sunday morning i woke up with painfully sore legs. strange, considering i haven't worked out in over ten months.. unless, of course, you count my daily crazy run pushing charlie and ruthie in the stroller down eight blocks to get to eve's school in time for pick up.. (which, i'll admit, i kind of do count). after a few foggy minutes of stretching and trying to remember if i had any violent dreams, it came to me: the giant bubble.
from 12-3pm on saturday eve's school held a fundraiser for a future science lab. in addition to the main event, i partnered with another mom and organized the "kids zone." in honor of the end goal, we put on a little exploratory science-y fair for the kids. it was so messy, and a little crazy but hilarious and so much fun.
snail discovery. a ton of snails, hasta leaves, magnifying glasses and spray bottles (snails come out of their shells and move around a lot when sprayed with water, which actually makes them fun). the kids were fascinated. at three different points a group of kids ran up to me and, with arms about one inch from my eyeball, showed me the snails sliming their way up their arms. eve was not very interested. but ruthie, although she won't admit it, must have liked them; i have it on good authority that she gave one snail a good lick while holding it.. (no salmonella poisoning yet)..
smell identification. jam jars, painted on the inside (to hide contents), small holes punched in the lid, and filled with common foods for the kids to smell and try to identify. banana, orange, lemon, garlic, peanut butter and chocolate sauce. garlic was definitely tricky (although a lot of kids were pretty close- with guesses of "pepper" or "some kind of onion") but the chocolate syrup was particularly challenging. "oh, i know this! what is it? what is it??" eve: "i can't believe i didn't know that because i love it sooo much."
the messy table.
mounds and mounds of homemade playdough for the kids to sculpt and mix to their hearts content.
big tub of GAK (glue, borax and water). at one point i heard "chicken fat! we need more chicken fat!" as the kids broke it apart and moved it all around. placing it on the edge of the table and leaving it alone, they would watch it slowly, slowly ooze and stretch to the ground without breaking, then scoop it up and start again. fake sneezes and hours of laughter were also involved.
big tub of oobleck (2 parts cornstarch to 1 part water). playing with this mixture is one of six clear memories from my own pre-school experience. i loved it then and still do. roll it, squeeze it, hit it hard, try to move your hand quickly through it and it acts like a solid, but release the pressure or slowly let your hand sit and it acts like a liquid. "quicksand!" "ahh! my hand is stuck! really!" regardless of the smocks and rinsing bucket we provided, every kid was covered in white. admittedly, so was i.
the giant bubble. surrounding each child bubble after bubble was so entertaining that i didn't notice the 5000 squats i was doing. until the next morning. the bubble solution was amazing and got better and better by the minute. joy liquid soap, corn syrup and water. hula hoop wrapped in cotton string to soak up more solution and trough made out of a dryer vent. stiff little kids watching the bubble surround them through squinted eyes, preparing for the burst.
geysers. every 20 minutes i set off the diet coke/mentos geysers. the kids would count down, we'd guess how high it would go with three mentos, with five, with ten. then, pipe in hand to help get the mentos in all at once and to get it going higher, i set it off. the kids would scream, i would laugh as i watched their faces and tried to avoid the spray. i never did, and a few times i got soaked (it's what i get for looking down or at the kids instead of the geyser). luckily, diet coke is barely stickier than water.
after the fair i came home to try to clean up the three days of playdough, GAK and oobleck making.. i'm still finding bits and pieces throughout the apartment.. but mess, sore legs, diet coke hair and all, i am already making plans for next year. i am not satisfied with a tub of oobleck, i have visions of an entire kiddie pool of it, so kids can run across (or sink). i see secret messages, rainbow prisms, making silly putty with the kids, more geysers, more bubbles.. what else could we do? .. it could be seriously incredible. in fact, i may not be able to wait until next may/june. our own science party might be coming again soon.. i'm dying to try running across that pool of cornstarch and water..