A few weeks ago I mentioned inspiration resources. Today, I created a learning box. Mary Ann Johnson was right- part of the magic of the box is the anticipation and the limited availability. She talks about locking it but that even if it isn’t locked, kids know how important that “lock” is to preserving the magic. My box is a large clear tub with a lid that snaps on. Butterfly commented that the box had “magical properties that would zap anyone other than mommy who opened it.” She asked me to open it when it was time to use the contents so she wouldn’t get zapped.
Today’s magic? Soap. I put my melt and pour soap supplies, a list of websites and experiments, frontier girls badge requirements and books into the box. I also told the children that the box would only be available until lunch time and then it would be closed up. They were so excited, they flew through cleaning up the rest of their room and eagerly gathered to learn.
First, we talked about safety, types of soap, read some books about soap, and then we watched a video of a science experiment on eScience (review of eScience coming soon). The girls were so excited. We learned about different types of colorants and ways to scent soap as well. Then, after watching a few short tutorials, we took some of the ideas we learned in the books and made some small bars of soap. After that, it was time to clean up and put the box away. The girls couldn’t wait to do more learning box the next day.
Strawberry was quite anxious to embed a toy in soap after seeing a picture in a book. She watched the video of how to do it and brought be a large Duplo to embed. When I told her that wasn’t going to work, she was not too thrilled. I promised to take her to the store to buy a rubber eraser toy to put in soap. The girls each picked a small eraser and we came home to embed toys. We then spent the next morning using our learning box and experimenting with colors, layering, embedding, and toys. True to personality, Butterfly created a soap sculpture. She chose an egg with a hatching chick and then created the next out of melt and pour soap. She carefully held her egg as still as possible as it set in the soap and then she twisted it ever so gently to form wrinkles across the top of the soap to resemble sticks. Strawberry made her soap with a toy in it, and Pumpkin Pie wanted to hide her toy completely in several layers of green. I wanted to play with a soap in a soap.
Then it was time to clean up and put the box away.