St. Patrick’s Day is this week and it’s time for the leprechauns to visit. Pull out your Green Fizzers, Green Slime, Leprechaun Insta-Snow and you are set. If the leprechauns have yet to visit your house and turn your water green, check out a past post  It Turned Green! Cool Science Tricks for St. Patrick’s Day. Or check out our Leprechaun Science Kit for St. Patrick’s Day science.

As the leprechauns dance out, the warmer weather blows in with lots of opportunities for some spring science fun.

INSECTS
Roly polies or pill bugs are every child’s carefree pet. They don’t make a mess, are easy to take care of and can withstand little fingers picking them up. Make a roly poly house in a

tub of dirt. Add some organic elements like lettuce, leaves and cedar chips. Go on a hunt for the little bugs, which are actually crustaceans that have gills and lung-like adaptations. They need moisture to survive but cannot live in water. Roly polies are decomposers, meaning they digest material from dead plants or animals and waste products and return essential

nutrients back to the soil. They like dark, moist areas out of the sun and do not bite or sting. Keep them in the bin out of the sun for a few days and watch what they do.

Or check out one of the many commercial-made insect houses and watch the life cycles of ladybugs or butterflies. Or watch ants and worms hard at work through clear plastic.

SOLAR ENERGY
The days are getting longer and we are seeing more sunshine. Why not get out in it and learn about the sun and solar energy? Some favorites are UV Color Changing Beads. Test the effectiveness of sunscreen,  make bracelets and learn about the power of the sun. Or learn about the heat of the sun with a gigantic Solar Bag. The best time to do this activity is on a sunny, but cool day. Perfect in the springtime!

Sun Sensitive Paper and Sun Sensitive Fabric are both fun materials to make photographic prints of objects with help from the sun.

PLANTS
It’s time for gardeners and homesteaders to start planning and planting their gardens. Many gardeners (especially those who live in drier climates) use water jelly crystals in their soil. The earth-friendly crystals absorb 150 to 300 times their weight in water. Hydrate the crystals, then put them in your garden and containers. As the crystals dehydrate, the moisture will keep plants watered and happy. They won’t need extra watering.

Once you have your soil prepared, it’s time to grow some plants. Our Diggin’ Dirty Science kit comes complete with Baby Soda Bottles, rack, seeds, Water Jelly Crystals and kid-friendly instruction cards. Grow the seeds in the plastic test tubes and watch the roots and plant develop. After the threat of frost is gone, take your seedlings outside and plant them in the garden.

(Roly Poly facts from ehow.com. Roly Poly picture from Wikipedia)


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