Listen Like a Whale

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Talk about a milestone; my five year old is finally brave enough to tilt his head back in the tub and get his face underwater. This was a big step for Travis!

We celebrated the moment with a fun experiment I’d been telling him about for a while, ever since learning about whales with Kiwi Co’s baleen whale crate.

All you need to do is tap two spoons together in order to experiment with how sound travels both above and below water. First we tapped them out in the open air.

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Next I tapped them underwater while his head was above water. The sound was quite muffled.

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Now he leaned back until his ears were underwater, and he was able to hear the sounds much more clearly. “It also sounds deeper,” he commented, though I can’t say for sure if this was the case since my ears weren’t under there. Either way, he was quite happy to have done the experiment, and I think our little whale spout cover concurred!

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The idea here is to illustrate why whale song can travel for hundreds of miles through ocean water; sound travels farther and faster in water than it does in air!

Bean Picture

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Engage your child’s budding artistic skills and fine motor skills with this quick project!

I invited Travis to draw anything he liked on thick watercolor paper, but suggested it needed to be something he could truly draw – not a “scribble scrabble” as he’ll do when he’s joking around. He thought about this and decided on a person.

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I love the way he draws people at age five: a very big head with round cheeks and small facial features, then tiny stick arms and legs.

Next I had him squirt glue all along the lines he had drawn. He took this mission very seriously.

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Finally, it was time to cover his person with dried beans. He laughed as he worked about “Mr. Bean,” and carefully added beans along every bit of glue.

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Near the end, he decided it wasn’t Mr. Bean after all… It was his baby sister!

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She needed a sun to stand under, so he penciled in a second circle, and insisted we cover that with glue and beans, too!

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Getting Used to Other Babies

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Veronika is eight months old today! Eight months is a fantastic age to introduce the idea of parallel play; that is, playing alongside other babies or slightly older toddlers, even though children this young won’t play together yet.

The perfect candidates for this activity? Cousins! If you don’t have cousins nearby, seek out neighbors or friends whose children are close in age to your baby.

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Just watching bigger kids is a lesson for a baby. Veronika loved to sit near her toddler cousins as they all played in the same room.

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She’s been super-observant of cousins during summer get-togethers thus far, marveling at the big kids in the pool, playing by babies her age at the beach, watching older toddlers eat, and playing together in playrooms.

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Where does your child get to meet other babies and toddlers? Please share in the comments!

Water Work

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This easy experiment will teach your preschooler or kindergartner about evaporation in an easy to see, hands-on way. Plus get you out into the sunshine each morning!

Travis filled two equal containers with 1 cup water each. We made sure to measure carefully before pouring, so our results would be accurate.

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We screwed the lid tightly on one container but left the other container open. Place them somewhere that gets direct sunlight.

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Each morning for a week, we headed out and measured the water. On the first day, the difference wasn’t that great, 1.5 inches of water in the lidded container, versus 1 inch in the open one.

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By the next day, the results were 1.25 inches in the closed container (some had condensed on the lid!) versus only .75 inches in the open.

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I asked Travis where the water was going and he correctly understood that some was evaporating into the air each day.

We continued to check on subsequent days, until a final reading of .25 inches in our open container. As a final component, Travis drew what had happened, showing a very full closed container and only a small layer of water in the open one. Those are three hot orange suns boiling off the water at the top!

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A fantastic STEM/STEAM project for your summer!