Lego Weekend Build: Carousel

My last post was about the Booster Bricks subscription we bought our kids for Christmas. It is not just a box of random Legos though. The box includes challenges as well as an online Facebook group to participate in: weekly challenges, builds, and games.

This past weekend’s challenge was to build a Lego Carousel. Two of my boys, Matthias and Ian, worked pretty hard on it so I thought I’d post about it here.

For Christmas, we also bought our kids one of the largest Technic sets currently available: The Bucket Wheel Excavator. At almost 4,000 pieces, this is a huge set. We have to confess that we bought it mostly for the pieces. My boys used some of those pieces in their Carousel, which is why it looks a bit skeletal.

Matthias and Ian used a medium motor to power the Carousel. The gear assembly is pretty simple. The circular yellow pieces form a large gear.

You can see the gear and motor assembly inside the walls in the picture above. The switch is located outside the walls.

The Carousel sits on the small gear attached to the motor as well as 3 flagpole pieces that help keep the Carousel level but still allow it to rotate.

I was really proud of my boys for keeping at this build. They had no instructions and only a little bit of help from Josh. He helped them figure out how to downgear the motor so the Carousel wouldn’t spin too fast.

Here is a quick video of their Carousel in motion!

They didn’t mess with the design element too much but that is ok with me. I’m more interested in their learning the mechanics of it. Design can come later!

-Lynn

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Learning About Science By Growing Radish Seeds: Day 5

I have fallen behind, and this is from Friday’s work.

On this day they used two of the small pots they made earlier. One of the little pots had 12 of the sprouted seeds put in it. This is to show the effects of overcrowding plants.

Another mini pot had 2 sprouted seeds put into it.

So far this has been an interesting experiment. I think it goes over many of the things that people do wrong when planting seeds. Ranging from overcrowding to water issues.

-Joshua

Learning About Science By Growing Radishes: Day 3. Light and no Light.

This is the third post about two of my children’s school science activity. They are growing radish seeds in a variety of conditions to see what happens. This is from Tops Learning Systems.

On day 3 they started an experiment to see how seeds grow with and without light. They put a seeds on a damp paper towel in a clear covered cup. One of the cups has been completely wrapped in foil.

The seeds will be in these cups untouched for 17 days. After which, the boys will see how these conditions affect the growth of the seeds.

-Joshua

Learning About Science By Growing Radishes: Day 1/2

In the introduction post to this topic, I just said the kids were doing this activity. It is actually just the 10 and 8 year old.

On the first day they made mini planters out of cardboard juice boxes.

Inside there is a wet paper towel. The towel has circles with numbers in them. A seed is placed on each number.

I took these pictures on the second day, and they have already started to sprout.

On day two they made something to show different growing environments.

Basically, it is a cup with paper towels in it. The towels are inside of water in the cup. There were three seeds put directly in the water. Three seeds on a paper towel. Three seeds on a paper towel wrapped in plastic wrap. Lastly, there are three seeds on the cup’s lid with no water.

They also made planters to plant seeds in the dirt. Currently, there are seeds in the planters marked 2a and 2b.

They are pretty excited so far to see what is happening with their seeds. It has been a lot of setup to get all of this done. Now they are entering more of a monitoring stage.

-Joshua

Where Have We Been?

It has been a loooong time since we’ve posted! I think our last post was Josh’s blog about Johnny Sacks cabin from our Solar Eclipse trip in August.

So what happened to us? Quite a few things have turned our household upside-down since August.

Number One: I started homeschooling our kids in September 2017 for the current school year. I was using a different approach than our 2016-2017 school year, which basically means I had no idea what I was doing! I made the switch from a streaming video-based curriculum to a literature-based curriculum called Sonlight.  Since the new curriculum meant sitting down with my kids and actually teaching, which is definitely not a bad thing, I had no time for my baking. This is why I haven’t posted any baking posts in 7 months.

Number Two: We had a baby! Gavin Joshua was born December 28, 2017. He’s made our lives a little bit crazier since he was born, but we can’t imagine our family without him. Being a family of 8 isn’t that much different from being a family of 7, but it did mean having to buy a larger vehicle. We went all out and bought a 12-passenger Ford Transit. It makes me feel like I’m driving a bus but there are definitely less arguments about personal space amongst our kids!

Having a new baby also means very little baking (or even cooking). I was able to bake scones this past weekend and three weeks before that, my last bake was a batch of brownies! Josh has actually been taking care of most of the cooking. I firmly believe that his being able to be home for the past six weeks is the main reason I haven’t gone totally mad yet.

Now that life isn’t quite as crazy as it has been, we want to get back into posting to The Geek Homestead. We can’t guarantee that we will post regularly, but we will do our best to write interesting posts.  Thank you so much to those of you who take the time to read this! We also look forward to getting back to reading our community’s blogs.

A very much belated Happy New Year to everyone!

 

Lego Fun Build Day: Microbuildings

Yesterday ended up being an impromptu day off for my kids. The website where they stream their classes from was experiencing an outage, and it ended up being down most of the day. So instead of doing their classes, they decided to do the Lego Fun Build instead.

My kids LOVED this challenge. They definitely went above and beyond what they needed to and decided to build a micro-city. Their city has also changed multiple times since yesterday. I let them keep their micro-city built so that they could play with it again today. Their city today looks completely different from yesterday.

What is a microbuilding? You use the smallest Lego pieces you can to create a building. Everything about the building is tiny, the windows, the doors, the roof, the bricks.  And you have to add as much detail as possible using small Lego pieces.

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Corran built a one story house yesterday (with a flame coming from the chimney because he didn’t know how to build smoke), but then today, he added a second story to his house along with a balcony! He took out the flaming chimney. Corran also had a garden in front of his house with minifigures that functioned as statues.

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Matthias built a very nice one-story house yesterday. Today, he rebuilt it into a two-story house also. He has a very nice covered porch by his front door and green shutters upstairs. I kind of miss his little garden in the front yard though!

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Ian built quite a few microbuildings! The first picture is his house yesterday. He also built a gas station and a restaurant, which are in the second picture. The third picture is his two-story house that he built today. It looks like he is hiding a bag of treasure on top of his house!

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I wasn’t able to get great pictures of their microcity, but here is a picture of the Shark Mart. I’m not sure I could shop at a grocery store that had a huge shark on its roof!

Later, Thias built a skyscraper that had two stores in it: Costco and IKEA. I’m not really sure why they picked those two stores. Maybe they like them!

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Rhys built a microbuilding too. He put his microbuilding near the gas station and restaurant that Ian built. Gwen built a duck. It kept falling apart though so I wasn’t able to get pictures of it sadly.

I would highly recommend this as a fun build for kids! It lets them use their imagination and build their own little city if they want. It also doesn’t take up as much space as usual Lego builds since everything is on a small scale. Thanks for reading about our Lego Fun Build Day!

Next Week’s Build: Build a Farm

-Lynn

Lego Fun Build Day: Hot Air Balloon

A few days ago, Corran was reading through our blog (which I thought was pretty neat) and he asked why we don’t do the Lego Challenge Tuesday anymore. So I thought we’d start a Lego Fun Build Day; it won’t always be the same day every week, since our schedule can be unpredictable, but we will try to do one every week. These are just for fun builds and can be as creative or as simple as you want them to be.

To help me out with ideas for Lego Fun Build Day, I looked through this book:

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It truly is an Ideas book as it has no actual build instructions in it, but it is great to as the cover says, “Unlock the imagination.”

You can buy The Lego Ideas Book at Amazon.com for a little under $15.

I decided on the Hot Air Balloon Build because it looked fun and would be an easy and quick build for my boys. The book has some general instructions on how to build a hot air balloon. My boys’ creations looked nothing like what was in the book. But that’s okay. We’re trying to help them be creative!

The only two things that I required for their hot air balloon:

  1. It had to be hot air balloon-shaped (no square balloons!).
  2. It had to have a basket.

It is always interesting to me how different the boys’ builds are.

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My middle child, Ian, modified his hot air balloon a few times. He wanted to make sure a minifigure could fit in the basket, specifically Zane, from Ninjago. I’m not sure why he didn’t include Zane in his picture.  I thought he did a good job with his balloon.

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Matthias’s balloon looked the most hot air balloon-like. I liked his flame that he used in the basket. Something about Matthias’s Lego builds always makes me think of art for some reason. Sadly, no minifigures can ride in this balloon or they would burn up!

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Corran did not have much time to build his hot air balloon. He spent most of the afternoon working on his math problems and then he had to write a five paragraph essay for his World Studies class. His balloon looks like it is just the basket, but it does have a light inside for a flame. He said that his balloon looks more like the beginnings of a lighthouse or a hot dog stand. I’m just glad that he still wanted to build something even though it was almost dinnertime!

Next week’s Lego Fun Build: Microbuildings!

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