Travel Crafts — Part 3, the final chapter

30 05 2010

Our trip is almost upon us, and I am happy to say I finished up one last little travel goodie!   Although I don’t watch reality TV much, I love the blog So You Think You’re Crafty, which is kind of like, well, any of the reality shows it sounds like.  People compete every week, readers vote on a favorite, and someone is booted.  Last round there was this super cool travel book that I thought would be great entertainment for a car ride, or in a restaurant.  It has a page for a dress-up doll, tic-tac-toe, and coloring.  I felt the need to modify it (no pun intended), since BB doesn’t know how to play tic-tac-toe, and besides, there’s nobody for him to play with even if he did.  And, maybe it’s gender-biased of me, but I didn’t think he’d be that into dressing a doll either.  The page with crayons is fabulous, so that stayed, modified only to fit the size paper I had.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have time for all the nice details shown in the original project.  This was hastily done!  Maybe, if BB likes it, I can go back and modify it later.  Without further ado:

Mix-n match faces

The right-hand page is a blank face with velcro, where hair, eyes, and a mouth can stick.  Then I made three of each, for, oh gosh, I don’t remember how to figure it, but a lot of possible combinations.


The pad was just a little too big, but by the time I realized it, it was too late.  The crayons were all floating around in my diaper bag; they are from the cracker barrel, red robin, and denny’s, and luckily I had a whole rainbow’s worth!  The book has a velcro closure, and it’s about 6″x8″, so it’s nice and compact.  I just hope it’s fun too!  We have many, many hours in the car tomorrow…

As a bonus, I kept up the Science Friday theme, and we built boats out of aluminum foil.  This was an activity I did in physical science classes, back when I taught high school, and it was always a lot of fun, but I learned a few things this time:

  • The boats make good water scoops
  • Those beads I got to load up the boats and see how much they could hold are so light they almost float — not good for this purpose!
  • A tub of water is more fun as a car wash than as a science experiment.  Oh, well.

Building boats? Not so much.

After LB’s nap, we went over to Wild Wings to see the birds… that’s more on BB’s level.  It’s been a long time since we last went (ie. since the weather was nice, probably last fall), and he’s a lot more interested in them now. They have birds of prey–owls, eagles, hawks, and more–that are unable to return to the wild, along with some educational materials like these posters.  The thing on the left is a bald eagle nest… did you know they can weigh more than a ton?  I didn’t.  It’s probably more educational for me than for BB!

How big is a BB bird?

Science Friday

22 05 2010

When I was pregnant with BB, I was at a large rummage sale and came across a book called Chemistry for Every Kid.  Of course I bought it!  (Aren’t my kids lucky to have a former chemistry teacher for a mom?)  And in honor of my favorite NPR program that I never listen to (because really, the odds of me being in the car, where I listen to the radio, at 2pm on a Friday are nil) I decided that BB was old enough to try some science activities, so Fridays would be our science day.  I have to admit, I kind of decided this because I was cleaning out the fridge and the egg dyes were still there, including the cabbage juice.  Cabbage juice (from red cabbage) is an acid-base indicator, so when you put vinegar (acid) in it it turns pinkish and when you put baking soda (base), it turns dark purple.  And, of course, when you mix baking soda and vinegar, you get lots of foaming bubbles!  In this case it’s purple foam!

Purple fizz!

He’s too young for much explanation, I just figured it would be good practice scooping and pouring (I gave him a cup of vinegar to pour with too), and watching what happened.  I don’t think he noticed the colors much.  He had a great time mixing things though, and at this point, I suppose that’s what counts!

That was actually last week… this week it was so nice that we headed out to see a park we had never been to before, the Lock 32 park in Pittsford.  I forgot my camera, but if you have seen a boat lock before, you know it’s pretty neat.  We were lucky enough to see one boat come up, and another boat go down.  I don’t know how much he understood, but I explained to him that the lock lets boats go from the lower side of the canal to the higher side (and vice versa) by closing the doors and raising or lowering the water level.  It’s very cool!  I found some great pictures on another blog; if you haven’t seen a lock before it’s worth taking a look.

So that’s our science fun, I hope to keep it up!