Category Archives: Kids Activities
This poor kid has a science teacher for a mother.
I’ve been trying to get this plant to grow on my balcony for a couple of weeks now. Today, Margo came over to me with one of the leaves in her hand. She had picked it off the plant, because she said she, “though it was pretty.” Read the rest of this entry
Do-It-Yourself Engineering for All Kids (Because Not Every Child Will be Getting Goldieblox for Christmas)
I’m such a nerd. You can take the science teacher out of the classroom, but you can’t take the science teacher out of the girl. I couldn’t wait until Goldie (15 months) fell asleep tonight so that Margo (3 1/2 years old) and I could finish making our Rube Goldberg Machine. We had started it earlier that day, but… have you ever tried making a Rube Goldberg Machine!? There’s a lot of tip toeing and barely breathing going on. So, yeah, making it with a toddler around was nearly impossible (although we did have a lot of fun knocking everything over). Margo waited ever so patiently for her little sister to fall asleep tonight so that we could rig everything up.
The Goldieblox ad went viral last week. Engineering toys for girls. It’s a great idea, getting girls involved with engineering using the left side of their brain, I like it. So, of course, since I’m a DIY sort of gal, I remembered how much fun it is to make a Rube Goldberg Machine, (since that’s what they do in the ad). Sorry if you want to buy Goldieblox, I think it’s all sold out now (maybe?)… BUT, never fear! You can have engineering fun in your own home with things you find around the house.
Rube Goldberg Machines are a series of chain reactions, so to say, that are deliberately complicated to result in a very simple action.
What Do They Teach Kids
Rube Goldberg Machines are fun and learning for people of all ages (ahem… look at how excited I got over making one).
For the little ones, it can just be fun to watch, or to tear it all apart, or just to say that ‘this doesn’t work‘ or ‘this does work‘. It certainly teaches patience, logic, and trial and error. As the child gets older, you can teach them about potential and kinetic energy. And, then one day, when they get even older… tada… you’ve got a rocket scientist on your hands, right?! Well, you never know!
How to Make a Rube Goldberg Machine
You can include as many steps as you want to make your Rube Goldberg Machine. For me, I had to keep it relatively simple for a three year old attention span. But, even as simple as it was, we spent a good portion of the morning working on it. The set up shown here actually took me about half an hour total to construct! And then it took a lot of tries, probably at least 5 to get it right! It can take a lot of time! For little ones, even just one or two steps are plenty enough excitement. My girls were pretty content just to let the bouncy ball roll down the toilet paper roll tubes that I had cut in half to use as ramps. Here is a great list of instructions on how to make a Rube Goldberg Machine.
So, if you can’t get Goldieblox this year for the holiday season, and you’re looking for something fun for the whole family, you can try this! Give it a go! It’s really fun!
I wasn’t sure we were going to this 3 year old birthday party, until a few hours before it started. Being Sunday, it was too early to go the shops to buy a present, and plus, I like making birthday gifts myself. I did a quick perusal on Pinterest, (as you do), found an idea, ran it past hubby and he came up with these DIY (do it yourself) fabric memory cards. I had Art helping me, and two kids to take care of (who were unusually crazy that rainy Sunday morning), but the finished product happened about 45 minutes after starting and cost a total of less than a few dollars in materials. There’s still a massive mess at the kitchen table to clean up, but the production was pretty smooth. Read the rest of this entry
Recommended Ages: 2-ish to 48 (well… my husband did one and he thought it was really cool).
Paper: watercolor paper, card stock, poster board
white school glue
table salt Read the rest of this entry
You know you’ve lived in Australia too long when: you go to spell ‘colour’ like ‘color’ and even though you grew up in America, it feels weird. Anyway, here’s a quick, easy (and potentially messy) idea for preschool age kids. I only say preschool age kids, instead of toddlers, because I’m thinking food dye.. stains on carpets.. well, it’s up to you, I don’t mind messes too much 🙂 Read the rest of this entry