Our Summer of Fun: Science Week

So, this summer I decided that I can really do all of the fun projects that I have been wanting to do with my son.  He is no longer a little kid – he’s a FOUR-YEAR-OLD.  Okay?  This means, we can do science experiments, make messes, build stuff, grow stuff, climb stuff, and who knows what else!  And really, really enjoy doing all of this together!  It is still fun to do things with your toddlers, but as your kids grow, it just becomes more exciting!  Here is what we have done so far.  Some of these ideas were borrowed from Pinterest (links included), some from his book of “101 Great Science Experiments” by Neil Ardley, and some of the ideas were mine.  All of the pictures are ours!  Enjoy!

Science Week:

For our Science Week, we learned about water tension, the reaction between baking soda and vinegar, spent a morning at the Children’s Hands on Museum in Olympia, WA ( http://www.hocm.org ), mixed various liquids, and experimented with balance using an egg, toilet paper roll, pie tin, and cup of water.  I grabbed one of my husband’s white button down shirts and a pair of goggles we happened to have and an old notebook that hadn’t been used.  This became a lab coat, protective eyewear – not that we did anything dangerous – and our lab notebook.  It’s just fun to look the part while you play!  Here we go!

Baking soda and vinegar; water, pepper, soap.

What you need:  Baking soda, vinegar, water, pepper, soap, and jars.

Above:  We started small.  First, we sprinkled pepper on water in multiple jars and then dropped a little bit of soap into the peppered water.  It may not seem like much but for a little guy it’s amazing watching the soap make the pepper “run away” to the edges of the bottle or fall to the bottom.  We did this multiple times and every time was a hit.  Since he’s a little bigger and learning to write, we brought out the “Science Notebook” and wrote down words that we used for the experiment and little descriptions.

For the baking soda and vinegar, we started with multiple small jars that had baking soda in them and added the vinegar.  Each one bubbled up – which was “awesome”!  We did the big jars a few times too.  After we had fun just making a mess of things we decided to fill more jars with baking soda and vinegar.  Only the last few times we also included descriptions in the science book about what was going on.  It “bubbled” and was “white” and also made a “fizz” sound as the baking soda and vinegar reacted.

What you need:  Nothing!  Get out of the house and have fun checking out the museum! (Above: air funnels and water pressure tubes.)

Above:  Fun at the Children’s Museum ( http://www.hocm.org ).  It’s always fun to go just to play and explore.  But THIS week we took our time and really read everything that we needed to do at various stations so that we could get the most out of our fun and learning.  It was especially fun watching the water build up pressure and then shoot the plastic balls out of the spout at the top.  We also experimented a little with the wind tunnels by first leaving the cones to see if they would float (they didn’t) and then adding slits and folding the paper back to expand the surface.  Learning can be so much fun!  Especially when you get to see it in action!

What you need:  RAW egg (I know!), toilet paper tube, pie tin, cup of water, and lots of faith.

Above:  Okay, so this one I found on Pinterest and HAD to try.  I’ll admit, I was a little nervous that I would end up with raw egg on the walkway but we tested it and had a lot of fun with it!  Here is the link provided by Pinterest: http://www.ordinarylifemagic.com/2010/01/newtons-first-with-raw-eggs.html

You need a raw egg, toilet paper roll, pie tin, and a cup of water.  Place the pie tin on top of the cup of water, stand the toilet paper roll in the pie tin, and then set the egg at the top of the toilet paper roll.  Check to make sure they are aligned with the cup of water and then SMACK AWAY!  Hit the pie tin to the side and the egg will fall straight down into the water!  Definitely fun, my kiddo set this up again and again!

What you need:  Water, oil, syrup, food coloring, rocks, sticks, leaves, and lots of jars!

Above:  “See How Liquids Float and Sink” and “Find Out if Liquids Mix” – both experiments out of the “101 Great Science Experiements” book by Neil Ardley.  Boy, what a lot of fun!  If you don’t have this book or one similar to it, you should!  We filled jars with water, then added oil, and added syrup.  It was fun to see where they all landed and how they worked with each other.  We filled a jar with water first and then oil, then we added drops of food coloring.  The pictures above show the food coloring staying as a little ball in the oil but then breaking into the water.  Very fun to watch!  We also added sticks and small rocks to our syrup, water, oil jars to see where everything stopped in the mix.  A very interesting lesson in water density for small people!

There you have it!  Just a first in a series of fun and learning that will be going on in this place!  Remember, it doesn’t have to be complicated!  Almost everything here can truly be found around the house and will entertain little ones – for the bigger kids, just add a notebook and it can become a mad scientist’s experiment notes!

My 2013 Events

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In 2009, while my husband was in Korea, I was in Maryland with our first baby, and I had plenty of extra time to sit around and realize I wanted to do something more.  I needed to do something more with myself, something to push myself out of my comfort zone.  Something physically challenging… even just a little bit.  So, when a group of friends invited me to participate in the Iron Girl Triathlon in 2010 as part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training (http://www.teamintraining.org) I said “YES!”.  Since then, I have done a series of 5ks and a Warrior Dash.  This year, I want to do even more!  So, here is my (growing) list of fun and challenging events for 2013:

1.  GO RUCK Challenge April 2013, https://www.goruck.com/Events/Challenge

When my husband told me he signed us up for this challenge I immediately started reading as many blogs as I possibly could about this event.  I concluded the Go Ruck Challenge is a slightly scary mystery.  What I do know is that you have to carry a ruck around the city hosting the event for 8 to 10 hours, covering about 15-20 miles, while doing all kinds of energy exerting exercises with a group of strangers who make up your team.  I hear it involves buddy carries, bear crawls, log carries, and lots and lots of water.  I am ready.  And excited.

2.  Benaroya Research Institute Seafair Triathlon 2013, http://www.seafair.com/anevent.aspx?ID=5

After competing in the Iron Girl Triathlon I was hooked.  I wanted to compete in other sprint triathlons with the goal of bumping up to the olympic distance triathlons.  Since it has been a few years, I plan to start here.  This event highlights the fight against autoimmune diseases.  Another event right up my alley.

3.  Tough Mudder Seattle October 2013, http://toughmudder.com

Well, this event just looks like fun.  And if we can get a sitter, I am looking forward to taking on mud, ice cold water, and getting shocked throughout the course with my loving husband.  The Warrior Dash gave me a hunger for fun, but oh-so-challenging events.  Tough Mudder, quench my thirst.

I am excited about these three events and I plan to add others throughout the year!  Color runs, zombie survival runs, bikes throughout Washington state.  There are so many challenges out there and I am ready to take them!

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And The Countdown Begins: 34 Days

So, it has occurred to me that I only have 34 days until I take on a crazy little adventure known as a “GO RUCK CHALLENGE”.  If you haven’t heard of Go Ruck or any of their events I suggest you visit http://www.goruck.com and take a gander at what my husband has signed us up for!  From what I understand, we will be spending about 8 to 10 hours running around Seattle carrying ruck sacks full of bricks with about 28 strangers who will make up our team.  Our 8 to 10 hours will be spent crawling, climbing, lunging, squating, lifting, and just plain sweating while making sure our rucks, team weight (minimum 25 lbs), American flag, and anything else we pick up along the way stay off the ground.  Our event will be led by a group of cadre who all have some kind of military background in Special Operations and who all love the way good pain feels.  Yeah.  “Good Pain.”

They say anyone can take on the challenge and successfully complete it as long as they are willing to work as a team and never give up.  It is a test of heart.  And with the cadre out there to, uhm, motivate us, I am sure we will be reminded of this often.  I look forward to pushing through all of the fun to the end and am glad that my husband and I are taking on this event together!  In 35, or maybe 36, days I will be posting an update about surviving this challenge.

34 days.  I feel like I should lift something or go for a run right now.  Anyway, I wanted to share my stats for anyone who might be wondering what kind of physical shape I am in before taking on the challenge:

I’m 5’1″, weigh 123 lbs, and just had a baby 6 months ago.  My longest run since her birth has been 2-miles and I haven’t done a ruck in a little over a year.

Wish me luck and check back in about 35 days for my post-Go RUCK Challenge story!

Here is my husband, wrapping his bricks for our challenge.

Pictured:  My husband wrapping bricks for the challenge.  Six for anyone over 150lbs, four for anyone under 150 lbs.  Carrying bricks, and water, and snacks, oh my!