Monday, February 28, 2011


What is white and used to build a snowman?
Snow...well, yes...but SNOW GOO is the correct answer!
Combine a little white glue and a lot of shaving cream-don't worry about exact measurements.  Let your child use a spoon as a paintbrush or his hands to smear it onto construction paper and create a snowman.  Talk about the shapes you are creating.  You can make a triangle snowman, square snowman or even just a traditional circle snowman (or snowgirl in our family).  You can use construction paper shapes for a hat, boots and scarf.
If your child is a bit older, let your child smear the snow goo onto a piece of construction paper and then use their finger to practice writing their numbers.

Let your snow goo snowgirl dry.  Observe the texture dry as compared to wet.

Winter fun without gettting cold.
(This activity was found on ProTeacher)

Monday, February 21, 2011


Has your child noticed that sometimes there is salt sprinkled on the ground to melt the ice in the wintertime? Well, salt plays a magical role in these great learning activities.
First, to establish a little background with your child, you might wish to set out two plates of crushed ice. Let your child sprinkle salt on one plate of ice and observe together which plate of ice melts first. Now your child will see that salt helps ice to melt.

This is because the sodium and chloride ions from the salt intermingle and dilute the water molecules. This makes it harder for the water molecules to join together to form ice crystals. Actually, it's still possible for the water molecules to form ice crystals, but now instead of freezing at 0°C, it's freezing point drops to below 0°C.

Now, for the activity, Fill a small glass with water and ice cubes. Give your child a piece of cotton string or yarn about a foot long. Let your child hold both sides of the string and rest the remaining middle part of the string on top of the icecubes. Take care to leave the ends of the string hanging over the edge of the glass.

Have your child count to 15. Now instruct her to take both ends of the string and pick it up, while lifting up a piece of ice with the string. The string is not attached to the ice and will not lift the ice.

Now, have your child lay the string back onto the ice with the ends of the string laying over the sides of the glass. Have your child sprinkle salt all along the string laying on the ice. Now count to 15 slowly.
Ask your child to pick up the ends of the string and try to pick up the pieces of ice now. Voila! 
SMMART SCIENCE: Color Ice Sculptures
Fill a disposable paper cup, cardboard milk carton, or other container with water and freeze over night. Let your child help you remove the ice from the container and place it on a cookie sheet to catch the melting ice water. Let your child sprinkle rock salt onto the ice and observe the ice melt more rapidly.

Check out the reason that the salt melts the ice more quickly at  This site has a fun, interactive demonstration when you click “Add Solute” that further demonstrates this principle.

Now help your child drip drops of food coloring onto the top of the ice. The food coloring seeps through the cracks of the ice. You’ve created a beautifully colored, melting ice sculpture. Quick! Snap a picture before it melts away! (

Monday, February 7, 2011

SMMART Giveaway:
DISNEY ON ICE: Let's Celebrate!
Week 1 Winner: Janell R. Cropper said..
If I had a lucky $8, I would buy a fun activity book to do some fun things with my 3-year old.
Week 2 Winner: Mandy A. said..I would take my daughter to Mc Donalds
Week 3 Winner: Cassie said...We are trying to save up for a trip this fall, so if I happened to win $8? It would go directly in our disneyland piggy bank! (along with all the spare change my husband leaves on the dresser - every little bit helps right?) And what better way to start off the disney madness than tickets to disney on ice?
Week 4 Winner: kdschirado said...follower
Feb.3, 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit according to Chinese New Year
tradition.That is one party that goes on for 15 DAYS!!!  Boy do they know how to CELEBRATE!  People will pour out their money to buy presents, decoration, material, food, and clothing. It is also the tradition that every family thoroughly cleans the house to sweep away any ill-fortune in hopes to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red colour paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of "happiness", "wealth", and "longevity". On the Eve of Chinese New Year, supper is a feast with families. Food will include such items as pigs, ducks, chicken and sweet delicacies. The family will end the night with firecrackers. Early the next morning, children will greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year, and receive money in red paper envelopes ($8 is a lucky amount). The Chinese New Year tradition is a great way to reconcile; forgetting all grudges, and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone. wikipedia
Mickey and Minnie get in on that action during one of the many celebrations in Disney on Ice: Let's Celebrate! 

I've never attended a Chinese New Year Celebration, but what would you do with $8 gifted you on this special occasion?...Go wild at "Everything's a $", Buy an eyeliner, Tics to a dollar movie for the fam?... We'll get back to that...

Audiences are invited to make an ordinary day extraordinary and enjoy some of the world's most popular festivities with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, including a Very Merry Unbirthday Party with Alice and the Mad Hatter; a Mardi Gras parade with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen; a Hawaiian luau with Lilo and Stitch; a winter wonderland with everyone's favorite toys - Woody, Jessie & Buzz Lightyear; a Halloween haunt with the Disney Villains; a Valentine's Day Royal Ball with the Disney Princesses...and more in the celebration of the century! Disney On Ice presents Let's Celebrate! features more than 50 characters from 16 Disney stories live on ice, including Tiana, the newest Disney Princess from Walt Disney Pictures' The Princess and the Frog.

Location & Showtimes
EnergySolutions Arena - 301 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Wednesday, March 9 7:00 pm
Thursday, March 10 7:00 pm
Friday, March 11 4:00 pm; 7:30 pm
Saturday, March 12 11:00 am; 2:30 pm; 6:30 pm
Sunday, March 13 11:00 am; 2:30 pm; 6:30 pm

Ticket prices for Disney On Ice presents Let's Celebrate! range from $13, $17, $23, $40 (VIP) and $52 (Front Row) - prices do not include service charges, handling or facility fees. Tickets are available from the EnergySolutions Box Office and all SmithTix locations, via phone by calling (801) 355-SEAT or (800) 888-TIXX and online at or To learn more about Disney On Ice, go to, or visit Facebook and YouTube.

1) Comment (leave your first initial, last name and email) and tell me what you might do with a very lucky $8 gifted to you on the prosperous Chinese New Year?
2) FOLLOW SMMARTideas and comment (first initial, last name and email) telling me you follow (look in the left column at the photo thumbnails, click on "Follow").

SMMARTideas is giving away a FAMILY 4 PACK for four weeks!  Last one will be chosen on Tuesday, Feb. 22nd!  I'll email you if you won and you will need to respond within 24 hours, or I'll choose another winner. 
gōng xǐ fā cái -"Congratulations and Be Prosperous!"
 Solar System Online

Wow!  What a super-great learning site I stumbled upon...
There are learning games, learning diagrams, learning songs to download!

This post I want to spotlight a cool Solar System Diagram.  You click on a planet and learn so much!
It's part of the "KIDS KNOW IT NETWORK".  When your child clicks on a planet, you can learn together about the many interesting facts that make each planet unique!

Enjoy this learning adventure!
So, a few moms have asked me to give them a little more background on the scientific method and so I'll share a few ideas with you.  It's important to make sure that your child has a firm grasp on these steps and what they mean.  It seems the scientific method can be broken down into a various number of steps, but these are the basics.

First of all, you need to demonstrate the Scientific Method through a well-executed project. 

PROBLEM:  What are you trying to discover or determine?   Keep in mind this needs to involve some sort of "action" or "effect",  not just a research project display (information about the planets) or a scientific principle demonstration (like a volcano).  "What is the effect of music on plant growth?"  "What is the effect of acid on egg shell degradation?"

HYPOTHESIS:  What do suppose will happen?

MATERIALS:  What supplies will you be using?

VARIABLES:  This is not really a step of the Scientific Method, but it may be worth displaying somehow on your board that you understand this concept and show each variable in your experiment. 
First of all, you have CONTROLS in your experiment that you are trying to keep the SAME so that they do not effect your dependent variable.  In the "effect of acid on egg shell degradation", examples of controls would be the same size of cups, the same volume of liquid and the same temperature of liquid. 
Your DEPENDENT VARIABLE are the egg shells.  The dependent variable is being acted upon.The only things you want effecting your dependent variable are your independent variables and not the things that should be your controls.
Your INDEPENDENT VARIABLE will be the types of acids you use (orange juice-ascorbic acid, vinegar-acetic acid, wine or grape juice-tartaric acid)

RESULTS:  What happened in your experiment?  A good experiment finds a way to QUANTITATE the results.   Observing how much egg shell is gone seems more like a QUALITATIVE observance.  After day one, you need to be able to find a way to prove how much egg shell has disappeared, by measuring.  Honestly, I can't think of a good way to quantitate how much egg shell has been eaten away by the acid. Unless you could think of a solid way to QUANTITATE this measurement, your observations are interpretive and relative.

DATA:  Show the results of your experiment through a bar or line graph.  Show the log where you recorded your data and trials.  The graphs will show quantitative data, but I may share a little qualitative observation with the judges as well, and perhaps explain why I think I observed these things.
Also, you need to have several TRIALS!  Make sure you perform this experiment more than once and take the average of each trial for your results.  For example, make sure you have three glasses of grape juice, three glasses of vinegar and three glasses or orange juice= three trials.

CONCLUSION:  Summarize what the results of your experiment were and why you think your experiment turned out like it did.  What factors effected the results?  How did the results compare with your hypothesis?
What would you do differently if you were to repeat this experiment? 


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