Saturday, February 18, 2012

MFW-ECC - Week 25/26 - China, salt/ocean experiments, and Valentine's Day

Our Week in Review

The tangram game was pretty fun. Click on the links be taken to a site where you can print off your own tangram puzzle pieces to cut out and play around with. Click here for large or here for small. There are also several sample puzzles (animals, people, abstract patterns) your kids can try to copy. Click here for those.

This week was all about the ocean so many of the experiments we did this week dealt with salt.

Experiment #1 - Taste the saltiness of the ocean
*To do this, dissolve 1t of salt in 10T water and take a sip. Bleh! 

Experiment #2 - density of salt water vs fresh water
*Fill 2 large bowls 2/3 full of water.
*Add 10-20T salt to one of the bowl.
*Gently drop an egg into each bowl. 
The egg in the salt water should float.

While the egg in the fresh water sinks straight to the bottom.

Experiment #3 - Salt crystals
*Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a pan and remove pan from heat.
*Add 1T of salt at a time until salt no longer dissolves.
*Cool just a bit, stir contents of pan, and pour into clear glass jar. (I used a mason jar.)
*Tie a paper clip to one end of string and the other end of string to a pencil. 
*Place into the jar (the string should be about 1 in. from the bottom...ours ended up being a little more) and balance pencil on top of the jar. 

*Place in a sunny window and observe changes each day. 

This experiment did not really work for us due to the fact it rained EVERY. SINGLE. DAY this week. The sun did not make an appearance (not once...all. week. long). As I sit here and type, it is STILL raining. Oh well, perhaps you'll have better luck with this experiment.

Experiment #4 - Ocean Currents Distribute Nutrients
*Fill shallow rectangular pan with water.
*Gently blow across the surface of water (makes small waves and currents).
*Drop a few drops of food coloring into edge of water.
*Gently blow across the surface again and watch how food coloring is distributed (by "currents") throughout the water.

My sister visited China a few months back and sent us a postcard from there. We took some time to reread that card. She said the strangest thing she had to get used to seeing was kids' bare bottoms in public. She said many of the kids wear 'split pants' there and they just 'do their business' wherever they need to...even on the sidewalk :-O

She also said they eat a lot of chicken....FEET that is. Gross!

Aside from some of the crazy foods and potty training customs, she said China was beautiful including many of its structures like the Xi'an Tower they visited pictured above.

Gladys Aylward is quite an amazing woman! Every chapter has us on the edge of our seats. We can't wait to hear where her adventures take her next week :)

~Valentine's Day~
Because this week was also Valentine's week, the kiddos had some fun making cards for their Dad and their grandparents :)

I hope you had a great, but less rainy week as well!

This post has been linked up with Discover Their Gifts

Friday, February 3, 2012

MFW-ECC - Week 24 - 1,2,3, FOUR really cool volcano experiments!

Our Week in Review


My daughter had a friend spend the night, so we waiting till the weekend to complete the stone inlay art activity. They had a blast! With girls, you can never add too many jewels and beads :)


This experiment shows how frozen water can crack rocks.
The carton was filled completely to the top with water. Next, we placed it in the freezer. The kids didn't really think anything was going to happen.
The next day when we took it out of the freezer, the carton was bulging out on every side and even split open. This process showed the kids when water freezes, the water molecules spread apart causing the carton (and even rocks) to split and/or crack.

This next experiment showed how liquid rock can shape the earth.
Each child will need:
1 tube of cheap toothpaste (we found the blue color worked best as far as visibility)
empty yogurt container
(1)An adult cuts a small hole just large enough to fit the top of a tube of toothpaste.
(2)Tape the bottom of the cup covering the hole.
(3)Fill the cup 2/3 full with dirt.
(4)Over a plate, paper, napkin (or foil) - remove the tape and insert the opened tube of toothpaste into the hole. 
(5)Squeeze away! 
As the magma (toothpaste) pushes up the earth's surface (dirt), it moves upward into a new formation. If you keep pushing up, the 'magma' forms a volcano when it reaches the surface.

I saw this next really cool experiment on Pinterest, but it offered very little in the 'how to' area. After some tweaking, we figured out how to do it safely with the supplies we had around the house. 

Volcano in a cup

 To try this yourself, you will need:
small mason jar (you do not need the lid)
piece of wax (I just used one of those Scentsy meltable candle wax squares)
small fraying pan

(1)Pour a shallow amount of hot water into the frying pan and bring to a boil. 
(2)Put the wax in the bottom of the mason jar and cover it with completely sand. 
(3)Fill the remainder of the jar with cold water (not all the way to the top though).
(4)Place the jar in the boiling water and watch for what happens next.

As the wax begins to melt, a few air bubbles will begin to escape up from the bottom. Next, the wax bursts through and bubbles up. *Watch out for the splashing boiling water. It can be hot so I had my kids watch from a few feet back.*

Turn off the stove. Carefully remove the jar from the pan and wipe the condensation off to get a better look. The kids thought this entire experiment was SO COOL! 

The hot magma (wax) burst through the earth (sand) just like a volcano creating the red hot lava as well as the ash/smoke plume.


Last week, we just had time to make our mountains. On Monday, the kids were able to finish sprucing up their mountains.

At the end of the week, we exploded our volcanoes :)

For this experiment you will need:
volcano (or some sort of cup/container)
warm water 
vinegar (add in red or orange food coloring for added effect)
baking soda
dishwashing soap

(1)Fill the volcano/cup almost full with warm water.
(2)Add a few squirts of dishwashing liquid (helps create better lava)
(3)Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda
(4)Pour in the colored vinegar and watch out! The more vinegar you use, the more lava you will have. I didn't realize we were almost out of vinegar or we would have used more :(

Now, we didn't get to try this next experiment because I could NOT find any local stores with 6% hydrogen-peroxide. Grrr! The only thing I found was 3% which this blogger said will not work. IF we come across some soon, we will try it. In case you are able to find some, here is the link for you to try with your kids. It is supposed to create waaay better lava ;)
Image taken from Click here to be taken directly to the site with the directions oh how to complete this experiment :)

Well, we finished up Amy Carmichael. What an amazing woman!

And last, but not least....
I tried another hairstyle on A. She loves her hair curly, but I do not like using a lot of heat and product on her hair. We've also tried sponge rollers, but those curls always fall out just a short time later. 
These bantu knots really worked though and her curls lasted all day! 
The next day, she still had the wavy hair look going on which she really liked as well.
Don't ya just love these curls?!? Wanna try it yourself? Check out this tutorial over at Girly Do Hairstyles.

I hope you had a great week as well!

This post has been linked up over at Discover Their Gifts