Fun Science Experiments for Kids ~ Hydrofoils

This fun and easy hands-on science experiment, using three ingredients you already have, is perfect for warm weather outside, or not-so-nice weather inside. Hydrofoils use water (that’s the hydro) and tinfoil (yup, you guessed it) to demonstrate the concept of buoyancy.  

Big thanks to Holly Homer and Rachel Miller of Kids Activities Blog and their new book {affiliate link}101 Kids Activities That Are the Bestest, Funnest Ever!: The Entertainment Solution for Parents, Relatives & Babysitters! for some fun science experiments for kids, including this one. More on their fab book in a minute.

Hydrofoils:  Water Science Experiments for Kids from "101 Kids Activities that are the Bestest, Funnest Ever!"

Supplies Needed

  • Water in a container, bathtub or sink.
  • Tinfoil.
  • Pennies.

This experiment is about design:  Designing a boat that can float well and hold the pennies without taking on water, testing it and re-designing it again uses critical thinking skills

Fun Science Experiments for Kids - Hydrofoils @creeksidelearn

I gave the kids two different types of tinfoil, one was heavier than the other, but I let them discover that for themselves. They each set out to build, test and re-build their boats.  

While they worked, we talked about the concepts included in the experiment from the book:  Water pressure pushing up and gravity pulling the boat down. That’s buoyancy. 

 Fun Science Experiments for Kids - Hydrofoils

They made big foil boats and small foil boats and experimented with flattening the bottoms of the boats by pressing them on the sidewalk. 

Hydrofoils were a hit! We hope you will like them, too.

101 Kids Activities That Are the Bestest Funnest Ever by Holly Homer and Rachel Miller

101 Kids Activities That Are the Bestest, Funnest Ever!: The Entertainment Solution for Parents, Relatives & Babysitters! contains even more fun science experiments for kids, as well as crafts, games and boredom busters.  I love how each activity contains clear instructions and way to modify things for older or younger kids.  Each activity is geared towards kids from toddlers to 12-year-olds. Holly Homer and Rachel Miller are on a mission to create great activities for kids every day. You can find them at Kids Activities Blog and on Facebook and Pinterest

For more summer fun and learning ideas…

 Follow Julie Kirkwood, Creekside Learning’s board Summer on Pinterest.

I received this book for free for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own. Read my disclosure page. Affiliate links in this post go to Amazon. I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if a purchase is made via these links. Thank you. 

Book Reviews: Helping Kids Understand and Manage Big Feelings

Our friends at Free Spirit Publishing were kind enough to send us some books to review from their Emotions and Behavior series. These picture books are a great way to introduce kids to understanding big emotions, the kind that often get so big so fast: anxiety, anger, fear.

Take a Deep Breath shows children in various situations that they find fearful:  swimming lessons, greeting unfamiliar dogs, going to the doctor, etc.  In each scenario, a trusted friend or family member talks the child through deep breathing and helps them get calm or be brave.

TakeADeepBreath

[Read more...]

The Day She Didn’t Give Up

 

My daughter watches, as her friends do things with ease: they open snacks, they button their coats, they ride their bikes without training wheels. These are things that don’t come easy to her. She is 7 and she has some challenges with motor planning, the way her brain tells her body when and where to move. She is aware that she is doing some things at a different pace than many of her friends. Sometimes, even her little brother reaches milestones that she still struggles with.

We talk a lot about how normal and okay that is. All babies learn to walk at different times: Some are on the go by 10 months, others at 15 or more. And we all have to work harder at some things. We tell her that she can–and will–get to the same place as her friends, eventually. She may have to work harder, but she will get there. We often turn to books and movies that have characters who persevere and reach their goals, to inspire her. Our most recent inspiration:  Monsters University.  

In this prequel to Monsters, Inc., Mike Wazowski, the little green guy who is all eyeball, heads to college, intent on being a professional scarer.  He works very hard, hitting the books constantly and practicing his scaring techniques. Enter James “Sully” Sullivan, the big, furry, blue monster. He barely cracks a book and fully expects to coast through college on his family’s reputation as famed professional scarers.

Much like Mike, my daughter has to work harder. She watches her friends, like Mike watches Sully, as they navigate things with ease. And sometimes, she gets scared and she gives up.

That’s what happened with the training wheels.

She insisted she was okay with still using her training wheels. She was afraid to fall, afraid she would not be able to balance her bike. So she settled in with her pink princess bike and it’s training wheels. And she grew bigger. Age 5 turned to 6 and she outgrew the bike. We bought a larger bike, with another set of training wheels. And she was content for another year.

Soon, her younger brother began to take an interest in riding his bike without training wheels. She watched him practice. Then one day, her training wheels broke. I had a hunch. I asked my husband to take them off the bike and sort of not get around to replacing them. I thought maybe if I could get her on the bike without them, assuring her that I would not let go unless she wanted me to, that maybe, just maybe we could start working on this.

But then I hurt my foot and I could do nothing but sit in the driveway while the kids played outside. Little brother, seeing that I was out of commission, asked Big Brother for help riding his bike without training wheels. And Big Brother dutifully walked Little Brother up and down the street, back and forth, helping him practice to balance his bike. It was completely adorable.

Then my daughter asked Big Brother to help her, too. Oh, my, I thought. This isn’t going to go well. These two are rivals and this plan, I feared, was bound to end poorly. But I saw something new on my daughter’s face. She was not afraid. She could see the goal.

And as her brother held on to her handlebars,  she wobbled and wiggled and soon fell, onto the grass. She was afraid again and said she was done. But then, Big Brother stepped up. He isn’t always her biggest cheerleader, but that day he was. Come on, you can do it.

He encouraged her to believe in herself. That made all the difference. In twenty minutes –yes, twenty minutes– she was riding that bike by herself. She was wobbling, but she didn’t fall and she wasn’t afraid. In fact, she was grinning from ear to ear.

First solo ride, just after Big Brother let go.

First solo ride, just after Big Brother let go.

She got there!

Mike and Sully got there, too. They wanted to be professional scarers but college didn’t quite work out. Instead, they started in the mail room at Monsters, Inc. and worked their way up to their original goal with perseverance.

Much like the Mike/Sully partnership, my daughter needed three things to succeed:

  • She worked hard. Very hard.
  • She had a friend to help. A friend who seemed unlikely at first, her Big Brother.
  • She took a different path than many kids her age, but she got there.

She hasn’t looked back. The next day she worked on using her brakes and turning and pretty soon she was riding in circles, riding fast and slow, zooming up and down the street.
________________________________________________
I’m proud to be a part of  Walt Disney Studio’s Believe in Yourself, Never Give Up on Your Dreams campaign. Monsters University is coming!  
You can own it first on digital HD 10/8/13 and Blu-ray ™ Combo Pack 10/29/13.  
Monsters University Giveaway!
Comment on this blog post to win a $50 Visa Gift Card and a Monsters University Blu-ray™ Combo Pack.  In your comment, tell us how you believed in yourself and achieved a dream you had for yourself. BlogHer Ad Network will randomly select a winner from the comments. Winner will be notified via email. Open to US only. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. By entering this contest, you agree to a complete release of Facebook from any or all liability in connection with this contest.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Walt Disney Studios via BlogHer Ad Network.  All opinions are my own. For more information, see my full Disclosure Policy.

Rules:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “”#SweepstakesEntry””; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post”
c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 10/3/13 – 11/3/13.
Be sure to visit the Monsters University Page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

 

Monster Headphones Review

Firefly, listening to an on-line math program, using Monster headphones.

Firefly, listening to an on-line math program, using Monster headphones.

I have been searching for the perfect headphones for Firefly.  He’s 9 and he has some challenges that would be greatly helped by the perfect pair of headphones. Firefly was diagnosed at age 2 with Sensory Processing Disorder. While this can present very differently from one child to another, for Firefly, one of his main challenges is auditory. His ear drums are extremely sensitive to loud noises at some frequencies (especially in enclosed spaces) and to touch (ear cleaning, medical exams of the ears and ear bud style headphones are torturous to him).

If the noises that he finds unbearable are occurring when he is trying to do schoolwork, concentrate on an activity or if they happen in a situation that he cannot move away from (such an in a moving vehicle), this presents a challenge for him. As he’s gotten older, he’s learned to understand this challenge for himself and identify things that would be helpful.

Headphones are something that his Occupational Therapist suggested we try. Firefly can use them to listen to therapeutic listening therapy, to hear directions without distraction for the on-line curricula we use for learning, and to listen to music when he needs to block out distracting or unpleasant noise that he can’t move away from (did I mention being in a moving car with loud siblings and a movie blaring is often intolerable to him?).

We’ve tried a few on-ear style headphones, but found them either uncomfortable, ill-fitting or flimsy (one not-inexpensive pair broke with very little use). So, when the folks at Monster Headphones asked me to review their new N-Tune HD Monster Candy headphones, I was happy to have the opportunity. [This is a sponsored post for Monster Products via the BlogHer Ad Network.]

The first thing we liked was that these headphones fit well. You adjust them and they stay that way. They are lightweight but not flimsy, making them extremely comfortable. Right away, we noticed that these headphones are of higher quality than the ones we’d purchased previously. And the sound was amazing.

We also noticed the durability. You can literally twist Monster headphones in opposite directions and they not only don’t break, but they go right back into position.

Firefly has been using these daily since we got them. His sister has also squeezed in a few turns, hooking the headphones to my iPhone to talk to her grandparents. This isn’t something that usually happens. The Bee also has some auditory processing challenges and finds it very difficult to process phone conversations, without visual cues. Blocking out all the other distracting noises and taking away the speaker effect have made talking on the phone a more pleasant experience for her using our pair of Monster headphones.

We’ve also gotten an enthusiastic nod of approval from our twenty-something niece, who stopped by one day when we were first trying out our Monster headphones. Mental note to self: these would make a good Christmas gift for my young adult nieces and nephew.

Win a Pair of Monster Headphones

Monster N-Tune headphones come in a variety of candy colors, including blue, green, purple, red and tangerine.  To win your very own pair of N-Tune headphones (valued at $150), read all about the Monster headphones here and let me know in the comments of this post which color you prefer. The comments on this post will be aggregated with the comments on the posts from the other bloggers participating in this review, and 25 pairs will be given away. This giveaway will close on Nov 1.

Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.
For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

BlogHer will pool entries from participating blogs and select a sweepstakes winner at random and will contact the winner with details about fulfilling the prize.

The Official Rules are available here: http://www.blogher.com/monster-ntunes-headphones-sweepstakes-official-rules
This sweepstakes runs from 10/2/13 – 11/1/13.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored review via the BlogHer Ad Network for Monster Products. I was compensated for this review. All opinions are my own. See my disclosure page for more information.

 

LeapFrog Touch Magic Rockin’ Guitar is Rockin’ Good Fun

I am so pleased to be able to tell you about another terrific LeapFrog product in the Touch Magic series.  If you read my post about the Touch Magic Alphabet Bus, then you know that we love LeapFrog products around here.  The Rockin’ Guitar is a big hit as well with my 3 1/2 year old. He has been jammin’ and groovin’ every day.

He asked if we could make a stage so we used our train table, with close supervision, of course, so he could perform in concert for his siblings.  He played round after round of The Alphabet Song, If You’re Happy and You Know It, Rockin’ Robin and more.  We all applauded after each number as he took bows.

Live on stage with the LeapFrog Magic Touch Rockin’ Guitar.

The Rockin’ Guitar has a lot of features, but I’ll point out a few of my son’s favorites.  He loves strumming along to the songs and using the slider bar feature.  And the applause button is getting a lot of action.  He adds drum sounds using the percussion button and loves to scroll through the songs with the Select Next Song button to find what he is looking for.  Because sometimes you’re in more of an Itsy-Bitsy Spider mood than a Pop Goes the Weasel mood, am I right?

What I Like About This Product

In addition to it being a toy that my son clearly enjoys and plays with a lot, I like…

  • The easy, intuitive touch that eliminates frustration and increases his enjoyment.  The toy is doing exactly what he wants it to do.  That is the hallmark feature of all the Touch Magic toys, and we’ve been really impressed with that.
  • He is working on fine motor skills, as he presses the buttons and strums the strings, which will help him as he learns to hold a writing instrument correctly and forms letters.  Gross motor skills are also at play here as he sways and jumps and wiggles in time to the music.

LeapFrog is hosting the Rockin’ Guitar video contest, where you have a chance to win a $500 prize, between now and November 30, 2012.  Here’s how to enter:

  • Make a video of your child jamming and learning with the Touch Magic Rockin’ Guitar or a guitar of your own creation with your own materials.
  • Visit www.touchmagic.leapfrog.com and upload your video.
  • Share your video on Facebook and email friends and family so they can view it and vote.

Videos will be judged on the number of votes they received from viewers, originality, and creativity and relevance to the theme.  The top five videos will have a chance to win a $500 gift card.

Here are some tips on making a great video:

  • Record your video in a well-lit place.
  • Keep your video to no more than two minutes long.
  • Avoid using a lower pixel quality camera, like a cell phone.
  • Check your video before submitting it to make sure the picture and audio are both clear.

For more information about the contest, visit. www.touchmagic.leapfrog.com.

This post is sponsored by LeapFrog.  I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinion expressed here are all my own.