Clifford and Lucien, Exploring Science

photo 4 (67)We love science! We love dogs! Lucien loves Clifford books! This was a perfect fit for our house. I was so excited to find an Amazon local deal on a six-month subscription to the Clifford Science Club. Lucien gets a box in the mail once per month with a booklet of science experiments and the tools necessary to complete them. Our first box – Clifford’s food science – arrived the other week, and we have been busy in the kitchen.

Lucien’s favorite experiment thus far has been making “color rivers” in test tubes. We first freeze water in the test tubes, then mix together paint and salt and add the solution to the tubes with an eye dropper. We discovered how ice lowers the freezing point of water. We explored how colors mix.

photo 2 (92)photo 3 (83)

Then Lucien did his own free-style experiments, melting so much of the ice that he ended up with tiny icicles. We talked about density, how water expands when it freezes, and why the ice floats. We learned the word buoyancy and brainstormed different things that float. We made a colorful, salty mess at the kitchen table and had a great time.

photo 1 (95)(Yes, Lucien was wearing my hoodie sweatshirt in these pictures. He wanted to try it on because, he insisted, “It is a little chilly in here.” The temperature might have dropped to 72 – he is turning into quite the Hawaiian boy, with no tolerance for cold! It will be a rude awakening next winter when we are living in Wisconsin!)

We have done lots of other experiments in the book as well – we have painted on chromatography paper, written secret messages in invisible ink, and made an explosion (baking soda and vinegar) in a bag.

With all the experiment ideas and materials and in one handy little box, it is so much more convenient for us to do some hands-on science – and that means experimentation happens even more frequently! I am already excited to see what arrives in the mail next month.

photo 4 (68)In addition to exploring science with Clifford, we also put together a few experiments of our own this past week. We soaked an egg in vinegar to make it “naked.” We talked about how vinegar can dissolve the shell, we talked about the membrane that keeps the egg protected, we gently touched and held the naked egg, and even bounced it in the bowl. Lucien loved how it was “bouncy like a bouncy ball.” It was my first time making a naked egg, too – a fun new experience for both of us!

photo 3 (84)We have a marble run toy at our house that gets frequent use, but Lucien wanted to make his own marble run, so we got out a bunch of toilet paper and paper towel tubes and set to work on one of our walls, discussing slopes and angles and gravity and acceleration. It took several tries, but we managed to make our ball turn that corner! Lucien was so proud! A note to others who might want to try this experiment: it is even more fun to use a bouncy ball. Lucien was running around the house chasing it, giggling and shrieking! I think this also counted as PhysEd.

While we have been exploring a lot of science, Lucien is still my little literature lover! Here is our daily book list:

1. Frog and Toad Are Frenids (We read four of the stories in this collection.)

2. Henry and Mudge: The First Book (His love for Henry and Mudge continues!)

3. Henry and Mudge and the Snowman Plan

4. Henry and Mudge and the Bedtime Thumps

5. Henry and Mudge in the Family Trees

6. Henry and Mudge in the Green Time

7. Henry and Mudge and the Sneaky Crackers

8. Henry and Mudge and a Very Merry Christmas

9. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

10. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

11. How Many Miles to Bethlehem

12. Christmas in the Country (This is another Cynthia Rylant favorite!)

13. Christmas Farm (By Mary Lyn Ray, this is a gerat story about intergenerational friendship, patience, and hard work.)

14. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

15. Merry Christmas, Stinky Face

16. The Polar Express (I love this book, and am so glad that Lucien does, too!)

17. Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes (We were both happy to find a new Pete book at the library this week.)

18. Anna Banana and Me (This is a fun and charming book by Lenore Blegvad.)

19. I Like Me (I love the message of this book, by Nancy Carlson.)

20. Board Books (I have been packing up a lot of Lucien’s old books and clothes to ship back to Wisconsin. When he saw me going through his old board books he insisted on reading at least ten of them with me. We found a bunch of old favorites by Sandra Boynton and Eric Carle.)

21. Mockingbird (A picture book rendition of the classic song.)

22. Sailing Off To Sleep

23. Story a Day ‘Til Christmas (We have a Christmas tradition of reading a story out of a special “Story a Day ‘Til Christmas” book that I have had since I was a child. More on this in another post!)

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