Thursday, November 20, 2014


Geologists  use core samples of rocks and sediment to give them information about the rocks below the surface. We made our own "core" sample by adding dirt to a clear pvc pipe, shaking it up, and letting it settle. The heavier dirt dropped to the bottom and the lightest dirt floated on the water. 

We examined our dirt closely and compared and contrasted different dirt samples. This is a fancy science way of saying how things are similar and how they are different.  We had some great descriptive words here: cool, soft, hard, shiny, sparkly, smooth, and rough.

We also made predictions about how much water different kinds of dirt could hold. Then we tested our predictions. 

Finally we painted with dirt. Artist in the past used rocks and dirt to make paints. Different kinds of dirt make for different colors. 

If you want more dirt activities, go here

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Going Batty!

We went Batty! today at the library and had lots of fun with bats. We learned a lot of facts and learned that we are a lot like bats. Thanks to Jodi at her blog for some of the bat facts we used. 


Bats are a lot like people. Both have hair, come in lots of colors, and eat fish. Only bats can fly and hibernate, while only people eat mac -n- cheese!

For other great ideas about bats and a few more facts on bats in New England, check here and here.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fun Friday Fact

A long time ago, people thought pumpkins could cure freckles!  You mixed mashed pumpkin and honey and smeared it over your face.

I see no reason to get rid of freckles. Freckles are super adorable. But if you really don't like your freckles, smearing pumpkin all over your face can hid them, but then your face will be covered with pumpkin!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Gliders Roundup

In a previous post, we explored gliders and paper airplanes. If you search for preschool gliders, well, you can see from the image above pretty much the only kid of glider you will discover so I am going to sift through the furniture ads and pictures of cute Australian sugar gliders to find some flying machines you and your preschooler can make.

Straw Gliders
This is a nice description of the gliders we make in Messy Fingers with a bit of good explanation at the end as to why this flies.

Essentially the two circles help to channel the air and create lift. What happens if the two circles are the same size? Does it matter which way you throw the glider - small circle or big circle first?

Egg Carton Glider
This is a really cool glider made from a foam egg carton. There is no explanation at that site as to how or why it flies the way it does. It is presented more as a craft project, but the template is great.

Is the penny necessary?  What would happen if you left it out or added two pennies?

This was a very colorful and detailed explanation of how to make these gliders.  Here is a better explanation of the science, but with only two colors.

Does the length of the wings matter to the helicopter?  If you made them shorter or longer what happens?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Pumpkins are such a great to enjoy science and fall at the same time. I found a great blog with some fun preschool pumpkin science ideas. Check it out here.

Now don't think for a single second that all those are actually science activities. Remember that when we are scientists we ask questions, make predictions, then we collect data, analyze the data, and then recheck our question.

Soo, when you see the erupting pumpkin recognize that it is a really fun activity but you will need  to help your child by making predictions and asking good questions. But it looks really cool!!

And before you start carving that scary jack-o-lantern, take a moment to make some predictions about what you think is inside it, how big it is, if it might float, how it smells, and if you are brave, how it tastes. Me, I think it tastes yucky. Yep, that is my science word - yucky.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Messy Fingers on the Move

Messy Fingers is on the move!

First stop will be our home at the Millbury Public Library every Tuesday in October. Call (508) 865 1181 to reserve a space.

Then Beginning Years Family Network is supporting Messy Fingers visiting five new towns this fall and winter. Check out this announcement for Messy Fingers in Upton.

Look for Messy Fingers to travel to Auburn, Grafton, Douglas, Upton, and Blackstone/Millville.

Upton's scheduled to take place in the Upton Public Library on Oct 2, 16, 30, and Nov 13.

This fall we will be exploring bubbles, pumpkins, incline planes, and our five senses.

Come check it out!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Easter science

I found a really great listing of science experiments that were all egg or Easter themed. I knew you'd want to see them so HERE they are!  Guess what we are doing this weekend?  I am starting at the top and working my way down the list!

And I put that picture up to remind me to send out eggs to my niece and nephews tomorrow!  If you join me in this silly tradition, you need to ask for stamps - the meter strips are too big to fit on the eggs.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A quick look back at 2013

I was looking back over the 2013 posts and realized that my most popular post wasn't exactly about Messy Fingers but about Jello. The number one post from 2013 was how to make glow in the dark jello.

Why make Glow in the Dark Jello? For my bookclub it was thematic and since it is made with quinine, it has a slight bitterness that many not be appealing to kids. But my lovely literary friends, thought it was spectacular on many  levels. And that is only one small part of why I adore my bookclub friends - they get me.

Why should you try Glow in the Dark Jello?

Anytime you can spark your family's curiosity is a win in my book. Cooking food is chemistry at its best but we rarely step back and think about all the wondrous events that have to occur for meat to cook, onions to caramelize, or even milk to be pasteurized.

Food experiments are an easy way for everyone to start talking science. Why did the Jello glow? Would it glow if we made it with soda or orange juice? Why doesn't it glow in regular light? What would happen if.... These are the very best of questions to begin asking. All science begins with questions and the more practice you have thinking about great questions the better science questions you'll ask.

I am a huge fan of all things Glow in the Dark and different things glow for different reasons. What are your favorite Glow in the Dark objects?  And why do they glow....