Life at the Pond definitely seems to go in cycles. We are back to studying space- this time in connection with our Ancient Greek History/Mythology unit. Astronomy ties in so well with those two themes, between the mythos in the stars and ancient astronomers who shaped modern astronomy so long ago. This Mama Frog has been meaning to pick the blog back up, but there is always something going on, or something we are in the middle of. I figured this would be the perfect time to start again, at the beginning of this unit. The Froglets were busy today! They did planet fact sheets, constellations, name rockets, made astronaut puppets and even played with kinetic sand. My kitchen is full of suns and space pages we painted that are drying (finished projects are coming!). This unit will also give the Froglets the chance to learn how space exploration helped create an entire literary genre, in addition to the ancient myths. Tomorrow we will begin our Greek history/mythology portion of the unit. It has certainly been a hit so far, as the Froglets were begging to keep doing school at 5:00 this evening.
The weather here on the Pond has been ghastly. First it was snow, snow, snow. Now it is rain, rain, rain. As a result, the Froglets are going stir crazy and so am I. Today we decided to do something fun and mostly non-school related (although polymers are a lot of fun). We had tossed around the idea of play-doh- but this Mama Frog is being stingy with her flour. So instead, we got out school glue, the liquid starch and the food coloring. I added essential oils because the smell of slime make me want to barf (real barf and no that of the harpy variety).
The recipe for slime is incredibly simple. 1 part starch to 2 parts glue and coloring and oils (if using) to taste (well you know what I mean- get the right color and cover up that smell).
What happens when you add the starch to the glue is the fun part. The science of it can be found here (fantastic educational resource based for kids). But basically it goes all gooey and wonky and looks liker you have ruined the whole thing and should toss it all in the bin.
Yep you read that right…You get Unicorn Boogers, Harpy Puke, Mermaid Mucus and Troll Snot. Carry on.
I splurged this Halloween on a brain mold. I have been wanting one for a few years, but have never committed. I came across a link for “5 BRAIN ACTIVITIES USING A BRAIN MOLD“. Her blog post was called something snazzy and fun, but my own brain went “BRAIN MOLD!!” and so I ordered one- because it’s not just for food, its for school! I did make brain Jell-o first. It turned out well considering I bought the wrong color Jell-o and I used half and half instead of evaporated milk.
Then, I broke out the vinegar! Using a little red coloring, I tinted it and put it in the brain mold, in the freezer overnight.
WHOO-EEE the vinegar smell about knocked me over when I opened the freezer this morning. I ran it under some warm water and it popped out nice and easy onto my plate. Then I prepared the science lab. 2 cups of baking soda down in a roasting pan to contain the mess and a tray full of surgical equipment (AKA spoons and stuff).
The brain was ready for dissection.
The brain did not melt terribly quickly in its blanket of baking of baking soda, so he experimented with dropping some water on the top to melt the vinegar and start the chain reaction. Then, The Boy got bored. Sometimes, he likes to come back to things over and over, however the icy brain was not really a keeping kind of project. I sat down to feed Tiny Tadpole and I heard giggling and laughter and talking in the dining room. When I walked in, a new team of brain surgeons was on the job (ALL the other Froglets were scraping and scooping and making a horrifically wonderful mess.
One of the things I love most about homeschooling is this flexibility. The Big Froglets had so much fun playing with an activity I had set up for the Littles. The Littles didn’t really want to play with it. I honestly would never have thought it would hold the interest of an 11 year old, an 8 year old, a 7 year old, and a 5 year old for 45 minutes. But it did. They were very impressed with their goopy melted zombie brains. It is so nice not to be held to an idea of what is “appropriate” in an activity for the Froglets. It also opened the door for conversations about chemical reactions and why we use buttermilk (or vinegar) in our pancakes and scones along with the baking powder and baking soda to create air bubbles (fluffiness).
Summer has hit the pond in full force. This means that the Froglets are outside playing more than not. However, sometimes they need a quiet calm down activity inside. And sometimes….its raining. Today was one of those days. Lizard Breath has a new activity starting tonight and the Littles are picking up her impatient vibe. It seemed like a perfect afternoon to make Moon Dough or Moon Sand as The Boy calls it. The recipe is quite simple, and takes ingredients that like this Mama Frog, you likely have lying around. Flour, oil, oils for scenting (optional) and coloring (optional). I like to add oils especially for afternoon play. In this case, I used Orange Essential Oil for a pick me up.
4 c. flour
1/2 c. oil of choice ( I generally use olive oil)
3-5 drops Essential oil (suggested oils- Lavender, Orange, Lemon, Peace and Calming, Thieves)
10-20 drops food coloring
I always end up with lots of little Froglets willing to lend a hand. And today’s Moon Dough making was no exception. The Boy added the olive oil to the flour, then he and Scoot and Lizard Breath all helped add the coloring. Ray Bear was the girl in charge of Orange Oil.
Lizard Breath gave the mixture a stir, then we mixed it by hand.
It wasn’t long before there were lots of hands in the dough. Which when you think about it was the point, right?
You can find this recipe and LOTS more HERE.
Papa Frog is working late tonight, so I thought I would get a sensory activity for the younger Froglets started. One of our favorites is sensory rice. I decided tonight to not only color it, but to scent it as well. Mr. Boy decided to help as well, and we ended up with Ninja Turtle colored rice- Green, Yellow, Red, Purple and Blue. It was scented as follows: Green- Peppermint, Yellow- Lemon, Red- Grapefruit, Purple- Lavender, and Blue was Peace and Calming. The process is super easy and uses vinegar instead of rubbing alcohol.
What you need:
1 c. rice per color
a drab of gel food coloring or 10 drops of liquid food coloring
1-3 drops of essential oil
1/2 t. vinegar
First I measured out my rice, one color at a time.
You can see the food coloring. I scooped it out with the end of a fork and dropped it in the rice. Then I sprinkled the vinegar over top, capped the jar and shook vigorously until it started to show color.
This is the point where I added the essential oil. This was the Peppermint oil and I used 2 drops.
A little more shaking and the color was nice and vibrant and mixed through.
I put the rice in a 9×13 glass pan to dry.
The smell of these oils when you swish through the rice is amazing!
Mr. Boy was my helper tonight
I was out today, at our local hardware store buying spices (this is the Pond, that’s just how we do things!) and I noticed they had a jar of citric acid. I wanted to make the pixie sticks again anyway, so I decided this would be as good of a time as any. This evening, after supper, I gathered up my supplies. 1 c. sugar, 1 T. citric acid, 3 drops Lemon Oil (I am out of orange at the moment) and 1/2 t. baking soda. I had also picked up a package of straws today at the dollar store. After combining all the ingredients, Scoot decided to give our mixture a taste test/quality control check. She was quick to show me that fizz!
Then began the long process of filling each straw. First Papa Frog sealed one end for me, then we snipped off the bend (those will go in a tub for sensory play). Using an empty Italian Ice cup with a hole punched in the bottom for a funnel I filled all 100 straws, while Papa Frog sealed the ends.
and I filled…
and I filled….
And I filled….
The pile of filled straws grew…
ETA: I forgot to mention how we sealed the ends! My husband used a candle and melted the ends until they were soft then pressed them together. Alternatively you could use paper straws which don’t require this step.
Ever have one of those days, where you plan to do something, get cute pics to share with everyone and then something happens? Welcome to this Mama Frog’s week! I wanted to make some fizzy pixie sticks using one of my favorite Mama Frog’s recipes and share some adorable Pond pics with you all. Unfortunately, my little Froglets would not stop hopping long enough to get some cute step by steps for ya’all. So- I figured what the heck. I would let our little Pixie friend show you how to make them. We will make these again this coming week as they were a HUGE hit with the Froglets. And to answer the question- nope you can’t taste the baking soda. We skipped the citric acid, but my dear wise friend says that a vitamin c tablet crushed up works just as well, so we will be trying that next time!