Monday, May 28, 2018

STEM Storytime: Magnetism

We had magnetic fun at the library during May's S.T.E.M. Storytime. We had so much fun, we never read a story! But we had a magnet book that we could refer to if we wanted.
We figured out that one end of a magnet attracts one end of another magnet, but repels the other end. So opposites attract! Some magnets were marked with N and S for North and South, but many were not marked - because they were toys!
We had Magnetic Thinking Putty, like slime, that was attracted by a giant, strong magnet. What was in the slime that made the magnet attract it? We had a rock, called hematite, that could be picked up by a tiny but powerful magnet. There was iron in the rock, and magnets attract iron. 
We made a looong string of magnets so tiny they were hard to pick up, but so strong that they were hard to manipulate. They just wanted to find another magnetic item to stick to!
We played a hard game called "Bells", where you had to use a magnetic wand to pick up only the color of bells you had decided to collect. The magnet in the wand was so powerful, it could pick up a whole line of bells. But if you got the wrong color, your turn was over. It was pretty tricky - but fun.
We even had Magformers to build with, thanks to the Royea family who let us borrow their sets. They're great toys, because the magnets are so powerful! 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Round and round

What's in your garden? Today we read books about gardens and the sorts of plants - and critters - that can be in them! We read Round the Garden by Omri Glaser, who was only eight when he wrote this book based on the water cycle. We also read Up, Down, and Around, a rhyming book by Katherine Ayers that told about planting and crops that grow up and down. Our final book, Yucky Worms by Vivian French, was full of facts about earthworms and why they are so good for gardens.

We planted pumpkin seeds in cups, and gave them water to help them grow. Once the seeds have sprouted, they can go into gardens at home. Maybe each of us will have a pumpkin this fall!

Next we made a paper plate craft that showed crayon sky and collaged soil, cotton clouds, paper-dot rain and round yellow sun. Those are what's needed for seeds to sprout and plants to grow.
We made our paper plant "grow"out of the "soil" by pushing the pipe cleaner stem up above the paper plate soil line. It worked! We are looking forward to this happening for real in our own gardens!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Finally, Spring!

This was the week we finally read the books I've been saving since Spring appeared on the April calendar! In Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms by Julia Rawlinson, Fletcher thought he saw snow so he warned all his animal friends that it was still winter! Spring is Here by Will Hillenbrand told how Mole, who knew it was Spring, wanted to celebrate with his sleeping friend Bear. In Mouse's First Spring by Lauren Thompson, Mouse experiences Spring for the first time with his Momma. Our last book, When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes, tells what our world looks like as we wait for Spring.

We made spring flowers with pipe cleaner stems and creative flower heads - made from paper, foam, tiny cups, cupcake papers, and more!

A few days later, kids came from the New Hampton Community School's After School Program, and listened to Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms. Then they too made flowers with the same materials. Here are some of their creations!