Thursday, May 27, 2010


Ok, so this is the last year I plant lettuce early in the spring! At 10:50pm last night we had a hail storm. Looks like there wasn't too much damage, but the lettuce is toast.

My past data is piling up!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Drawing Conclusions

While most of this blog is about preschoolers, this entry is more about me. All of us, preschoolers included, make future predictions based on past data. Normally this is a really useful way of learning about the world around us. We drop a ball and it bounces. So next time we drop a ball, we expect it to bounce.

My garden is exploding - which is pretty amazing since I live in New England and spring has been mixed up. We had the really hot weather first and cooler weather recently.

Now this is my stumbling block. Mere hours after my first harvest last year, we had a microburst hail storm. This is me in my garden about three hours after my first harvest. So you can imagine my ... hesitation at harvesting anything just yet.
I will get over my past data and get some lettuce and spinach out of the garden this weekend. But if it hails again ... well, that will be the last time I will ever plant spring spinach!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

June dates (and topics!)

I have about a dozen too many ideas floating around and choosing just TWO has been hard! Every has offered great suggestions with plants/seeds being the most popular (butterflies and flowers were up there too). While I love seeds and growing things - you should see my garden! - we really can't grown anything in a hour! Nonetheless, I am going to figure out something soon that we can do in an hour on growing.

So without further ado - here are the topics for June....

(drum roll please)

June 1 - Gliders and Kites

June 15 - The Chemistry of Cooking

Sign up at the Millbury Public Library 508 865-1181. And if you sign up - come!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Bubbles are a really fun way to introduce science to preschoolers. They all have experience with bubbles of some kind - either the kind you blow thru a straw or a bubble blower. So how do we turn something so common into WOW science?

Easy - come on and I'll show you.

Can you capture a bubble? I captured some bubbles with my friends this week. We learned a lot along the way. We captured bubbles with a LITTLE bit of water, paint and a squirt of soap. Mix this up - this is key. Most of my friends had gobs of paint on the bottom of their container that didn't get mix it. Then blow bubbles with a straw. The bubbles will be the color of the paint.Carefully place paper on top of the bubbles and you've captured bubbles!But let's not stop there! Can you make a square bubble? Grab a pipe cleaner and make it into a bubble wand with a square opening. Now try it in your favorite bubble solution. Does the bubble come out square?
** Science Content** Bubbles are only round - it is the least energetic shape and molecules are basically lazy. One of my favorite websites about bubbles is here.

But wait, there's more! One of my favorite ways to play with bubbles is to compare and contrast bubble solutions. Compare homemade bubbles to commercial bubbles (or any other kinds of bubbles you like) - which makes the most bubbles or the longest-lasting bubbles or the best-smelling bubbles?? There are lots of great questions kids can ask.

And just because I like to challenge you: What color do bubbles turn just before they pop?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tadpole Setup

I scooped up tadpoles and water a few weeks ago and here are some pictures. The tadpole here looks HUGE but it is just the water magnifying it. This is my tank - and my fancy stand! I like it a bit off the ground mostly because it causes the kids to look in it more often. I need to scoop a few more tadpoles into the tank - we can only find three.

I love the screened lid on the tank. That has kept some of the needles and leaves out of the tank but it still lets in plenty of rain and air. We are going to put a rock in the tank soon. My kids area convinced that one year, our tadpoles will turn into frogs unexpectedly and need to hop out. We've always put them back into the pond while they've had tails to give them time to readjust to the pond.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Simple Machines in New Hampshire

My kids and I just went to the SEE Science center in Manchester, NH and they had a really fun exhibit on Simple Machines. The hands-on exhibit was really well thought out and interactive. Here is the lever where you had to move the white lever to balance the heavy object on the right. Not as easy as it sounded - it took us more tries that we expected to balance it properly. Then we played with the pulleys. They had two pulleys that you sit in and pull yourself up. One pulley was a 1/5 ratio and the other a 1/7. This means that they reduced the amount of pull required by different amounts.

I was surprised they didn't use all six simple machines, but they were also tight on space. This museum is in an old mill. The also house the largest permanent LEGO exhibit - a replica of the mills in Manchester during the 1870s with approximately 3 million LEGOs.