Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mad Scientists

Sometimes I feel like our lives are one big science experiment. Everything around here seems to be some sort of investigation or another.

Currently we have some caterpillars on our kitchen counter - luckily in a glass container instead of free-range - munching away and hoping to become butterflies. This is a great experiment on metamorphosis for the kids. Or maybe it may be a lesson on what happens when mom accidentally sprays the container with kitchen cleaner and we have a mini-funeral for the little critters. All good and in the name of science, right?

Our backyard looks like a science lab too. The kids are building bridges out of bricks and boards, experimenting with balance with a levers and rocks and growing neglected seedlings in old coffee cans. Hands-on science is so much better than what you get in a book. Now some ideas are much more brilliant than others. "No, you may not build a catapult to see if the rocks will hit the neighbours windows!" Who needs expensive toys? There is nothing more fascinating than a sandbox and discarded kitchen measuring cups and containers. Worms and ants provide hours of entertainment.

I will not share with your the -ahem - "experiments" growing in my fridge. Not the kind of science I am proud of, really.

One of the things I love about being a stay at home parent is having the time to spontaneously go with these learning opportunities. It's wonderful how much these little brains pick up just by doing and interacting with their world. Trips to museums, beaches, forests and even the park provide plenty of chances to discover about our world. We take advantage of it all any chance we get.

I grew up in a home with a scientific dad and siblings who loved to explore. We did everything from launching rockets to a snail terrarium, microscope discoveries to being woken up in the night to witness northern lights and wild thunderstorms. I am thrilled to be able to pass on all these interests to my children. They may not turn out to be scientists but they have already been bitten by the curiosity bug and I love it. No matter where there lives take them, I want them to be problem solvers and appreciate the world around them. I hope we are on our way, one mad scientific discovery at a time.


  1. How awesome. We don't have those kinds of science projects going here, more like the fridge kind or the see how we can get the grass back to green kind.I wish we had a few more fun ones like that.

  2. Very very cool. Way to be a science-encouraging Mama. And I can't figure out how not to be Angus right now.