Wednesday, October 24, 2012

alka-seltzer and trihexaflexagons

It was warm and wet and foggy outside today, and I wanted nothing more than to go out for a nature walk with all of my girls in tow, but they are at various stages of a sniffly cold, and it was indoors for us today.  So, three snuggly best friends hung out under the covers and watched more Bill Nye the Science Guy (the Skin episode this time) and Barbie & the Diamond Castle.  Yup, we're well-rounded.  I started reading The Hunger Games over an unusually quiet morning cup of coffee.

Before long they were trying out an experiment suggested by Bill.  One hand was immersed in icy water and one in warm water.  After a few seconds the two containers of water were combined and both hands plunged in to see if the left and right hands felt the temperature differently based on their previous sensations.

"Let's do another experiment, Mama!"

Thanks to Steve Spangler and a mention of it by Stephanie at Ordinary Life Magic, I had Alka-Seltzer on hand to try out the Alka-Seltzer Lava Lamp.
 We added the oil, and the water, and the food coloring.

 Gave it a swirl, and dropped in an 1/8 of a tablet of the fizzy stuff.

 The bubbles rose up and sunk back down while the food coloring drops dispersed.  Ayla was kept happy with a supply of tablets and plain water.  It kept her two-year-old-fingers busy while Camille documented her observations and Sylvia gazed.
 Of course we had to see what would happen if we added 1/2 of a tablet.... or a whole tablet.
 Camille's scientific conclusion:  one whole alka seltzer is awesome.

"What else should we do?"

How about hexaflexagons?  Remember those?  Alright then....let's start with an equilateral triangle, and another, and another, fold into a hexagon, turn inside out, and voila!

 We started with the Trihexaflexagon Classic from the Flexagon Portal, except we had to add our own artistic flair :)  Even these basic ones are surprisingly satisfying to turn inside out over and over.  I think we'll have to slowly work up to the heptahexaflexagon.

What else?  Mama read-aloud, audio books, and board games.

Sylvia loves playing games and puzzles of all kinds (including on-line jigsaw puzzles by National Geographic), but the cooperative board game about medicinal herbs, Wildcraft is by far her favorite. I enjoy it too, but I have found that with this very talkative, easily distracted girl, my patience level is much improved by having a bit of knitting to hand.  It's not as distracting as a book, but just right for taking up when I feel myself wanting to yell, "just. take. your. turn."  Instead I can peacefully enjoy a row (or two) of this ruffly scarf that I started ages ago.
So there we have it, a bit of science, reading, math, art, herbal medicine study, and knitting ...all without leaving the house.  Time for dinner and a cup of herbal tea.  Maybe, we'll be up for a nature walk tomorrow, if not, I wonder what we else can get into....

Do you and your children have any favorite sick day (or rainy day) activities to do?


  1. Oh yeah! Hexaflexagons!!! That is our favourite rainy day thing here. And we're gonna make some more scones. Because it's raining. Love your days!

  2. Yummmm, Ingi, homemade scones would round out the day quite nicely!!


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