Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cause and Effect; Busy Baby Resting Mommy

Summer time gives me lots of time/opportunities to try out new things with my girly. If I find a good one I've been sharing. Over on Time for Play I found this neat activity... Smashing Balls (aka baked cotton balls).

While I try these new activities I've been attempting to add some educational value to it as well. So this is what I did...

Admittedly this activity comes in several different steps, with the first step being done on a "good energy" day for me.

We gathered cotton balls, flour, water, tinfoil, food coloring, and some cookie trays. We added one cup water, one cup flour, and a few drops of food coloring together, with a spoon, until it was thoroughly mixed together.
Next we dipped the cotton balls into the flour/water mixture until they were fairly saturated. My daughter LOVED this part! (I loved that the mess washed right off her hands with no help from me.)

Next we lined some cookie sheets with tinfoil, sprayed it with pam, and plopped the flour covered cotton balls onto the pan. We cooked them at 300 degrees for about 35 minutes. The cotton balls were still a little soft so I popped them back in for another ten minutes. (The cotton balls no longer gave way under my finger, so I knew they were done.) I left them to cool and harden a little more and threw them in a bag.
A few days later when I had very little energy to use and a super energetic daughter I decided to pull the cotton balls out again. I took L out front, handed her a hammer and told her to smash away.
She spent a looooong time smashing the cotton balls. (I have to add that I had a little fun smashing them as well. It would be very cathartic to do if a person were mad. Ha ha ha)

After L started to get a little bored we started talking about cause and effect. Here's a cute little picture I found to perfectly described what we talked about.
Incredibly cute photo credit!
So we figured out the cause and effect of this activity and decided that there were actually two.

We dipped the cotton balls in a flour mixture and baked them, = cause
so the cottons balls turned to stone. = effect


We hit the cotton balls with a hammer, = cause
so the cottons balls were smashed on the sidewalk. = effect

After all the fun was done I let L clean up all the shattered pieces of flour and cotton with a dust pan. She busily hummed to herself while she spent ten minutes cleaning it all up.

I'd call this activity a success!

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