DIY Activities in Minutes!

The weather has been so unpredictable these days. One minute, it pours. The next, it’s bright and cheery. So while you wait for the weather to clear, here are seven DIY activities you can dish out to your kids in minutes!

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Continue reading DIY Activities in Minutes!

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ABCJLM Week 1: Sun, Moon and Earth

Over the last two weeks, we studied the Sun, Moon and our “Blue Planet”. I admit I’m taking a week longer to finish what’s scheduled, but as long as we’re enjoying the process and continue to learn.  I’m good with the pace.

We learned that the gravity of the Sun holds its gases together; forming a consistent shape and size.  The Sun’s gravity also pulls on the planets so that they go around it.  It is also the perfect distance between the Sun and Earth that allows life to flourish.  How amazing is that?!

Earth orbits Sun activity

To demonstrate what “orbit” meant, I got Hannah to swirl a ball of blue play dough (Earth) around a piece of orange play dough (Sun) on a dish. It certainly takes practice to steady our hands and swirl the ball at a constant rate!

Rotation of Earth around Sun: Day and Night

We learned that the Earth rotates every day and takes a year to orbit around the Sun.  To understand how day and night occurs, we used a flashlight (Sun) to shine on a ball (Earth).  We mark a spot on the ball as Singapore, then rotate it slowly.

Next, Hannah became the Sun.  She had to hold still (which was difficult) with the flashlight while I go around her with the ball.  She couldn’t wait to be Earth!  As she walked around me, she sang the months of year in English and Mandarin.

Now the messy bit!

Form Moon Craters Activity

We read that the Moon’s craters are formed when meteorites hit its surface.  And because the Moon has no atmosphere, it has no weather or wind.  So once a crater is formed, there is no way to remove it.

Hannah had fun throwing peanuts (meteorites) onto a plate of flour (moon).  We had observed that the greater the force used to throw the peanut, the bigger/deeper the crater.  Eventually, she decided to put her hands on the “moon”!

Our finale…

Sun-Earth-Moon-Orbit Craft

I love this model because it summarises nicely what we’ve learned. You can download the Sun-Earth-Moon Orbiting Craft here.

Here’s the list books we’ve used:

  1. Sun: Energy for Our Solar System by Julie K. Lundgren
  2. The Sun: The Star of Our Solar System by Ellen Lawrence
  3. The Moon by Nuria Roca, Carol Isern, Rocio Bonilla (check out “The Sun” by the same authors too!)

One reason why I enjoy homeschooling? It’s because I’m always learning together with my child. And without fail, I walk away awe-struck by God’s greatness.

What have you been learning lately?

Picture This: Dinosaurize Me! 2015

Picture This: Dinosaurize Me! 2015 Plaza Singapura Singapore

I love it when Science is brought to the heartlands!  From now to 14 June 2015, Dinosaurize! Me 2015 will be at Plaza Singapura, Main Atrium, Level 1.  I was excited to find this exhibition through my friend.  Hannah has recently developed a liking for these giant creatures that once roamed the earth. We’ve been watching videos, learning their impossible to pronounce names and if they were a carnivore, herbivore or omnivore.

On display (see above) is the Argentinosaurus – one of the largest dinosaur ever found. It’s definitely an eye-opener for us!

There are hands-on workshops and performances for the children to learn about dinosaurs.  A fee of $5 is required for each of the following workshop:

  1. The Geological Timeline Activity
    How did life evolve on earth over billions of years? Learn this while constructing the Geological timeline
  2. Dig up Fossils
    Fossils help scientists develop hypotheses about pre historic creatures and the way they lived and behaved.
  3. Stop Motion Animation
    Create your own story of the dinosaurs and make it into an animation.
Dinosaurize Me: Geologic Timeline Activity
The Geologic Timeline Activity: suitable for ages 6 and up.

As we visited Dinosaurize Me! on a public holiday, it was packed with children and their parents.  We chose one of the three paid workshop to attend – “Dig Up Fossils”. Here, Hannah got to create a mini “fossil” using plaster of paris and a dinosaur mould.

Dinosaurize Me: Dig Up Fossils
Dig Up Fossils: suitable for ages 4 and up.

If you have young children, they’d be happy to “dig up” some dinosaur bones in the sandbox or colour their favourite dinosaurs for free.  I know Hannah enjoyed colouring her dinosaurs!

Dinosaurize Me: Digging Up Bones

Dinosaurize Me: Colouring Dinosaurs

Overall, this exhibition surpassed my expectations.  It wasn’t merely an exhibition in a shopping mall.  Children and even adults get to learn a thing or two about dinosaurs.

What’s more, we were given a handbook that discusses how one classifies a dinosaur, what palaeontology is about, more facts about dinosaurs and fossils.  A great tool for further discussion at home with the kids!

I do hope that Singapore Science Centre could partner with other shopping malls and have more of such wonderful exhibitions soon.  I can’t wait for the next “Science in the Mall” event!

Dinosaurize Me! Plaza Singapura

Letter of the Week: F is for… | A Sink or Float Science Lesson

Letter F Week: Sink or Float Science Lesson

F is for Float!  Our letter of the week activity includes a preschool science lesson on density and buoyancy.  With all her whys, whys and more whys, I decided to let Hannah try for herself why some things sink and some float.

We carried out this experiment after reading, “What Floats?: Floating and Sinking” by Jim Pipe:

1. Sink or Float Experiment

Gather your materials:

Fruits e.g. apple and orange
Plastic bowl
Metal fork
Pebble

Make a prediction:

Before putting the item into the water, Hannah had to guess if the item would sink or float.

Test your prediction:

Hannah places the item into the water to find out the result.  When she felt the apple and orange, she thought they would sink given that they were heavy.  But both fruits floated!

Classify items:

Finally, we classified the items under “sink” or “float”.

2. Peeled vs Unpeeled Orange Experiment

Another experiment that we read in “What Floats?: Floating and Sinking” was of the orange and its orange peel.  We decided to test this out too.  The first time we placed a whole orange in the water, we recorded that it floats on the water surface.  Next, we peeled the orange skin and placed it into the water again.  This time, the orange sank.

Why is this so?

As explained in the book, the orange peel has tiny air pockets which help give the orange a lower density than water, making it float to the surface. Removing the peel meant that we have removed all the air pockets therefore, increasing its density than that of water, making the orange sink.

3. Building a Sail Boat

To finish off, we did a craft which we’ve done last year – building a sailing boat using a jar lid, dough, straw and paper.

Oh, and have fun splashing the water around after that! 🙂