Day 310 - When You Are Looking For Quality Time With Your Kids.
Oh hey. It's Friday and who here is feeling a little worn out from the week? Who out there is a parent? As a parent, there never seems to be enough time to do anything. We cart kids to school, usher them to soccer practice, set up playdates, feed them three, square, delicious meals low in sugar, take them to the birthday parties, cuddle them to doctors visits and generally try to figure out how to grow a productive and kind future member of society. Whew. Who's exhausted?
Surprisingly, today, the kids and I have some free time or rather quality time to spend together. There is a big initiative right now to develop S.T.E.A.M learning for kids. For those who are not familiar with the acronym S.T.E.A.M, you are not alone. I had to Google it and it stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math. Here it is in a nut shell: the 21st century is going to need to deliver more (a lot more) workers to drive innovation. The workers need a bigger understanding of science, technology, education and math. Art was added to provide the creative learning needed to make leaps forward in innovation. In short, this is the kind of education needed to drive and deliver a prosperous future society. Whew. No pressure parents and kids!
Today, to get my kids excited about this new S.T.E.A.M learning and fill our quality time, we pulled some recycled materials from the recycle bin. After thinking and planning, we came up with a process to create a kaleidoscope. We used engineering to insure the kaleidoscope worked (for the record it doesn't) but more importantly we used creative reasoning to make the idea whole.
It was a fun process and some interesting observations were, the kids decided to use coffee filters as a drawing surface. They reasoned the color would create an cool effect once the filter was paper punched. We decided together that the hole we made in the cup bottom was too small for the straw but the kaleidoscope wouldn't turn but that was ok. Most importantly, the kids had a blast staring into the kaleidoscope and seeing the way light reflected through the cup bottoms.
Today's project is to create something from recycled materials and innovate the materials into something exciting. If you would like to make a kaleidoscope, here is the supply list
- 1 empty recycled paper towel roll
- washi tape
- paper punch
- an old magazine or decorated coffee filter
- 2 empty recycled clear plastic cups
- 1 recycled straw
Step 1: Cut the bottoms out of both cups. Use the paper punch to punch a hole in both plastic cup bottoms about 1/4" away from the edge. Tape the straw to the paper towel roll so 1/2" of the straw sticks out from the end of the paper towel roll.
Step 2: Use the hole punch to punch holes in the decorated coffee filter or an old magazine cover. Empty the paper punch reservoir into the bottom of one of the plastic cup bottoms. Tape the bottoms together on the edges.
Step 3: Place the taped bottoms on the end of the straw and look through the end of the paper towel roll.
It's pretty cool that learning can be hands on and provide a great platform for quality time with kids and adults alike.
I'm off to drum up another creative project and spend a little more quality time with the kids. See you tomorrow innovators!