Feb 6, 2015

WonderWorks: The Science of Sound

Sound is vibrations!

Today's Topic: The Science of Sound
wire/metal hangers
empty tin cans (with smooth-cut edges, not jagged)
ceramic or glass bowls (small is fine)
cling wrap (Saran Wrap or any other brand)
rice or some other small, not-flat grain-like substance
glasses (I used glass jars, but because they were different brands, even empty they made different tones when you tapped on them)
pitcher of water
metal spoons
empty tissue boxes (or any plastic containers small enough to stretch a rubber band around them)
rubber bands
variety of kid-friendly musical instruments -- especially nice are xylophones or other instruments in which it's easy to tell that the objects are making different tones because of their size (not just because of their relative levels of tension which is harder to see).

 cover art Sounds all around / Pfeffer, Wendy

(This book is a great introduction to the topic! I skipped over a few parts, but did cover sound waves, echolocation and decibels.)

Feb 3, 2015

WonderWorks: Air Movers (Technology) and the Bernoulli Principle (Science)

Let's explore a variety of tools (technology!) that help us to move air or at least focus the stream of air more effectively.

Today's Topic: Air Movers (and the Bernoulli Principle!)
plastic drinking straws
hair dryers (make sure they have a cool setting or at least a "cool shot" button that can be taped down)
round, lightweight balls (ping-pong, styrofoam, even plastic eggs work in a pinch)
a variety of things that can (and can't) be pushed around by air blown through a straw (we used pom-poms, rubberbands, toy cars, drink bottle caps, shapes cut out of foam sheets, bouncy balls, feathers, wooden blocks, buttons, packing peanuts)
buckets (optional, but as you'll see later, they can be lots of fun!)

 cover art One winter's day / Butler, M. Christina

Jan 28, 2015

The Supper Club Presents: Night-Time Apps

Although screen time right before bed isn't generally recommended, there are a few apps that I believe are soothing enough for bedtime and a few others that are best used at night.

This month, I'm trying something a little different.  Instead of including a quick blurb about each app, I'm just going to list the titles we used and link to either the app's webpage, the itunes listing, or my own review on Madison Public Library's website.

The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton (Loud Crow Apps)

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker  Oceanhouse Media)

PanPaShake (Mosster)

My Teeth (Vogelbusch & Co.)

Bedtime Math

Nighty-Night (Fox & Sheep)  This is my favorite app to wind down with. It is so well-designed to be soothing and sleepy!

StarWalk Kids (Vito Technology)

After the app, we all made "Star Jars." We used this recipe, but added some teeny star glitter from this set and used black glitter and black glitter glue to make it look more like the night sky. Probably should have glued the lids on, but didn't have superglue at work and didn't trust hot glue to keep a baby food jar on when water is present.

In addition to demonstrating the apps above, I also included these night-time apps on my printed handout (these are all only available on iOS devices):

Free Apps
Goodnight, Safari (Polk Street Press) [contains in-app purchases right at the end of the story, which sort of interrupt that lovely, quiet bedtime atmosphere they've just created throughout the story, so just beware and turn it off before it gets to the ad for buying more features.]

Paid Apps

Jan 26, 2015

WonderWorks: Pete the Cat Math

Everyone's favorite cool cat teaches some excellent math lessons and has a fun DIY game tie-in.

Note: this idea was taken directly from the blog Buggy and Buddy. I loved the whole concept and wanted to try a little something different in WonderWorks (everyone playing the same game) and the simplicity plus the math AND literacy combo was irresistible. Go to the original blog to see much more well-styled photos and the original explanation for the game.

Today's Topic: Pete the Cat Math
Shirts cut out of felt (or just printed onto colored paper. Printable template available here)
blank wooden cubes (one for each game set you're creating)

  cover art Pete the cat and his four groovy buttons / Litwin, Eric

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