G is for Gravity

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What’s the simplest way to teach a toddler about gravity? Hold a ball up high, drop it, and notice that it always falls down. You can make this experiment easy as pie for a toddler or slightly more complicated for preschoolers, and either way kids will learn and enjoy.

To start, I gathered a variety of the balls we have around the house, aiming for a collection with various sizes and weights. We had rubber bouncy balls, wiffle balls, a squishy basketball, and a slightly harder squash ball.

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Then Veronika had permission to stand on the table! Have your child stand on a similar lofted surface (with supervision of course!), whether indoors on furniture or at a playground on a higher playing structure level.

First I told her just to drop one ball. And of course it fell! We then played around dropping two balls of different densities at the same time. If done right, they should hit the ground at the same time, thanks to laws of acceleration, (but you can skip that fancy scientific explanation with your toddler!).

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Preschoolers might want to get more “scientific”, jotting down results, trying two balls of equal size but different weights, two balls of the same weight but different sizes etc. Did Veronika understand all this? Of course not, but she was up on the furniture tossing balls, then jumping down to retrieve them before running back to start again.

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So yes… She had a ball!

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Pretty Nature Collage Suncatcher

We love finding uses for the treasures we bring home from nature walks and scavenger hunts, and here’s an idea that a toddler can easily help craft!

To start, I cut the center from paper plates and laid them out next to an assortment of nature finds. We only had small plates, but you can do this on a larger dinner plate size, too.

Cover the back of the plate with a square of sticky contact paper, then flip the plate over so the sticky surface faces up. I showed Veronika how she how could press down her latest finds, including wildflowers and leaves.

Once decorated to your toddler’s satisfaction, press a second square of contact paper on top, sticky side down, to seal everything in place. All it needs now is a hole punch and some twine or ribbon to hang from a window and catch the sun!

If you use dinner plates, these might even be big enough to use as a “placemat”. As an alternative, skip the plate and simply have your toddler decorate one rectangle of contact paper, then place another piece on top to seal everything together. You’ll have an instant placemat!