Fun science experiment for kids: How to make silly putty

make silly putty

Serendipity, it happened! Well, that’s what scientists call it when an accidental science discovery is made. And that’s what James Wright called Silly Putty, when he discovered his new invention.

Brief History

But this rubbery substance was not a toy at first. During World War II, the United States was trying to find a solution to the high demand of rubber usage. General Electric was contracted to find an alternative to rubber. A chemist, James Wright, experimenting to seek a solution to synthetic rubber found Silly Putty. Yet, the fun toy was not widely accepted until a few years later.

It wasn’t until 1956 that Peter Hodgson commercialized Silly Putty. It began to sell in catalogs and soon became a popular toy. It is now widely available around the world. This novelty toy is mostly composed of silicone and boric acid. And, of course, it has the typical characteristic of bouncing and stretching to the limits.

Silly Putty is now available in many different colors for anyone to enjoy. Other playful uses are comic impressions. Place it on top of a piece of comic strip and gently lift up. And you have a comic imprint. Silly Putty is also available in color changing and glow-in-the-dark shapes. Have fun making silly but fun shapes and other cool experiments with this rubbery substance.

How to Make Silly Putty

Here, a cool experiment is done to simulate the texture of Silly Putty. This project is not recommended for children under 4 years old.

Materials:

  • Cornstarch
  • Regular white glue
  • Medium size bowl
  • Food coloring
  • Spoon
  • Water

Instructions:

  • Place old newspaper on the working surface
  • Mix 4 tbsp. of cornstarch with 2 tbsp. of glue inside a bowl
  • Gently add a few drops of water to the mixture
  • Keep adding water until it forms a consistency of pudding as seen in Figure 1
make silly putty
Figure 1
  • Add 2 or 3 drops of food coloring, until desired shade of color
  • Mix all ingredients together with a spoon
  • Add water if necessary
  • Place on non-stick aluminum foil or heavy-duty paper plate with coating
  • Form different letter shapes or numbers
make silly putty
Figure 2

Let children play (Figure 2) with this type of dough to develop different textures. You can also freeze it to see the effects of temperature. I don’t recommend heating or applying heat to this substance. Discard in a wastebasket after playing with it.

Recommended article:

“The stretchy, snappy, squishy science of Silly Putty” by Emily Costello. SuperScience Scholastics  2002. Pg. 12-13.

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Hispanic museums: 7 best places to visit with kids

hispanic museums

Hispanic museums are great field trip experiences. Field trips can be an exciting educational adventure for children. Many of these trips can even be scheduled at the end or beginning of the school year as a special treat.

And some field trips can be to amazing cultural places like Hispanic art museums. Museums are institutions that give the community with history and cultural information unlike learned from textbooks.

Children can learn at first hand about how artists have molded the Hispanic cultural arena with paintings, music, sculptures and dance. With so many Hispanic museums in the United States, here is a brief list of the seven most amazing cultural museums:

Cultural Centers and Museums

Smithsonian Latino Center – Located in Washington D.C., this magnificent museum has a special section dedicated to the education of children in K-12 grades. The bilingual classes are composed of educational activities, which meets all the National Standards.

The bilingual workshops are classifies as the Arts/Humanities and the Arts/Sciences. In the Arts/Humanities classes, students learn about art works based on the Smithsonian’s Division of Community Education of Puerto Rico. Instructors use audiovisuals to present the material followed by activities. In the Arts/Science workshops, students learn about science methods and arts based on U.S and Argentine works of arts. Students later create their own works of arts using the methods learned from the workshop.

National Hispanic Cultural Center – Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, this Latino cultural retreat comprises programs in music, art and literary events. It also offers Spanish immersion programs at the Instituto Cervantes, which is a collaboration with Spain. Besides housing the most prestigious art and literary Hispanic works, this center also offers Spanish classes, events for children throughout the year, family events, and diverse eclectic dances.

Mexic-Arte Museum – Located in Austin, Texas, this spectacular cultural refuge has more than 1500 Mexican, Latino and Latin American works of arts. It also offers workshops for all ages such as art classes, and gallery guides of special collections. And it also offers special activities for family days. For teens, the museum offers a special class “Screen It!”, which students can gather to learn about the art printing process using computer software.

hispanic museums

Hispanic Art Museums

Latino Art Museum – Located in Pomona, California, this newly cultural preserve of paintings and photographs houses countless exhibitions. It is also part of the ‘The LOWKEYS Children’s Art Foundation’, helping children of all ages to be inspired by art and music.

Museum of Latin American Art – Located in Long Beach, California, it provides special guided tours and educational workshops for schools. They also offer family events and Free Sundays sponsored by Target. For artistic children, the museum offers Summer Art Camp.

National Museum of Mexican Art – Located in Chicago, Illinois, this refuge of more than 7000 Mexican works of arts provides bilingual art summer classes, weekend, after-school, and family workshops. Many of the educational events incorporate contemporary works of art. They also offer various artistic programs for K-12 grades.

The Hispanic Society of American Museum and Library – Located in New York City on Audubon Terrace, this cultural treasure is categorized in Early Spain, Medieval Art, Golden Age and Modern Art. Besides owing many artifacts, sculptures and paintings, it possesses the original copies and translations of the most famous Hispanic literary contribution: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.

Are any of these Hispanic museums close to where you live? Will you visit any of these cultural places?

5 best ways to learn Spanish for kids

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The education for children is sometimes one of the most important skills parents and caregivers consider. Children’s education can give them the essential knowledge to read, write, and communicate in the world.

How about learning a foreign language such as Spanish?

Could this be an advantage in their education? In some curriculums, it’s not even part of it. It would be an added bonus or extra curriculum for some students to even learn Spanish. Actually, many education programs have now recently considered immersion programs in Spanish. But what happens when parents or caregivers want to give their children that extra knowledge. Where would they start?

Continue reading 5 best ways to learn Spanish for kids