Friday, 29 July 2016

The ButterFly Project - Painting caterpillars!

So everything got a bit exciting over the last few days!  Our Caterpillars turned into Chrysilade!  

So, we're on day...  Oops, I lost track but we are still doing our butterfly project - we did take a bit of a break to enjoy this lovely sunshine.  So, over the next few days, I will try and post some of the Butterfly project activities we've been doing.

First, here's a video of one of the caterpillars as we caught shedding its very last caterpillar skin...




The girls had a go at making Hama bead caterpillars and I thought of Lego Caterpillars too but that hasn't come into fruition.  However, today we had a lot of fun with making our own paint and making these lovely caterpillars...



So first of all here's how to make your own homemade paint!  Click on the photo below for step by step instructions...




To make your caterpillar...

STEP ONE

Find a piece of paper at least A4 size 

STEP TWO

Make a spread out hand-print by using a paintbrush to cover the hand in green paint. Get ready to make your hand-print by spreading out your fingers a bit so when you press your hand on the paper, so that they look like legs of a caterpillar (well sort of).

Do three green hand-prints, making sure to line up the 'legs' as you go to make the caterpillar body and legs - the True Legs and the Prolegs! 

STEP THREE

With the other hand now, paint it red with a paintbrush.  With the fingers squished together but still facing the same way as the green printed 'legs'  make the head of your caterpillar.

STEP FOUR

We wanted ours to look like The Very Hungry Caterpillar so, to make the eyes I used pipe cleaners, I cut off a but of green Pipecleaner about 6cm long and a yellow piece about 8cm long.

STEP FIVE

Curl the green piece of pipecleaner like a snail shell, the twist one end of the yellow pipecleaner around the end of the green and then curl around the green until you have eyes.  Glue this to the painting with PVA glue.

STEP SIX

Draw on the nose.



Then we used a blue pipecleaner, cut it in half, then bent the two pieces so they folded in two and twisted the ends.  We used PVA glue to stick it down.



You've finished!

This project was so fun and led to a discussion ab out the different parts of the Caterpillar body, especially about the Legs.  I have a Free Printable tomorrow, covering the anatomy of a caterpillar.  



Wednesday, 27 July 2016

STEP by STEP: How to make paint

This paint is easy to make and very safe for even tiny babies.

This is for a small amount of paint per colour, but if you are wanting lots of this paint just use more corn flour to boiling water ratio.


 



First you need a tablespoon of corn flour.

Add a teaspoon of food colouring - I use powdered food colouring because the colours are far richer than the liquid food colouring you get in the supermarket!

Mix a little water in the cornflour and food colouring mix bit by bit until it forms a thick paste.  

Now you will need boiling water - pour 100ml of boiling water into the paste you have made and whisk fast - If it needs more heat, you can transfer the liquid to a pan and heat it for a minute or two while whisking - as soon as you see it start to thicken remove it from the heat and keep whisking until it's smooth.


 

I try and keep little pots around the house for keeping the paint in, anything air tight will do.  I find this paint particularly good for printing projects; it's really good with projects like hand-printing and potato printing.

 



Science Fact:  Cornflour is a type of polymer.

When you add cold water to corn flour, the cornflour is unable to dissolve in the water, so all those tiny particles float about making the mix of the other cold water and the cornflour act both in the way of a liquid and a solid: a non-newtonian liquid.   This reaction changes when you add heat; as the heat increases so does the cornflour's solubility.  Once the corn flour has dissolved into the water, the mix will only act like a liquid.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Day 11 of the butterfly project - caterpillar progress

So I've skipped blogging for day 9 and 10 of our butterfly project - the heat has been too much for us in our house so all our time has been spent enjoying this beautiful sunshine, trying to keep hydrated.  I'm not complaining though, the weather is absolutely beautiful! 


I have been taking photos however so you can all check out how quickly they are growing, and see what has been happening to our caterpillars over the last couple of days.  My six year old gasps every morning asking how they grow so quickly - we told her they eat all the breakfast lunch and dinner haha!! (she's not a great eater)

The days are based on the day the caterpillars arrived, sorry for any confusion but they are for the scrap book so we know when they were taken.







 




 



 

 

Today... 

 

They are so big and have ventured up to the top of the jug!  They're about 2 inches so I think they will be turning into Chrysalides very soon!
    FACT:  It only takes 10 to 12 days for a caterpillar to go from a small only just hatched caterpillar to one that is 4cm to 5cm long!

Thursday, 21 July 2016

The Butterfly Project Day 8 - Kite flying!

It has been too hot to do very much apart from enjoying the sun and finding ways of cooling down so, yesterday, before we headed out on our adventures, we made some kites...





Only the younger two were very excited about this so we made simple kites in the end, still involving maths, creativity, reading skills and science.  They had so much fun with their designs but we only ended up with one butterfly kite: Honi wanted to make her's a kitten!




How well they flew!  Do you see how high my Honi's kite went?! She was a very happy girl indeed!



So off to the beach we went and how lovely it was to see them fly their kites so independently and full of excitement.  It's so much more lovely when you make your own kite too!






If you want to know how we made ours click on the photo of our butterfly kite above, and it will take you to the tutorial. 

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Butterfly Project Day 7 - Words and things...

Yesterday, I awoke to my youngest two children beside my bed screaming their heads have fallen off!  

My first response was 'whose head has fallen off?' whilst wiping the sleepiness from my face.  


'The caterpillars!' they gasped, serious concern on their little faces! Still slightly in sleepyland myself, I then panicked...

'Their heads are fallen off!!!!  Does that mean they are turning into caterpillars early?!  Then I remembered that this is what caterpillars do when they grow bigger they shed their outer skin to allow for them to grow bigger, like snakes do!

Despite this being our second lot of caterpillars we were still surprised by how much they had grown in just a day, we were still reminding ourselves of the processes in the lifecycle of a butterfly!  

We decided, as it was a hot day and everyone was too hot to do very much at all we would have a game...

We played to see how many words we could make out of CATERPILLAR!



Not one for my 6 year old, but she still tried bless her.  Then it was off to the park to find the water fountains for us - this weather rarely lasts long in the UK so we're doing our best to enjoy it to the full!

Today we are making butterfly kites.  I will be posting that one out as a STEP by STEP how to make your own post next time!  Enjoy this beautiful sunshine people!

Monday, 18 July 2016

Butterfly project day 6 - THEY ARRIVED!

I would have blogged over the weekend but I felt quite ill for most of it.  I felt better this morning though and finally the caterpillars came!

When I first opened the caterpillar box with the girls I thought they were all dead but before long they were out and roaming the cup...




It's going to be exciting to see the girls faces in the morning as caterpillars do goes tremendously fast.

I'm still not 100% so a short post tonight but I am going to be blogging tomorrow with the next activity in the butterfly project.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Day 5 of the butterfly project - Caterpillar cake recipe!

So we waited in all day for a delivery which never came but we did get on with a little more of our butterfly project.  We made this yummy treat!


(My daughter Naomi drew on the leaves)

It's a caterpillar cake but this one is super chocolaty.  The cake is actually brownies which I made today and the recipe can be found here: Chewy Chocolate Brownies

We then sliced two 3cm slices of the Brownies when they were cooked, then simply melted some white chocolate and covered it and used raisins for the eyes and straws for extra decoration.


They loved it!

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Day 4 of the Butterfly project - Maths: STEP by STEP caterpillar geometry

I've been trying to think of ways to get maths into our butterfly project as much as possible and came up with this project.   

As we learnt yesterday, caterpillar eggs come in various shapes sizes, some are tubular in shape, some round and others oval, so in this project we make a caterpillar egg and the turn it into a caterpillar...  Just for FUN!  Here's how we made ours...


 


STEP  ONE

Draw a rectangle.  Make it 3cm by 14cm.

To ensure the angles of your rectangle is right use a protractor. All the angles are meant to be 90 degrees.

Maths fact: All the angles on a quadrilateral adds up to 360 degrees 

STEP TWO

Using  a compass set it to 1.5cm like this...



Then draw a semi circle at both ends of your rectangle.

STEP THREE

Now measure two centimeters in from one end of the rectangle we made in STEP ONE and then draw a line to make a small rectangle within it like this...


 


STEP FOUR

Measure and mark with a pencil 2cm from the top of the inside line of the small rectangle and 2cm from the bottom of the line joined to the semi circle.  Use these marks and the corners of the small rectangle to make triangles like in the photo below.

 

These two bigger triangles are isosceles and the smaller ones are right angle triangles.

Maths Fact: the three angles inside a triangle always add up to 180 degrees!


STEP FIVE

Mark 1 cm down from the inside line of the small rectangle and 1cm up from the inside line of the small rectangle and then join the dots to the corners of the newly made isosceles triangles to make smaller right angle triangles, like so...

 

STEP SIX

Now colour it in!

We were thinking of 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle, when we made ours so we coloured the semi circles in red, the large rectangle in green and the triangles orange.

 

STEP SEVEN

Then we cut it out carefully.  

If you like, before you rearrange the pieces and put them back together, you can draw a background on an A4 piece of paper.  Something like this...

 

Then stick your shapes on the picture to make a caterpillar shape like this...




What we learnt from this project:


  • Counting
  • Measuring
  • Shapes
  • Angles
  • Practicing using a compass and ruler 


Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Day Three of the Butterfly Project - Fun facts about Butterfly Eggs

TWO days until our caterpillars arrive!  Today, To to into  the Scrapbook we started looking into butterfly egg facts and found these!

Facts we learnt about butterfly eggs:



They are not all round some are oval!



They come in different colours mostly white, green and yellow.

Female butterflies lay as many eggs as possible to give only a few of their eggs a chance of hatching a surviving!


When the female butterfly lays her eggs she secretes a special chemical which glues her eggs to the leaf of a plant that she has found suitable.  The female butterfly checks that the plant she's on is the right one by scratching the leaf with her feet and smelling the odour that comes from it and if's the correct plant she then lays her eggs.


If a butterfly lays 100 eggs how many do you think will survive?

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Butterflies day 2: Egg on Leaf craft

So today wasn't all about butterflies (only 3 days to go!) but, after our maths and English workbooks, we did do a quick craft for our scrapbook to keep the theme going...





We made a fun craft painting the leaves, then drawing and colouring tiny eggs using photos we found on the internet. It was amazing to see all the different shapes and colours of butterfly eggs there are.





WE cut the egg drawings out and using glue stuck them to the leaf.  I talked to them about how the female butterfly, when she lays her eggs, secretes a special chemical that acts like a glue to secure her eggs to the leaf she chooses.

This was their finished egg on a leaf art...






  

Monday, 11 July 2016

Butterflies day 1: Maths through art

We woke up this morning excited about the arrival of our caterpillars!


 


The first thing we did, even before getting dressed or eating breakfast was finding the hungry caterpillar puzzles!


Once we had eaten breakfast we started on our project.  This weekend I popped to town when I was child free and found, in The Works, these lovely butterfly masks...


 

This morning they started to colour them in. We talked about symmetry familiarizing the younger two with the word that they will find in their maths workbooks.


We then got the paint out and experimented with other ways of using art to create symmetrical butterfly shapes!  Just the simple old fashion method I remember from when I was small.  A folded piece of paper, paint on one side squish it together - the sort of craft that never loses its magic!





So much fun.

They used there feet to make a giant one too that is now on my kitchen door...



Then we found out that we don't get the butterflies today.  They are coming on Friday.  Something I had miss read no doubt - I can be ditzy at times.

Still we continued to have fun.  We made those carrot cakes inspired by Hugly and Friends book, and turned some into butterfly cupcakes.  If you click on the photo (after 8pm tonight) it will lead you to the recipe!


 

We are going to spend the next few days preparing for our caterpillars instead, so as promised I will continue blogging about butterflies over the next few days but no photos of caterpillars until Friday now!

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Book Review: Hugly and the Missing Carrots

The other day we received a special something in the post...

 

Hugly and the Missing Carrots!

It's a book written by two dads, Ian Hamilton and Sam Frith, their aim for this book, they say, is to encourage children to learn about nature and its surroundings, growing fruit and vegetables and cooking in which I think they have completely accomplished with their book which has been possible using crowdfunding.  

It is such a lovely tale of love and friendship.  Before we even began reading the book she noticed the special little envelope...

Saturday, 9 July 2016

The Butterfly Project

Last year, for us as a family, was occupied with so many things that we missed out on our Butterflies so this year we are doing a project on them.  

Our caterpillars will be arriving on Monday and my girls are really looking forward to it!  


Over the next few weeks, starting Monday, I will be back to blogging every day:  I will update this blog with photos of the caterpillars and putting step by step instructions of the crafts and parts of the project we will doing along the way for the next few weeks.



We will be filling a scrapbook as we go through this project - there will be fun facts, activities and arts and crafts to try.

I will have a few free printable pdfs for anyone to use that's great for going into a scrapbook, if you fancy joining us on our learning adventures too!  If you want to know where we bought our butterflies from go to www.insectlore.co.uk or www.insectlore.com.

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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Science: Sticky Static

Static electricity is an electric phenomenon that is well known.  It is where charged particles are transferred from one place to another.



Here's something fun you can try when you are learning about static electricity and is great as an introduction to electricity.

When you rub a balloon against your hair or a jumper, charge transfer happens, this is when static electricity is made; when you rub a balloon against your jumper or hair, the balloon steals electrons (negatively charged particles)  when this happens you leave the jumper, or your hair in a positively charged state and the balloon is negatively charged.



The balloon will be attracted back to the sweater because opposite charges attract like opposite pole attract with magnets. 





The reason that the balloon will stick to the wall is because the negative charges in the balloon will make the electrons in the wall move to the other side of their atoms (because like charges repel) and this leaves the surface of the wall positively charged. Because opposite charges attract, the negatively charged balloon will be attracted to the positively charged surface of the wall.

Something else you can try:

Try using different materials to negatively charge your balloon.  Which material works best?

Scientific words learnt through this experiment:

  • Static electricity
  • Protons
  • Electrons
  • Negative charge
  • Positive charge

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Science: Experimenting with Copper Sulphate

First of all Heating copper...
One of my friends who come along to my science groups back in 2012,  asked me if we could do some experiments on heating materials.  She said she had tried heating a copper coin and couldn’t get it to spark green and didn’t know why.  Well, this is why it didn't produce that green flame...
If you heat a modern copper coin it will go black, no green flame.  This is because you have formed copper oxide; the black formed during the heating of the coin in flame is the copper oxide. 


When it is cooled down obviously, you can clear away the copper oxide.


Then I was left with the question: how could I make a green flame using copper?  How I did this was not using a copper coin But I did use  copper sulphate.  Using a spoon and an alcohol burner I heated it and voila green flames!  Fab.  Be sure that you’re in a ventilated area when you do this.
What else can we do with Copper sulphate? 





We could put an iron nail in it.  What happens?  The liquid turns from blue to green.

When an iron nail is placed in a copper sulphate solution, iron displaces copper from copper sulphate solution forming iron sulphate, which is green in colour.

Therefore, the blue colour of copper sulphate solution fades and green colour appears.


When we take an iron metal nail and dip it into a blue solution of copper (II) sulphate, firstly it changes the solution to iron sulphate which is green in colour.  If you leave it the nail becomes covered with a reddish substance. This reddish substance is metallic copper. The equation for this is:


Fe(s) + CuSO4(aq) -> FeSO4(aq) + Cu(s)

This is what is known as a redox reaction, or otherwise known as a oxidation reduction reaction.

This post was first written 11/07/2012 revised: 11/02/2016