Saturday, February 27, 2016

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Fizzing Green Eggs Science for Preschool

No, you cannot eat these "green eggs," but they make a super fun preschool science activity and go great with Dr. Seuss, St. Patrick's Day, and Spring/Easter themes!



I made our green eggs to do as a science activity after we read Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham.

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My youngest preschooler is still practicing making a pipette work, so this was excellent fine motor exercise for her too!  What do you do with the green eggs?  Simple!  Place them in a bed of white "egg whites" (baking soda) and let your kiddos make them fizz!  Fizzing green eggs!!  What more could you want?!!



How do you make these fun green eggs for your preschooler's science moment?  Easy!  Simply mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with 9 drops of food coloring and 1 tablespoon of water.  You should have a soft dough that holds together when you squeeze it, but falls apart if any extra pressure is added.  Form your dough into four balls--your brilliant "green eggs!"

Give them to your preschoolers with a cup of vinegar and pippettes so they can make their own fizzy green eggs!





Let your children experiment with different amounts of vinegar and baking soda.  If you're feeling really brave, you can let them add more food coloring!  When we do this with my youngest preschoolers, we explain by simply saying that the baking soda and vinegar are reacting!  Look at the bubbles!  Or, if they're really young, "the eggs and the vinegar are reacting!"  As the children get older we add in a few more words: "Look at the reaction!  Do you see the carbon dioxide bubbles?  What is making carbon dioxide in here?" (the vinegar and baking soda reacting)

As they finish experimenting with the vinegar, baking soda, green eggs, and pipettes, they may want to experiment with other things.  Remember preschoolers are natural scientists and love to learn about their world!  (Click here to read more about how preschoolers' brains work!)  Our kiddos wanted to dump a bit more baking soda and vinegar together...and touch it!




We are celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday with a countdown featuring fun preschool science activities inspired by Dr. Seuss's classic books!  Click here to see the growing collection, then be sure to check back again soon for more ideas!

I also have a HUGE collection of over 150 science activities!  You will have so much fun trying them out!

And while you're following links, be sure to see what other members of the STEM/Science Saturday Team have been up to!  I think you'll love these ideas:


Frosty Homemade Ice Cream from The Science Kiddo
Magnetic Slime Science Play from Little Bins for Little Hands
Color Mixing with Play Dough from Lemon Lime Adventures




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Thursday, February 25, 2016

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Rubber Band Sling Shot LEGO Car!

What is the craziest thing you've done in a car?  That was only part of our discussion during this Dr. Seuss-inspired science activity!  Launching this LEGO car is one of the most fun things we've done all day!  I love that it is powered by a rubber band sling shot and inspired by Dr. Seuss!




In the classic Dr. Seuss book Green Eggs and Ham, Sam invites the main character to taste green eggs and ham in a car.  "Would you, could you, in a car?"

After we talked about different parts of the book, I challenged my daughter to make a car that moves with LEGOs and rubber bands.  Of course, to make it even more challenging our LEGO bin is full of LEGO pieces, K'Nex pieces, and Mega-Bloks pieces.  This amazing creation is what she came up with.



You can see a close up of the front in the top picture of this post.  You can launch it by pulling on the rubber band, aiming the car, and letting it take off.  Or, she also showed me how you could wrap the free end around your foot, pull the car back, and let it fly!

You can make one too!  It's super easy.  She explained to me:

You just build a normal car--almost any design will work--and then you attach the rubber band underneath it.  The launcher is ready!

I have a short video that shows it flying down the kitchen floor, but until I get that ready to publish, you will just have to settle with these pictures!  Here is one more showing the bottom of the car attached to the rubber bands:


And, it could easily be used as a STEM project:

Science: Newtons's 3rd Law

Technology: Making videos of launches

Engineering: Building a car of LEGOs

Math: Mental math done to create the car.  Also, the distance covered in each launch was calculated mentally and compared with other launches verbally.

We loved this inspired-by-Dr. Seuss science activity!  It went wonderfully with Green Eggs and Ham, though you could use it with several other of his books too!

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Do you love Dr. Seuss books?  We do!  And we've been doing science activities that relate to the books to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday this year!

You can also find over 150 science and STEM projects here!

This rubber band sling shot LEGO car is also a great indoor activity on a bad-weather day!  Today, the early elementary blogging team is bringing you a collection of indoor activities!  Be sure to visit these lovely ladies for more indoor activity ideas:


Insect Addition to 100 Free Printable from Life Over C's
Melted Crayon Science {Phases of Matter} from School Time Snippets
Fine Motor Paper Clip Math from Sugar Aunts
How to Play Mum-Ball: A Game for Indoor Recess from Kelly’s Classroom
Spelling Sensory Sink from Still Playing School
Rubber Band Sling Shot LEGO Car from Preschool Powol Packets
Construction Photo Build Challenge from Parenting Chaos




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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

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Inspired-by-Dr. Seuss Preschool Science "Fish" Activity

Read a book. Do a science activity.  It's the perfect preschool learning combination!


This month (and the first two days of next month) we're celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday with science activities that can be tied to some of his classic books.  Today's project is so simple that you probably have the supplies in your cupboard, and yet still so engaging that your children will want to repeat it...over and over and over...

To set up this preschool science station, you need to prepare:

1- a clear cup, vase, or bowl with oil
2- another bowl (or 2) with colored water.  We used blue and green food coloring.
3- a pipette and straw

One Fish, Two Fish by Dr. Seuss starts out with fish doing different silly things as they splash in the water.  It is delightful, fun, and easy to read.  For this preschool inspired-by-Dr. Seuss science activity, we are pretending to make fish float the "water."  To make your fish, put a squirt of colored water into the oil-filled cup.

A small squirt (or fish!) will float on top of the water while a large squirt will sink to the bottom.

This is wonderful fine motor exercise!



Now for the really fun part!  Use a straw to blow into the "ocean!"  All the fish will get stirred up and "swim!"  Because oil and water do not mix, when you stop blowing bubbles the fish will settle back down. This time, most of them will settle on the bottom of the cup since oil is less dense than water.


I'm working on a little video for you showing each of the steps above--hopefully I'll finish soon!  In the meantime, your kiddos will probably want to squirt in more fish and send them for a swim...again, and again, and again...


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Do you love inspired-by-Dr. Seuss science activities?  We do!  We've been celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday this year by doing science activities with some of the classic Dr. Seuss books!  Some are geared more toward older kids (like tomorrow's) and some are geared more toward younger kids (like today's), though you will probably find all of your children loving all of the science and STEM projects!  You can see the growing collection here!

And if you love science and STEM activities and projects you will definitely want to check out my collection of over 150 different science and STEM activities and challenges!  This list just keeps growing!




I may share at any of these parties!



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Monday, February 22, 2016

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Inspired-by-Dr. Seuss Turtle Science STEM Challenge!

Dr. Seuss's birthday is coming up, and to celebrate we are doing science experiments, activities, and STEM projects inspired by our favorite Dr. Seuss books!


Today's STEM Challenge started out as a science (physics) activity inspired by Dr. Seuss's Yertle the Turtle, but quickly morphed into a huge STEM exploration as the kids had ideas and wanted to try more things!

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In the story, Yertle, the turtle king, builds his throne higher and higher by forcing the other turtles to climb on top of each other.  Turtles don't balance so well and eventually a little sneeze shakes the whole tower!  Our science activity was going to emphasize how fragile tall towers are and teach the kiddos about balancing with a hands on "turtle tower" project of their own!  

We pretended that a set of paving stones were turtles (they do look a bit like turtle shells)!  They children were challenged to stack them up just like the turtles in the story (which they all loved)!

It quickly turned into a STEM investigation as the kids used experiment after experiment as trial and error to get a tower that used all the stones we had gathered.  They were not happy when the first tower tipped so early, but they did like the idea of trying again!  They also decided that forming a platform for the tower would give them a sturdier tower!



Science: physics: balance and gravity

Technology: taking pictures of their towers, speculating how cranes would do the project

Engineering: building a tower

Math: counting, adding



I loved hearing my 5-year old call out as they built, "More turtles!  More turtles!!" (just like Yertle--he even mimicked my "Yertle voice")!

Finally, they finished!  


They even found a little red "Yertle" to put on the top!

Their Dr. Seuss-inspired Turtle Tower was incredible!  I was so pleased that this particular STEM challenge became a project everyone loved.  It encouraged team work, used their large gross muscles and motor skills, and was a wonderful outdoor activity!

And, finally, the tower tipped over!



Of course, when we finished, we re-read Yertle the Turtle.  It's always been a favorite Dr. Seuss book!





Do you love Dr. Seuss books?  Be sure to check back for more fun Dr. Seuss-inspired science experiments, activities, and STEM challenges!  I'll be sharing them for the rest of the month!!




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Saturday, February 20, 2016

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Top 10 Rainbow Preschool Songs

I am so excited to share these top 10 rainbow preschool songs!




My favorite part about learning a new song is watching my 3-year old sing it on her own while dancing in her princess dress-of-the-day.  It is completely adorable!

We use these songs for "singing time," when we learn new songs that the kids can actually sing. They love this!  It's also great for their little developing brains!  We also like to listen to child-friendly music while we paint, draw, and clean up.  These songs are perfect for singing along to or listening to while you make your own rainbow art!

Anyway, without any more introduction, here is my list of Top 10 Rainbow Preschool Songs:

Top 10 Rainbow Preschool Songs:

Colors Song:



I Can Sing a Rainbow:



The Rainbow Colors Song:



Rainbow, Rainbow:



Colors of the Rainbow:



De Colores:




The last four songs are simple singing time songs we love here at Preschool Powol Packets!  I'm working on making little videos of them all, but in the meantime, here are the words and tunes:


I Can Make a Rainbow
(to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb)
by Carla at Preschool Powol Packets

I can make a rainbow bright, rainbow bright, rainbow bright,
I can make a rainbow bright, with some rain and sunny light!



I Blow Bubbles to Make Rainbows
(to the tune of She'll be Coming Round the Mountain)
by Carla at Preschool Powol Packets

This song goes with our Bubble Rainbow Science Experiment!

I blow bubbles to make rainbows, yes I do.
I blow bubbles to make rainbows, yes I do.
They will bend and bounce and pop
When I blow them all non-stop.
I blow bubbles to make rainbows, yes I do.



Rainbow Color Chase
(to the tune of Farmer in the Dell)
by Carla at Preschool Powol Packets

During this active song, the kids run and touch something as they sing each color!

I can find something red, I can find something red,
Hi, ho, the colors, oh, I can find something red!

I can find something orange, I can find something orange,
Hi, ho, the colors, oh, I can find something orange!

I can find something yellow, I can find something yellow,
Hi, ho, the colors, oh, I can find something yellow!

I can find something green, I can find something green,
Hi, ho, the colors, oh, I can find something green!

I can find something blue, I can find something blue,
Hi, ho, the colors, oh, I can find something blue!

I can find something purple, I can find something purple,
Hi, ho, the colors, oh, I can find something purple!



Rainbow Counting
(to the tune of 10 Little Indians)
by Carla at Preschool Powol Packets

This is a finger play song--use your fingers to count as you sing!

1 little, 2 little, 3 little rainbows,
4 little, 5 little, 6 little rainbows,
7 little, 8 little, 9 little rainbows,
10 little rainbows in the sky!

10 little, 9 little, 8 little rainbows,
7 little, 6 little, 5 little rainbows,
4 little, 3 little, 2 little rainbows,
1 little rainbow in the sky!


Do your kiddos love rainbows?  Then you will probably love my collection of Top 10 Rainbow Science Activities, Sparkly Button Rainbow, Edible Rainbow Play Dough, Bubble Rainbow Science, Rainbow Volcano, Magic Rainbow Foam, Free Rainbow Breakfast Printable, Fizzing Rainbow, and Rainbow Cake!  


Be sure to check out these other Top 10 Rainbow Collections from my blogging friends:


Top 10 Rainbow Art Activities from Sugar, Spice & Glitter
Top 10 Rainbow Cupcakes from Our Good Life
Top 10 Rainbow Art Activities for Kids from Study At Home Mama
Top 10 Edible Rainbow Activities from Adventures of Adam
Top 10 Rainbow Drinks  from Witty Hoots
Top 10 Rainbow Play Dough Ideas  from Creative World of Varya
Top 10 Rainbow Books for Kids from Sunny Day Family
Top 10 Making Rainbows STEM Activities for Kids from Little Bins for Little Hands
Top 10 Colorful Rainbow Games from Our Whimsical Days
Top 10 DIY Rainbow Accessories from Nemcsok Farms
Top 10 Ways to Paint a Rainbow from Still Playing School
Top 10 Rainbow Crafts for Kids from The Resourceful Mama
Top 10 Rainbow Suncatchers from Rhythms of Play
Top 10 Pot O’ Gold Activities from Crafty Kids at Home
DIY Rainbow Puzzles from Teach Me Mommy
Top Ten Rainbow Loom Bracelet Tutorials from Words ‘n’ Needles
Top 10 Rainbow Fish Activities by Play & Learn Every Day
Top 10 Rainbow Preschool Songs from Preschool Powol Packets
Top 10 Rainbow Learning Activities from Living Life and Learning
Top 10 Rainbow Busy Bags from Happy Brown House
Top 10 Color Theory Experiments for Kids from Lemon Lime Adventures





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Free Websites that Teach Coding for Kids

Free websites that teach coding for kids are a wonderful tool to help kids (and adults) learn the language and style that computers are written in.


We live in a very different world now than 30 years ago.  Thirty years ago nobody I knew had smart phones, used the internet, or carried tablets.  Today, my toddlers can navigate all three and my preschoolers want to know how they work. My 3rd grader started looking for help to code her own apps a few months ago.  I started this collection as we browsed the internet for something written for her.

It turns out that there are a lot of free websites that teach coding for kids.  Some are more comprehensive than others, but they all have something for our game-loving kiddos who want (and will probably need) to understand and write code.  There are only a few appropriate for preschoolers, but I've learned that preschoolers very quickly turn into older kids, so I've included websites for preschoolers and older kids.

As I scoured the internet for free websites that teach coding for kids, I came across a lot that have a free component (like one free class or introduction) and a paid component.  I included some of those in a section below the free websites.  I've done my best to only include free websites in the first section--if you see that one of them turns out to require payment, please let me know so I can move it to the other list too.  And if you have a favorite website that teaches coding, please leave a comment--I'd love to know!


Totally 100% Free (as far as I can tell!):

PluralSight: Free coding courses for kids.  Includes Scratch, Scratch Jr., Basic html, Teaching Kids to Program, and more!

Code Studio: computer coding classes for kids 4 and up!  Code studio uses drag and drop to teach programming logic.  From Code.org (see below).

Scratch: uses drag and drop for kids to create projects and then share them with others.  Scratch is a community created by MIT students, designed for kids 8 and up.

Scratch Jr.: is an app that uses drag and drop and is designed for kids as young as kindergarten.

Made With Code: has free projects and encouragement for girls to code.

Thimble:  Learn html, css, and javascript while working on free projects.  For kids and adults.

App Inventor: Make android apps on this website. For older kids and adults.

CrunchZilla Code Monster: A friendly monster teaches you to code. For older kids.

MIT App Inventor: An open source app inventor from MIT. For older kids.

Codecademy: Loads of classes with interactive feedback!  For older kids.

Mozilla X-ray Goggles: "See" the code behind websites and practice changing it with "goggles."  For older kids.

Khan Academy: LOADS of free computer and coding classes for older kids and adults.

Blockly: free drag and drop games to learn coding concepts, created by Google.

Gameblox: uses drag and drop block-based programming to make games

Kid's Ruby: Download this free program to learn Ruby programming language.

CyberSecurity Lab: Defend a company from hackers while learning about computer programming,




Introduction, Sample, or Partial Course Free with Other Paid Options Available:

Tynker.com: recommended for kids 7 and up.  The first course is free and the rest are about $50 per course.
Code Avengers: lots of free intro courses and lots of paid courses.  These are meant for older kids and adults.
Lightbot.com: is a series of puzzles that require programming logic to solve.  It has a free web-based puzzle, and apps available for purchase on devices like phones and kindle.  It has an option for younger kids 4-8 years old.

Code.org: a website dedicated to getting coding instruction available to all children and teachers.  Includes a free sample, links to other websites and sources to get live classes.

Stencyl: uses drag and drop (with an option to write your own lines) to create games.  Stencyl is known for making games easily.  Publishing requires payment.

Vidcode: Uses drag and drop codes for projects with your own pictures and videos. For older kids. Free to try, but users pay.

Code Monkey: an online game that teaches a code language called CoffeeScript. For older kids. Has a free trial and a paid subscription.

Code Combat: fun, medieval-themed lessons for elementary, middle, and high school students.  Free introduction classes and then paid classes.

Tech Rocket: a series of learn-to-program classes--at least six free and six paid classes.


We are joining in the 28 Days of Hands-On STEM activities for Kids this month!  Check out the homepage to see a list of all the great STEM activities from fantastic bloggers! 




Do you have any favorite free websites that teach coding for kids?  I'd love to know!  I'd also love to hear your experience with any of these that I've included!


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