Friday, September 27, 2013

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

I see a for cranky kids

We love outdoors and like hiking. But it's not always happen smoothly when we have younger kids. My youngest daughter doesn't like to go hiking or walking. She will started saying her leg hurts and wanted us to carry her. I decided to take this opportunity to make it fun. Usually, I'd ask her to be a line leader. Then, I would play "I spy" with her. Her assignment is to fine faces in unusual places. From my past experience, this is a good way to train your visual ability. I help to train you brain to see something that your eye won't see.

Here are some "I spy" pictures we found during our walk at Memorial Park at Co. Springs. Can you find other faces in your area? Send your pictures to facebook for a chance to win a prize.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Hoover craft, a science activity at home

The school is closed today. The kids are home and they started asking to watch TV because they are bored. I remember I have a science kit I got at the RAFT in Denver. I originally plan to use this for my troop, but I thought it's a good excuse to try it before doing it in front of 20 girls. 

 All you need is glue gun, thumb tack, old cd, sport bottle top, balloon, index card. The instruction said to make 1 holes on the top of the sport bottle cap. I decided to skip that and use the original bottle openings instead. I glue gun the sides to make sure it's air tight and bottom of the bottle cap to the cd.
 Then we blow the balloon and twist it and put the balloon on the sport bottle cap. We put a "collar" from index card around the balloon to keep it straight up. And we un twist the balloon
As the air blow out from the sports bottle cap, it slightly lifted the CD. It really moves by itself. When I took these picture, the balloon was coming towards me.

It's a good opportunity to teach about Bernoulli affect. The kids loved it, I enjoyed it. And when I told the kids it's TV time, they refused. I thought I definitely should share this in my blog...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Short term profit, instant gratification, greed...

So, what is the title has to do with the veggie garden picture?  Well.. the inspiration started here.
We started a new veggie garden in early June. We planted herbs, veggie and flower. Not until end of August or so, it started giving us a good crop. So, I have been sharing some to my next door neighbor. Not because I don't want it but it's because I want to teach our daughter the spirit of sharing and taking just enough.
I believe we are now living in a society where we only see short term goal. Wall Street always predict about next quarter profit. Children (or sometimes adults) are so used to with instant gratification. Greed are always lurking.

Like my experience with one of my girl scout troop... we had limited snacks to share with 20 girls and I noticed one of the girls scoop double than others.  As a leader, I reminded her that we have 18 other kids who were hungry and would like some snacks too. And I got the answer that she was doing it because she could.

So, what does veggie garden has to do with this? Veggie garden teaches there is no such thing as instant gratification. It took about 8 weeks and a lot of TLC before it started producing. And our veggie garden produces more than we need. It is up to us to take what we need and share with the rest. It also teaches us about planning when cold weather arrives. And we can give back what the earth has given us by composting.

Sharing a zucchini or couple tomatoes may not fill everyone's tummy, but there is something about sharing that makes my heart filled.

I think as a parents, we have to start showing the basics to our children, like compassion, sharing and be happy with what we have because we have enough.

Wouldn't you agree?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hot air balloon... why did it fly?

This past Labor day weekend, we went to see hot air balloon at Colorado Springs. They did mass ascension at around 7 from Memorial Park, Co Springs. The view were spectacular. We saw about a total of 80 balloons. Two of them have odd shape like a smiley sun shape and a fish while most of them are round balloon shape.
Of course my curios daughter asked me how did they fly? I got an aha moment to use this opportunity to talk about a little science about it. We saw a balloon started from a flat shape. Then the pilot blew air with a big fan until it formed flat balloon shape. Then, he started heating the air. Hot air is lighter than cold air... So when he heated the air, the  hot air will go up up. Since the balloon was holding all the hot air, it will eventually lift the balloon up.

If you see at the picture, the balloon is so much bigger than the basket itself. My daughter didn't like to hear the noise when the pilot was heating the air but she's surely enjoy to see a lot of balloon goes up in a cool morning at Colorado Springs.