Science and Preschoolers.

science post

I, like most parents I think, really try to give my daughter early access to learning so that she can succeed later in life. That being said, I try to make it really fun.

Lately we’ve been working on reading and she has a few sight words down, but I can tell she’s getting bored. To change it up I was trying to figure out how to incorporate science. To a three year old. The whole concept seemed strange to me. THEN I came across some anatomically correct coloring pages on Pinterest. I started her off with the heart and she was hooked.

From there she kept asking for more, so I found this booklet, I gave this to her yesterday and we’ve gone through it at least 8 times. I’m no science buff, but I happen to have a lot of health issues (mostly heart and lung but some bone issues as well), so while I could show her a few things I definitely needed to do my own studying.

Looking up body systems led me to classifying the systems shown in the booklet. (integumentary, muscular, circulatory, etc.) It’s been two days since we started this anatomy lesson and she can tell you what the heart does, “pumps blood all over your body”, some different parts of the heart (chambers, atriums, valves, etc), what the lungs do, what makes your body move (muscles, joints, and bones) and don’t even get her started on the digestive system, “food goes down the ‘sophagus, into your ‘tomach, goes down the ‘testines and then you poop it out!”

To say I am shocked by her enthusiasm for this subject is an understatement. She definitely didn’t get her love of science from me, so I am going to try my best to expose her to as many things as possible until she finds her niche.

She is taking these coloring sheets, booklet, magic school bus episodes, and youtube videos  and running with them, so now all I have to do is keep up with what she’s asking me to teach.

If you have any other resources for our lesson, I would love to hear them!

Crater of Diamonds State Park

ASP_COD_2014_mp_rotator_photo_01Recently, my family visited the Crater of Diamonds in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. It was a spur of the moment trip, as most of ours are, but we had a great time and I wanted to share the experience here!

Here is a little info from the parks website: Crater of Diamonds offers park visitors a one-of-a-kind experience—the adventure of hunting for real diamonds. You’ll search over a 37 ½-acre plowed field that is the eroded surface of the world’s eighth largest diamond-bearing volcanic crater. If you find a diamond, it is yours to keep.

We live about 4.5 hours from Murfreesboro, so we drove the night before to Idabel, Ok to stay at Comfort Suites and finish the drive to Murfreesboro in the morning. I’ll be honest. I am a self diagnosed germaphobe. I do not like staying in unfamiliar hotels or hotel chains, so that coupled with our late start, is why we stayed so far from the true destination. Comfort Suites was nice and clean and served breakfast!

Words of warning: Idabel has a Donut Palace, but it looked to be closed down… its possible that donuts near the hotel may not be as important to others but to me and my three year old it was quite devastating.

We arrived at the Crater of Diamonds around 9 am, it was about 75 degrees and we were optimistic! Our first stop was to check out the identification room to see what we were actually looking for. Hint: Anything you find that looks like a commercial diamond, probably isn’t a real diamond. We learned this after finding tons of quartz. If it looks metallic and smooth it could be the real deal.

To dig, it costs $10 for anyone over 13, $6 for 6-12, and free for kids under 5. (We surprisingly forgot to ask about a military discount but did not see it advertised on their website or at the location.)  The price is good for all day, even if you leave and come back.

We purchased a couple of spades in the gift shop and rented some screens and a bucket. For the bucket it costs $4 with a $10 deposit and the screen set is $5 with a $20 deposit. Check out their website at the bottom of the page for more rental prices.

We started out near a muddy patch of the land, well I did. My husband and daughter started out IN the muddy patch. After excitedly finding what turned out to be quartz, glass, and other minerals for a while, it got HOT. 90 degrees hot.

Around 1:00 we decided to break for lunch, our snacks weren’t cutting it. We soon realized that the town of Murfreesboro is very very small and has only a few places to eat. There are a few local restaurants and a Sonic but we decided to grab lunch at a hotdog truck parked in town. I won’t lie, it was pretty steep. $8 for a not so great hotdog.

We headed back to dig and went to another side of the land. This side was so dry we could hardly get our hand shovels in the dirt. We dug for another couple hours but we were worn out.

Sadly, we did not find any diamonds, but we had a really great time. Even our three year old didn’t complain until the last couple hours. We plan to go again, but probably not until it cools off, or until they open the water park. Yep, they have a waterpark!

So here are my tips for YOUR trip to The Crater of Diamonds.

  1. Sunscreen (I’m so red, it is ridiculous.)
  2. Lawn chairs (Also saw a handicapped shower chair being used, I don’t judge.)
  3. Water (Or Dr Pepper, if you’re like me.)
  4. Snacks for the kids
  5. Some people brought umbrellas for shade, I probably wouldn’t go that far but I’m sure it helped!

I hope this helps you plan your own trip! Check out their website for more information!