Well, damn. I have spent this week trying to find fun, creative ways to teach my kids about science and stuff.
It’s not going very well.
Evidently, science is not my for-tay! I have set up complicated experiment after complicated experiment only to have nothing happen. I’m starting to think that I should stick to things that have a known outcome.
Our first failure wasn’t an experiment, but it was an experience. We traipsed deep into the woods to find a letterbox.
Because everyone I tell about letterboxing seems confused: You follow clues to find a box someone has hidden in nature. You find the box and put your stamped mark in the book that is in the box. Then you take the stamp in the box and stamp the book you have brought with you. It’s basically a fun little treasure hunt.
Except when you drag your three little kids on their very first letterboxing expedition down a tiny dirt trail, through mud, and over a creek to find this log:
Failure one. (We did find a letterbox the next day on what was the best walk ever, except Jack wasn’t with us. More on that on Saturday.)
Okay, well, that didn’t work out too well, so we’ll do an experiment instead. We’re doing geology this week, so let’s make us some homemade stalagmites and stalactites. Great! I dragged Sam and Quinn up and down the health and hygiene aisle at the grocery store to find Epsom salts, whatever the fuck they are, bought jars, found string, and took numerous photos to publish when our awesome stalagmites and stalactites formed.
We’ll do art instead. I know! Sand art would be fun. And why buy colored sand to layer in jars when you can just take some of the sand you paid $5 per 50 pounds for and throw some food coloring in it?
I’ll tell you why. It doesn’t fucking work. I should have known that it wasn’t going to work when I told WhyMommy that I was going to do it and she looked skeptical and told me that sand was basically tiny rocks and rocks wouldn’t take food coloring. Guess what? She’s a rocket scientist. When she has something to say about science, I should believe her. Lesson learned.
See, first of all, food coloring only seems to come in gel form these days and so my little drops of gel turned into sand-covered clumps. So then I dyed water and soaked sand in it to see if that would work.
Guess what? It didn’t. It may look like that little glob of sand on the left of the plate is red, but that is just the red water sloughing off of it. And the sand didn’t pick up any green (on the right).
Really, this week of Camp Stimey, while not bad, has not been our most successful thus far. I’m counting on you local ladies to make tomorrow’s nature center meet-up a good one for me! (And, you know, for you too. I guess.) It’s not too late to email me if you want to come. I think we’re going to have a good group!!
Unless, that is, I fail at that too by giving you all the wrong address or something.