Some Float, Some Don’t

Some Float (6)

When you’re toddler gets older, there will be no shortage of flotation experiments to try for early lessons on density. But for younger toddlers, you can simply introduce the concept of flotation with this simple game of observation. Some things go ker-plunk to the bottom of the water and some things float, and for now that’s all that matters!

I set out a shallow tray of water with a towel underneath for easy clean-up, and then pulled out a variety of objects.

Some Float (1)

Of course Veronika was immediately interested in everything in the pile, including a spoon, a clothespin, a plastic animal toy, a piece of sponge, a key, a wooden block, a comb, shredded paper, and more.

One by one, we dropped the items in the water.

Some Float (2)

“Will it sink or float?” I asked for each one. “It sinks!” I would say happily. Or, conversely, “It floats!” She parroted both these statements back to me, even though it was brand new vocab. But this is precisely how kids learn!

Some Float (3)

Then it was time just to let her explore the objects in the water. She loved squeezing the sponge pieces.

Some Float (4)

And crumpling the paper between her fingers until it disintegrated into our water.

Some Float (8)

The clothespin was fun to scoot around like a little boat.

Some Float (5)

And when she was done, I dumped the water in the sink and wiped the floor dry, and the game was complete!

Some Float (7)

Summer Barley Salad

Summer Barley

Juicy strawberries add the perfect summer touch to this easy salad.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked barley
  • 1/2 cup cooked and sliced green beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
  • 2 sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  1. In a large bowl, combine the barley, green beans, strawberries, and green onion, stirring to combine.
  2. To prepare the vinaigrette, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and agave. Drizzle over the barley mixture and stir to combine.

Staying Cool

Staying Cool (1)

We’re currently in the midst of a heat wave, and are looking for any way to beat the heat. To turn possible-misery into a teachable moment, today I helped Travis explore ways to keep cool, all parked right in front of a nice cool fan!

For this simple STEM experiment, we started out simply by turning on the fan and moving either closer to it or further away. I asked Travis which was cooler, and he rightly noted that being close was best.

Staying Cool (2)

Then we draped a wet paper towel over one of his arms. Now he alternated the wet arm and the dry arm in front of the fan. Which felt cooler? The wet arm!

Staying Cool (3)

So now we had some scientifically-backed ideas to cool down on a hot day: wind and water. We brainstormed other things that might keep us cool, too, like shade.

For a minute there, we beat the heat!

Just Dance

Just Dance (6)

We had some great musical fun today, starting with this prompt: what mood was Travis in, and what music food that mood. In other words, what was his current theme song? Though I might have hoped the answer was something joyful and bouncy (I’m always up for rocking out to Can’t Stop the Feeling) I was not at all surprised that Travis picked Duel of the Fates from Star Wars. Hey, it fit his mood!

Just Dance (3)

So we got the music going and I challenged Travis to come up with two dance moves, one using just his hands, and one using just his feet. We soon had a little arm roll followed by a kick for 4 beats.

I encouraged him to think of the next steps. We talked about the term “choreography”, and soon had a routine involving twirls, waving feather boas in the air… and then improvising!

As the final touch, we raided the dress-up bin. Costumes would be a must!

Just Dance (2)

From here, the “dance” turned more into acting out this movie scene, too. What followed was half-acting, half-interpretive dance, and little sister joined in.

Just Dance (4)

With light saber props, of course!

Just Dance (7)

There are so many ways to elaborate on this activity. Have your child pick a song as their “theme” of the moment… or write their own song! Vary the costumes each time, or add props. Make it more of a dance routine, or more of a play as you act out a story to music.

I would love to hear about your dance fun in the comments, so please share! Without any further ado, here is The Travis: