Everyone wore their tie-dye shirts today, and while we waited for Luba and her kids to arrive, the others made a tie-dyed pyramid. They were too cute, and I really wish I had thought to make tie-dye t-shirts for myself and Luba!
Today’s ice breaker took nearly the entire first hour! Called Art Effects, it’s a game in which one person must give instructions to everyone else in the group on how to draw an object (picked randomly from a hat). They’re limited in their vocabulary to shapes, lines, etc. When instructor thinks he or she has finished, the kids show their drawings and we try to guess the object. Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it’s not. We played mostly in English, with kids calling out for translations when necessary. And Leila decided to give her instructions in French. Love it!
Then, while Luba put together her water obstacle course in the back yard, I took the kids to the front yard where we talked about the incredible, edible egg—and especially its perfect form which gives it its strength. I asked the kids to hypothesize on what would happen if they stepped on the raw eggs I had brought out. I asked if any of them were strong enough to crush a raw egg in their hand, to which they scoffed of course and begged to try it. To their shock, they could not crush an egg in their hands! So we talked about even pressure points and about why it’s so easy to crack an egg shell on the side of a bowl or pan. Then it was time to do the real test.
The kids lined up to walk across four dozen raw eggs. There were squeals of fear, delight—and then disbelief when the eggs did not break as they took a couple steps across! There were a few broken eggs, and I explained how that could happen (uneven pressure, an egg turned sideways in the carton, etc.). The discarded broken eggs were of great amusement to the younger ones who examined the insides of eggs with sticks.
I hosed off the driveway as Luba took the kids to the back yard. Her games are so fun, and I always want to join in, but I admit, it’s really great to have that downtime to prepare for what comes next. So while the kids used water guns to shoot paper cups across a line and walk across a board over the kiddie pool, among other things, I made lunch for my kiddos, set out materials for our afternoon experiment and simmered some strawberries.
After a lunch with merry conversation, I surprised Alexia—and everyone else—with a cake. Alexia has a birthday in a few days and this is her last day with us, as she’s headed to a softball tournament in Niagara Falls. So we celebrated her and her talent with angel food cake, strawberry coulis and whipped cream! After that, the kids scattered for some free play before I called them back out to the front yard.
In the driveway, I had a couple bins full of miscellaneous materials: milk cartons, sponges, Easter grass, rubber bands, a coffee can, etc. The kids picked partners and then went up to the bins, team by team, to choose four materials to use to construct a container that would keep their eggs safe from a two-story fall. It was interesting to see what they chose; they had to come to an agreement with their team mate. And it was interesting to see what containers they came up with, too!
The drop from Zahra’s window to the asphalt driveway below is a treacherous one, and not all of their eggs made it on the first drop. This picture of Halima and Leila’s sad faces after their egg broke is so funny! To those who successfully dropped their egg without breaking it, I asked that they take away one of their four materials, reconstruct their container and try again. To the one team that made it past that challenge, I asked that they remove all tape. At that drop, the egg bounced out of its container after hitting the ground.
More hosing off of the driveway…
As the kids were working on their containers, I was filling water balloons in the back yard. I love those bunch-o-balloon things. I effortlessly filled 280 water balloons in minutes. When the egg drop was done, I divided the yard into two parts and the kids grouped into their Capture the Flag teams. Each team got 140 balloons (minus a few casualties), time to come up with a strategy, and then they went at it! When the water fun was done, they picked up all the balloon pieces before going in for a snack.
It was hot today, and I thought the kids might be fried, so I gave them a choice for the next and last activity. They could write up the egg drop experiment in their nature journals, paint and decorate a photo frame (into which we will add a photo of each of the kids with their favourite chicken), or just have free time (Legos, water games, swings, hanging out in the back yard, whatever…). There were no takers for the first option, but I was a bit surprised when they all voted photo frames over free time. We got out the paints and sparkly stickers and pom-poms and wooden chicken cut-outs. They put their photo frames to dry and then went outside to get their pictures taken with their favourite chickens. I had them developed this afternoon, and they’re so cute!
The kids had a few more minutes to hang out in the back yard before pick up. We let Marcia and her chick Kitkut out of their maternity ward cage for some much needed relaxation in the sun. We gave Marcia a grape which she ate half of before clucking to Kitkut, instructing her to eat the other half. Kitkut was too excited, though, out on her first adventure. She jumped through the grass, giving her mother a heart attack. Marcia tried to protect her chick from everything—including a soccer ball. It was so sweet to watch her puff up her feathers, cluck continuously and herd Kitkut. She settled down to teach Kitkut how to dust bathe, even picking up some dirt in her mouth to shower over the chick.
Day three done! And we’re having so much fun, we’ve decided we’re definitely going to do it again next year.