Monday, December 23, 2013

In the Name of Science

I love hands on learning and am all about science experiments where the kids can have fun while actually learning something.  We’ve grown crystals, soaked eggs in vinegar, and frozen just about every substance you can imagine.  I actively encourage the kids to participate in these experiences, and love that they love to find experiments in the world around us.  That’s why the kids were in a Montessori environment and why we continue to do the virtual school program that we do.

But…..it appears that we have created a monster.  The giggle monster is now seeing every item---every piece of furniture, every liquid or goo---as a potential science experiment.  Let me share a few with you.

First, there was the experiment to see if matchbox cars can drive down the wall.  Honestly, I was a little amused by this one, and semi-hopeful that track marks would deter my husband from noticing that I accidentally over-sprayed the Lysol when I was cleaning light switches—fun fact for you: Lysol removes paint, who knew?

Then, there was the painting experiment to see how many layers of paint and water it takes to soak through a piece of paper.  A little messy, but it was on the kitchen counter so not too bad to clean up.  This was followed by the experiment to see what happens if you mix paint, water, and glue….in one of my good glasses.  Alright, not a huge problem, we have plenty of glasses so we can afford to lose one in the name of science.

The how-many-objects-does-it-take-to-flood-the-sink day of experiments was interesting.  Seriously, though, my bathroom floors probably needed a good scrubbing, and everyone knows you don’t really get them clean until you have repeated the exercise a few dozen times.

Next up was the experiment to paint his walls and matchbox car tracks with glue.  I walked in his bedroom to the tune of “don’t touch the walls mommy, the glue’s still wet.”  Let’s not forget the Angry Birdx squish’em covered in glue and then wrapped in paper.  This experiment went awry, though, when he couldn’t remove the paper again.  In the name of science, however, I learned that S.O.S pads, hot water, and dish soap will clean up a squish’em quite nicely.

About this time the experiments expanded to include aerodynamics.  Would you like to know what items fly when they hit the ceiling fan?  How about the giggle monster’s own attempts to fly off of everything, which thus far has included the couch, the bar stools, and the kitchen counter?  Lest we not forget he also used the dining room table as a stop in his obstacle course “‘periment” which yielded a flipped over table today.  Yep, read that right, the entire table flipped over. 

Back to the glue---we seem to have had an experiment today that involved water, glue, and glitter.  Who knew such a combo could be so bright and sparkly, especially when it is spilled all over your family room carpet.

There was also a plunger experiment.  I am not entirely sure what this one involved because I hadn’t had enough caffeine in the day to hand the plunger over when he asked.  I do know, though, that the right combo of items in the toilet with enough frequent and rapid flushing will create a “waterfall” in your bathroom.

I don’t have the energy to relive the bubble episode from a few weeks ago, but trust me the darn things aren’t as harmless as you might have thought.  Oh, and I’ve got a few Playdoh horror stories, but this close to the holidays when you probably have your shopping done, I just won’t ruin those moments for you.

I want to be annoyed, really I do.  Seriously, I do have things to do other than clean up, clean up some more, and then clean up again.  But we spent so many years focused on “creative play” and wondering if he would ever be able to play in a fun and spontaneous manner that if I am totally honest his “periments” make me chuckle.  Granted, I’d like to have enough time in the morning to get my caffeine drip started before he provides me with the opportunity to learn a new clean up skill. And honestly, the glue and glitter need to go up some place really, really, high.  But as long as he doesn’t hurt himself, doesn’t destroy too much of our house, and has fun, then I’m just going to assume that he’s learning something in the process of creating science experiments.  If nothing else, he is learning that sometimes life is just a little messy on the path to Caden’s Tale.