Subtraction and Addition with Manipulatives

math is fun

  Do you have a child who's interested in math? Or maybe you have one who's struggling, and you're searching for a way to make it more relevant and fun? Problem Solving Skills This is, ahem, the very first math post I've ever written. My oldest child is 4, and has taken a huge interest in math, so it might just be the first of many. Fingers crossed. If you know my … [Read more...]

Baked Pumpkin Seeds

ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS

While it still feels like summer here in California, pumpkins are showing up at our markets and the feeling of Autumn is in the air. How do you cook pumpkin seeds My older daughter asked about getting a pumpkin, so we picked up a small pie pumpkin the other day and then promptly turned it into an afternoon of hacking the pumpkin, digging out the seeds, and then roasting them … [Read more...]

On Failure

FAILURE IS INSTRUCTIVE, via Tinkerlab.com

I've been thinking a lot about failure lately, and how failure is nothing more than an opportunity to learn, improve, iterate, and grow. Innovators aren't afraid of failure, and in many cases it's only by embracing failure that we can learn to pick ourselves up and get closer to the outcome that we envisioned in the first place. What do you think about failure? Are you a … [Read more...]

Celery Science Experiment

distinct color

While I'm an art educator by trade, having small people pulling at my pants has turned me into a mini-alchemist who's suddenly found herself reading books to her kids about Galileo (The Magic Schoolbus and the Science Fair Expedition) and brewing all sorts of concoctions in our kitchen (vinegar and baking soda, anyone?). The celery science experiment is easy to achieve with … [Read more...]

Diet Coke Mentos Experiment

diet coke and mentos explosion

My 4-year old and our neighbor enjoyed witnessing this explosive soda and Minty Mentos experiment. Have you tried it? It doen't require a huge set-up, and the show is pretty awesome. I have to warn you that the explosion itself goes by quickly, so you might want to have an arsenal of soda containers on hand so you can conduct multiple experiments. Ingredients for Diet Coke … [Read more...]

Make Your Own Birthday Cake

kids bake in the kitchen

If you know a little bit about me and my parenting philosophy, you'll know that I welcome opportunities to get my children into DIY mode. The only way they're going to learn how to do something is by getting involved, so I may give them a few pointers and then I'll step back and let them take the lead. My youngest, R, who I sometimes refer to here as Baby Rainbow, is no … [Read more...]

Crushed Flower Experiment

Crushed Flower Experiment

Now that summer is coming to an end (sniff -- I'm kind of in denial -- you?), it's a good time to harvest some of your last blooms for some flower-painting experiments. We took a walk around the neighborhood and picked some weeds from wild roadside gardens, and also selected a handful of flowers and leaves from our own yard. Materials For this project you'll need: … [Read more...]

DIY Baby Fabric Bucket Toy

DSC_0740

The following post is from the archives. It originally appeared in April, 2011. If you're looking for ways to mix up your baby play time routine, you might enjoy trying this simple activity with materials you may already have in the closet and recycling can. I often wax poetic about my preschooler's creative pursuits while my little one makes the occasional appearance … [Read more...]

Messy Art: Splat Paint Olympics

splat paint olympic rings kids

Today I'm over on the Melissa and Doug blog, writing about our experience making Splat Paint Olympic Rings with household sponges. Painting with non-traditional materials does wonders for helping children look at the world with fresh eyes. And throwing paint-soaked sponges? Well, that's just silly fun.   While we did this with the end-game of the Olympics in … [Read more...]

Invisible Ink: A Citrus Painting Experiment

invisible ink citrus lemon lime kids

It's summer and we've been doing a lot of citrus juicing in our home. Between my 4-year old expert juice squeezer and my almost 2-year old juice taster,  our simple and inexpensive juicer has been hard at work. While little Rainbow napped, Nutmeg and I gathered materials and set up the project. We talked about how we'd have to reveal the ink (lime juice) with the high heat … [Read more...]