I have to tell you about this book that totally changed my kids! I mean I am an avid book lover and reader, I know the power of books. However, even I was unprepared for how this book would change my children and my homeschool! It totally derailed my plans in a good way!
You know how when you read a book and it can stick with you for weeks, months and even years?
A while ago I shared with you the STEAM KIDS book. Little did I know what an impact this E-book of all things, would make in my homeschool this year.
My children love structured learning. Textbooks, workbooks, bookwork, routines and schedules are right up their alley. Don’t bother trying to change the day. When schedules get thrown out due to life getting in the way, the result is chaos!
Imagine my surprise then when after taking a long look through this book and trying one of the experiments they started coming to me with other ideas of STEAM projects they read about or found on their own.
These kids, who wouldn’t change no matter how hard I tried, came to me with experiments they wanted to play with. “Mom it’s school ya know, we are still learning!” Well duh! I knew that but they didn’t!Sharing the book that derailed my homeschool! Click To Tweet
The book experiment that started it all:
STEAM Kids is truly a beautiful book. The experiment we tried first was Pendulum Art. I shared on our YouTube channel a sneak peak into the experiment. I was able to obtain a huge board to use as our “sidewalk” as we live in the country and do not have access to such. Again it goes to show use what you have 🙂
We took the experiment outside for the mess factor. We used two camping chairs to set it up and when we were ready we tested it out. Needless to say, it failed. This was a great learning experience. We discovered our paint was too thick to spread properly.
We tried thinning it out with water which did not work as the paint refused to mix.
We then went hunting for better paint, we reset up the experiment and success!
We discussed our failure and what we learned, we discussed our win and how we achieved that, lastly we talked about the points in the book to see where the STEAM letters came into play. All in all, it went really well.
Melting Crayon Art:
When we picked up our school supplies we found these super cheap crayons. I told my daughter no, we were not buying them. I was about to explain how we would just be wasting our money on cheaper crayons wishing we had picked up higher quality ones. However, she interrupted informing me she wanted to melt them in the oven to create new crayons.
To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled. We had done it a few years ago and they were not impressed with the large round blocks of crayons. The little kid we gave them too were thrilled! Yes this was a positive bounus making gifts for others but I was really in a “been there done that” thinking.
After the pendulum art project, I was hunting around on social media and this crayon melting art was everywhere. I almost suggested it but then remembered who I was homeschooling.
My daughter who had been reading on the couch, however, spied it over my shoulder. She came later and reminded me we had those cheap crayons she wanted to melt. Now she had a new idea! Melting Crayon Art! (<–one of the many tutorials out there!)
We, of course, used what we had.
- Canvas sheeting
- cheap crayons
- hot glue gun with glue
- hair dryer
- masking tape
- newspaper or flyers
- image of your choice
My daughter found an image, cut the roll of canvas sheeting to the size she wanted. Then we attached the crayons to the canvas sheeting. Honestly I would recommend not using the sheeting and instead opting to use the stretched canvas especially if you are planning on using this as a gift. We then attached the sheeting to my “whiteboard” which is actually gray.
Use caution when letting little ones use the hot glue gun. I had to laugh as she was at first terrified to use it but got brave as time passed. In the end, I had to remind her it was hot and be careful!
We did not have enough of the cheap crayons to fill the top. This provided more “experimenting” as we added Crayola brand crayons to fill the space. We were able to compare how the different brands reacted differently to the heat from the blow dryer, contrast pigmentation, color blending and more! You can see how long it took to get them melting from our short video here!
Pro tip: If doing this inside, cover everything with old newspapers, sheeting or something. I am still picking melted wax off my floor!
She was super pleased with how it all turned out. She wants to try it again with stretched canvas and a shape in the middle to cause a vacancy in the melted crayon. We both think they would make awesome gifts for friends!
The Milk Experiment:
My son came across this in his own travels online and asked if we could try it. Now you need to understand something about my son. He loves to research. So it was more of an experiment adventure for my daughter and me than him, as he had gone on to watch several videos and found out why what happens happens.
Which kinda peeved me as half of the fun is discovering what is going to happen. Either way, it ended up a great surprise for the rest of us and he got to see if it would really work.
You can read about what you need and the chemistry behind the experiment.
For this one you need:
- Milk, we used Whole Milk
- Shallow dish of sorts, we used a glass pie plate
- Food coloring
- Liquid dish soap
We had so much fun doing this one! I highly recommend doing this one and watching the children’s faces. It is so cool! We had enough milk to do it 2-3 times, I do wish we had done it again watering the milk down to see the differences. That is on our to-do list for the future! If you want to see what happens you can watch our video here.
I was so excited that he picked an experiment that goes along with our chemistry course we are taking.
If you are looking at it from a learning point of view you might want to check out these additional online resources:
And another video besides ours above you might like to see.
How it changed our homeschool:
This new found love of stepping away from the books has carried on into other areas of our school and I am so excited. You might not think this is a big change but in our house this is HUGE!
This has resulted in using a book as a jumping point to more discussions, discovery and learning outside the textbook/workbook situations. I think they are finally understanding that life is learning.
Which makes this momma breathe a sigh of relief. Maybe…just maybe they will be life long learners after all.
Have you done one small thing, be it a book, a change in your schedule or a life event that you can see totally changed your children? If so share below!
Pssst:You can snag your own E-Book here! If you prefer the printed version, get your own copy from Amazon.com / Amazon.ca Are you in the UK? No Worries! Get your copy here: STEAM KIDS UK