Thursday, January 26, 2012

Valentine Day Science Fun

The vocabulary for these experiments is Carbon Dioxide.
Pumping Heart Model
Have your child breathe in and explain that their lungs are being filled with Oxygen that our bodies use.  Our blood picks up the oxygen from our lungs.  Our blood carries the oxygen all through our bodies and picks up the CO2 that we won't use.  Then it's released from our blood into our lungs for us to breathe out.

Our heart is a huge muscle in our bodies that pumps our blood all through our bodies.  This model shows how the heart muscle can pump blood.

You can make this model of a heart with your child to demonstrate how blood is pumped around the body.  This model only demonstrates how one chamber of the heart would work.

1) Cut the neck off of a balloon.  Place the mouth hole of the balloon over the tip of a straw and tape it in place.   This will act like a valve that closes off after the water spurts from it.  The straw without the valve is needed to allow air into the jar.

2) Fill a mason jar half full of water (you can add a few drops of red food coloring to make the water appear like blood).  Place the body of the balloon over the mouth of the mason jar. 

3)Poke two holes in the top of the balloon with a bamboo skewer.  Push a straw through each hole, making sure there is a closed seal.  The straws need to be submerged in the water.

4) Push on the top of the balloon and observe how the water leaves the chamber of the heart and the valve closes after the water exits.

Why does the "blood" only pump in one direction? (answer: the valves close off and does not allow the blood back into the chamber it just came from.  The little balloon neck taped to the end of the straw loosely demonstrates how a valve works.)

Check out this animated model of how the heart pumps blood:

Dancing Hearts
Good 'ol baking soda and vinegar!   These two substances react to form Carbon Dioxide.  A solid (Baking Soda, or Sodium Bicarbonate) and a liquid (Vinegar, or Acetic Acid) react to form a gas!
CH3COOH + NaHCO3 >> CH3COONa + H2O + CO2

Fill a tall, clear glass half full of water.  Let your child drop in 2 or 3 little candy valentine hearts (conversation hearts).  Observe the hearts.  Now stir in a Tb of Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate).  Observe the hearts.  Do you see any bubbles forming along the edges?  Pour in a little Vinegar (acetic acid).  Observe the hearts.  Do you see any bubbles forming along the edges? 

Wait for a moment and you will see the bubbles form along the edges of the many bubbles that they buoy up the heart so that it rises to the top of the water.  The hearts will rise and fall.  Why do the hearts fall?  Why do they rise again?

Remind your child that this is the same gas that we breathe out of our bodies and that plants use.
Love Potion
Another round of Baking Soda and Vinegar to create a Carbon Dioxide explosion!   You've probably all done this reaction at home, but put this Valentine's Day twist on it for a lot of chemistry fun!

Pour a Tb of Baking Soda (Love Powder) into a tall, clear glass. We used a vinaigrette cruet because it looked more like a potion bottle.  Drop in 2 drops of red food coloring.  Have your child drop in one or two valentine candies (just for fun- they don't effect the reaction). 

Now pour a tiny bit of vinegar (Valentine's Day juice) into the bottle and swirl it all around quickly.  Watch the liquid turn red and dissolve the solid baking soda. It will bubble slightly.  Now pour a bit more vinegar into the bottle and observe the power of the Love Potion!  Be sure to do this fun little experiment over the sink:)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Yogurt writing
A new favorite way to use the yogurt writing letters...Math Practice!
(Use a yogurt without bits of fruit)
"Well good morning!  I hope you slept well!  So.....what's 12 - 5?"  A good start to any nutritional breakfast!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Book Drive for Disney on Ice
(Heads up:  Stay Tuned ... Next week I'll be giving away a Family 4 Pack of passes to the show!)
Hello!  A quick reminder about Monday, Jan 23, 2012
at door6 of Energy Solutions Arena in SLC, UT.
Come on down and hand me your book for a free pass to opening night of Disney on Ice/Pixar Toy Story 3!

I'll be there from 11am-noon.  One free pass per person with a book for the Road to Success Organization. 

Poverty has a profound impact on literacy development and a good book can be a good friend, that's why Disney On Ice supports literacy in an effort to help provide the fundamental skills required for learning how to read. The Road to Success collects, repairs, and packages used books, which are then made available to families in need - free of charge. Excitement about reading books can be contagious, so donate your new or gently used children's books to local underserved children!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Door Codes
My preschool daughter came home with a piece of paper to hang up on our door at her eyelevel.  On the paper were written four sight words for her to practice each time she wanted to open the door.  This door code is perfect for a refrigerator door or for the outside door, where she has to read the words before she can head outside in the morning. 

You could create a door code of letter sounds to practice, math facts to know, monetary coin pictures to practice or a poem or scripture verse you are memorizing together.

We made  a triple door code- one section for each of my girls.
Love this idea...wanted to share!

Monday, January 9, 2012

 Magneto Fun with
Colors and Shapes

Have you seen those magnetic quiet toys?  The ones where you fill up a water bottle halfway with birdseed and little magnetic trinkets and toys?  Then you put a magnet up to the edge of the waterbottle and try to "grab" the toys and bring them to the edge. 

This is a math version of that classic mom-made toy.  Cut up different colored pipe cleaners into one inch pieces.  Toss them into an empty, rinsed, clear- 2ltr soda bottle. 

Draw different colored shapes on the outside of the soda bottle with colored permanent markers.

Have your child use a magnet to try to "grab" one color pipe cleaner piece.  Drag the piece over to the similar colored shape.  "Can you drag the yellow pipe cleaner into the yellow diamond?"  You can mix it up a little:  "Can you drag the blue pipe cleaner into the orange triangle?" 

Try to collect as many pieces as you can with your magnet.  Count the pieces together.  See if a bigger magnet will pick up more pieces.  Have fun trying out the different magnets.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Cylinder Stackers
Geometry in action:  A cylinder rolls and stacks.  A right cylinder's base is perpendicular to it's curved surface height.  The two base circles are parallel to each other.  Go for a cylinder hunt with your kids...poke around junk drawers, your pantry and through your closets to find all kinds of example of cylinders or cylindrical objects...bottle tops, pencils, cups, oat cans...
Gather a bunch of paper towel or toilet paper rolls.  You may wish to spray paint the exteriors and let them dry.  Let your child paint the cylindrical rolls with tempura to make the stackers "their own".  Cut the rolls in half, in fourths or thirds when they dry. 
Cut two slits on the top and bottom of the rolls.  The slits can be about a half inch apart or so.  Slide another tube stacker into those slits.  Your child can create a structure of cylindrical tubes by sliding tubes into the top and bottom slits of each stacker.

You may wish to play with the stackers and create a structure with unpainted tubes.  Then spraypaint the whole structure and let your child paint the whole thing with tempura.  The tubes will be sort of glued by the paint, so this may be more of a one-time use of the tubes.  If you paint the tubes first and let them dry before you stack them, you can reuse them.


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