Morning in the backyard

Now that’s it cooler in the mornings, I think the kids and I will go wander around outside before we start school. There are so many things to see.

Our backyard has two areas: what we call the inner yard that is fenced off really well and the outer yard that is still fenced but is mostly wild and not great for playing in (but great for hiking!).

There is so much land here that I haven’t walked it all yet. Josh has.

The inner yard is a great place for an almost two-year-old who loves rocks. And putting rocks in toy dump trucks is even more fun!

A dove is nesting in a cactus right by our front porch. She has two babies. Fortunately, she doesn’t seem to mind us too much. We check on her every time we go outside.

We will see what new surprises we find tomorrow morning!

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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

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

Learning About Science Through Growing Radishes

As part of homeschooling this month, our kids are going to be completing the Tops Learning System Green Thumbs: Radishes activity book.

I think this book is a good choice because they will be able to see a seed turn into a plant. Radishes are fast growers, so even the younger children won’t get impatient wait to see the end.

I think much of people’s issues with growing plants is not understanding how they work. Hopefully the kids will be able to understand plants more through this, and use it during their lives.

I am going to attempt to show their activities and the radishes growth. They have daily activities so I will do my best to post them every day. Today is already day two. Later today I will be showing what they did for days one and two.

-Joshua

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.

corran-microbuildcorran-microbuild2

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.

matthias-microbuildimg_6343

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!

ian-microbuildian-microbuild2img_6341

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!

sharkmart

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!

rhys-microbuild

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