Saturday, May 28, 2011

Preschool Science: Acid/Base Experiment

Why do we seem to do so many "bloggable" activities when I'm taking a blogging break?

LOTS of science fun this week.

We started by following MaryAnne at Mama Smiles lead by playing with vinegar and baking soda.

Then we moved on to an experiment to see which kitchen ingredients (salt, sugar, parsley, coffee, etc.) would dissolve in water. It was mostly to reinforce the idea of developing a hypothesis and conducting an experiment to prove or disprove it.

At the suggestion of a friend (and chemistry teacher), we soaked some red cabbage in boiling water for 10 minutes, then used that (purple) water as an acid base indicator.  We poured the cabbage water into our liquids and observed the results.

The bases turned bluish, the acids turned reddish.

We experimented a little with trying to neutralize our acids by adding tums or baking soda. And of course did some more fizzy baking soda / vinegar fun.

When we were done, I soaked a coffee filter for a few hours in the leftover cabbage juice, then set it out to dry. The next day, we cut it up and used it as homemade litmus paper. It worked great! We tested many of the same ingredients from the day before, plus daddy offered up some stronger chemicals from his dark room.

Science is fun!

I'm linking this post up with Science Sunday.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Review: Lift the Flap and Learn Animal Babies

Animal Babies: Lift the Flap and LearnLift the Flap and Learn Animal Babies

Publisher description:
Animal Babies
Written by: Pascale H├ędelin
Illustrated by: St├ęphanie Herrbach

Animal Babies is an interactive book about the birth and growth of animals that both entertains and teaches young readers.

Touch an alligator’s skin or peek at what a bear cub noshes on by lifting flaps, or pull a tab to help a mother giraffe have her baby. Age-appropriate bites of text cover how animal babies are born, how they fit into their families, what they eat, and neat facts about their day-to-day lives.

Featuring a giant pullout poster (4'6" x 3') with life-size images of baby animals in the African savanna, Animal Babies is perfect for curious children dipping their toes into this fascinating topic for the first time!
When I could finally tear the Bibliophile away from Human Body, we started on Animal Babies, and he really likes this one too.  Here is our quick Q and A about it.

Interview/Review from the Bibliophile (age 3 years, 5 months)

Do you like this book?

What do you like about it?
I like the erasers.

What erasers?
The ones with the sea turtles on them. [Mama note: a page contains an i-spy sort of plastic window with sand that, when shaken, reveals some paper sea turtles.  I have no idea why he called them erasers.]

Did you learn anything from this book?
I learned that it has tabs.

Did you learn anything about animals?
[He opens the book and points.]  I remember that someone is crouching in the grass; the lion is.

What's your favorite part of the book?
I like learning new things.

Do you think other boys and girls would like this book?
Yes, I do.

Is it a stinker or a keeper?
It's a keeper!

I like finding this topic (animal babies) and style (lift the flap / tabs) in a book geared for an older child (publisher site says age 4 and up).  It is common to find lift the flap baby books about animals (Open the Barn Door, Dear Zoo, etc.), but this is a much larger book - 38 pages - and packed with information.  You can see a small image of a couple of the pages here, to get a general idea, although I think the text is too small to read there.  If you get a hold of the book - which we recommend you do! -  come back and let us know what you think!

Disclosure: We received a copy of this book from the publisher at no cost in order to write this review.  If you click on any of the links in this post and purchase anything, we may earn a small commission based on our affiliate relationship with

Monday, May 9, 2011

Review: The Human Body: Lift the Flap and Learn

We received some fantastic books last week from Owl Kids Books.  We will be reviewing them over the coming week.  This first one was an instant hit.  We have read it every day, multiple times each day, since it arrived.  It's our favorite bribe tool of the week ("Come on, it is bedtime - we can read a little 'Human Body' first," "OK, brush your teeth and then we can read 'Human Body'," "No, you can't have fruit snacks for breakfast, but we can look at 'Human Body.'").  If you are a parent, you know that this is high praise for a book.

The Human Body: Lift the Flap and LearnThe Human Body: Lift the Flap and Learn

Publisher description:
The Human Body is an amazing, interactive book that uncovers the mysteries of anatomy and physiology to give young children a rich understanding of their own bodies. The dynamic pull-tabs and flaps complement the simple text and will keep kids engaged as they learn!

Pull a lever to make a bicep grow or lift a flap to see all the bones in a hand. Pull a tab to help food travel through the digestive system and use your fingers to learn all about the sense of touch. From being born to growing tall, from pooping to getting sick and more, this book tackles a number of bodily topics that children are naturally curious about in a forthright and age-appropriate manner.

Packed with detailed information, The Human Body is must-have reference for young children exploring this fascinating topic for the first time!
Interview/Review with the Bibliophile (age 3 years, 5 months)(his answers are in red) --

Do you like this book?

What do you like about it?
I like that it has the flaps.

Does it teach you many things?
Yes.  Like putting the sperm in the woman.  (!!!!!!! - exclamation points from Mama.  More on this later.  It's not as bad as it sounds).  And he only mentioned that because that was the page that was open when I asked him this question.

What else have you learned from this book?
I learned that something is called chicken pox.  It's little red dots.

What is your favorite part of the book?
I like the flaps and when I get to see the chicken pox.

Are there any funny parts in the book?

How about the poop part?  Is that funny?
The pee part is funny.  When I see the little boy peeing.

Do you think other boys and girls would like this book too?

Mom's thoughts -- 
* I really like the book's treatment of conception at the very beginning.  It is simple and to the point, with no frills.  Since it is a sensitive subject, I thought I'd type that paragraph as the excerpt.  Keep in mind that the rest of the book isn't nearly so sensitive - this is the extent of the conception explanation. 
 "It takes a man and a woman to make a baby.  The man puts a tiny seed, called a sperm, in the woman's belly.  The sperm joins with a seed from the woman, called an egg.  Together, the two seeds grow into a baby.  Watch the baby grow in his mommy's belly as the months go by."
I loved this book, and it is going to be one that I recommend often for young kids showing an interest in human health, anatomy, etc.  The illustrations are colorful, fun, and educational.  The text speaks perfectly to its target audience.  We will definitely be reviewing the section on vaccinations again when the Bibliophile is due for another set of "pokes"!

Comment: What are your favorite books about the Human Body?  If you check this one out, come back and let us know what you think about it!

Disclosure: If you click on any links in this post and purchase anything, we may earn a small commission through our affiliate relationship with

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy cinco de mayo!

(The Spanish hat was so much cuter than the sombrero, so we sacrificed accuracy for fun.)

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