Dinosaur Eggs

As part of my dinosaur theme, I like to set up a “Dinosaur Dig”.  One of the treasures my Mini-Paleontologists dig for are fossils.  These easy homemade Dinosaur Eggs are a great way for your superheroes to use their problem solving skills to crack them open and discover what’s inside and how to get it out.

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • Cornstarch
  • Sand (I used some sand we got from the beach as well as play sand from Home Depot)
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Water
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Old Pot (or one you don’t mind getting scratched up from the sand)
  • Some dinosaurs (or other small animal figures-I got mine from the dollar store)
  • Tools: brushes, toothbrushes, plastic knives (metal butter knives if your kids are old enough), magnifying glassesIMG_2320

To make the dinosaur eggs:

Add 1 cup of sand, 1/2 cup of cornstarch and 1/2 tsp of Cream of Tartar to an old pot.  I say an old pot in case you are worried about it getting scratched from the sand.

Add 1/2 cup of water and mix over medium-low heat.  It will be watery at first but will slowly thicken into a dough.

IMG_2272 IMG_2273

Once the dough has formed, place it on a cutting board to cool a bit.

IMG_0540

I used dinosaur skulls and small dinosaurs for my eggs.

IMG_0541IMG_2274

Place a dinosaur or skull into the chunk of dough and shape into an egg.

IMG_2277

Let it dry overnight.  I put ours out in the sun and they were rock hard the next morning.

IMG_2248

Give your kids the tools to break it open.  Or hide them in a sand box.  Or make it part of a dinosaur dig!

IMG_2249 IMG_2255

The superheroes used a knife and their hands to crack the eggs open.

IMG_2265 IMG_2266

They used brushes and magnifying glasses to examine the dinosaurs and clean them off.

IMG_2267

Science Behind the Activity:

This is an excellent way to develop fine motor skills as well as enhance problem solving skills.  The superheroes tried many different ways to get the eggs open, using their hands and tools.  Once they discovered the skulls, I gave them a chart to try to identify which skull belonged to which dinosaur.

 

 

Advertisements

Rainbow Celery

Ever wonder how plants “drink” water if they have no mouth?  This simple colorful experiment demonstrates how celery “drink” water and explores the concept of “capillary motion” (without the long scientific term of course)

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • 6 Celery stalks with the leaves
  • 6 clear jars or cups
  • Water
  • Some food coloring (we used red, yellow and blue to create 6 rainbow colors)IMG_1416

Fill all of the glasses halfway with water and add a few drops of food coloring to each to get the following 6 colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.  Add one celery to each different glass.

IMG_1418

At this point, I ask my superheroes to guess what they think will happen over time.  This is a good time for them to draw/color in their observations.

IMG_1419

We checked on the jars 2 days later and this is what we saw:

IMG_1426

The darker colored water showed the most dramatic changes in the color of the leaves.  The superheroes thought the colors of the celery leaves were very cool.  They also noticed that the yellow appeared to have no changes in leaf color.  We talked about why this might be the case.

For more Plant Science activities, try the following:

The Science behind the Activity:

This is an example of ‘capillary motion’, the process by which plants pull water from their roots and bring it up against the force of gravity.    I have also seen this done with white carnations and daisies where the flower petals turn different colors.  Pretty neat, huh?

Follow this link to see where I got the idea from and more details about the experiment: http://www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com/celery-science-experiment-kids/