Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Ocean Shadow Box

Monday, September 18th, 2017

ocean-shadow-box

If your kids are learning about underwater sea creatures, why not make an ocean shadow box? It is super easy and will re-enforce the children’s learning about ocean creatures.

The first thing you will want to do is paint the box blue. It helps if a shoe box is a plain white color on the inside. We taped black construction paper around the outside of the box, but you could paint that black if you want.

In other shadow boxes we’ve made, we have spray painted the entire shoe box black, both inside and out. This is a great backdrop for any scene. If you are creating sea creatures from the deep, it is appropriate for your water to be black, especially if you make a flashlight fish out of clay, and place an LED light inside!

painting-shadow-box

Let the paint dry overnight, and then you will want to attach a plastic aquarium plant to the bottom of the box. Use clay to attach the plant to the box. (Make sure your shoe box is on its side when you decide where the ocean floor will be!)

Pour white school glue on the bottom of the scene, gluing around the plastic plant as well as the rest of the ocean floor. Pour sand on top of the glue and shake it off.

play-doh-manta-ray

If you have some small plastic ocean creatures, you can hang them with white thread to the top of the box. I used strong packing tape, but you could also use duct tape.

We added a rock and some walruses to the top of the box, along with some dolphins splashing out of the water. (See the picture at the top of this post.)

play-doh-hammerhead-shark

You can also create ocean creatures out of clay. We make a manta ray, a hammerhead shark, a starfish, a whale, and an anemone. If you study and shape one sea creature per day, you can add to your collection. You can display your creatures on built-in cardboard shelves that you have painted blue or black to match your shadow box, hot gluing the shelf into place.

simple-ocean-shadow-box

You can also make a simple ocean shadow box by spray painting a box black, adding a goldfish in a small fishbowl, and throwing seashells or any other ocean toys into the display.

Dry Ice Volcano Cake

Monday, September 4th, 2017

dry-ice-volcano-cake

Look at this super cool dry ice volcano cake we had for my son’s natural disasters themed birthday party! I was brainstorming different ways to make a volcano cake, and I’ve never seen this done before, so I thought it would be fun to make. I wasn’t disappointed, and it was fairly easy to make!

Start by baking two cake boxes, for a total of four round cakes. Cool the cakes and place them in the fridge.

Put foil on a square piece of wood or cardboard, and tape the back. Up-end one round cake onto the center of the foil. Grab a chemistry flask and cut a circle with a knife around the edge of the flask. Remove the small circle of cake, and place the flask inside.

inside-volcano-cake

Cut circles into the other cakes, and slide them like stacking rings on top of the flask until the entire flask is hidden. If you have a taller flask, you will have to bake more cakes. This will result in a taller volcano.

chocolate-volcano

Place the entire stack in the fridge to cool. Then you are ready to sculpt the volcano. Look at the video demonstration to see how I shaped it:

You can do whatever you want with the scraps of chocolate cake that you cut off the volcano. At this point, you want to place the cake back into the fridge before frosting it.

carving-volcano-cake

Frost the cake with chocolate frosting, spinning the cake to get the icing to be smooth. You can cover up any mistakes you made with the icing.

frosting-volcano-cake

Feel free to poke in plastic palm trees at the bottom of your volcano to add authenticity. This was my husband’s idea, since they were left over from a Hawaiian themed party we did for my daughter years ago. You can buy plastic palm trees at a party store.

make-a-volcano-cake

Pour hot water into the volcano. Plop dry ice chunks into the volcano. (You can buy dry ice at most grocery stores, and it’s inexpensive.) Now you will see the volcano smoking downward in an incredible way!

erupting-volcano-cake

Make sure to watch the video above to see how cool this dry ice volcano cake turned out!

Elementary Physics Series

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

elementary-physics

This post contains affiliate links. I was compensated for my work in writing this post.

We had a great time learning about Elementary Physics, using the book Christian Kids Explore Physics by Bright Ideas Press. Here is a quick index of the different experiments we performed for you on video, to help you as you study this subject.

The first unit of this book is called “The Foundations of Physics.” It describes what physics is all about; how to measure distance, time, temperature, and weight; and it familiarizes us with famous physicists. Here is a demonstration of how we see physics all around us:

The second unit is “Matter.” If you have taken Elementary Chemistry, you can skip these chapters, which are a review of chemistry. If you have not taken Christian Kids Explore Chemistry, here are the experiments from this physics book that you will need:

The third unit is “Mechanics,” where we learned about force, gravity, work, friction, and energy. Here are the video demonstrations we performed to learn about mechanics:

The fourth unit is “Matter in Motion,” where we learned all about motion:

The fourth unit is “Energy in Motion,” where we learned about electromagnetic energy, light, color, heat, and sound:

The last unit is “Electricity and Magnetism.” Here are a couple of experiments that we did for this unit, in order to understand electricity and magnetism:

These fun experiments are from the book Christian Kids Explore Physics by Bright Ideas Press. We really enjoyed studying physics in such a hands-on way. Why not study physics with your own kids by grabbing a copy of this book?

christian-kids-explore-physics

How to Make a Compass

Monday, October 17th, 2016

make-a-compass

Today we will make a compass with a lid, a cork, a needle, and a magnet. This is a simple yet fun experiment to understand magnetism.

First you will want to get a bowl or a lid. I used a peanut butter jar lid because it is large, deep, and plastic. It’s also a great red color. I grabbed a black Sharpie marker and wrote N for north, S for south, E for east, and W for west. I drew a dot in the middle.

Fill the lid with cold water.

Cut a cork in half. Make a groove down the center of the cork like I show you in the video demonstration. If you don’t have a cork, you can use butter or margarine to coat the needle so that it will float.

Now grab a bar magnet and stroke the needle ten times in one direction, using the north pole of the magnet. Insert the needle into the groove of the cork.

Place the needle and cork into the water, and you will notice that it will point to the north pole. Even if you turn the bowl, it will still continue to point in the same direction. And if you pull the needle out of the water and put it backwards, it will spin to align itself to the north pole!

How to Make a Compass (Demonstration)

Take a look at this experiment on video:

This post contains affiliate links. I was compensated for my work in writing this post.

We have loved all the hands-on activities in our book Christian Kids Explore Physics by Bright Ideas Press. Why not pick up a copy of the book and try some of the experiments? Physics has never been so easy to learn!

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