Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sign Ups are Open!

Messy Fingers is moving to a new format. Preschoolers (age 3-5) and their parents will sign up for a set of classes – usually four – around a topic or theme. Preschoolers and their parents will only need to sign up once and attend each session. All sessions will be at the Millbury Public Library from 10:30 until approximately 11:30am.  Parents will need to participate.

In February we will explore How things change, Birds and our Senses. 

·         Feb 7, we will explore how things change as they age. Please bring a baby picture of your child.

·         Feb 14, we will try and build bird’s nests and make bird feeders.

·         Feb 28, we will have a fun time exploring our five senses. 
Please sign up so there is a space for you and we have enough materials.

Fun Friday Fact

Squirrels can swim.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Squirrels make two types of homes over the course of the year. Wouldn't it be nice to have a summer and winter home?

In the winter they make a den. Using a cavity made by another animal such as a bird. This is where they spend the winter and may have a food stash.

Summer homes are called a drey and is made of sticks and leaves at the intersection of two large branches. They usually have two doors. Can you make one?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fun Friday Bubble Factoids

Bubbles are round. Molecules are lazy and round is the least energetic form for them to be in.

Ok, now I am pretty sure I've told you that before but I want to share some of my very favorite bubbly websites. There are many places on the web to find other bubble fans - most are way beyond the average preschooler and a few are even beyond the most avid lay science geek {blush}. I love, LOVE that super smart physicists love bubbles too.

For your reading and bubble blowing pleasure, click away...
Learning Express - basic bubble info that you know if you hang out with me
Soap Bubbles - for the lay science geeks, check out the When Bubble Meets Bubble photos - some alternative recipes for bouncy bubbles, {sigh} few pictures but good content
Steve Spangler - he is my new science crush - not much on the page but links - follow them to bubbly goodness and fun - I want to make the swimming pool bubbles this summer.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pop!: A Book about Bubbles 
  • Kimberly Brubaker Bradley is a fun book with great photos of bubbles, ideas for playing with the science of bubble and includes a recipe for homemade bubbles. 

  • I do like my non fiction books to have photos and these are really pretty. Ok, now that is exactly the most scientific description but honestly bubbles fascinate scientists for many of the same reasons they fascinate preschoolers - the are fun and cool to play with - so please forgive my rather casual, and totally preschoolish, love of bubbles!

    This book was good and solid but didn't transport me into joyful dancing or leave me breathless so 4 out of 5 stars. 

    Go visit your library to check this book out!

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012


    This week's topic is Bubbles. Now I am betting you are wondering why bubbles in the middle of winter. Wonder no longer - bubbles are great fun in any weather - and they are a really accessible way to introduce kids to science.

    Grab some of your favorite bubble solution and small tray. Thread yarn through two straws (or even one straw cut in half), tie it and you have a great bubble wand. Pour bubble solution in to the tray and dip the straw and string in. Let the string or yarn absorb the liquid for a moment then carefully pull out. If you grasp the straw and slowly pull them apart you will have a great bubble ready for a soft breath to blow it.

    What else can make bubbles in your house?  You can blow bubble through whisks, fly swatters, spools, and whatever your imagination can think of. Pipe cleaners can be bent into all sorts of fun shapes that make cool bubbles.

    Here is a fun way to capture bubbles with paint.
    Here is a fun challenge to do in the winter - IF it ever gets cold enough. Really you need temperatures below 20'F. This is what happened when I did it.

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Messy Fingers Schedule

    Messy Fingers will start up again in February and March.

    Stay tuned for topics and details. Sign ups will start on Tuesday January 17, 2012.

    Fun Friday Fact

    Footprints on the moon will last forever - well at least as long as the moon since there is no erosion. No atmosphere means that there will be no wind or rain to destroy them.

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    Experiment: Shadows

    Shadows are a great topic to play with during a study of the moon. The moon doesn't generate it's own light but reflects that of the sun. An eclipse is nothing more than a shadow, but unless you are witnessing an eclipse with a preschooler, I'd suggest waiting on discussing eclipses.

    Shadows on the other are great fun at this age. Since the sun is still setting early, shadow play can easily take place even before supper!

    Grab some construction paper and copier paper and cut out shapes. Glue or tape them on to craft sticks or straws. Using a flash light, cast shadows on the wall by putting the paper shapes between the wall and the flashlight.

    Do the two kinds of paper cast the same kind of shadow? The copier paper is translucent - which is a fancy science word for letting a bit of light through. The construction paper is opaque - which is a fancy science work for not letting any light through.

    How do you make the shadows bigger or smaller? What other objects can you cast shadows with? Can you make shapes with your hands or bodies?

    Monday, January 9, 2012

    Topic of the Week: Preschool Astronomy

    I couldn't think of an animal that would go well with the topic this week unless I did werewolves! This week is all about Astronomy for Preschoolers. Now these are not words normally associated together, but this time of year, Astronomy is quite accessible to kids of all ages.

    Here in New England, sunset is around 4:30 pm and moon rise is not far off. In January, moon rise will be around 7:15pm and getting earlier for the rest of the month. Check out your moon rise times here.

    The moon is full now and easily observable. Check out how the moon changes over the week and come back over the next few days as I give you some tools to explore the moon with your preschoolers.

    Friday, January 6, 2012

    Fun Friday Fact

    Elephants can't jump.

    Thought you'd need to know that today!