Theme Thursday: Catching People Unaware

Thursday, January 23, 2014

There we were, on our second snow day of the week.

Snow day in Virginia, my friends, means "there is snow visible on some pavement somewhere in the state."

Anyway, I was a really good mom on Saturday and let the kids do TWO science experiments (baking soda & vinegar volcanos and cornstarch goop - the only science experiments we've ever done and I repeat them aaaaaall the time...), so apparently that means they expect a craft or a science experiment or something structured while the babies nap.


This is why people send their kids to preschool!  Not cool.  I offered up watercolor painting (because I enjoy it and wanted to try out their new paints...).  Nope.  I told them they could make a craft from the 25-cent craft book I picked up at the library book sale.  Nope.

Science experiment.

Soooo I thought fast and set things up for a "melting" experiment.  Three bowls of snow (scooped from our steps - no way was I going outside!), and a bowl each of salt, pepper, and sugar.

If they were older than 4.5 and (almost) 3, we would have made charts of our hypotheses, controls, results, etc.

But since they're 4.5 and (almost) 3, Cecilia started eating the snow before we could even mix it...

So we tried it out - they mixed it with all three substances and shocker, salt melted the snow the fastest!  However, sugar mixed with snow was the most delicious.  Pepper, not so much.

And there I left them as I headed downstairs to get dressed.  I'm not crazy, I've left them unattended with their crafts and science experiments for minutes at a time and they've been totally fine.  And they had *maybe* a tablespoon of each substance - what could go wrong?

I blame Cari.

Yup, they caught me unaware.

jan-feb schedule

I returned, teeth brushed, hair combed, fully clothed, to this:

That would be all of our salt (the remainder of a 2 lb box of Kosher salt), all our pepper (NOT a 2 lb box), and at least two cups of the fancy organic sugar (bought in bulk from Costco soooo it could be worse...).

Because they needed to make a mixture.


You can tell how mad I wasn't by the fact that I took pictures before making them clean up.  And they actually cleaned most of it up on their own, thank goodness!

But yeah, "Catching People Unaware."  Check.  Thanks for that.  I can still smell the pepper.

Today they want to make "Rainbow Snow," whatever that means.  All I know is that they're doing it in the bathtub. 

Aaaand check out more at Clan Donaldson!


  1. Oh I love this!!! I always did this growing up, and called them "experiments," it drove my mom crazy, and it ALWAYS involved pepper. Love the snow idea, very coooool.

  2. My favorite science experiment was when I filled my squirt gun with water plus just a few drops of food coloring and then squirted high up on the wall next to the staircase, right where nobody could ever possibly reach it. I don't remember how my parents fixed that.

    And then there was the time we were temporarily staying in an apartment while waiting to go back to the US. I had a bunch of ketchup packets, and I dripped them off the side of the balcony to see how far I could get the drips to land down the wall. Naturally, I couldn't reach them to clean them off, and we had no hose, so my sister had to lean waaaaaaay over the balcony to clean everything. Not sure how that worked out, either, because I don't see how she could have gotten it all. Oh, well, we left within a couple of days anyway.

    These are stories I will never tell my grandchildren. Well, not until they're grown, anyway.

  3. In the name of science. I would have been sad about losing my Kosher salt but you are cooler than I am.

  4. Such the great mom!!
    Today's experiment involve grocery shopping perhaps??

  5. This reminds me of how my youngest two sisters would make "concoctions." They combined ingredients (mostly an egg, flour, water, and perhaps chocolate chips or other "seasonings"), put them in a bowl, and cooked the resulting concoction in the microwave. Mom would encourage us older siblings to each eat a slice as a supportive gesture.

    1. Delicious ;) Some day I'll let them go to town with that sort of thing - it's gotta be fascinating, but right now they eat all the dry ingredients straight so I don't think it would make it to the oven or microwave!

  6. As long as they cleaned it up, it's all good! Henry spilled an entire cup of cereal (no milk) in the living room yesterday. Then the boys FOUGHT over who got to vacuum it up! They FOUGHT over vacuuming...

    1. Yes! They totally fight over the dustbuster, and do an awesome job cleaning up with it! Vacuuming is kind of magical when you're a kid, I think :)

  7. There was an unauthorized experiment here this morning involving cinnamon-flavored Elmo training toothpaste. I still haven't managed to clean it up.

    Maybe we could have them use their allowances to rent lab space?

    1. Thank goodness for carpet that doesn't show stains in the playroom, that's all I have to say! And they wanted to do it on the big table... Ha!

    2. Unauthorized experiment is a good name for my attempts at cooking. Thanks for the entertainment.

  8. That is great! I was wondering where you were headed with the photos since they both looked so cooperative so you caught me unaware by the twist you took! Thanks for sharing those two cuties :)

  9. Oh my goodness! Looks so fun, if messy :)

  10. Well... coulda been worse.

    Good idea with the experiment- I wouldn't have thought of that!

    The mixture. My sisters and I (there are four of us, all really close in age) used to make "potions" in the backyard. In a sled. Of leaves and grass and flowers and dirt and water... and then we'd leave them behind the sand box for a couple weeks and let it ferment! My mom would eventually discover it, make us dump it out, and we'd have a nice dead patch of grass for the rest of the summer!

    1. I know, thank goodness they really didn't get any on the floor! At least it was a somewhat contained mess :)

  11. Hah! My mom used to get out all the expired food (or almost expired) out of the fridge and panty and let my brother and I concoct all sorts of poisons and potions for make believe play. She constantly supervised to make sure we didn't eat anything.


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