Thinking of shapes, led us to wonder why eggs are, well, egg-shaped. Which led us to Discovery Kids. So, it turns out that the curve of the egg-shape lends the egg strength, is easier to lay for the hen, prevents the egg from rolling down hills, and fits snugly together to keep warm in the nest. If you want greater detail on the egg-laying process, this article from wiseGEEK was short but detailed.
Then we wanted to roll them on flat and inclined surfaces. We picked evenly-oval ones to compare to the more pointed-ended ones, and found a significant difference in how they roll. (We used hard-boiled on an upturned mini-trampoline for this.) The pointier ones rolled in a more circular motion which would keep them safer on a hillside.
Of course, we had to roll tangerines and balls as well for comparison's sake. We hypothesized about why so many fruits are spherical. It would be advantageous for seed dispersal for the fruit to roll further from the parent tree. Also, ease of growth would be a factor.
This (above) led to this (below),
which led to this. Yum!
Discussing shapes and biological reasons for shapes, led to symmetry. We talked about reflection (bilateral), rotation (radial), and point (origin) symmetry. We talked about biological symmetry and which animals (sea stars, jellyfish, etc.) have radial symmetry, and which have bilateral (us, and most others). Same with plants. Radial (most flowers), bilateral (leaves, orchids).
We found a fun symmetry activity and played around with reflection symmetry, both completing the patterns from the program, and creating our own patterns for each other to reflect.
We played with ideas on the chalkboard.
And played with the Symmetry Artist program on mathisfun.com.
Discovery Kids, and Pixie Hollow. I recently wrote a post about "screen time", and the benefits of it, but the problem with calling it "screen time" at all, is that it lumps together such a wide variety of activities. I could just as easily call this last hour that Camille and Sylvia spent together "sister time" or "giggle time" or "eating sprouts time".
I love catching a flow of learning that keeps us engaged from blocks to eggs to sea stars to computer games to art to sliced fruit to snacking. And if you throw in a little dancing, some snow and sunshine, I am one very happy mama.