Hot Air Spinner

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This was the perfect science experiment to do hot on the heels of our wind-themed kit from Koala Crate. You’re illustrating for children that warm air is less dense than cold air. So if you hold something above a heat source (like an uncovered lightbulb), the cold air pushes the warm air up and makes it spiral!

First, draw a circle on construction paper, and then pencil in a spiral shape. Cut out.

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These kinds of projects are great practice for Travis – he gets to mimic my movements (drawing circles, cutting with safety scissors) while I make the version that is precise enough for a science experiment.

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Next we needed to staple a thread (be sure to use sewing thread; twine or yarn will be too heavy) to the center of the spiral – by far Travis’s favorite part!

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The next step was a bit tricky to catch on camera! Wrap the other end of your thread around a pencil and hold over a lightbulb (we put a lamp on the ground and removed the shade). Stay still until the spiral comes to a stop, then carefully observe – in moments it will start to whirl!

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Some good STEM fun to kick off our summer!

Crack-of-Dawn Muffins

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When your preschooler wakes up at 5.30 in the morning and immediately says, “Mom, let’s make a recipe!” you need something that only relies on pantry staples. Thinking quick, we put together this basic-as-can-be muffin recipe, and had warm muffins for breakfast about 30 minutes later. The perfect start to the day!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Ener-G egg
  • 1 cup plain or vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup melted Earth Balance butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates (optional)
  • Brown sugar for dusting (optional)
  1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; set aside.
  2. In a second, bowl, whisk together the Ener-G egg, almond milk, and butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  3. Stir in the dates (if using), then divide the batter evenly among 10 to 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Dust each muffin with a little brown sugar, if you have it on hand.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

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