of activities for children from the Mercer Mayer book series.

Print a coloring page for your child to fill in with markers, crayons or watercolors.

As your child is painting, ask your child a few questions:

Where is the picture taking place?
What is happening in the picture?
How do you think Little Critter feels about what he is doing?
Do you think it’s a good idea to do this?
What is his mom thinking about?
How does the sister feel?
What will happen next?

Help your child explore the simple parts of a story: setting, plot, characters, themes.


Sunday, February 1, 2009


Find great works of art in used books, on postcards or on the internet.

Write the artist on the back of the picture. Laminate or contact paper the pictures and cut them into simple puzzles.

When you are putting the puzzles together with your child, talk about the artist and what type of artwork you are looking at. As your child matures, you can cut the pieces into even smaller puzzle pieces.

(Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam, On Becoming Preschool Wise (South Carolina: Parent-Wise Solutions, Inc, 2004) 121-132.)


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