FEB
04
2016

The Silk Road Museum Tour 2015

Hi everyone! We had the pleasure of taking a tour of the Silk Road exhibit held by our local Museum of Nature & Science this past year. It was so cool! And it fit right in with our Expedition Earth world geography studies, so that was a win win! While we weren’t allowed to take any photographs, the exhibit had a ton of really interesting informational exhibits as well as interactive things for the kids to do. My favorite were the merchants along the “road” selling their goods. They each had different stories to tell and the kids would gather around to hear what they were selling, and what they had to say. Each one was dressed the part and totally in character which made it so fun! Since the tour didn’t take too long, we also checked out a few of our favorite spots in the rest of the museum. Turbo was able to blow up a star in their simulator which was fun. He also tried to dock a floating space shuttle which is way harder than it looks!   We talked to an … [Read more...]

JAN
28
2016

2015 Butterfly Pavilion Field Trip

Hi everyone! We haven’t been to the Butterfly Pavilion in a few years, so the kids were excited to take a tour again this past year. This time Jason was able to come with us, and the kids are always excited when Daddy joins in on the fun! The Butterfly Pavilion is really fun, but doesn’t take that long to go through. I think we only spent about an hour and a half in there this time around. But it’s still a cool experience. And if you can call ahead to see when they’re releasing new butterflies that’s a really cool thing to see too!   They always have the most beautiful butterflies in there. While you’re not supposed to touch the butterflies, they are allowed to land on you. Apparently our Daddy was popular amongst the butterfly population.   These white and black ones were super cool! They also have an insect area and a very small aquarium with some starfish and horseshoe crabs that the kids can touch. They opted to hold Rosie the tarantula. They’re very … [Read more...]

JAN
12
2016

Total Lunar Eclipse September 2015

Hi everyone! I just realized that I posted this on my Instagram, but I forgot to put it on my blog for all of you too! This year we had the opportunity to view a Supermoon Total Lunar Eclipse which was super exciting. I know some of you weren’t able to see it from where you were due to poor weather, or your geographical location, so I thought you might like to see it! The eclipse took place on September 27, 2015 with the blood moon, or full eclipse, lasting for about 1 hour and 12 minutes. People in the eastern and central areas of the United States and Canada had some of the best views of the eclipse. This eclipse was referred to as a Blood Moon because of the red color the eclipse takes on during totality. I’m not sure you can see the reddish hue as well in the photographs, but it was certainly visible in real life! This eclipse was rare in that it was during a Supermoon, meaning that the moon was closest to the earth as it turned into a full moon. Super Full Moons are rare … [Read more...]

OCT
22
2015

LEGO Education: Weight Bearing Crane

Good morning everyone! For our LEGO Education experiment this week, we applied our knowledge of pulleys, gears, and forces to create some cool cranes. The objective for this project was to create a crane capable of lifting a specified weight, as well as performing a valuable task.   The boys created a crane that could retrieve dropped keys for their moms who apparently have troubles bending over to pick things up LOL! I almost cried.   Then the girls created a crane to rescue a boat full of passengers about to be eaten by circling sharks. Both valuable services!   Click here to see our LEGO Education Crane in action! It’s a short video, but I think it shows how the LEGO Education curriculum encourages creativity along with logical and critical thinking skills! (And as a side note, I apologize for the sideways video. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I took the videos using my iphone in the portrait mode. So it appears as though our … [Read more...]

OCT
15
2015

LEGO Education Letter Balance

Good morning everyone! Today I’m sharing one of our LEGO Education Co-op activities. The kiddos made a really cool balancing mechanism using levers, gears, and a combination of materials and components to make a machine to measure weight and balance load. They built the scale, but then were challenged to build something that could handle heavier objects as well. They needed to work out a fair system that differentiated between the weight of different objects. They started out creating a scale that could hold a letter or envelope weight.   Next they were to add additional weight to see what the maximum capacity of their scale was.   As you can see we used our LEGO tires to help increase weight. This particular one held one LEGO battery pack as well as a whole stack of tires.   Next they did an experiment to try and determine weight of objects by hand to find items that appeared to have a similar weight. Next they placed those same items on their scale to see … [Read more...]

JUL
12
2015

Lakeshore Learning Science Tools Kit

As most of you know, I’ve been participate in in Lakeshore’s summer learning ambassador program. And part of the fun of that is that I get to review some of their fun summer products which are geared towards learning through play. This happens to be one of my favorite ways to learn for those of you who don’t know me! One of the products I requested was the Lakeshore Science Tools kit. I originally thought that the Teeny Tot (who is now 6 and really needs a new alias) would enjoy this. But when the kit arrived, it was my 11 year old who scooped it up and immediately went to work! The kit costs $29.99 and comes with a bunch of fun lab tools  and illustrated experiment cards for kids to work through. It even came with those beloved test tubes, measuring spoons, beakers, and of course safety goggles which little kiddos love to play with. You really only need a few extra household items to complete most of the experiments. Things like sand, water, oil, food coloring, and … [Read more...]

APR
19
2015

Little Bits Review & Giveaway

Have you guys heard of Little Bits Electronics? Well, they were new to me! But when they sent me an email to review their products, I was intrigued. I already knew that Turbo loved to play with anything electronic, and after taking a look at their website, I knew he’d love to check them out!   And I was right. After stalking the mailman for what seemed like forever (really about 3-5 days), our package finally arrived! It took him all of about 1 second to tear into it, and start playing around.   Instantly he was lurking around asking people to shake his hand. I thought it was going to be a shocking experience, but actually it was just a harmless buzzer that caused a lot of giggles around here.   He then went back to work creating more projects with the fun manual. They sent us the deluxe kit, and there are about 15 projects in the manual, but there are hundreds more projects online on their website. One thing that are so cool about these kits is that they … [Read more...]

APR
12
2015

LEGO Education Simple Machines – Crane

Good morning readers! We had another great LEGO Education group again this month! This time we worked on building and using cranes!     This month we created LEGO Ants which were probably one of the more enjoyable creations! Well, the most entertaining anyway! We had battles…and races…and fun!   I’ve had several questions about the LEGO Education Simple & Motorized Mechanisms, and I do have to say that we LOVE IT! The lessons are great, and it could definitely suffice as a portion of your science or robotics class for the year. There are about 34 lessons in the Activity Pack, so you could do one per week to make it last for the whole year if you wanted to use it as a formal curriculum. We’ve been using the kit for about 2 years now because we meet once a month for our co-op. But you could certainly do it more often if you wanted to! You do need to purchase the activity pack (lessons) separately from the base set if you want the … [Read more...]

JAN
18
2015

LEGO Education Go Carts & Sleds

We've been using the LEGO Education Simple & Motorized Mechanisms for our Co-op group for awhile now. Since we only meet once a month this kit is lasting us about 2 academic years which is nice. So far we've had a great time, and today we learned all about go carts and sleds. The lesson included changing out tires to see which ones had better traction. We also learned which ones pulled themselves up a steep hill faster. And finally we created a sled so that the carts could pull some weight. At the start of each lesson the students are broken up into teams of 2. Each person builds their section of the booklet, then they bring their finished products together to form the final model. I like that they each get to work alone for a bit, then as a team to create their projects.   Here is one of their initial carts. I didn’t get pictures, but all three carts had different tires on them. We experimented with small vs. large tires, along with smooth or thick … [Read more...]

SEP
29
2013

LEGO Education Simple Machines Giveaway

Hi readers! I’m so excited about today’s giveaway! As many of you know we’ve been absolutely loving the LEGO Education products lately. And my kiddos are super excited that we’ve added them into our curriculum this year. We’re going to be doing a co-op with the  LEGO Education Simple & Motorized Mechanisms Base Set this year, but I’ll have more to share on that later. Today I have the pleasure of reviewing the LEGO Education WeDo Construction Set and Software for you. This stuff is so cool, I had no idea! Literally. I had no idea until my friends 12 year old showed me how to use it. And yes, I felt old. But then I realized how cool this product is!   As I mentioned, we received the LEGO Education WeDo Construction Set, Activity Pack, and Software set. We downloaded the Farris Wheel instructions from their online resources, then built the project using the WeDo 9580 + 9585 sets combined. Once our project was complete, we installed the LEGO Education WeDo … [Read more...]