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So far bcarroll has created 37 blog entries.

What are things made of? Exploring Wood and It’s Properties.

In previous posts, we invited you to explore with your child what things are made of.   Exploring materials and their properties is fun, but also a basic step in understanding the world around us. The following activity focuses on wood as a material that things are made of, particularly things in our homes. Here are some informal learning opportunities you can do inside during the coming winter months. Wood is one of our most important natural resources. It is [...]

2018-10-05T14:18:15+00:00January 17th, 2016|Kids Activities|

Kitchen Science: Acids, Bases and Common Kitchen Chemical Reactions

Chemistry doesn’t have to wait until high school. You and your child can create impressive chemical reactions in your kitchen now, right before his eyes. Lessons in chemistry can be as simple as combining ingredients used every day in cooking. With some help, your child will discover materials that when combined produce results representing foundational ideas of chemistry; concepts that are easy to grasp when seen and result from your child’s own actions. Today, let’s talk about acids. Acids [...]

2018-10-05T14:24:02+00:00January 9th, 2016|Kids Activities|

Real Reindeer!

Tis the season! Lights, tinsel, ornaments, trees and oh those reindeer! Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen…Vixen seems an interesting choice of a name for something associated with Christmas. But okay. And don’t forget Rudolph! Shiney red nose and all. These are all delightful references to be enjoyed this time of year, but maybe there is a window of opportunity here to explore real reindeer. Fascinating and spectacularly beautiful creatures that actually bear little resemblance to the cartoonish images we are [...]

2018-10-05T14:25:31+00:00December 19th, 2015|Kids Activities|

Where Do Children’s Ideas Come From?

The term “scientific concepts” seems to imply something incredibly sophisticated, technical, and above most of our pay grades. Believe it or not, but infants and young children possess both scientific and mathematical concepts (also called alternative frameworks, preconceptions, and intuitive or naïve theories). Not only do young children have clusters of ideas that they are using to navigate their everyday worlds, but they are actively creating new concepts all the time. These concepts are sets of facts and beliefs [...]

2018-10-06T13:39:25+00:00December 17th, 2015|Guiding Parenting|

Animal Adaptation: Winter

As temperatures drop I find myself wondering how the animals in my yard cope with the cold. I have heard children ask questions that suggest that they too are concerned about how animals live in the cold. How do birds keep their little feet warm? Do they have enough feathers to keep from freezing? Do rabbits hop because their feet get cold on the snow? I live in the desert so temperatures rarely dip below freezing at night and [...]

2018-10-05T14:30:06+00:00December 16th, 2015|Kids Activities|

Make Room for Maps

Where am I? Where are we going? Where did the Pilgrims live? Where do penguins come from? Is your child likely to ask “where” questions? If these sound familiar, maybe it is a good time to introduce maps and the broader concept of geography. Over the years I have met many folks who find maps daunting. I am sure that these same folks are grateful for the navigational applications on their phones; apps that can instruct them on how [...]

2018-10-05T14:33:17+00:00November 28th, 2015|Kids Activities|

Dinosaurs and Prehistoric People Did Not Coexist!

Why did Disney have to go there? Dinosaurs and humans co-existing? The new Disney/Pixar movie entitled “The Good Dinosaur“ is based on the premise that a particular meteor does not collide with earth, the same meteor whose impact is thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs. This lucky circumstance in the movie results in the dinosaurs surviving and eventually overlapping with the first prehistoric people. Unfortunately, most young children probably will not recognize that the premise of the movie [...]

2018-10-05T14:37:15+00:00November 22nd, 2015|Kids Activities|

Where Does Food Come From? The BLT

Does your child know where her food comes from? Why not ask? A fun set of questions asked regularly can help kick start thinking about the source of our food. This is just the beginning of further explorations into how our food is grown, prepared, and consequences for our health. There are many different things we eat, so before the topic becomes overwhelming, start at the beginning. Deconstruct a favorite food. Today’s example is a BLT or bacon, lettuce [...]

2018-10-05T14:43:05+00:00October 6th, 2015|Kids Activities|

Curious Teams

I love a good discussion. Questions posed, ideas flowing, abundant evidence of problem-solving, all qualities of a rich exchange and for me, there is nothing so life-affirming. Sure, I can sit and think on my own, be focused and satisfied, but there is nothing as fun or stimulating as a group think. With this in mind, if discussing frogs, space aliens, or hurricanes with your child, include another family member in the conversation. Include lots of others in the [...]

2018-10-06T13:55:15+00:00October 5th, 2015|Guiding Parenting|