Sunday, November 18, 2007

Toys and Forces

Went to the Peterborough Museum for another well lead session, this time on Toys and Forces. Geared at KS1, the museum made sure that the exhibition and toy making session was also suitable for the older children in the group. P has been in Hong Kong this week so no camera to take piccies of the many hands-on activities set out for the group (and public) to try. Lots of excellent pictures on Islamic Homeschool's blog though so take a peek here (look for Wed 7th Nov). After learning about Isaac Newton and gravity plus watching the museum lady gingerly demonstrate how to swing a bucket of water over her head without spilling a drop, the fun of learning through play began. The children also made a push and pull cardboard toy to take home too. A lovely educational and social morning once again.

As a lead up to this session, we had a quick browse and recap on some of the force experiments we'd looked at some time ago. Ben was quick to remember his favourite - making a volcano with vinegar and bicarb., but this time he made a spewing monster (using the same ingredients). We also did this which worked quite well but didn't go spinning around as we had hoped. Also much talk about making moving objects using wound up elastic bands or air filled balloons, but we didn't get around to trying these out!

Norms pretty much for the rest of the week. Lots of questions are being thrown at me at the mo. - "where's coal come from?", "what the history of nursery rhymes?" (I thought the "Mary, Mary, quite contrary" background was really gruesome) and "where does tea come from?" spring to mind. Thursday friends came over for a sleepover. Friday we headed for a Scalextric racing venue near Spalding which sounded like it was going to be a brilliant session of racing competitively between children and adults. Unfortunately, probably due to a combination of (a) the excitement of having friends over, (b) lack of sleep due to (a) and (c) not calming down when feeling a little hot and not quite himself, Ben decided enough was enough and threw up his breakfast in the car! Katie enjoyed herself though and Ben and I, once home, bathed and much fresher, had a rather nice few hours to ourselves, mainly tinkering on the piano and other instruments. The Scalextrics sounded good, but the place was freezing apparently and the gentleman in charge was later described as a bit of a John Cleese!

Saturday, much tidying up of the house and general chores, trying to keep warm in this sudden drop in temperature (not so keen on the conservatory kitchen now I must say!). Sunday, P arrived home mid morning much to everyone's delight with lots of interesting tales of Hong Kong and pressie opening (photos to follow). Later Ben went off to design and construct this working catapult using his trusty Lego (to round off our toys and forces week).

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