Tag Archives: science

Snappertime

We were invited to take a look at the Snappertime website for fun screen-free activities for the boys to try during the school holiday. And we also received a free welcome pack when we registered on the site.

I registered one joint account for the boys but with hindsight, it would be better to register each child individually. The boys and I had a quick browse around some of the challenges which are spread across five categories, namely Super Science, Great Outdoors, Tasty Tasks, Arty Farty and Super Hero. And they had fun designing their Doodlebot. We then waited for the welcome pack to arrive so that we could get started on challenges, but disappointingly it took ages, over 5 weeks. By this time, the boys had cooled off somewhat.

Snappertime

The welcome pack comprised the following goodies:-
A selection of Snappertime Challenge cards
Stickers
Certificate
Pencil
Fridge Magnet
Snacks

Son1 opted to try the Soap Ships Challenge detailed on one of the cards in the welcome pack. This was very simple. He cut out a small house shape from card, added a cocktail stick mast and a small black sail, since son1 said it was a pirate ship for their pirate Doodlebot. The challenge didn’t say how to fix the mast to the boat, so we used blu-tack. Then he launched his boat in the water tray and was amazed how quickly it sailed with the addition of a drop of washing-up liquid. He did discover that it easily sank when pushed under the water, but if he waited for it to dry, he could then sail it again.

Snappertime Soap Ships Challenge

Meanwhile son2 being a huge Doctor Who fan, chose the Time Lord Challenge. This was to design his very own papier mâché planet. The first step of printing the template sounded simple, but it was not sized to fit a page, so I had to mess around with my print settings to get a copy that son2 was happy with. He then sketched out his design, telling me that pink was sand etc. The challenge suggested using PVA glue when making the papier mâché, but I knew we didn’t have enough, so I showed son2 how to make his own paste from flour and water instead. He loved the messiness of this phase which took several days as we let it dry overnight between layers. And finally he painted it to match his design. He didn’t bother with the suggestion of adding a planetary ring.

Snappertime Doctor Who planet

Both of these are from the Super Science category. Afterwards we uploaded photos of their projects for them to earn a DoodleCoin each. And once you have 8 coins, you can claim a free reward. There is a great selection of rewards to choose from, some of which are worth upto £25, most are for free, although a few request £5 postage.

Snappertime

I would definitely recommend you sign your children up for this fab website with its great freebies. So much fun.

I’d love to hear what screen-free activities your children enjoy.

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Disclosure.  This post mentions some goodies I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

STEAM AHEAD! DIY FOR KIDS by Sumita Mukherjee

I have received a free e-copy of the book STEAM AHEAD! DIY FOR KIDS by Sumita Mukherjee to review. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

Steam Ahead DIY for kids by Sumita Mukherjee

Here is the book blurb.

STEAM AHEAD! DIY FOR KIDS is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step instruction book for parents and children. It introduces kids between the ages of four and twelve to the magic of electronics, game and toy designing, printing, understanding basic scientific principles and most importantly, they’ll have a blast making them. Inside this book you will find projects on LED cards, dance pads, handmade soaps, bubble blowers, Play-Doh circuits, cloud lanterns, scribbling bots and more!

Created by NASA STEM certified leader, Sumita Mukherjee, this book is jam packed with projects that will engage any bored child. The hands-on projects are broken into areas of practical implementation: Party, Build, Toys and Art. They have also been sorted according to levels of difficultly and STEAM relevance. Adding one or two experiments per week can get your child excited about science, inventions, science fair projects and overall classroom performance.

This book is full of fun science activity projects. Son1 chose to make a lava pen. We had most of the things needed for it apart from the tubing, so I bought some on eBay. The book didn’t indicate what internal and external dimensions so I guessed at 5x8mm. Also I don’t have a hot glue gun, so we used fabric glue.

lava pen

We did find it rather tricky as initially it leaked when we filled it, so we had to start again. This time we used more glue and pushed the pen further into the tube, before leaving it to dry overnight. But our perseverance was rewarded and son1 was able to carefully fill it. He did end up overshooting how much coloured water to use, but we were able to shake a few drops out to allow space for the glitter and oil. He is very proud of his creation.

Here is son1’s video review.

STEAM AHEAD! DIY FOR KIDS is available on Amazon, currently priced at £7.87 in paperback or £3.27 in Kindle format. I do recommend this book for all its fun scientific projects that you can do at home with your children.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

What are Diamonds, and how do they form? by Judith Hubbard

I have received a free e-copy of the book “What are Diamonds, and how do they form?” by Judith Hubbard for son1 to review. To find out more about the author and other books in the series, you may visit her website.

Son1 chose this one to review over and above the other science titles in the series because he has an interest in diamonds, particularly diamond swords, from playing minecraft.

What are Diamonds and how do they form by Judith Hubbard

Here is the book blurb.

Have you ever seen a diamond? Have you ever wondered where it came from? The story of how diamonds form will take you on a tour of the Earth. Zoom in to the atomic scale to see how atoms bond, dive into the Earth’s mantle to explore how temperature and pressure change, and get carried back up to the surface in a special volcanic eruption. All of this is real, cutting-edge science, written at a level that kids can read and understand. At the end of the book, you will find a self-quiz to test your new knowledge and fun hands-on activities that build on the science.

What are Diamonds and how do they form? by Judith Hubbard

This non-fiction book starts by talking about diamonds before moving onto to other forms of carbon, such as graphite. It then covers all the geological aspects, before ending with a quiz and activities that children can try out at home.

Here is son1’s video review.

“What are Diamonds, and how do they form?” is available on Amazon, currently priced at £9.82 in paperback or £3.04 on Kindle. It is targeted at children, age 8 upwards. Son1 particularly enjoyed testing me with the quiz, before I had a chance to read the book. A good book for children to engage with science.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.