There is awesome and then there is aweSOME, and then there is Mike Adamick’s Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments, whereby awesome becomes an AWESOME understatement.
Timelapse=60 Seconds Of Awesome!
Experiment #7 ‘Colored Leaves’
When my daughters grow up they will be rocket scientists or astrophysicists or bioengineers. I have already decided. Of course they will ultimately choose for themselves and I will be OK with whatever they decide to be. (Except for “Dallas Cowboys”. Mamas, don’t let your babies…!) But it is parent-nature to try to covertly shape those decisions, almost from day one. We sew NASA patches on their onesies. For motivation we use Tony Robbins audio books for their white noise machines. You know. But last week I discovered a saner way to awaken the science giant within, in a passionately crafted, bright and colorful book called Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments: From Boiling Ice and Exploding Soap to Erupting Volcanoes and Launching Rockets, 30 Inventive Experiments to Excite the Whole Family!
The premise is simple: Science is awesome. Kids are awesome. And time spent learning about how the world works while making things with your kids is almost as awesome as time spent learning about how the world works while blowing things up with your kids. With sections titled Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Planet Earth and The Human Body, and a nurturing subtext that champions the importance of kids learning from their failures, things are destined to get messy. So let’s roll up our sleeves, shall we?
Every parent knows about what I like to call the why eddy. You know how it is. One minute you’re paddling your chat canoe down a river of dialogue, talking farts and tank engines with your toddler, and the next minute the little Marie Curie has to know why EVERYTHING and you’ve already given ten good reasons why butt gas isn’t petrol and can’t power Thomas “clickity clack along the track” and the conversation’s current starts spinning into an infinity of whys. That’s the why eddy. Dad’s Book Of Awesome Science Experiments gives dads (and moms) some awesome and accurate “becauses.” I mean, who doesn’t feel like superdad when they trick their kids into thinking that they have all the answers? Buy this book. You will immediately have thirty answers that beat, “Because I said so.”
Blind Balance lets your kids discover the inner ear’s response to changes in body motion.
- What The At-Home Toddler learned: “There are jelly donuts in your ears that make you dizzy and that’s awesome because jelly donuts are awesome.” Good enough.
- What I learned: When wee people wobble they DO fall down. Repeatedly. To the point where you start to wonder about brain damage and the effects of concussive trauma on a toddler noggin but I must have missed that chapter in your book mister science author man, mustn’t I have? Hmph.
Experiment #7 Colored Leaves
or, Patience Is A Virtue. Even Forced Patience At The Behest Of A Robotic, Gaurd-Triceratops.
I will save some page space here and simply refer you back to that timelapse up there because, timelapse-es-es are awesome. We set ours up behind the baby gate with a motion-sensitive, animatronic dinosaur guarding the door. It took us three days due to some early stumbles. Part of the learning process! Talk about are we there yet? Phew. In kid-friendly, but not dumbed down language (I hate when they do that!) and big, eye-catching photos, Dad’s Book Of Awesome Science Experiments speaks to adults and children alike. Even if said children don’t understand that Dada didn’t write the book himself. (Dada may or may not have told said children that Dada wrote the book himself. Nah, I wouldn’t do that.) Suffice it to say, we also had a blast picking flowers on a bright spring day, (see slideshow at the bottom) learning about capillarity and after all, what kid doesn’t like anything that is wet and/or slimy and/or colorful and/or involves disastrous messes and razor-sharp objects. (Supervised! Geez.)
Colored Leaves lets your kids discover how “everyday plants receive and process the life-giving water they need to thrive.”-Mike Adamick
- What The At-Home Toddler learned: “Plants eat and drink using xylophones and phlegm.” (xylem and phloem)
- What I learned: I still don’t know why it’s called Colored Leaves. It should probably be called colored flowers or colored pedals or, in our case, colored fingers, faces, lab coats, table tops, and Elmo dolls, like I touched on here.
Experiment#1 Soap Clouds
or, Hot Hot Ouch Ouch Hot
I realize that I should probably stop giving away all of Mike’s awesome end results and start wrapping this up. The point of a review is to entice, not to spoil. (He’s lucky I scrapped my ‘Thirty Days of Awesome’ project) So I will just lay that teaser photo on you and drop a few lessons learned. With a bar of Ivory soap, a microwave, an endearing childhood memory and a promise of “bathtime fun,” (no the microwave does NOT go in the bathtub, you sadist,) Soap Clouds lets your kids discover vaporization and heat expansion.
- What The At-Home Toddler learned: “Mr. Soap cloud, you’re the one…you make bathtime so much fun.”
- What i learned: Nuked soap is frickin’ napalm-hot but the process makes for an awesome air freshener.
Dad’s Book Of Awesome Science Experiments is as simple or as complex as your kids can handle and thus age appropriate across the board. It provides the perfect structure for some highly educational, yet Q, T with your kids. It requires little to no money to conduct the experiments in that most of the ingredients are typical household supplies, which is awesome, since the actual amount of money I have right now is officially little to no. The book helps dads like me to look smart and kids to get smart. So click the book down there, or this link, to purchase a copy for yourself and your kids and anyone else that has ever had a kid or been a kid. Send this post to any parents of overly-inquisitive youngsters you think it would benefit! Let it be your weapon in the war on whys. And thank you for a truly AWESOME week mister science author man!
From the authors mouth, “You don’t need an expensive kit or new toy for supercool science experiments.”
From the author’s personal website, “Mike Adamick is a stay-at-home dad, writer, and inveterate tinkerer whose work regularly appears on National Public Radio, KQED Radio and in the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s and Jezebel.com…Mike lives in San Francisco with his wife, Dana, and daughter, Emmeline. In his spare time, he enjoys sewing children’s clothing, making cool crafts out of junk from around the house, and practicing for cage fights. He is also deathly afraid of sharks, open water and momentary deficits of oxygen, and competes in the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon.”
Disclosure: I begged Mike to send me this book. Begged. On virtual knees. Had to have it, begged-begged. I have not been compensated for this review and the thoughts and opinions expressed are solely my own. If, however, you have a product that you would like to compensate me for reviewing, contact me here. If your product jibes with my moral compass, I’ll gladly take your money. And, hint, hint, wink, wink, this entire review was done on my 2013 Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and man what a phablet!
I will leave you with this last bit of music and I will let it be voluntary this time. It has nothing to do with the book but if you couldn’t already tell, my hatred of the Dallas Cowboys franchise is a science unto itself.