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Toothpick 🌟Star 💦Trick Science Experiment For Kids (Science 🔬⚗️⚖️ 101 🎥Series 🎇)

How about adding some✨magic to this Holiday Season? Your kiddo will absolutely love this fun 🎄Christmas Inspired Science ⚗️Experiment! A magic toothpick trick on how to turn a broken toothpicks snowflake into a star! Observe the toothpicks mysteriously glide right in front your eyes!

DSC_0011What you will need:

  • five wooden toothpicks,
  • smooth surface,
  • a dropper or a drinking straw,
  • water.

DSC_0011Bend each toothpick in the middle carefully not to break it completely.

DSC_0011  Place all five semi-broken toothpicks in a circle with broken points meeting at the center. 

DSC_0032Using a dropper, carefully put few drops of water in the middle.

DSC_0011Observe how toothpicks mysteriously glide into place to form a star!


Please note, that the second part of "opening" of the star has been sped up 8x times. So please be patient and do not be discouraged if your star does not expand as fast.

Science mystery is 💡 revealed: toothpicks are composed of dry wood. When we bend and crack the toothpicks in the middle, the wood fragments inside compress. Once we add water to the center circle of the star, capillary action causes the water to be absorbed into the toothpicks.  As the water moves inside the dry toothpick from the starting point of the crack along the length to its pointed tips, the wood fibers that are bent expand and open up. The capillary action or water traveling inside the toothpick causes toothpicks to glide as they straighten forming a star.

DSC_0032  As dry wood absorbs water and toothpicks straighten out, they push against one another opening up the inside of the star.

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Tips for success (we had several trial and errors until we figured it out:

  • Snap a little - do NOT break! How you break the toothpick matters: bend and apply the least pressure and be very careful not to break apart: the more wooden fibers are still connected, the better chances you will have that the "star" will open. If too many fibers are broken, the experiment will not work.  
  • Surface matters! We tried this experiment on a plate and it did not work. We are using this tray. 
  • The right amount of water! Too little would not be enough for the capillary action to take place, and too much water would just cause the toothpicks to float instead of gliding.

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But how does wood absorb water? Wood absorbs water by capillary action, adhesion, and cohesion.These are the same factors that allow plants to carry water from roots upwards through vein-like tubes to the leaves. For more on Capillary Action, see here "💛💙❤️Primary Colors, 💦Water & Paper Capillary Action ⌛️Timelapse ⚗️ Kids Science Experiment (🌈 Rainbow Walking Water). "

💦Water science is one of my children's favorite activities! They can never seem to get enough of these experiments! See here "Walnut Shell ⛵Sailboats 💦Water Science Experiment (Science 🔬 💡⚖️ 101 🎥 Series 🎇)" and here a video post "🎶Musical 💦Water 🌈Glasses (Science🔬⚗️⚖️ 101 🎥Series 🎇)" and here "Pour 💦it in! Liquid Illusion" (Science🔬⚗️⚖️ 101 🎥Series 🎇). 


No-Cook Homemade Play Dough 🎄Christmas Tree DIY Craft

We all had so much fun making our no-cook homemade play dough. 

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What you will need (double up if you would like to make more):

  • 1 cup of white all-purpose flour,
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil,
  • 1/4 cup of salt,
  • 1 tablespoon of cream of tartar,
  • 3/4 cups of boiling water (adding in increments),
  • food coloring (we are using this neon food coloring set),
  • 1 tsp of glycerine for shine,
  • we also added Lavender essential oil to add some olfactory dimension to our play dough (do omit it if you have smaller children who might otherwise put play dough in the mouth, since other than this ingredient, the playdough is safe if ingested).

DSC_0070An invitation to create: Can you make a Christmas Tree?

DSC_0071There are so many ways you can use a cookie cutter!

DSC_0075 copy  We are using a wooden dough roller from this set.

DSC_0075 copyOffer a child to roll the dough and cut out a shape with a cookie cutter. 

DSC_0075 copyInvite your child to make tiny balls to decorate the Tree.

DSC_0075This is a fun way to promote fine motor control while exploring creativity.  

DSC_0066 didnotSee how we made our No-Cook Homemade 🌈 Play Dough here.

For more on Christmas activities, see here "🎄Christmas Odd & Even Math lesson (Numerals and Counters)." And here "🎄Christmas Tree from Montessori Number Rods and Knobless Cylinders." 

For Christmas sensorial activities, see here "🎅🏻Christmas Inspired • Fill The Ornament 🎄Sensory Bin" and  here "🎅🏻Christmas Inspired ⛄️Shredded Paper 🙌🏻Sensory Bin with 🔢Math Twist."

 

 

 

 


✂️DIY Pipe Cleaners ♻️Paper Mache 🦃Turkey• Thanksgiving Inspired Craft•

Thanksgiving Holiday is a time to gather together and spend quality time with the family; and for us, making crafts allows us to be together while expressing creativity, advancing fine-motor skills, and most importantly, having fun! This ✂️DIY Pipe Cleaners ♻️Paper Mache 🦃Turkey craft is another fun Thanksgiving-Inspired activity children have enjoyed creating. 

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What you will need:

  • ♻️recycled toilet paper roll,
  • recycled brown tissue paper for turkey's body (or you can use a different color),
  • mache paste for paper mache application (we are using this Mod Podge),
  • pipe cleaners to make turkey's tail,
  • recycled packing peanuts,
  • feathers,
  • paint (we are using these washable finger-paints),
  • googly eyes,
  • pom-poms,
  • a glue gun.

DSC_0049Using paper-mache technique, apply tissue paper to cover toilet paper roll.

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"He does it with his hands, by experience, first in play and then through work. The hands are the instruments of man's intelligence." - Dr. Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, p. 25.

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The child is a worker and a producer. … The child's work belongs to another order and has a wholly different force from the work of the adult. The child’s work is done unconsciously, in abandonment to a mysterious spiritual energy, actively engaged in creation. It is indeed a creative work. Dr. Maria Montessori, 'The Secret of Childhood', Orient Longman Limited, 200.

DSC_0104Insert pipe-cleaners into the packing peanuts to make wings. 

DSC_0104  We used a glue gun to make pom-poms-mouth.  

DSC_0104  We also used a glue gun to attach pipe-cleaners to the roll.

DSC_0104Paint the packing peanuts with different colors.

DSC_0104Let the child explore his/her creativity!

DSC_0104While the paint was still wet, Adrian attached the matching color feathers. 
DSC_0104Our Thanksgiving Inspired🦃Turkey.

Whether you 🎉celebrate Thanksgiving 🦃holiday or not, the 🗓Month of November is a month of 🙏Gratitude, and I am wishing you a blessed, bountiful and a happy Holiday Season and a Happy 🦃Thanksgiving! There is always something to be thankful for! And it is not the happy people who are thankful, but rather thankful people who are happy. So, I am wishing you much happiness and many special family times this holiday season!

We did another Thanksgiving Craft also using paper mache technique: see here "🙏Thankful 🌳Tree🍂 • 🦃Thanksgiving Inspired ✂️Craft."

For more on holiday-inspired unit study, see here our activities round up "🦃Thanksgiving Inspired Homeschooling 101 Unit Study."


DIY ☮️ Mindful ✨Glitter Calming Jar •Meditation 📿Tool for Kids•

Before we can be 🙏thankful, we need to be mindful. So, we made this DIY Mind✨Glitter Jar as a meditational tool to calm down, reflect, express gratitude and count blessings🙏.

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A Mind /Calming Jar is a wonderful meditation tool to offer to a child who feels overwhelmed, upset or stressed. As an example of Focused Attention Meditation (object of focus): a child is encouraged to focus his/her attention on a single object like a breath, a mantra, visualization, part of the body, or an external object like a Mindful Jar. 

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What you will need to make this Mindful/Calming Glitter Jar:

  • a  jar (baby food, mason-jar, or any other recycled glass jar),
  • glitter glue (we are using blue one - buy here),
  • extra loose glitter,
  • warm water to help dissolve the glue (you can also microwave the jar for 30-60 seconds, or keep heating it up until all the large clumps are dissolved); 
  • a glue gun,
  • an object to look at once the glitter settles (we are using a Dragon- Silhouette Jade pendant).

DSC_0027   To secure a pendant to the lid, we are using a glue-gun and double-sided tape. 

DSC_0027Adrian thought that a Dragon Jade pendant inside a Mindful Jar would be nice to observe once the glitter settles.

DSC_0027  The ratio is 1:1, depending on the size of your jar. 

DSC_0032Add about one tablespoon of glitter glue per one cup of warm water, (2 tbs to 2 cups, etc).

DSC_0032The bigger the jar, the more glue you would add. Also, if you desire a thicker consistency and longer "settling/calming down" time, increase the ratio by adding more glue. 

DSC_0043  We also added extra loose glitter for more sparkle effect.  

The sight of dancing glitter was mesmerizing indeed. Offer your child to imagine the glitter as wondering thoughts. When you shake the jar, imagine that it is your head full of swirling thoughts. As the glitter slowly settles, imagine your thoughts or unease or anxiety settle as well, calming you down.

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The more glue you add, the thicker the density would be, slowing down the settling process since the glue makes the water thick and gooey. It a 1:1 ratio, it takes about five minutes for all the glitter to slowly and gently swirl around and settle - the perfect time for a child to reconnect, find the inner balance, gather thoughts and feel the gratitude.  

 

DSC_0062  Also, the warmer the water, the quicker the glitter will settle. 

Lastly, although we rarely use time-outs, I imagine this jar as a nice alternative to a time-out, encouraging a child to refocus without a sense of punishment: stop the behavior, shake the jar, focus on dancing glitter, reconnect with oneself.

Above all, I trust that this Mindful Glitter Jar will be a great meditational tool to quiet the mind, gather thoughts, find peace and inner balance while watching the glitter swirl around and around. 

For more on Peace education, read here "Montessori ☮️PEACE Shelfie (Grace &Courtesy, Gratitude, Pillars of a Peaceful Character)." 

For more on Thanksgiving-Inspired activities, see here "🦃Thanksgiving Inspired Homeschooling 101 Unit Study." 

Lastly, the Dragon Jade pendant is from our China Continent Box - see here a detailed post "Montessori Cultural & Science Lesson (China 🇨🇳 Continent 📦 Box)." 


🙏Thankful 🌳Tree🍂 • 🦃Thanksgiving Inspired ✂️Craft•

As 🦃 Thanksgiving is approaching, we try to slow down, reflect, and be thankful for all the blessings we are so fortunate with. By instilling gratitude in my children, I hope to ensure that they will have all the tools necessary to meet every situation with a mindset of abundance, appreciation, and joy. Gratitude, a powerful mindset of "having enough," can bring the fullness of life, and we as parents and teachers can play a vital role in helping our children learn a lifelong appreciation for what we already have, rather than what we do not. So, today, I asked Adrian to self-reflect and think about which things make him happy and what he is thankful for. “Each day, each season, each cycle offers something of beauty. Let us notice and give thanks.” – Diane Mariechild. And to display Adrian's gratitude-reflections, we will be making a 🙏Thankful 🌳Tree🍂.

DSC_0050What you will need to make a🙏Thankful 🌳Tree🍂:

  • recycled paper-towel roll,
  • Mache paste for paper mache application (we are using this Mod Podge),
  • recycled brown tissue paper for the tree's trunk,
  • pipe-cleaners for brunches,
  • hole puncher,
  • besides Adrian's Thankful Hearts, to decorate our Thankful Tree, we are using wooden maple leaves, laminated dried leaves we have collected during nature walks and DIY play dough leaves children made. 

DSC_0050Cut the bottom of the paper-towel roll in strips, so that the tree will stand. 
DSC_0050Using paper mache technique, cover paper-roll with brown tissue paper to resemble the trunk. 
DSC_0050Once the ♻️roll is dry, make holes and insert double-twisted pipe-cleaners as branches. 
DSC_0050I laminated dried leaves to use as decorations in addition to Adrian's Thankful Hearts.

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“Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given.” ~ Marelisa Fábrega

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Paper-clips work great instead of ornament hooks. See here "🍁Fall-Inspired Odd & Even" activity using these wooden maple leaves. 
DSC_0074-2Adrian is thankful for Julia, Mam, and Dad. His world is small yet but plentiful. 

DSC_0128Adrian decorated his Thankful Tree with DIY play dough leaves (see how he made them here). 

DSC_0026 The ends of pipe-cleaners can also be used to attach decorations to. 

DSC_0026Adrian is also thankful to himself for himself.

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We also added felt leaves, acorns, and pine-cones as decorations.
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“In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and all I have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.” ~ Henri Nouwen

Happy 🦃Thanksgiving! I hope your Holidays are blessed, bountiful and joyful! 

We did another craft using paper mache here "✂️DIY Pipe Cleaners ♻️Paper Mache 🦃Turkey• Thanksgiving Inspired ✂️Craft."

For more on Thanksgiving-Inspired activities, see here "🦃Thanksgiving Inspired Homeschooling 101 Unit Study." 

For more on Peace education, read here "Montessori ☮️PEACE Shelfie (Grace &Courtesy, Gratitude, Pillars of a Peaceful Character)."