Adventures of the Non-Creative Mom

January 27, 2013

Spelling Practice in Baking Soda & Then Some Fun

My daughter has been struggling a bit with her spelling tests at school lately and she always lets out a huge groan when I tell her it’s time to practice.  Homework and studying is a constant struggle with her and I don’t want to turn her off of learning so I have been wracking my brain to come up with a fun way to study.

One of her favorite experiments that she constantly asks for is the baking soda and vinegar volcano so I decided to try and combine that with studying.  So I replaced the old baking soda that I was using to freshen up the refrigerator and split the box across two cookie trays (my 2 year old always wants to do “homework” too so I had to have one for him as well).  I then would give my daughter one of her spelling words to “write” in the baking soda.



I won’t say we had a complaint free study session but it was a 100% times better than straight studying and after we went through all of her words we moved on to the play time.

I pulled out the food coloring and learned that you don’t want to take your eyes off a 2 year old for even a second because next thing you know he will have used half a bottle of food coloring before you know it!  But I digress…I had them drop different food coloring all over their trays.



I don’t know if you can see but my son’s tray of baking soda was pretty evenly spread out and my daughter tried making mountains.  Once we moved onto the vinegar step we found having the smoother surface worked better.

I poured vinegar into two cups and gave the kids eye droppers to drop vinegar onto their trays.



The kids loved their colored mini-volcanoes as the baking soda and vinegar reacted to bubble up and ooze.

Once they had used up all their vinegar the kids immediately set in to squish, smash and draw in their trays.  My 5 year old and I talked about the difference in texture of the baking soda before the vinegar and after the vinegar.



When we were done and had washed hands I thought they would be walking around with purple hands as we just couldn’t get the color all off.  Fortunately after bath and play time in the water the color finally came out and their hands were back to normal. 🙂

So while we won’t be doing this all the time since we used up the entire box of old baking soda at least my daughter saw studying doesn’t have to be a drag.

January 26, 2013

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle & Craft

Filed under: Arts and Crafts,Books — by dsuzuki @ 10:36 pm
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The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a much beloved book in our household (as you can tell by how well chewed up it is!).  It has been a favorite of both my 5 year old daughter and 2 year old son.  It’s a great book for practicing counting as the caterpillar eats his way through various numbers of foods, the bright colors are eye catching for the little ones and the little holes in each page are just fun for the kids to stick their fingers through.  It’s a book that we have read over and over and over.

Since my daughter constantly begs for crafts and experiments to do and I just happen to have a handy, empty egg carton we decided to make our own caterpillars.  I just split it down the center so each of my kids could make one.  I poked two holes in one end to stick a pipe cleaner through for the antennae and glued some googly eyes on.  Then I just let the kids at it with paint.



You can probably see that I use whatever is available to put the paint out and I find for crafts like this the top of the egg carton makes a handy paint tray that I don’t have to worry about washing out when we’re done.  I did have to break out a tray as my 2 year old insisted on mixing all the colors together and my 5 year old wanted them separate.



The kids were so proud of their caterpillars when they were done.