Saturday, November 20, 2010

More Space Stuff

Are you tired yet? Well, M's fascination with space is nowhere near over, just the opposite. We read The Magic School Bus Takes a Moonwalk daily and The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System - almost daily. That's in addition to lots and lots of other awesome books about planets and galaxies and astronauts that we go through several times a day.

We also finished the space helmet. It's giant! I clearly over-estimated my child's head size, but at least he won't get stuck in it. Plus now even adults can try it on (and believe me, we have no shortage of the takers).

Now when M goes anywhere where there might be other children (or adults) he wants to dress up in not only the space suit, but also wear the helmet and the "oxygen tanks". And when he's not in this uniform, he likes to approach people and announce to them "I'm going to be an astronaut when I grow up". He then proceeds to introduce me as Ms. Frizzle (the awesome, but strangely-dressed teacher from The Magic School Bus series).

He addresses me as Ms. Frizzle throughout the day as in "Ms. Frizzle, we have a problem" or "Ms. Frizzle, you are the strangest teacher in school" or "Ms. Frizzle, I have a question for you" or "Ms. Frizzle, take us to the magic school bus". And yes, he addresses himself in plural sometimes because while I'm Ms. Frizzle, he is her entire class. Oh, and our cat, Xander, is renamed "Liz, the lizard" on these occasions.

Being Ms. Frizzle is really not so bad at all. Especially compared to all my previous gigs as Winni the Pooh, the ghost, Lolochka the puppy, Zamatayu the dog, Luna 3 the lunar module, the witch, etc, etc. At least I no longer have to speak in alarmingly low, startlingly high or unnaturally constipated voices. And I get to hear things such as "That was a great field trip, Ms. Frizzle" pretty much after every playdate and outing.

But I started running out of ideas for space-related games and craft activities. Thankfully, our local teacher's store had this awesome book - Solar System - Curriculum Based Hands-on Activities. It's for Grades 1-3, but I looked through it quickly and it seemed that many of the activities could be easily adapted to a younger child.

M was very excited when I told him we'll be doing more space experiments. So far we've done the experiment to see how impact craters are formed and why a space ship can't land on a gas giant. This sounds fancy, but all it took was some sand and potatoes for the former and an egg and a coin for the latter.
We also made a couple of catapults. One was large, simple and not very spectacular. The other one, slightly more complicated and much smaller was awesome. It shot little foil projectiles clear across the room!

Then we took a little break to look at some pictures of space stuff. And that's how we accidentally stumbled upon a new game. We lined up the cards, set the catapult some distance away and tried landing foil meteors on different space objects. Then M tried to launch the little astronaut into a black hole to see him get spaghettified.

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