Saturday, March 19, 2011

Nerdy Mom...

...or Fun Mom, or Gross Mom, or Weirdo.

Just like Olivia responded to me the other day when I asked if the cream of wheat was thick enough, "It depends on your perspective."


An idea came to me, then an opportunity. Since I have three curious boys and one eager girl who learn well by seeing and touching, I did something for the first time since college.

I set up a lab in the garage, and pulled out these...

...and printed off some guides.

(So take this as a warning before viewing the following pictures!)

We pulled out gloves and tried to look smart...

...but it didn't help that Olivia didn't line up the buttons right on her "lab coat" or that two of the kids were wearing flip flops with socks.

Then we opened our packages of these:

Meet Mrs. Bullfrog. Actually we had four just like her.

Since I didn't let the kids use the scalpel at first (and eventually only the older two), I had my work cut out (pun intended). It was very interesting to see how each child responded to what lay beneath the surface-- not always as I expected. Some really took to it, gently teasing away layers and inspecting each part, while others casually poked and prodded and complained about the smell of formaldehyde. Still, everyone agreed that it was a fun way to do school.

Michael stuck with it the longest. When we finished going through the guide, he used the scalpel to cut through the organs to see what they looked like on the inside. Then he flipped the frog over and made a few cuts to find the skull. 

Jacob went from dissecting to riding his scooter and back again several times over. I suppose it's not usual to do these types of science projects when you're in preschool. I just love the gloves on him!

It wasn't too long and Olivia was doodling on the table covering. What's funny is that Olivia hardly ever doodles during normal school time, while it is harder to keep the boys on track. Things were reversed this time.

One of my favorite classes in college was Human Anatomy and Physiology. I used to spend hours in the lab, totally enthralled by each specimen, my face as close as I could get without going crossed-eyed, and never bothered by the smell. However, by the end of our garage biology lab session, I was feeling like the little guy Olivia drew.

One thing that hasn't changed is that dissecting stuff always makes me hungry. So I suppose that makes me a weirdo after all.


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