I couldn’t resist having a program with bears. I do try to sneak in some cool facts into my programs and I figure bears and hibernating are a pretty cool subject. Consider that a momma bear that is hibernating will actually give birth in the winter in her den while hibernating!
Once again I began the evening with some stories. We read Bear Says Thanks as Thanksgiving wasn’t too far off and I love the illustrations in the bear books.
Then we made some cool brown bag bear puppets. Cutting and coloring takes my kids quite some time so this was a good portion of the program.
When our bears were done we played a bear-themed game inspired by the life-sized candyland. The “bears” had to travel across the board over the mountains, across the pond, etc before reaching their den at the end. The kids liked this as anything close to candyland is awesome and I am a fan of stuff that lets them get up and move and to get those wiggles out.
Activity 1: Stories
Activity 2: Bear Bag Puppet
Activity 3: Bear Candyland
It’s science night again! Today we did some goopy gross experiments. I honestly thought this program would attract mostly boys, but I am quite happy to report that I had about an even number of boys and girls participating. The things I find to be most difficult with science programs like this is you are stuck doing a lot of measuring ahead of time, which can be a waste if you have low attendance. I feel like I spent an hour just pouring glue into little cups. Also I tend to have patrons show up late or not pay attention so getting everyone to do the same thing at the same time can be difficult.
Non-Newtonian Fluid Experiment
This goes by the name of slime or ooblek, A simple mixture of cornstarch, water, and a drop of food coloring (if you wish). This is a fun experiment because a non-newtonian fluid does not always act like a liquid. If you apply sudden force it will act like a solid. If you have a large speaker ( I don’t) you can expose the fluid to music and it will “dance”.
GAK – Polymer Glue Experiment
This experiment is all about chemical reactions. Mixing glue and some water with borax dissolved in it will result in a chemical reaction making slime (less borax) or GAK (more borax). You can use bigger straws to blow bubbles in the GAK too.
Using cornstarch, glue, and borax you can create a more concentrated compound that can be rolled into a ball and will bounce. I personally thought this was the weakest of the experiments though some of the kids thought it was hands down the coolest. When I do this program again I will probably modify the Gak to slime and drop the bouncy ball experiment as two experiments are sufficient.
Activity 1: Cornstarch Non-Newtonian Fluid
Activity 2: Glue & Borax “Gak”
Activity 3: Cornstarch + Glue + Borax Bouncy Balls