Just in case you were wondering what in the world is a Polwig, here it is. Yes that is it. You most likely know it by another name such as Tadpole, Pollwog, Pollywog, Polliwig, Purwiggy, Pollywiggle… well you get the point.
We have gotten lucky since a friend of mine had few too many of these critters hanging around her pool and figure it was just about time to have them move somewhere else. But if you are in the mood for tadpoles you can do it three ways.
-You can buy a Pet Frog Kit on line for 20-40$. It even comes in a Star Wars Edition. Why? Doesn’t everything come in a Star Wars Edition? If interested click here.
-You can go buy tadpoles in the store. They are usually sold at your local pet store or a pond store
-Get a net, a jar, or in my friends case a kitchen strainer and spend an afternoon with your kiddos at the creek, pond, swamp. Turn over a couple of rocks, look around algea and you should be able to find them. Make sure to bring the water and some weeds with the tadpoles so they will feel at home. Do not add any tap water.
So we spent the day observing. My daughter who is not feeling well loved them and how they open their little mouths to eat. She thought they were sending her kisses. Every time I would put them away I would hear “Mommy I want the frog. I want to kiss”. I wonder if that is where the kissing of the frog came from?
We do have tadpoles in various sizes ranging from one little itsy bitsy one to one HUGE one. I hope the little one does not become lunch since it is so cute. It reminds me of pictures from a human reproductive cycle, even though it is large enough to see. It is even smaller then the little one captured below.
My daughter absolutely loves them. As for my son I am not sure if he even saw them since she was hording them so much.
It takes about 6-12 weeks for tadpoles to turn into frogs and I understand that tomorrow I will need to move these guys into a bigger container with more pond water. I know that just like me you love the martini shaker in which they reside but I am worried they will run out of space soon.
So far these are the coolest pets ever so much cuter then fish and it is great to know that once they turn into frogs they are going back to the pond. As for their growth cycle continue to Part II by clicking here.
In the Art History posts we will try to create masterpieces using different art techniques sometime similar to the ones that the artist used himself. We love art and in case you missed our previous collections you can find them here.
Personally I believe that it is never too early to teach kids about art, art techniques or doodling. If all fails at least your children will be able to identify mayor art works and their authors.
So today we are tackling Paul Klee and to be more specific his fish. Paul Klee was a Swiss German painter that experimented with color theory and eventually wrote about them in Paul Klee Notebooks, a book that became one of the most influential books in modern art. Color theory is an art of mixing colors to achieve the best visual impact in other words how to make your browns, greens and oranges like you want them to or to make them pop.
Isn’t this cool. I just love this painting and have used a fun technique to recreate a similar effect. Of course I am not an artist, far far far from it and I do not think my 2.5 year olds qualify as such either so please bear with us. For this art you will need:
-watercolor paper, thick- do not use thin one or it will buckle and you will have to do it again, I know this from not so distant experience
-watercolor paints, preferably black and blue
Draw an outline of your fish on the paper with a pencil
add squiggles for waves, flowers, seaweed
Color your fish with as much crayon as possible adding scales in different colors and colored eyes, make sure to cover the area evenly.
Now cover the area with dark watercolor paper.
Just because I know what color theory is does not mean I know what Watercolor paper looks like and instead used white paper, most likely taken from my husbands printer for this project. Well it did not work. The paper was way too thin and absorbed all the water starting to rip like thin toilet paper. So just in case like me you had no idea, watercolor paper is thick and porous. The crayons will fill the pores and block the water and if you use the right one you will get something beautiful like this:
I can only imagine how wonderful was this play dough was 20 years ago when we had no worries about peanut butter allergies. You could give it to your 1 year old to play with and not worry about it being eaten. You could even promote eating since it is very nutritious. Now a days we are told not to give our kiddos nuts till at least 2 years in fear of severe allergic reaction. It does not mean that you should refrain from this fun dough if your child is too young or has allergies just use soynut butter or sunflower seed butter (sunbutter). Personally I used White Chocolate Peanut Butter because as you guessed, there was no normal peanut butter in my house. What is going on here? Only strange things: Chocolate, Honey or Almond Butter. I think the real one is the first one eaten therefore I am stuck with gourmet kinds. They do work just as well though.
You will need: 1/2 cup of peanut butter, 1/2 cup of non fat dry milk, 2/3 tbs. honey (optional).
Place it all together in a bowl and knead until it comes together into dough consistency
Mold, model and experiment as any playdough. I love this dough,even though it was a little bit more moist and sticky then regular playdough.
“Umm that’s a good owl mommy” he says. Do you think it is bad for me to promote eating owls? Will the EPA come knocking on my door few minutes after posting this? I think I need to let you know that no REAL OWLS were harmed in making this experiment. You know just in case you were wondering.
First of all I wanted to say that this would be a cool experiment if I could actually spell or spell check before I write something. This way I will be forever reminded that I should not be publishing anything without double or triple checking. I could just redo the experiment but really who has time. The twins will wake up anytime from their nap and start asking for some food.
This is an experiment that can be done just for fun or be a part of a scavenger hunt or science birthday party. The secret message could be for something small like “please come downstairs for breakfast” or “the treasure (see I can spell) is under your bed.” You can send these secret messages to anyone and the color change will allow your friend to see what is hidden on paper.
You will need: lemon juice, paper, iodine and a brush.
Get the lemon juice by squeezing out the lemon, or one of those fake plastic lemon containers.
Using a paint brush to write your secret message or code on the paper, let dry
Put a few drops of iodine into water.
Now dip a brush in a mixture and reveal the hidden message. Make sure not to make the brush to wet and the paper watery or the original message may start running, like my mascara in the rain. Which does not look good.
If you do want to get into the Science aspect of this, for all you mad scientists out there, the iodine makes the starch in the paper turn purple while lemon juice stops the color change from happening. So the writing appears white. You can use this trick to test for starch by adding drop of iodine to foods. If they turn purple you have starch. Try it on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta. Make sure not to eat the food after, just throw it away.
This is a cute cooking and crafting at the same time. I have decided to make the same dough as for the Bunny Bread since it is so good and cheddar cheesy. In case you do not want to make your own dough you can buy a frozen bread dough, just thaw it out if frozen the night before using. The larger you will make the breads the more chewy they will be like the heart that we made. The smaller the petals are they more they taste like pretzels with crusty outside and small amount of soft inside.
You will need bread dough, food coloring. I used green, purple, red and pink.
Spread the dough into 4 equal parts
Add a lot of food coloring into the down or else it will look more tie die. You can make tie die hearts and circles too but here we are making flowers.
make sure you work the dough until everything is well incorporated
Roll a green ball for the center of the flower, roll colored dough into a log and cut into small slices to use as petals. No need to glue the sides to each other with egg whites just press them gently and they will become one when rising.
You can use cookie cutters to make shapes but to be honest they do not look really good when risen
place your creations on a greased sheet.
Now I am not very artistic so I am sure that if you are you can make these look so much better
cover them with a cloth and let rise for 1 hour
Bake in a 400 deg oven till slightly browned. Once cooled your kiddos will really enjoy it.
Since I have not posted anything in the science category in a while I decided to show you this quick and cute science experiment that can be done at your own home. No gloves or eye gear required unless you are trying to teach your children how to be prepared for the worst when entering a lab. Meaning how to become a mad scientist and not get hurt, which I’m sure is a viable lesson in itself.
This is a basic color test to show your almost school aged child how things can suddenly change colors.We are not talking about people changing colos like you best friend or husband. This is about things. Things change colors with addition of acid or base (alkali) and as long as your child can understand the difference they are old enough to conduct this experiment.
You will need a red cabbage, acid, base, 3 glasses, one large continer.
Base options are: Baking Powder, Soap (cut into small pieces), bleach (wear gloves), Toothpaste (baking soda), Drano
Acid options are: Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Apple Juice, Grapefruit Juice
Chop up the red cabbage
Place the cabbage in a container and cover with hot water
Let sit for about 5 minutes. Cabbage is great at coloring and you can use it to color cloth, easter eggs etc.
Pour the mixture into 3 containers
To the left glass add acid (vinegar) and see how it turns the juice red. To the right glass add base (baking powder) and see how it turns the juice blue or green. The center glass is the original cabbage juice.
Hydrangeas are a great example of color change in nature. They are plant chameleons since they have blue flowers in acidic soil but pink flowers in alkeline soil. Adding base or acid into the soil can make the flowers change from one color to the other.
Picture of Hydrangeas is from Wikimedia. For more pictures click here.
If you are looking for small storage containers you can use your old bread crumb, cookie, peanut containers. You can use them to give away cookies or supplies to teachers or to store endless minature animals and bugs that your kids like to play with. The possibilities are endless the craft easy and fun.
You will need empty containers, glue and cool paper. This is the time to get creative. For your kids or preschool teachers you can use old ripped out book pages, craft paper. For older kids or middle school teachers use things that are more topic specific.
I got this cute paper in scrap booking store but I am sure you can find a fun print or fabric print on the internet and print it out at home. Cut the print into a desired size.
Spread it with glue. I used white glue but you can really use any kind of glue available in your house. If you still have any wallpaper paste left you can use that.
Glue it to the side of the container. Keep in mind that if you are using a metal container use rubber cement to glue the print on.
For my daughters French teacher we made copies of French Asterix Comic book that I had laying around the house. For English teacher you can copy pages from Webster Dictionary or a textbook used.
You can also go to your local library and copy pages from a book like My First Word Book that come in other language editions.
You can use maps and nautical charts for Social Studies or Georgraphy teachers. Or if you traveled to some exotic places you can use those maps to store little memories or nick nacks that you have gathered there. Like seashells in florida with a map of the city on the container.
We cut little uneven strips to make bows.
There are so cute that you can even use them as gift containers for birthday presents. For your good friends you can post them with pictures or collages. Be Creative and Enjoy !!!