Tag Archives: Science

Shaving Cream Landforms and more

I’m attempting to record all our favorite activities that I just never got around to writing about.  This is one of the activities we did as part of our focus on Creation.  I was hoping to do a whole series of posts on our Creation activities.  But since it’s been almost 2 years and I still haven’t gotten around to the task, it’s pretty safe to say it’s not gonna happen.  Our landform activities were simply too fun not to share though!

We were talking about how God created the land and focused awhile on the different types of land we see. I was using the Creation story to fulfill our “science” activities.

I chose 5 or 6 landforms (it’s been awhile so I can’t remember exactly) to focus on and printed one photograph and one illustration of each. I found all the pictures online. It would probably be a good idea to laminate these. Our pictures certainly got messy.

Matching- First I had J match the illustration to the corresponding landform photo.  This is a great way to practice matching for any category, especially if your child has no trouble matching 2 pictures that are the same.

Here he is showing off our mountains

Shaving Cream fun- I brought out the shaving cream and we created our own examples of the landforms. Warning – you will use A LOT of shaving cream if you truly want to make quality landforms. :) I bought a can at the dollar store. J was 2 years old when we did this activity and did need some help making a few of the landforms. TIP: it’s a good idea to start with the mountains!

After all the landforms were made, J “labelled” each with the correct picture.

The photo doesn’t do our foam world justice :)
Of course he had tons of fun digging in the “dirt” too!
 We threw in some bath foam fish, nothing to do with landforms but he liked it.
Landform Obstacle Course - For our last landform activity, I set up an obstacle course in the living room.  Pillows on the floor were islands that he had to hop on. Pillows stacked on a chair was our mountain. A blanket thrown over the table created our cave. I pushed the couch up to the chair to create a “canyon” in between.  We talked about each landform in the obstacle course and went on a “bear hunt” through the obstacle course.  It’s so much more fun moms if you join in the climbing and hopping! And finally we played a game where I called out a landform and he had to climb, crawl or hop to it.  Lots of fun!

Healthy Food Placemat

I found this Fun Food Guide and thought it would work great as encouragement towards healthy eating since J loves filling in charts and graphs and has this innate need to “get all the spots”.  So that we didn’t have to keep printing off a new chart, we made it into a reusable placemat.

PREP: I used google images to printout out a ton of pictures of healthy foods from all the food groups.  I also attempted a dot-to-dot title using some of the different foods. I had everything precut. 

ACTIVITY: He first glued the title in the center of the paper.  Then we spread out all the pictures.  I called out a food for J to find and glue onto the construction paper.  This made the craft a game and also helped me find out which foods he did/didn’t know. 

On the other side, he glued down the chart and descriptions of each food group found HERE.  He also glued some fruit pictures I found to color.

When all the gluing was finished, I covered the construction paper in clear contact paper. This way I can wipe it clean easily and he can use dry erase markers to write on it.

FUN WAYS TO USE THE PLACEMAT:

  • Connect the dots to write the word “Healthy”
  • Circle all the pictures of a certain food group
  • Circle foods that start with a certain letter
  • Circle foods of a certain color
  • Check off foods as you try them
  • Fill in the chart as you eat each meal
  • Color the fruit

We don’t fill the chart in every single day.  I usually bring out this placemat when J’s starting to get picky.  Since it keeps its novelty, it really helps him to finish his plate so he can color in all the shapes for that particular day.

Age: we started this around 33 months

 

Pick Your Own Fruit and Vegetables

This is the season to pick your own fruit!  We’ve done this twice now.  Last year we picked apples when J was 2.5 years.  This month we picked strawberries.  This is such a great activity.  For someone like me who can’t manage to grow anything, this is the only way he’ll probably ever see for himself where our food comes from (other than the grocery story!)

He’d much rather sleep in his crib.

 

Of course he loved enjoying the reward of his hard work too! 

I’ve found this website helpful in searching for farms where you can pick your own fruit/vegetables.  They have maps of each state so you can find farms for your specific county.  For those like me who are completely ignorant about which foods are harvested in which season, they also have harvest dates for your region.

Grow Something!

This is something we did to celebrate J’s birthday last year.  He got to pick out some flowers at the store and then had some fun digging holes in the dirt, planting, filling, watering, getting dirty,… 

He planted flowers both in pots and in our front flower bed.  The potted plants didn’t do so well (I do NOT have a green thumb and had no clue what I was doing, apparently we planted way to many in the tiny pots!).  The flowers he planted in the garden did great!  All season long he could point out the flowers that he planted.  We will definitely do this again this year. 

Let your little ones help you this year as you refill your flower beds!

Age attempted: 24 months

Color Mixing with Ice

When I was pulling up the old activities using ice, I realized that I never posted this last summer (I took a LONG break back then!).  These photos are from this past summer.   This is a great outdoor activity but a few simple adaptations can  easily bring this activity inside during the winter months and actually works well with a winter theme. 

(I honestly just copied this post from the one I wrote for our private family blog last summer.  I made very few adjustments – in italics – which is why it sounds like I’m writing from the perspective of summer…. I was!)

J’s homemade water “table” is still one of his favorite activities of the summer.  A few days ago we made yellow and blue ice cubes together.  This is an activity all in itself and a great way to teach the process of freezing. Let them fill the tray using a scooper or a medicine dropper to include some fine motor skill practice!  He’s been patiently waiting to play with them since. 

He first separated the ice cubes into bowls by color and chose to make blue water first.  I filled the tray with a small amount of water (just make sure the tray is white/clear so you can easily see the water change colors as the ice melts). He really enjoys scooping and stirring the ice cubes, letting them melt in his hands,… **Use this step to utilize motor skill practice with tongs or different size (and length) scoopers or spoons.**  I’m surprised at how long a little ice can entertain!  When he moved onto the yellow ice cubes I asked him which color the water (currently blue) would become and he of course guessed yellow.  I told him it was going to be a surprise that he’d have to wait and see.  He wasn’t convinced the water was actually green until the very end when there was no denying it.  He was sure it should be either blue or yellow! 

(Sorry, I kinda cut off his face!)


We then filled the ice cube trays with green water to play with in the future.  This activity is free, entertains a good while and recycles itself too!

My Little Chef: Avocado Black Bean Salsa

I have no clue where I got this recipe, but it’s great for toddlers and really pretty healthy. 

Avocado Black Bean Salsa

INGREDIENTS
1 avocado
1/2 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1/2 tomato (diced)
cilantro to taste
salt to taste
lime to taste

DIRECTIONS

Basically mix all ingredients together until you get the flavor you like.  The amounts can definitely be changed according to your own tastes! 

I serve this in tortillas, like a burrito, or in pita bread for lunch.  I’ve served it as a dip with tortilla chips for an afternoon snack (when I thought J needed an extra serving of fruits or proteins).  You can easily add some finely chopped spinach (precooked) for veggies or diced chicken.  It would also go well with Triscuit crackers I think.  J loves it.  I love it. 

24 months

Today it dawned on me that it’s an easy enough recipe that J could help (and pretty much make it entirely himself).  I just cut up the tomatoes and the avocado before he joined me.  He dipped the avocado into a bowl, added the beans and tomatoes and stirred them all together.  I didn’t have fresh lime or cilantro, so he squeezed some lime juice out of a bottle and shook the cilantro out of the spice container.  We added the salt together (so he wouldn’t shake the entire jar into the dip!).  He could even spoon the salsa onto the tortilla and help roll it up! 

The reward is immediate, so there’s no question in his mind that he helped create the meal. 

As a side note, I included a little science with today’s cooking too.  I happened to have an extra avocado and tomato, so I kept them out for him to feel.  We described the textures of the fruits and then I showed him what the inside of each looked like (pointed out the color, the texture, the seeds in each). 

Letter of the Day Activities (I day!)

We focused on “I for Ice” today and included some science in our lessons!

Ice Painting: This was how I introduced the letter I to him.  It was a hit. I gave J a piece of paper with both the upper and lower case letter I and we talked about the letter, it’s sound, and then let the LeapFrog fridge phonics toy repeat the letter and sound. We also filled in the block letters with stickers.

 Since “ice” was our I-word for the day, I gave him some homemade popsicles (made from Kool-aid) and showed him how he could paint with them.  I got this idea from the Toddler Busy Book.  Surprisingly, he was so interested in painting that he did not consider eating the popsicles until the very end.  (During this activity, he pointed out that the paper was wet, so I started our science lesson by telling him as the ice gets warm it melts and becomes water)   **You could also use plain ice and construction paper to paint similar to this.

Ice Melting Bags:  This was our science activity that went well with I for Ice day.  I had already made several different colored ice cubes the night before using food coloring.  I had J separate the different colors into sandwich bags and we taped them to the dishwasher so they would be at his eye level.  We described the ice together (cold, hard, heart-shaped in our case).  I opened the freezer door and had him feel inside.  He noticed that it was cold in the freezer.  I told him that ice needed to be kept cold or it would melt, so we kept it in the freezer.  I asked him if he remembered what happens to ice when it gets warm and he did!!  He replied “water!”  By this point our ice bags had already begun to melt, so I had him look for water in the bags.   He was excited to find some in a couple of the bags!  Throughout the afternoon, we kept an eye on our ice bags.  I pointed out that the ice was getting smaller and the water in the bag was increasing.  We talked about the different properties of ice and water.  By dinnertime, he was excited to show daddy his bags (of now colored water) and to tell him that the ice had become water because they got warm.  I got the general idea from  http://www.preschoolrainbow.org/toddler-theme.htm

You could easily turn this into a color mixing activity or get more specific by placing more ice in one bag and noticing how it melts slower this way, discuss why,… 

Ice Blocks - This was a simple activity with really no prep and no clean up.  I gave J a bowl of ice cubes and he built with them…. kind of.  At first we made letters and shapes with them (of course we made the letter I) but as they melted a bit, we could start stacking them to create walls/towers. 

Other things we did:

  • I pulled out all of J’s letter books and had him search for the letter I page.  He then wanted to show his stuffed Pooh all of the letter I’s.
  • I had printed an extra Letter I page (they were big block letters) and I had him fill in the letters with blocks, pompoms, stickers, and paperclips.\
  • It’s raining AGAIN, so I used painter’s tape to write both the upper and lower case letter I on our kitchen floor.  (I reused last weeks triangle tape because painter’s tape can get expensive!!)  Our letter I will stay up all week.
  • He got a popsicle as a special snack (probably his favorite “activity” of the day.  He was VERY engaged while eating his popsicle!

Age attempted: 23 months