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The best of the rest

Hi folks,  

This is going to be my last kids activities blog for a while as schools will be heading back soon and twenty seems like a nice round number.  I may pop back with some more ideas from time to time though.  This week is mostly going to be some of my favourite activities that haven't fitted into any of the themes so far.

Explosions

Both of these are powered by acid/alkali reactions which create carbon dioxide in an enclosed space.  The first is a bomb in a bag which needs vinegar, bicarb, a zip lock bag and some toilet paper/kitchen towel. Here the vinegar is the acid and the bicarb the alkali. The second is an alka selzer rocket (you can also use vitamin C tablets).  These use old film canisters which are a bit harder to get hold of nowadays, but you can usually ask places that do film processing if they have any spare.  This is still an acid/alkali reaction (citric acid and sodium bicarbonate), but in this case both are powdered and aren't able to react together till water is added .  Bath bombs use the same idea.

Paper

Here's a quick round up of some fun activities with paper.  Have a go at creating some rocket mice with this activity from the science museum or this variation demonstrated by Sarah Bearchell.  Another possibility is making the pneumatic monsters described here.  I've run a similar activity where you fold a single paper plate in half to be a monster mouth and inflate a balloon inside.  Mobius strips are simple to make (they're just a twisted strip of paper with the ends stuck together) but have very strange properties and do unexpected things when you cut them in two 'lengthways'.  Another trick with cutting paper is this one which involves challenging someone to cut a hole in a postcard (or similar sized piece of paper) big enough to climb through.  I have managed to do this with a playing card before now but it took a lot of patience to cut the card correctly.  Another trick with scissors and paper is to fold a piece of paper and create a star shape with a single cut - the one cut star. In fact you can theoretically cut any straight sided shape with a single cut, but it is harder to work out how to fold the paper.  

Mixed assortment

One of my favourite new tricks that I have learned is this floating stickman trick. When I first heard about it,  I was so excited that I tried it immediately I got back to the office and it worked first time!

A good trick to try outside is to balance a tennis ball on top of a football and let go of them both at the same time - see if you can guess what will happen - it takes a bit of practice to let go properly, but it is worth the effort.  

When I was a child, I managed to accidentally make some butter while stirring frozen cream in an attempt to speed up the defrosting process.  Why not have a go at doing it deliberately with these instructions for making butter from the Ri.

A craft activity that we ran at a previous Easter brunch was pom pom making to create an Easter chick. The basic instructions for pom-pom making are here, but you can find some instructions for making more intricate ones here (including a range of animals, letter and fruit).  This video shoes how to make some great cat pom-poms.

Thanks to anyone who has made it this far, it's been fun.  If you have any questions about any of the things I've posted, do let me know. I'd also love to know whether you tried any of the activities or experiments.

Just for you here's the latest photo of my kittens in their new favourite hiding place on top of my shelves.

Kittens on shelf