The Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow: Treasuring Time with My Daughter

“Mommy, I got a new book from the library. Do you think we could do the project from it?” Quinn eagerly asked. “I don’t see why not,” I responded. This special project was how to create a liquid rainbow. Luckily, we only needed to get one of the ingredients since we had all of the others. My six year old and I do activities frequently, and I especially love when she initiates them.

With each activity that we do, Quinn is becoming more and more independent. This time, she read all of the instructions, did all of the measurements and followed all of the steps as I observed as her assistant. Something that fascinated me was how she used trial and error when creating the purple syrup for the bottom layer. At first, it looked more read than purple, so she said, “How about if I add another drop of blue to see if that works?” She did it, and it worked with no problem.

I truly do treasure these moments with my daughter and am grateful to have a colorful child who enjoys learning, is a critical thinker and wants to spend time with me. If you’re looking for an activity to do with your child that’s not too time consuming yet a great learning experience, try out the liquid rainbow.

All the best,

Tanya

Mark My Words: Science is Awesome! Colorful Fun with My Little Girl

“Can we make purple next, Mommy?” my five year old excitedly asked. “Sure, what colors do we need?” I inquired. “Red and blue,” she quickly responded. My little girl loves drawing and doing projects, so the “Marker Lab” was perfect for some weekend fun. It comes with a kit that allows a person to create eight markers in various colors from start to finish. While it had the potential to be messy, the process actually went rather smoothly. We read the instructions together, determined what colors were needed and how many drops of color would be needed and got to work!

“To make green, it says we need 1.5 milliliters of blue and 1.5 milliliters,” Quinn informed me. She carefully added the color to the tube with the included the eye dropper, with little assistance from me and eagerly waited for the marker tube to fill up with the marker ink. I then helped her to assemble the marker, and voila they were ready for writing and drawing.

Where was the marker lab when I was a little girl?! I found this really fun project at Home Goods for just $12.99 and was probably more excited than my daughter to make the markers. I highly recommend this kit to any parent who wants to sneak in science, math, writing and a bit of art with a lot of fun.

All the best,

Tanya

Color Me Celery! Preschool Science Fun

“What’s your prediction? What do you think is going to happen?” I asked my five year old as she added the last piece of celery to the colored water. “Well,” she paused,”I think the celery might turn the same color as the water, but I’m not too sure about the yellow water though,” she informed me. About a year ago, I purchases a lab kit for my daughter, “Primary Science by Learning Resources. The first experiment we did was the volcano explosion. After that, she was hooked.

While she and I both love doing experiments and activities together, I wasn’t too sure about the celery one because it requires more patience in allowing the colored water to do its thing. To my surprise, Quinn was very patient. After leaving and returning to our project within a half hour, she even suggested to give it a day to see if the leaves change colors even more. Even though there were crumpled and a bit dried out on day two, my daughter was excited to find out that her prediction was correct, including the celery in the yellow water not having a noticeable change.

It was a great learning experience, and I love these projects because it requires her to follow instructions, sometimes count and use critical thinking, and I get to see the wheels turning as she takes the lead. However, celery has quite a distinct smell, and Quinn agreed that maybe next time we’ll use white flowers. Here’s to some summer time science fun!

All the best,

Tanya

Watch Want to Learn Today? Fun with Sid the Science Kid at the Please Touch Museum

What to you say when it’s a rainy day… “Whatcha want to learn today!?” Today, my husband and I surprised my daughter by taking her to The Please Touch Museum for the new Sid the Science Kid exhibit, and it was a fun, educational experience for all. If you allow your child to watch television or cartoons, Sid the Science Kid is a perfect choice because you learn about creating hypothesis, experimenting and even reporting results all in one episode. Today, it was as though we stepped into Sid’s world as not only members of his classroom but members of his family.

There were many activities for different age groups using magnets, triple balance beams and even household items so that a child may be encouraged to try some of the experiments a home. There were even papers and pencils available so tat the child can write down his or her thoughts about the experiment. Even though there are many more exhibits at the Please Touch Museum, we spent about two hours in this area trying out the different activities. I love that my four year old loves science and was fully engaged in the experiments.

If you are in the Philadelphia area, I encourage you to stop by the Please Touch Museum to check out the exhibit. It runs through May 6th, so I’m sure we may return a few more times before it ends.

All the best,

Tanya

Mommy’s Little Scientist: Never Too Young for STEM

She put on her white lab coat and selected the experiment she wanted to conduct. I assisted her with arranging the items needed, and she then smiled and said, “I have to out on my science glasses for safety before we get started!” We first saw the “Learning Resources Primary Science Lab Activity Set (12 pieces)” in the Franklin Institute Gift Shop, and my four year old just had to have it. The price was $30, but upon checking through Amazon.com, I saw that I could get it for just $18.11. Though there were some tears shed and a fit or two had, I eventually convinced my daughter that it was better for us to order through Amazon so that we could save some money and have a little left over to get the lab coat too. 

Quinn loves doing projects, activities and games, especially STEM related ones. Though I have a Liberal Arts background, I too enjoy these projects and was just as eager for the package to arrive. The kit is for children as young as three, but I must say that some adults could benefit and have fun from these science experiments that are not all that time consuming and require items that most people already have in their household.

Though my little girl is not writing as yet, we were able to discuss what she thought would happen before starting a project. I even taught her the word: hypothesis. We enjoyed doing the primary color experiment together, and days later she still talks about the primary and secondary colors and how red and blue make purple. Quinn’s Nana thoroughly enjoyed doing the volcano experiment with her so much that they did it two times.

Some of the other experiments involve learning about how plants sprout from seeds, examining different insects and determining what sinks and floats, and we’re both looking forward to doing them too. I was so impressed by the twelve piece kit that I ordered the Learning Resources Primary Science Deluxe Lab Set, 45 Piece set so that we can do more experiments in the weeks to come.

These experiments remind me of how much I enjoyed going to science class in grade school and how I wish these at home kits existed when I was younger. Of course, there’s no absolute science to raising children and making sure they have a perfect childhood and have a solid foundation for learning, but I’m so grateful to be creating these memories with my daughter and hope they stay with her for years to come.

All the best,

Tanya

STEM Fun: Learning at the Franklin Institute with My Little Girl

With a huge smile on her face, my three year old exclaimed, “This place is awesome!” as we explored the many exhibits at the Franklin Institute. This actually was her first time at the Franklin Institute because I was waiting for her to be a little older to be able to enjoy most of the exhibits and activities, but with the Science Behind Pixar exhibit and deciding to get a membership with 15 percent off, I figured it was time. Also, I thought this would be perfect for Quinn’s cognitive development, especially since she’s developed in the STEM areas.

Upon entering the Pixar exhibit, she quickly spotted Dory, Buzz Lightyear and many others and excitedly fiddled around with the interactive components with her two cousins and auntie, who joined us, and her go-to phrases of the day became, “Look at this, Mommy!” or “What’s this, Mommy?” We both learned so much and had a wonderful time, and I was eager to explore some of the exhibits throughout the rest of the museum as I became nostalgic about my own childhood and class trips to the Franklin Institute.

Since she is young, My sister and I wondered if Quinn would be afraid of the giant heart that allows museum goers to walk through it. She had so many questions about what everything was and wanted to know about the heartbeat sound she heard when were inside; she loved it and asked to walk through three more times. She had a blast in the Sir Isaac Newton’s Loft testing her own strength and learning about gravity. Another exhibit we explored that was new to me because it was not around when I was a child is the sports zone. We all had so much fun. Quinn was able to race the Philly Phanatic, her older cousin and even me too. She worked on her jump shot, did some surfing and practiced her stance and baseball pitch.

I’m looking forward to many more visits to the Franklin Institute with Quinn to explore some of the exhibits we didn’t make it to during our the first time. I’m also excited to go back to the ones we thoroughly enjoyed not just during the summer but for months and years to come. If you’re in the Philadelphia, PA are and looking for a fun, family activity that promotes learning in the STEM area, the Franklin Institute is the perfect place.

All the best,

Tanya