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Halloween Paper Twist Trees


In an effort to shake off a creative slump I’ve been purging my crafty stash and this is the first project using the piles and piles of paper twists that have been sitting on the floor since the day I bought them, for a steal I might add.  I used black, keeping in the spirit of Halloween, but you could use any color to create a holiday theme or to match your décor.

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Erin Sipes
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Summer of Science: Hole In Your Hand


Despite the fact that I almost forgot to post this Summer of Science experiment, it was one of the most fun ones we’ve done so far thanks to its simplicity. 

So here’s how it goes, the next time you’re sitting on the toilet with an empty roll, yelling for someone…anyone to bring you a full one, look through it.  Yes, put it up to one eye and look through it like you’re a pirate scouting out distant treasures to loot.  Just make sure you keep your other eye open at the same time. 

Now hold up your opposite hand.  i.e. If you're holding the roll to your right eye hold your left hand up in front of you.  Place your hand close to the roll and near, if not past, the end of it. (Really a paper towel roll would do better but we don’t use paper towels.) 

With both your eyes open you should see a hole in your hand (as if you were looking through it). 

039

Why do you see a hold in your hand? Simple.  Usually, we see with both our eyes at the same time but we’re not aware of this because our brain takes the images from each eye and puts them together.  In this experiment when your brain puts the images together you end up with the hand from your left eye and the hole in the roll from the right.  Put that together and whaddya get?  A hole in your hand.


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Erin Sipes
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Summer of Science: Optical Illusions


Summer of Science

This week’s Summer of Science experiment is all about playing tricks on our eyes.  So after spending too much time Googling and trying different optical illusions the kids and I tried to replicate one on our own, the Cafe Wall illusion exact.  If you squint your eyes it totally works! 

We used a regular piece of lined paper as a guide and then added little tabs like this all the way across the page.

My Very Educated Mother Optical Illusions

Once you are done it should look like this. 

www.myveryeducatedmother.com Summer of Science Optical Illusions

Yes, we messed up the first couple of rows but it was still fun trying to recreate this illusion that depends on the shift from light to dark to create the impression that the lines aren’t parallel. 

Here’s a little homework for you….how many different types of optical illusions are there?

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Erin Sipes
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Summer of Science: The Magic of Flipbooks




Who doesn’t love making a flipbook?  Apparently my kids, after a few failed attempts I’m completely cheating and just sharing a couple of links for making a flipbook while also offering an alternative that’s easier for the little ones to figure out.

Here’s Two Great Flipbook Links 
Here’s My Alternative

When we made cameras we were looking at how to create ONE image, with a flipbook we’re drawing multiple images, ‘flipping through them quickly giving the appearance of animating our drawings.  In essence we’re making movies –this was what my kids got, but instead of drawing they just wanted to take pictures and flip through them on the screen real fast.  We had many more images in our final ‘movie’ but hopefully these will give you an idea of what we did.
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Summer of Science: Making a Camera…Seriously



www.myveryeducatedmother.com Making a Camera

Yes, we sincerely made a camera. Don’t believe me…keep reading, follow along, and make one yourself!



www.myveryeducatedmother.com Supplies for Making a Camera 
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Summer of Science: Making Spectrums


No matter if you’re a homeschooler or not this month is always filled with anticipation for the next school year.  There are books to be bought, schedules to be made, and field trips to be planned  so I’m thankful that I saved some of the best (in my opinion) science experiments for this last month to keep me motivated and moving forward!  For this lesson we’re flip-flopping things to look at the ‘explanation’ before we actually do the experiment.

What is a spectrum and what does it have to do with light?  Like water, light travels in waves that peak and dip.  The distance between peaks is called a wavelength and different colors travel at different wavelengths.  Why is this important to know?  Because around 1665 Sir Isaac Newton discovered that white light, like sun light, wasn’t made of just white light wavelengths, it was actually composed of all the colors of the rainbow (blue, indigo, violet, red, orange, yellow, and green).  He made this observation with the help of prisms (triangular blocks of glass) that filter sunlight to create a spectrum of colors.  Thankfully we don’t need a prism to create our own spectrums.

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Summer of Science: Spinning Color Wheel


 www.myveryeducatedmother.com SOS: Color Wheels

This month is marks the beginning to the end of our Summer of Science series and I’m super excited to be wrapping things up with experiments in the field of Light and Color! These are fun classic activities that let your children get creative with science and I love getting creative!

When I was in school we made color wheels, put a string through the middle, spun it around, and watched the colors blend.  Instead of using string, my kids preferred using pencils as spinners, not that it makes that much of a difference.  No matter how you spin it you’re kids will still get a kick out of seeing the colors blend…but what color will they create?


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Ketchup Free Meatloaf Patties


What's for Dinner?  Ketchup-Free Meatloaf Patties
I hate ketchup, the way it smells, the way it tastes, the fact that it’s basically sugar water with a hint of tomato; I hate it.  My disdain is only intensified when I read recipes calling for it (Sincerely, it’s almost as bad as recipes that call for the use of a microwave-so annoying!) because there are so many more flavorful substitutes (tomato paste or sauce) that actually have nutritional value.  Anyhow…I hate ketchup.

Cooking without this, ahem, condiment is actually quite easy except when it comes to one item, meatloaf.  Rarely will you find a recipe that doesn’t include it, some even go so far as to coat the meat with this fast-food staple.  But I’m offering you a recipe today that will kick your meatloaf up a notch and give it a little bit more sophistication.

meatloaf patties without ketchup

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Summer of Science: Acid Rain


I know I just said this a couple of days ago but it bears repeating…Being aware of your potential to impact the world is an important lesson to learn and one that continues well into adulthood. In this week’s experiments we’re broadening our ecological awareness and exploring how pollution impacts weather in the form of melting polar ice caps and acid rain.  I think it’s important, and necessary, for children to understand and realize that the same things we’re studying in our experiments are happening in the world RIGHT NOW and eventually the end result of the experiment is going to be the end result for Earth if we don’t start changing our ways.

air bubbles coming out of the chalk

Tuesday we melted ice caps and today we’re looking at the effects of acid rain.  I found a few great links to learn more about acid rain so that I could explain it to the kids.  I liked this one from About.com because it mentions the effects of acid rain on architecture and art which is exactly what we’re looking at in this experiment.

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