Egg-cellent Egg Experiments: Rubber Egg

Rubber Eggs

Is it getting close to that time of the year when you are feeling a little ‘hoppy.’ It’s that egg coloring, basket making time of the year. Do your kids love to color the hard boiled eggs, but don’t like to eat them? So what do YOU do with all of the extra hard boiled eggs that you have around the house after Easter? Well at our house we get itchy to do some science!

Egg Experiments

Materials you will need:
1-2 hard boiled eggs
1 glass jar that is tall enough to contain your eggs while they are submerged in vinegar
White vinegar (enough to cover your eggs in the jar)

What you should do:

Carefully put your eggs into your glass jar and then pour the vinegar over them until they are covered. You may have to poke them with a spoon every few hours to submerge them back into the vinegar.

What is happening:

Almost immediately you will observe tiny bubbles form all over your eggs. The eggshell is made of calcium and carbonate. The vinegar which is acetic acid starts to break down the shell. The bubbles that you see are the carbon dioxide that is formed when the vinegar breaks down the shell into its basic parts, calcium and carbonate, the carbonate forms carbon dioxide bubbles on the eggs.

What can I do next:

If you wait 24 hours and carefully pull one egg out and put it onto a plate you will see that the shell has been completely dissolved and only the membrane is left to hold the egg together. If you cut the membrane with a knife the egg will ‘pop’ and you will see the liquid white and yolk inside the egg.

Wait about six days to pull out the second egg (you will want to switch out the vinegar once or twice during this time and store your jar in the fridge. At this time your egg will get a bit bigger and the inside of your egg will become more fluid and white. Why? Once the shell is gone, the vinegar will cross over the semi-permeable membrane through a process called “osmosis” and begin to ‘cook’ or pickle the inside while slightly inflating the egg. This egg will bounce, but do it carefully….one little puncture and it will explode into a watery mess.

Want MORE Egg-cellent Egg Experiments? Click through for another great egg-sperience!

Other resources for EGG-cellent learning:

Iowa Egg Council Activity Pages
School Tube: Magic School Bus – Cracks a Yolk
Scholastic’s Activity for Magic School Bus- Cracks a Yolk

Egg-cellent Egg Experiments: Sucking an Egg

sucking an egg

Yes, we are going to suck and egg–> inside of a bottle! If you have been reading our other Egg-cellent Egg posts — Rubber Egg and Egg Drop of Doom — you have seen that hard boiled eggs are a great science tools.

This egg-speriment involves air pressure and heat. When air is heated it expands rapidly, this is the reason a hot air balloon rises. When air is cooled it takes up less space, the reason why the lid of a hot jar gets sucked in a bit when the jar cools on the counter. We are going to use this concept to suck an egg into a bottle.

What you need:

1 Hard boiled egg
1 bottle (We used an old olive jar, but Starbucks frappuchino bottles work too. The mouth needs to be just a bit smaller than the diameter of the hard boiled egg.)
Matches or a candle flame lighter
Vegetable oil (if desired to make the opening of the jar more slick– we did not do this.)
1 tea light candle or strips of paper (we used the tea light candle.)

What you do:

First you peel your hard boiled egg. If you are using oil, now is the time to oil the mouth of the jar. We didn’t do this step. Next you carefully place the tea light at the bottom of your jar. (If you are burning strips of paper instead, you will light the paper and carefully drop the burning paper inside of the jar ***Warning: Fire burns, if you are a child ask a parent to help.*** Finally, quickly place your egg on the mouth of your jar and observe the egg getting sucked into the jar.

What is Happening:

When the candle is lit it causes the air in the jar to warm up and expand. When you place the egg on the mouth of the jar it creates a seal that prevents the expanding air inside the jar from escaping. The flame needs oxygen to burn and once the oxygen inside the jar is depleted the flame extinguishes. The air inside the jar begins to cool and contract creating a vacuum inside the jar. The egg gets sucked into the jar by the vacuum.

Here’s a video that I found on YouTube done by Home Science Tools.

I hope you have as much fun doing these Egg-cellent Egg Experiments as we did. Let me know what you discovered in the comments!

Multiplication Triads: How I taught my daughter multiplication

Anyone out there remember School House Rock? Well, I used the SchoolHouse Rock videos found on YouTube in combination with my new booklet, Multiplication Triads (affiliate link) and flash cards to teach my daughter multiplication facts. By using these three different strategies my daughter was able to memorize the multiplication facts to twelve in under two weeks. You can too.

Multiplication Triads

We got started by playing the Multiplication Triads game for the number one. Each number (1-12) has two pages in the booklet. The first page covers a number multiplied by 1 through 6 and the second page covers that same number multiplied by 7 through 12. On day one we did all of the multiplication facts for the number one. Then we wrote a flash card for each multiplication sentence (1×1=1 through 1×12=12.)

Multiplication Triads

The next day we reviewed facts for number one by playing the Multiplication Triads game again and reviewing the flash cards we made the previous day. Then we practiced the next number in the Multiplication Triads game (in this case, the number two) and completed the lesson by writing out flash cards for number two. We worked in this way through the entire Multiplication Triads booklet for twelve school days.

Multiplication Triads

We were able to integrate the SchoolHouse Rock videos when we did numbers three through twelve. (SchoolHouse Rock has no video for one or two, but they do have videos for zero and three through twelve. We found “Figure 8” one of the most helpful videos.)

By this time you may be wondering what is the Multiplication Triads game all about. Multiplication Triads associates the three numbers that work together to make up a fact family for each multiplication fact. There is a triangular work mat that is used to organized cards or dice that represent the numbers in the multiplication fact the student is trying to memorize. Each number has a set of two work pages that work through the multiplication facts 1-12 for that number. The student fills in the triads on the work pages to memorize the numbers associated with each multiplication fact’s family of numbers.

Multiplication Triads

Here’s what people are saying about my Multiplication Triads booklet:

  • Kate D. from Teacher Pay Teachers.com said: “I LOVE this product and I am SURE my kiddos will too!”
  • Maps and Charts and Webs OH MY (A Teachers Pay Teachers Seller) said: “Great resource!”
  • Jennifer Marlowe (A Teachers Pay Teachers Seller) said: “Love this resource.”

Here’s what the booklet includes:

This 40 page booklet is the perfect tool to teach your students multiplication fact families from x1 through x12.

The booklet includes:
– 24 work pages to play the game
– a work mat page
– a page with a template for a ‘make-your-own’ 12 sided die*
– 6 pages of number cards that can be cut out or reprinted for multiple students*
– a teacher’s guide

Work pages can also be used independently of the game for extra practice or homework.

*The die template and printable cards are included so you can choose how students play the game.

The game can be played with individual students, small groups of students, or an entire class.

*hard plastic dice are not included.

You can find your copy to purchase in two convenient ways.

Multiplication Triads Multiplication Triads
Amazon.com Soft cover(affiliate link) Teachers Pay Teachers (digital download)

Did you know that by using different strategies to learn facts (reading, playing a game, listening to music, watching a video) you are engaging more parts of your brain in the learning experience? Using different parts of your brain to learn a skill makes it easier to memorize the information and recall the information later. By employing the three strategies above (Multiplication Triads, SchoolHouse Rock and Flash cards) you are increasing your child’s ability to memorize multiplication facts and reducing the amount of time that it takes to do so.

I can’t wait to hear about your experiences with teaching your children multiplication. Comment below! 🙂

Father’s Day Tri Tip Tacos- Slow Cooker recipe

Tri Tip tacos main

Here’s an easy recipe that Dad will love for father’s day dinner! Tri Tip Tacos! Get this ready in the morning and you will have plenty of time to play with Dad all day! When you are hungry and ready to eat dinner you can pull the meat out of the crockpot with the onions and shred it all up for the tacos. I like to serve this up with diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro, and shredded cheese on top of corn or flour tortillas. With only a few ingredients, a grill and a slow cooker even the kiddos can put this one together. (A parent will have to help with the grill.)

First I dusted the tri tip with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Then I put it on my VERY hot grill (about 450F) for about 10 min. per side. While the tri tip was on the grill I sliced up the onions and put them into the slow cooker with 1/2 cup of chicken broth and 2 tbs of hot pepper jelly.

Tri Tip Tacos

Next I put the tri tip on top of the onions, broth and jelly, put on the lid and set it to cook on low for 4 hours.

Tri Tip Tacos 2

After 4 hours I shredded the tri tip with two forks and turned my slow cooker to warm while I prepared diced tomatoes, slice green onions, shredded cheddar cheese, and chopped lettuce. I also warmed some corn tortillas on the grill.

Shredded tri tip

When we were ready to eat we fixed up our tacos with the toppings and ate. This was the easiest ‘fancy’ meal to prepare because the slow cooker did all of the work. There was only about 20 min. of prep and cooking time outside of the slow cooker doing all of the ‘hard work’ for 4 hours. I used a 2 lbs. Tri Tip and this was a lot of meat. This recipe will make from 8-12 tacos at least depending on how much meat you put inside of each one.

The best part of this meal is that it is so easy and low maintenance everyone can have a great day with Dad AND still have a great family friendly Father’s Day Dinner prepared when everyone is hungry! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does!

Tri Tip tacos main

Tri Tip Tacos

Ingredients

  • 2lb Tri Tip Beef
  • 2 tablespoons Hot Pepper Jelly
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Broth
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Chopped Lettuce
  • Diced Green Onions
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Diced Tomato
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 Medium Yellow or Brown Onion

Directions

1. Heavily dust tri tip with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
2. Grill tri tip on a VERY hot grill (about 450F) for 10 min. on each side or until nice grill marks appear.
3. While tri tip is grilling slice one medium onion into rings and place at the bottom of your slow cooker with 2 tbs of hot pepper jelly and 1/2 cup of chicken broth.
4. Place grilled tri tip on top of sliced onions, jelly and broth in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours until the meat easily shreds with two forks.
5. Serve on corn or flour tortillas with diced tomatoes, green onions, chopped cilantro, shredded cheese, chopped lettuce and any other taco topping you like!
Tri Tip tacos main

Healthy Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Hands On Learning 4 All -recipe

You don’t need a fancy schmancy ice cream maker to make gourmet ice cream that tastes like the expensive stuff at the stores. This recipe is easy, fast and HEALTHY with no added sweeteners or chemical junk! Add whatever you like to the basic ice cream recipe or make it like we did with chocolate chips and strawberry slices. I bet your older children will love to make this one and invent all new flavors for the family to try! One thing is for sure your family and friends will love it!

Healthy Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 6 Medium Ripe Bananas (Cut into 1 inch pieces and frozen)
  • 3 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (Organic if you can)
  • 6-8 thin slices Fresh Strawberries (Organic if you can)
  • 1/4 cup Cream (Organic if you can)
  • 1/4 cup Mini Chocolate Chips (Organic if you can)

Directions

1. Cut 6 ripe bananas into 1" circles and freeze. When frozen toss them into the food processor with 1/4 cup of cream and 3 tbs of unsweetened cocoa powder until smooth. Scoop out ice cream into a bowl. Cut 6-8 strawberries into slices and gently fold into the ice cream with 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips! Eat immediately as soft serve or put into a glass container with a lid and freeze for hard ice cream.

(I press plastic wrap right down on top of the ice cream before I put on the lid to prevent freezer burn.)
No added sweeteners, no chemical junk, no ice cream maker necessary--> All goodness!

DIY Sunscreen That REALLY WORKS!

DIY-Sunscreen

I have searched for the past few years for a sunscreen that is chemical free and works on my children. When we lived close to the ocean we rarely had days over 80F and could always find a nice spot in the shade to play. The only time we experienced long periods of intense sun was when we were at the beach, and I chose to go with a commercial ‘all natural’ sunscreen. Otherwise we just used our common sense and clothes to help prevent sun burn.

But just a few years ago we moved up to the ‘high desert’ and now we really get some intense sun and heat. My entire family LOVES to be outdoors and we are lucky enough to have a pool to get us through those dog days of summer here where the temps. can get to 115F. But this desert-like weather has put us in a situation where we really need a good sunscreen if we want to be outdoors.

So I went searching for a good sunscreen without the chemicals. Most of the choices I found were very hard to get out of the tube and even more difficult to rub onto a wriggling child. So I continued my search and I found this wonderful recipe by Scratch Mommy for DIY Sunscreen. With ingredients like beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil, zinc oxide, vitamin e, and almond oil, I knew I couldn’t go wrong in meeting my criteria for an ‘all natural’ sunscreen. But now….will it work?

Remember my kids LOVE being in the sun. My son plays football and sweats in the desert heat. We ALL love to hike and bike….and we have a pool. We have put this sunscreen to the test AND I am pleased to say that it WORKS!!!

I put the sunscreen on all three of my children. I have one 12yo, one 9yo (with sensitive skin), and one 7yo. We biked, hiked, and swam all weekend long. Morning, noon and evening we tested this sunscreen out and it has held up to the test. It is easy to apply–> smooth, creamy and it spreads very easily onto the skin! It cost just under $17 to make 8oz, which is a bargain in my book because when I order all natural sunscreen from Amazon I am paying that much for the product WITHOUT shipping. A little goes a LONG way. (I doubt that we will use all 8oz this summer.) It rubs in and is almost invisible. My husband said that if I didn’t tell him I put sunscreen on the kids he wouldn’t have been able to tell.

****BONUS***** This recipe is SUPER FLEXIBLE–> see confession below.

Here’s my confession: I am not very good at following directions AND this recipe worked anyway! I didn’t use the scale or the double boiler (I googled the equivalent weights for ounces) and I microwaved the beeswax and shea butter in 45sec increments. I grated the beeswax with a mini grater to help with smooth melting. I had a bit of zinc oxide left over about .5oz and I decided to throw it in anyway and added just a bit more carrier oil… AND this sunscreen STILL worked!

Here is a list of links to the ingredients so that you can see what you are looking for when you buy.

Zinc Oxide
(Don’t want to pay the shipping? Ask Scratch Mommy to ship you by emailing to scratchmommy@scratchmommy.com with the subject heading of… Zinc Oxide, Please …and she will ship some your way. She charges $3 per ounce. Shipping (in the USA) is $3 up to 5 ounces and $5 for any amount over that.)

Shea Butter
Bees Wax
Almond Oil (I used this kind, but you can also use olive oil from your kitchen)
Coconut Oil
Vitamin E
(the links above are affiliate links)

****Are you saying to yourself, “Hey…I want some….BUT…I don’t want to make it. How can I get it?” Well, Scratch Mommy does have a skin care products store where she carries this sunscreen and a whole lot more.****

Just click HERE to go to Scratch Mommy’s Skincare Store!

DIY-Sunscreen-Easy-Effective-Non-Toxic-By-Scratch-Mommy.jpg-682x1024

Here’s a link to Scratch Mommy’s Original post about this DIY sunscreen! http://www.scratchmommy.com/diy-sunscreen-easy-make-need-recipe/. You can go there to find the recipe and directions on how to make this DIY sunscreen.

Make Your Own Kite

Make your own kite

There is something about kite making that is whimsical and fantastic. Ever since the first time we watched Mary Poppins together we have LOVED flying kites on a windy day. This year my daughter wanted to make her own kite just like the one in Mary Poppins. So we looked up a few ways to do it and got crafting.

518bsZvX-6L._SY300_

Step 1: We did not have a thin dowel rod, so we glued and taped a few Chinese Take-out chop sticks together.

Step 2: My daughter painted a design on a large sheet of craft paper and then we cut it into the traditional diamond shape.

Step 3: We lined up our chop sticks to extend through the center of our kite to the points and then looped string around all of the four sides.(We used butchers string for use in the kitchen but any sturdy string will do.) We folded the sides of the kite paper over the string and carefully glued and taped down the edges.

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Step 4: We pulled the string that is resting on the tip of each chop stick tight and tied off the bottom of the string to complete the frame around the kite.

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Step 5: We taped the string to the chop sticks at each corner to secure them together and make a sturdy frame.

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Step 6: We tied a small loop of string on the center chop stick. This string serves as the attachment point for our long kite string.

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Step 7: We tied on a very long piece of fabric as the tail to the bottom of the kite. (We used an old sheet that we cut into strips. We started off with a 6′ kite tail but the kite spun in the air, so we added another strip of fabric and ended up using a 12′ kite tail to steady the flight of our kite.)

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I hope that you will sing “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” with your kiddos while you fly your homemade kites!

Elephant Toothpaste: A Science Experiment to demonstrate an exothermic reaction!

Elephant Toothpaste

Elephant Toothpaste has been floating around the internet long enough for the Mythbusters to take notice and do a segment on it. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvGJ3LZbhDA&list=PL0A5590CEE7F2EC3B&index=3 Skip ahead to 1:55)

So what is this stuff? Is it really toothpaste for elephants? No…but this experiment does have a VERY cool reaction and can be used to demonstrate an exothermic reaction. Here’s the definition for an exothermic reaction: An exothermic reaction is a chemical reaction that releases energy in the form of light or heat. This experiment emits HEAT! Make sure that you exercise safety when pouring the peroxide into the bottle and with the chemical results while the experiment is occurring. After the chemicals have reacted completely the foam is just water, soap and oxygen so it is safe to touch and clean up by rinsing down the drain. YOU DEFINITELY DON’T WANT TO EAT THE FOAM! (Just in case you get any ideas of using the foam as real toothpaste….DON’T!)

Elephant Toothpaste2

Here’s the ingredient list:
•1 clean 16 ounce plastic/glass bottle
•1 clean pint sized water bottle (the smallest one you can find)
•1 tray
•1/2 cup 40-volume Hydrogen Peroxide Liquid (40-volume is a 12.12% solution, ask an adult to get this from a beauty supply store or hair salon)
•1 One Packet of Dry Yeast (about 1 1/4 tablespoons)
•3 Tablespoons of Warm Water
•1 Tablespoon of Liquid Dish Washing Soap
•10 drops of Food Coloring (your choice of color)
•Small cup
•Plastic Gloves
•Safety Goggles/Glasses

What to do:
***Place the bottle onto the tray–>this will help you clean up once your ‘elephant toothpaste’ has erupted!***
1. In the small cup mix the warm water with the yeast packet and set it aside for 30 second to 1 min.
2. Have an adult put on the gloves and the safety goggles. Measure and pour the hydrogen peroxide into the bottle. (Remember the bottle should be on the tray.)
3. Add the food coloring to the bottle.
4. Add the dish soap to the bottle and gently agitate the bottle to combine your ingredients.
5. Finally pour in the yeast/water solution. Do this quickly because your reaction will occur as a result of this step.

Take notes! The foam will begin to rise inside the bottle. You will begin to feel heat coming from the foam once it begins to flow from the bottle. The heat is a result of your chemical reaction and it is called an exothermic reaction.

Now formulate a hypothesis: What will happen if you use the smaller bottle for the same experiment. Try it. What happened? Were you right? Why or why not? Take pictures and write about your experiment!

My kids LOVED this experiment. If you can’t get the salon hydrogen peroxide, regular grocery store peroxide (for minor cuts, etc.) will work…your reaction just won’t be as powerful. This is a wonderful opportunity to get your reluctant writers to write about what would happen if you changed the amounts of the ingredients or used a larger bottle instead of a smaller one. The possibilities are almost endless.

Learning Centers at HOME! Wall Boggle!

ziplock bag boggle

At home learning can be tough for homeschooling or traditional schooling families alike. You want your kids to be engaged in educational games and activities but you don’t want it to feel like ‘school’. This post is the first in a series of educational learning centers that you can set up at home that will keep your kiddos learning but it will feel like fun!

Got duct tape? Got ziplock bags? Then you have all the materials you need to make this giant wall boggle game. Just start with a line of four ziplock bags and tape them together with small strips of tape to keep them together and spaced properly. Next you tape them together with one long strip of tape ==> only tape one side, you will need to open the ziplock bags to slip in your printed letters. Do the next row the same way and so on until you have four rows of ziplock bags. Tape your rows together and you have a GIANT Boggle board. Now print off the giant letters here. Cut them out and slip them into the pockets!

This is a fun game to hang in your family room or in your child’s room to play as a relaxing activity before bedtime as you snuggle together. Anywhere you hang it, it is sure to be a favorite game for everyone to play==> even the adults!

No Bake Triple Berry Cheescake Pie

Do you LOVE cheesecake? I do. I crave the creamy deliciousness almost weekly. When I am desperate I smoosh cream cheese on a graham cracker and top it with some fruit preserves. But this recipe comes in handy when I have a little extra time but don’t want to heat up the kitchen. You will have the cheesecake craving satisfied in no time. The only problem is that it will be eaten so quickly you will need to make another one. Good thing it only takes a few minutes to throw together!

triple berry

No-Bake Triple Berry Cheesecake Pie

Serves 12+
Prep time 30 minutes
Allergy Milk, Tree Nuts
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Frozen Cherries (thawed)
  • 1 cup Frozen Blueberries (thawed)
  • 1 cup Frozen Raspberries (thawed)
  • 24oz Cream Cheese (3 standard packages--softened on the counter for 1 hr)
  • 16oz Heavy whipping cream (I use raw cream)
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Maple Syrup or Honey (or less to taste)
  • 1 packet Graham Crackers
  • 1/2 cup Almond meal
  • 3 tablespoons Butter (melted)
  • 2 cups Cherry Juice (Blueberry or Raspberry can be substituted)
  • 1/4c cup Corn Starch (Arrowroot powder can be substited 1:1 -- http://girlmeetsnourishment.com/gmnwordpress1/arrowroot-vs-cornstarch/)

Directions

1. Whip your heavy whipping cream until stiff.
2. Add one package of cream cheese (or 8 oz) to whipped cream and beat well before adding next package.
3. Beat in 1 cup of maple syrup and 2 teaspoons of vanilla into the cheese and whipped cream mixture. Beat until smooth. Set aside.
4. Pour your cherry juice into a sauce pan and whisk in Cornstarch (or arrowroot powder.) Heat on medium high until it boils and thickens. The place into the freezer to cool.
5. Crush graham crackers and mix well with almond meal. Combine with melted butter and pack the entire mixture onto the bottom of a 9x13 pan.
6. Lump cream cheese mixture onto the graham crackers in even spaces all over the graham crackers. (The crackers are loose so you will need to be careful here so not to combine your cheese with crackers.) Spread the cream cheese mixture to form a layer.
7. Top the cream cheese mixture with an even layer of your thawed berries.
8. After thickened juice is cooled pour over the top of the berries.
9. Cover your pan and place into the refridgerator for at least an hour before serving. (Or if you are impatient you can put it into the freezer for 30 min.) Serve cold.