My grandsons and I had a blast this week – literally – and it was all good, educational fun! In school, they are learning about the earth, rocks, and – soon – volcanoes. We spent the week talking a lot about the earth's core (center), mantel (in-between), and crust (the part we walk on). We found an interesting Bill Nye, the Science Guy show on YouTube about this and watched it together, (while discussing some of his points and how they compared to the Scriptural account – they were quite different, but that makes for a good lesson as well.). We read a Magic School Bus book on the topic (Caveat – I couldn't find that they did a show on this, my grandkids are not as fond of their books because they are a bit difficult to read and when we test-drove an audio version of the book, it was even more convoluted – so I can't say I highly recommend that resource – BUT if your grandkids DO like the Magic School Bus books, it was quite interesting.) We checked out several books from the library on rocks, earth and volcanoes and enjoyed some of those – as well as reading our new and GRAND encyclopedias by Usborne and DK (VERY good books)!
Then we got to the action part that was the biggest hit! My grandsons took pill bottles and play-doh and turned them into miniature and very colorful volcanoes. They filled the pill bottles with baking soda, rolled and draped the play-doh around the bottles. Then we carried their volcanoes out to the back yard on cardboard. They took turns pouring vinegar into the pill bottle part of each volcano (while also practicing measuring with 1 cup, 2 cup, and 1 quart measuring cups – a fun way to practice math at the same time), and voila – a ton of "lava" came pouring forth. I loved the pill bottle idea (I found it online but can't remember where, I'm afraid), because it kept the baking soda in one spot, allowing them to repeat the eruptions multiple times. We all had so much fun – even their great-grandma enjoyed watching from the kitchen window. And we all learned a lot, as well.
This was definitely a favorite activity we all hope to repeat and highly recommend. How about you? Any science or math experiments going on in your neck of the woods? Got any other books on this topic you can recommend? We'd love to hear!
P.S. IMPORTANT NOTICE for all of us – in AND out of the Sandwich Generation – There is currently a strong warning from Homeland Security to disable Java due to Cyberattacks that are going on RIGHT NOW (I wrote this on January 12, 2013). IF I understand it correctly, Firefox has taken care of that for us so they may be the safest browser to use. Apple has also taken steps with the Mac computer (which I use). So I feel safe using my computer. But apparently all of these safety steps may lead to tools not working well or at all, slower browsing, etc. Better slow than sorry, though! The joys of technology!!!