Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Orange You Glad it's Science: Predict, Plunk, Pour!

A sweet little experiment for post-holiday blah's

 Buoyant with Peel
Pajama Science happens first thing in the morning; simple experiments that take place over breakfast.
This one fit the bill.
We set up this experiment with three P's; Predict, Plunk & Pour
...and ended it with eating oranges!

Naked Sinker

The day after, we discovered a clementine and decided to try our little experiment on him.
Notably different, we wondered if his size and the thinness of skin would change the results.

Not at all.
The little guy floated easily with skin.
We're not sure what happened without skin as Baby C got her hands on him and made herself breakfast!

So we continued on with an apple, skin on and skin free, floating either way.
We concluding that the porous skin of the orange must be involved in the buoyancy factor.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Winter Solstice: Builder Snowflakes

Such a simple, beautiful quiet activity for a snowy (or not!) day.

With plenty of heavy beige felt, I cut a several 'base' hexagons to demo that snowflakes are six-sided.
Then I prepped various other shapes in sets of six, for construction.
You can also use a sheet of felt underneath to steady the pieces in place.

We've returned to this activity several times over the busy holiday season with new results at every attempt.

Winter Solstice: Melting Snowman

Baking soda and vinegar can be found in our home in bulk quantities!
When we find a new method to experiment with these two ingredients, we hop immediately on board!

The baking soda 'dough is a lovely sensory concoction! It is not as strong as playdough, but can still be molded into shapes.

We added some popcorn kernals, buttons and bamboo skewers to create snowmen, before melting them with drips of vinegar!

Winter Solstice: Name Snowflakes

At first glance, the open snowflake looks like just another design.
It's not until it is re-folded that the magic appears!

We used these to top grandparents prezzie's.

Family Ornament: Wood Slices

We attempt a Family Ornament every year as keepsake.

This year I looked to slices of tree trunk and a few inspiring posts
while we stuck to our Fingerprint Snowman theme.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Daily Doodle: Pregnant Ladies, Don't Slip

O spilled some water on the floor.
When I came back in the kitchen, she had posted this sign;)


Faux Cranberry Wreaths

By far, this has been the most stunning decor we made from this season.
Thanks to the 'Say Yes' real cranberry inspiration we used our thrift store strand of beads to create long-lasting mini wreaths.

We started by counting how many beads we had in total and figuring out how many we could make if there were 20 beads per wreath.
O helped me count by five's to decide how many beads we could designate to each bowl.

Then Obi-Wan Kanobi began her beading on pliable wire.
We added a folded piece of tape to the end of the wire to prevent the beads from escaping!

Baby C managed to get two beads threaded before throwing in the towel;)

Then we punched out names on the typewriter and cut out teeny banners.

The Force Awakens

The Force (soon) Awakens.

"Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will move mountains."

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Candy Bend

Last year we did a little experiment with candy canes involving dissolving.

This year we opted to experiment with heating.

Before we placed the candy in the oven, I asked O and Baby C what they suspected would happen when heated.
O: "Rise! Melt! Sink!" (she continued calling out predictions since I didn't respond to any of her answers!)
Baby C: "Heat and eat" (she actually said this!)

The first minute was very exciting, but that wore off quickly (we were also in the throe's of making icing!)
Not much was happening so the icing took precedent.

Eventually it came out looking very much like a stocking!
It was bubbling and arched high, until the air pockets seeped out and it hardened into it's stocking shape.

*Note: Science is a good alternative use for candy canes when you'd rather not have them eaten for breakfast!

Dutch Pepernoten (Peppernut Cookies)

Oooh, these are good!
Thanks to my dear friend Miss M, after many samplings at her house, I received the lovely recipe and spice mix straight from the Netherlands!

The secret is in the spice!

Gingerbread: Garland & Mittens

Gingerbread is thus far, our only traditional holiday cookie.
This year we tried a new recipe from 'I Love Vegan'

Even O was quick to note how sticky the dough is, so we tried cutting shapes on waxed paper for easy transfer to the baking sheet.

A cute Gingerbread Man Garland is featured here so we poked some holes (that had to be re-enforced one out of the oven)

Stringing them was no easy feat, but both little elves worked diligently to get (most!) of the cookie onto a ribbon.
Baby C kept repeating, "I love eating cookies all day long."


We went on to trace their little hands for Gingerbread Mittens and combined this version with some icing decoration (icing sugar and a good dose of fresh-squeezed lemon!)
Then we watched 'Olive Us' make their Hand Cookies and other seasonal specials!
Hand Cookies
Snoball Cookies
Christmas Tree Hunt
Stacking Wood
How to be Two (Baby C's Pick!)

Tiny Tea Houses. We attempted these. Attempted.
Gingerbread City.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Candy Cane Sensory Rice

We've done many sensory rice jars, as they are great for impromptu play and keep a long time.
You can also whip up a batch overnight with little prep and money.
I used basmati rice and dyed it with a few drops of food colouring, stirring well and adding the peppermint essential oils. Spreading it on the baking sheet allows it to dry and prevents a lot of the colour from coming off onto your hands. Though hand heat does result in a little colour transfer, even when dry.

We added some Christmas tree ornaments; a few Nutcrackers, some figurines from Rudolph and a clear snowflake. Baby C liked to bury them all and hide them in the corner of the baking sheet!

She had an entire session where she played the two parts of the Nutcracker "Sisters".
Very sweet to listen in on her role playing game!

This is easily stored in a mason jar for future play.

Candy Cane Science. We attemtped this last year, in hopes to do less candy eating!

Scent Lab. I love this idea to collect seasonal objects to create a Scent Lab 

Bear's First Christmas: Woodworking

My favourite book of the season is overdue at the library, so we did a quick woodworking project based on the story of Bear's First Christmas.

Both O and Baby C were presented with a wood disk, nail and hammer.
They had to find the center of the disk and hammer in a nail to create a hole.
Once complete, they wanted a scrap chunk of wood to continue to hammering!

The original idea is a place setting prop.
You could also decorate your tree with mini paper garlands etc. and use in small world play.
But after I introduced the hammer and nails, no one wanted to stop in the wood shop!

Modern Felt Ornament

I never miss an opportunity to combine art and math.
We did some lovely kirigami snowflakes last year, involving folding and fractions, so this year I found a sweet little felt ornament that served as a little lesson in shapes.

We learned how to make a square from a rectangle.

Then traced in the cutting lines with chalk in triangle shapes.

We had to fold each 'ring' in alternate directions before sewing in a stitch to hold the shape in place.

Then O made herself some LIPS!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Snowman 'Hangman'

In place of the old Hangman, we played our own spelling game titled, 'Snowman'.
To my surprise, it was a huge hit.
Even Baby C was calling out letters of the alphabet.

Sadly, the snowman beat them to the chase, but it was a close call.

Then we took the word to introduce the song of the week,
'Chilly Hands'
My hands are feeling chilly,
I think they're turning blue
I need something to warm them up
What can I do?
I can rub them, rub them
Wiggle them around
Shake them, shake them
Pat them on the ground.
I can rub them, rub them
Wiggle them around
Shake them, shake them
Pat them on the ground.

(Repeat using feet, adding slow down and speed up verses)

After a few days and many plea's to play more 'Snowman Hangman', O decided to be in charge.
In her first round, she spelled 'TSC' (a.k.a her dad's favourite store!)