Thursday, September 26, 2013

Jeb's birthday party

Jeb had REALLY wanted a sleepover party for his birthday, but we thought his 5-7 year old friends might be a little bit young for that. I had to come up with an idea that would top the coolness of a sleepover party, and what almost-6-year-old can resist a science experiment party??

He invited 5 boys (he requested that the party be for big boys, and that it start at 2:00, just like his friend's party did a few weeks before his). It took a couple of moments, but the couple of little sisters that showed up were also welcomed to the party :) All 5 of his friends came to the party, and when the last boy arrived, Jeb looked around and exclaimed "This is all of my friends!!!" He was thrilled that everyone could make it!

It was a pretty easy and budget friendly party to put together and we had great results! I got a lot of the ideas from She had a lot of great science experiments, and we used her idea of giving the kids a science book that had the recipes for all of the experiments, as well as a section that explains the science behind each experiment. Instead of gift bags of the little junky toys, we had empty gift bags and a bunch of zip top bags. For each experiment, we let the kids mix their own, then after they had played with it for a few minutes, we put it in a zip top bag and put it in their take-home bag.

I took all of the ingredients (baking soda, borax, cornstarch, etc) and put them in cylindrical vases to look like they were in a lab, and filled some oil bottles with colored water for some added sciency-ness.

We made flubber, which combines borax, glue, and water, to create a rubbery substance

We microwaved ivory soap to watch it expand

Then we passed it out for the kids to play with

Putting dry ice into juice makes a sparkling juice, as well as getting a lot of oohs and ahhs from the kids as they watched it fog all over the table

Then we did dry ice in a jar of water and dish soap, which made the soap bubble up over the jar, and work like a hand sanitizer. It went around the table a couple of times and was still bubbling over the top of the jar.

For his dessert, he wanted me to recreate the picture I had hand drawn on the invitations of a beaker with a puff of smoke coming out the top with a 6 inside it. I used reusable push-pop containers and put a piece of cake swirled with natural food dyes, some orange and green swirled frosting with slime green sprinkles (also all natural) and then cotton candy-the dye-full kind because it's a lot harder to find dye free cotton candy that doesn't cost a fortune! Sticking a number 6 candle inside and surrounding it with cotton candy 'smoke' was a hit!

I have a lot of great pictures of the experiments, but in the interest of not putting other people's kids all over the internet, I skipped over a few. We also mixed cornstarch and water to make a liquid that flows when you move your finger through it slowly, but resists when you move your finger quickly, and put balloons filled with baking soda over water bottles with vinegar and watched as they mixed and inflated the balloon. We made lava lamps by putting oil, water, and food dye into water bottles and tossing some broken alka seltzer pieces into it. We had also put the ingredients for home made ice cream into zip top bags and let the kids shake it up to serve with dessert.

After dessert, we went outside and mixed baking soda and vinegar in a zip top bag and watched the bags expand and then explode. That was a big hit!

And even though the kitchen and dining room looked like a flour factory had exploded, it was all quickly mopped up and all the party supplies went back into the pantry. Overall, everyone had a great time!

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

First days of dance

Journey FINALLY started her dance classes this month, and is LOVING them! She's taking a ballet class, and a tap/jazz class. She keeps talking about how she goes to dance with all of her friends, but is most excited that her dance bff from last year is in her tap/jazz class.

Ready for ballet

We had to get a picture of the dance bag too :)

Ready for tap/jazz

She has only had 3 of each class and has already learned so much, and she loves practicing at home. In ballet they are learning the names of the positions of their feet and their arms as they move, as well as some other very official sounding French words. The jazz portion of tap seems like mostly a warm up/exercise, and halfway through the class they come out to trade their jazz shoes for tap shoes and practice tapping with their toes and heels and doing some different dance moves. She loves the way her tap shoes sound!


Friday, September 20, 2013

1st Day of School Pictures

Since we homeschool yearround and it seems silly to take a first day of school picture when we begin a new grade at the 'wrong' time of year (Jeb started 1st grade at the end of March) so we've started doing our 'first day of school' pictures on the first day of our homeschool enrichment hub classes. They meet on Fridays for 3 trimesters with all different kinds of classes for the kids to take.

This session, Jeb is taking Spanish, Solar system, and Folktales from around the world. He enjoyed all of his classes. I asked how Spanish went, and he said "It was good...the teacher sounds a little weird when she talks, but that's ok." His teacher is from Guatemala, so we had a nice conversation about accents. It made me chuckle because, while diminishing, Jeb still has some of his accent :) 2 friends from church are in his solar system class, and one of his buddies who has shared classes with him for the last couple of years was in his folktales class. It was fun for me too, meeting up with other moms I've gotten to know, my cousin, and a few friends from church who started homeschooling this year and joined the hub.

Vivi and Journey are taking a class called Math Arts, which was pretty fun. They sorted strings by length, then by color, then made them into a design and glued them on paper, and then used multigrain cheerios (some are light and some are dark) to make a pattern onto a necklace. Because we don't buy a lot of packaged foods, whenever there's a snack I always read the ingredients, even when it seems like there couldn't possibly be food dye in it. Sure enough, multigrain cheerios has 'color added' on its label. Such silliness...

Journey was signed up for a class called Broadway Babies, which is singing, dancing, and acting for little ones, and Vivi was sure she didn't want to take any other classes. But when we got up to Journey's class, Vivi suddenly wished she had signed up too. A quick trip downstairs to talk to the director got her into the class, and she was thrilled! Usually she's very clingy and shy and doesn't want to participate, but she was amazing in this class! We've been noticing in a lot of ways that she has been turning a corner as far as her anxiety and social issues, and this feels like one more big step in the right direction.

Here are the pictures, all of them looking so grown up! After not seeing our homeschool hub friends all summer, everyone was commenting on how much taller and older they look!

Journey, age 3 1/2

Vivi, age 4

Jeb, the day before turning 6
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