Thursday, September 29, 2011

Three fun things to do in the rain!

Here in New England it is raining and we are expecting rain for a few more days, so now is the perfect time to pull out some Rain Science! Rather than grumble, embrace the weather and see what you can do in the drizzle.

Rain gauge - this is an especially good activity if you have kids of multiple ages at home. Older kids can use some of these ideas to explore measurement. For preschoolers, put a jar outside and catch rain. How much rain do you think will fall (predict!) in the day (or during your nap)? Use a water proof marker to put a line on the jar at your prediction. Older kids can put a plastic ruler in the jar and use inches or centimeters to predict. Were you right?

Catch some rain drops - put some flour on a pie plate and go outside in the rain. If the rain drops are small, the clouds are close. If the drops are big, the rain clouds are far away. If the drop is really huge (the size of an erasure), it probably fell from a tree or roof!

Drawing - pull out you sidewalk chalk and make a drawing. Color darkly with the chalk and then take it out into the rain. The rain will blend the colors making a whole new picture. You can also do this with powdered tempera paint. Sprinkle the tempera on paper and then head out. The rain will mix the paint colors.

Photo credit:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Book Review: A Tree in the Ancient Forest

A Tree in the Ancient Forest by Carol Reid-Jones is a poem book where each part of the poem is repeated building not only a poem but the ecosystem that is built around the ancient tree.

I love science poetry and this is certainly a good one. The images are rich and lyrical. Things do get eaten, so if you have particularly sensitive children, read this first to yourself to see if it is appropriate for them.

4/5 stars.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Setting up your own Science Table at Home

Fall is a great time to set up a simple science table at home to promote exploration. There are many great subjects that tie in with the season such as pumpkins, leaves, or corn.

Find a table, desk, or even a nice shoe box and label it your Science Station. If you were going to do Leaves for example, gather a few different kinds of leaves, paint chips (in the same color families as the leaves), magnifying glasses (Massachusetts Audubon and iParty both carry them locally), paper, crayons, books on leaves, and maybe some bark.

Let you child explore and then ask them what they thought of the leaves? Were there any that were the same? How were they different?

You can make leave rubbings together or use the magnifying glasses to see if any critters has eaten the leaves or what the veins look like close up.

Some fun outside extensions are to make bark rubbings or see if you can match the leave to trees in your yard.

~Other topics can be treated in the same way.

What topics do you like to explore with your preschooler in the fall?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fun Friday Fact

September is National Honey Month. Yay bees!

Did you notice that I said, Yay bees and not Yay honeybees? Honeybees are not the only bees that make honey. Bumble bees make honey too. They don't have big colonies and don't produce extra so they only have small amounts for their babies.