Leprechaun Science Activities from Our Favorite Kid Activity Bloggers

We enjoy following some of our favorite blogging Kids Activity Moms on Pinterest. Here is a short round up of our favorites for St. Patrick’s Day –

 

Leprechaun Science Secrets – The Best Activities for St. Patrick's Day

During the month of March, everything starts to turn green, and not just the grass and trees. It’s leprechaun season. Time to catch a sneaky little devil who hides gold coins while wreaking havoc all over.

For years, we have shared our secret for surprising the kiddos on St. Paddy’s Day morning by turning all of the water green in your house. Just unscrew the screen in the faucet, place a blue and yellow Fizzy Tints True Color Tablet inside and carefully screw it back on. Wiping any drips. Don’t use Easter Egg coloring tablets – they will stain. In the morning, when the kids turn on the water, it will run green. You can also drop a few tablets in the toilet to turn that water green too.

But don’t stop there. Take the kids on a journey to explore all of the Leprechaun secrets. Uncover hidden rainbows, fish for Leprechauns with appearing green worms, use a little green magic to grow Leprechaun eggs and inflate a giant eight-foot long Leprechaun sandwich with only one breath.

If your kids like St. Patrick’s Day, they’ll love this Leprechaun Science kit – and you’ll enjoy the opportunity to conduct each of the activities with your young scientist. This kit comes complete with an activity guide and the scientific explanations behind all of the experiments. The all-in-one kit is only $34.99.

New this year – the Leprechaun-ologists at the Steve Spangler Science Labs have pulled together all of the best St. Patrick’s Day experiments and activities and put them in a downloadable PDF. This 21-page St. Patrick’s Day Science Experiment Guide contains additional experiments not found in the kit. Some experiments require science materials and others use stuff you can find around the house. (Psssst. Here’s another secret. Purchase the pdf and receive a discount for 20% off the Leprechaun Science Kit, if you miss today’s deal.) The PDF is available to download right now for only $5.00.

What does it teach?

The St. Patrick’s Day Science Experiment Guide uses different fields of science to capitalize on the St. Patrick’s Day holiday and make it a scientific learning experience that is fun and engaging.

  • Air movement and Bernoulli’s principle – The Leprechaun Bag
  • Light and refraction – Rainbow Glass and Leprechaun Eggs
  • Plants and movement of water – Color Changing Carnations
  • Polymers and water absorption – Leprechaun Snow and Green Worms
  • Design and fine motor skills – Leprechaun Footprints and Leprechaun Trap
  • Chemistry – Leprechaun Rainbow Milk and Leprechaun Treasure Polish
  • pH (acids and bases) – Magical Leprechaun Cabbage
  • Ultraviolet light and UV-reactive pigment – Rainbow Beads
  • Air movement and vacuums – Leprechaun Breakfast
  • Non-Newtonian fluids – Green Quicksand

The Science Behind Sinkholes

By Blog Editor Susan Wells

Jeff Bush, 36, was killed last Thursday when a sinkhole opened up under his house and engulfed him and his bedroom in Seffner, Florida. Authorities began demolishing the house to get a look at the sinkhole. The house itself was too unstable to enter.

Crews worked carefully to save some of Bush’s belongings while also figuring out how to stabilize and fill the hole, which is estimated to be about 30 feet wide and 60 feet deep. The hole is so unstable that nearby houses are also in danger and have been evacuated.

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How does a sinkhole like this form, especially under a house? How do you know if your house is sitting on top of a potential sinkhole?

We usually see sinkholes on the news when they open up in a roadway and swallow nearby trees or passing cars. Sinkholes, or sinks, mysteriously appear all across the United States, but are mostly found in Florida, Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas. They usually form in areas with soft bedrock or marshy terrains.

Areas where the bedrock is made up of soft minerals and rocks like salt, gypsum, limestone or dolomite are most susceptible. Groundwater running through the rock begins to erode it. Caverns and spaces are created by the eroded rock washing away. The land on top stays intact until the underground space becomes too large, causing the surface to collapse.

Mark Gormus / Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP

Sinkholes usually form where the land does not have good surface drainage. During rains, the water soaks into the ground and stays in the cavern. When the water travels to another location, the land above may not be able to sustain the weight and will collapse.

Humans can also be responsible for sinkholes. Pumping groundwater in construction and development plans may open up weakened areas in the ground. When water is diverted or drainage patterns are changed, sinkholes can also form. If the land is altered, the weight of new material may shift the land and a sinkhole can open up.

For more on sinkholes and facts that could save your life, visit Live Science.

Sources: MSNBC, USGS

New Dinosaur-Themed Hotel Comes to Denver & Featured on The Oatmeal

By Blog Editor Susan Wells

Out of all of the blogs that contain cats, creepily drawn people and a real look at the world we live in, my favorite is The Oatmeal. Matthew Inman, the author and creator of The Oatmeal, shares his unique look at the world, customer service, pets (mostly cats), significant others and anything else that comes across his mind. His cartoons are usually not kid-friendly, but if you can tolerate his creative use of the English language, The Oatmeal is a great way to laugh away a few minutes or hours.

Last year, Inman ran a fundraiser encouraging people to donate in support of a Nikola Tesla Museum. Sponsors who gave over $33,333 would get a blog post on The Oatmeal about their product or business.

Greg and Meredith Tally, the owners of a Best Western outside of Denver, made a $35,000 donation. So Inman followed through with his promise and featured their Best Western on his blog. The Tally’s Best Western isn’t just a regular hotel. They are currently renovating it to be a dinosaur-themed hotel. How cool is that? You can swim in a Cretaceous sea pool, find dinosaurs and exhibits all around the hotel. My favorite is the hand-made ironwork that shows the history of life. Obviously, no stone has been left unturned.

Even though this museum isn’t far from where I live, I want to go stay there. The renovated hotel will open in April 2013.  I am hoping to visit the hotel after it reopens and report back.

The hotel is located close to one of my favorite museums, the Morrison History Museum as well as Dinosaur Ridge, an area in Morrison, Colorado where you can see dinosaur tracks on the side of a mountain. The Morrison History Museum sits in an area where many fossils have been discovered. You can stand in the museum and look out at the hill where the bones were found.

My one disappointment while putting together this post? I found out I missed Inman’s visit to the hotel and Morrison History Museum. If I had only known, I would have followed him around town like a groupie, waving my Bobracha 4 Lyfe bumper sticker and How to Tell If Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You book.

Follow the Best Western of Denver on Facebook for fun and entertaining posts dedicated to dinosaurs.

For all of you science geeks, read The Oatmeal’s post on why Nikola Tesla was the greatest geek that ever lived. Learn all about Tesla and his inventions while also discovering if you are truly a geek.

 

 

Leprechaun Gardening – Shamrock Sprouts from Housing a Forest

When it comes to gardening, Leprechauns have a green thumb. That’s not to say that they really have a green-colored thumb (even though they do). It means that they are really good at growing plants. Leprechauns are so incredible at gardening that they don’t even need soil to grow their plants!

What You’ll Need

  • Sponge (Green would be an excellent choice)
  • Permanent marker
  • Scissors
  • Seed packet (Lettuce, spinach, or broccoli work great)
  • Spray bottle
  • Water

Let’s Try It!

  1. Use a permanent marker to trace a clover shape on a dry sponge. You get to choose whether you want a standard, three-leaf shamrock, or a lucky, four-leaf clover. If you want to compare the two (you know, for magical properties), trace each shape on a different sponge.
  2. Use a strong pair of scissors to cut the shamrock shape out of the sponge. This step can be difficult, so make sure you are extra careful and have an adult helper on hand… just in case. If the sponge is proving especially tricky to cut, try dampening it.
  3. Once your shamrocks are cut, soak them in water. You want your sponge to be damp, but not dripping. If you need to, you can squeeze off some of the water.
  4. Scatter a packet of seeds on the surface of the shamrock and gently poke them into the holes of the sponge.
  5. Place the seeded shamrock sponge in a sunny window sill. Use a spray bottle filled with water to keep the sponge moist. Depending on the humidity where you live, you’ll need to spray the sponges 1-3 times a day.
  6. Keep track of your sponge shamrocks and observe them often. Before you know it, you’ll have an entire garden of vegetable sprouts on your magical clovers!

St. Patrick’s Secrets

Whoa… those plants are growing without any soil! How in the wide world of Leprechauns are they doing that?!? The secret isn’t actually Leprechaun magic. Plants can grow without actual soil, but they cannot grow without what soil provides: support, nutrients, an even supply of moisture and oxygen around their roots. The plants that you grow on the sponges are just sprouts, or a young shoot of a plant. These tiny plants have all the support they need from the tiny holes within the sponge. The sponge’s porous, water-holding nature provides the plants with the even supply of moisture they require, as well as plenty of oxygen around the roots of the plants. Finally, just like you, plants can’t grow without the nutrients and minerals they need! Thankfully, water provides these young sprouts with all of their nutrient and mineral needs during their young lives.

This activity came to us from Tammy at Housing a Forest. Thank you for letting us share your great St. Patrick’s Day activity!