Rainbow Science

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With all the talk about rainbows this month, whether cooking or crafting, it was time to get scientific. What exactly makes a rainbow appear? Today Travis and I answered the question in two ways, one more scientific, and one more artsy!

First, following the lesson plan provided by Raddish Kids, we did a visualization exercise. This was a first for Travis, but with a few prompts he got the idea. I told him to close his eyes and imagine and rainbow. He said he could see his rainbow through the trees in the morning, and it was star-shaped! Guide your child through this: what does the air feel like? Where is the rainbow? What time of day is it?

Next we did the quick run-down on the science. Raddish Kids provided two great video links to add some visual fun to hte science.

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We watched a few suggested video clips, to understand the science behind refraction. Raddish provides a very detailed write-up that older children can study, too.

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Next up was a challenge: Could Travis make a visual of a rainbow that not only showed all the colors, but also showed how the rainbow is formed? It turns out this is called process art, and I laid down lots of material for Travis to choose from but provided little direction beyond that.

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He decided he wanted a ribbon rainbow, so used lots of glue to adhere the lengths.

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I was so proud when he realized he was gluing in the wrong order, and fixed things with his red placed first!

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Next he needed to add the science part. He chose to use marker for sun and rain drops, and cotton balls for clouds. Now he had all the ingredients necessary for a rainbow to form!

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I made a second version alongside him to show him how open-ended this project is: cotton ball clouds, tin foil raindrops, and pom poms for my sun and rainbow.

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Finally, we formed a rainbow with science! Place a prism in a glass of water. Shine a flashlight or other light source on it.

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Hold up a piece of white paper behind the glass, and you should see a rainbow reflected on the paper. It’s a bit tough to see in the photograph, but it was there!

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Screen Scream!

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With firstborn baby, I wouldn’t have dreamed of going to a movie theater. I intended to allow no screens for my baby until age 2, and I worried about the noise level, or him making a fuss, or so much more.

Well, I’m a little more relaxed with Veronika as my second baby, and although I never sit her down in front of a screen, she’s no stranger to ambient movies, thanks to big brother.

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Today, I learned that even a movie theater can be an adorable outing with an infant! Even if you don’t have a big kid to take along, I recommend seeking out a matinee – it might be just the outing you need as a stay-at-home new parent, and baby is going to love it.

Here’s what Veronika did. She slept for the first 45 minutes, the loud audio of a dragon movie be darned. You can just see her stroller in the foreground.

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When she woke up, she looked nervous for a moment, but then nursed on my lap and peeked with big wide eyes at the screen. The lights and colors and music will be fascinating to a baby, even though they can’t follow the story!

I bounced her on my lap to keep her happy, which got little giggles. When she grew a bit fussy, I stood up with her in the aisle. Again, this is why I recommend a matinee. There was only one other family in the audience – a grandma with her granddaughters – and they weren’t at all troubled by me standing and bouncing Veronika off to the side.

After that she was tuckered out! She passed back out for the last half hour of the movie, sleeping peacefully on my tummy.

Here we are in the lobby after!

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I wish I’d been able to take pictures in the dark theater, because she was adorable and grinning while the movie was in progress. Here she seems to be asking Travis, “What on earth was that place?”

If a movie theater seems too daunting, consider checking out a puppet show! The kid-friendly atmosphere makes for a great showtime experience. I located a local theater and headed off with the kids to see Little Red Riding Hood.

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There was so much carnival atmosphere to take in that Veronika was instantly enchanted.

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I think she would have been happy just hanging out in the lobby!

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The kids even got a demonstration before the show began.

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Once in the theater, my little girl was wide-eyed and rapt. No sleeping here!

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Obviously the story was way over her head, but the idea is that your little one will take in the motions and colors and movements on the stage, plus get a first experience being part of an audience.

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Then there was a laser-lit dance party for the kids at the end. So yes, definitely a more kid-friendly atmosphere than a movie theater.

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What show will you take your baby to? Please share in the comments!

Where, Oh Where…

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I’ve been saying the same¬†little rhyme¬†to Veronika each night at bedtime since she was about three months old. Here’s a cute corollary we now say in the morning while she’s getting dressed.

Where, oh where, are your little fingers?

Where, oh where, are your tiny toes?

Where, oh where, is your belly button?

Round and round it goes!

Where, oh where, are you two small ears?

And where, oh where, is your nose?

Where, oh where, is your belly button?

Round and round it goes!

Touch each part as you recite of course. It’s so fun to identify those little fingers…

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And tiny toes.

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And when you get to the belly button, make little circles around on the tummy!

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This one always gets giggles and smiles!

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