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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.


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.


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. 

DSC_0066 didnot

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. 


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.


"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.


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."

🙏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.


“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


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.

We also added felt leaves, acorns, and pine-cones as decorations.

“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)."

🦃Thanksgiving 🌽Inspired DIY Simple ➖ Subtraction Math Lesson

This Thanksgiving Inspired DIY lesson on Subtraction uses materials you probably have at home. (Please note that this lesson should be presented to a child who already understands the concept of numerals at least till ten and the concept of addition; see the links below.)

DSC_0055There are different ways you can explain the mathematical operation of "subtraction" to a child -  the process of taking away/removing objects from a collection: a 🦃 hen/turkey ate the kernels (thus the difference is less by what the turkey ate) or a child can use fine and gross motor control to punch out holes/kernels we are subtracting or to cut the subtrahend kernels. 

DSC_0055 Hands-on subtracting (taking away 6) by hole-punching 6 kernels. 

DSC_0043  The 1st number (from which we are subtracting from) is called a minuend, while the number being subtracted (2nd number) is called the subtrahendThe result is called the difference.
DSC_0055Subtracting/taking away can also be presented by cutting, thus resulting with less of something.
DSC_0055Once the equation is solved, a child would choose the correct difference/result of the subtraction from number stickers.

See here a 🎥 video- post "Beginning ➖ Subtraction (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥Lesson)." For Addition Math work, see here "Montessori Math Simple ➕ Addition using Marble-Counters" and here a 🎥 video-post "➕Addition Strip Board (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥 Lesson)." Also see here an extension to Montessori Strip Board: "➕Addition Strip Board Making 🔟’s (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥 Lesson)."

For more on themed unit studies, see here a summary post for the month of November "🦃Thanksgiving Inspired Homeschooling 101 Unit Study" and here a summary post with all activities we have done during the month of🍂September and🎃October in a post "🍂Fall & 🎃Halloween Inspired Homeschooling 101 Unit Study." Also here see what we did in 2016 "🦃Thanksgiving-inspired activities (2016). "