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Saturday, 30 October 2010
Friday, 29 October 2010
Science Can Be Buckets-O-Fun! Who Knew?
Topic: Homeschool Product Review
Buckets-O-Fun really isn't known as a homeschool science curriculum maker. It's more of a "buy our stuff for your youth group's fun night" type of a company. In fact, the main thing that Buckets-O-Fun sells is "Yuck". Yep, you read that correctly..."Yuck". It has "Saucy Yuck", "Snowy Yuck", "Snowy Yuck" and the ever appetizing "Chunky Yuck"!
Now, before I go any further, let me just ease your minds by telling you that all of their "Yuck" is really just Polymers. Polymers are really large molecules that, when dried up, look a lot like crystals. Then neat thing about Polymers, however, is that they absorb water...a lot of water. So the crystals grow and are spongy funny looking and funny feeling. That's what makes them so fun for kids. They are ooey, gooey...well...just plain yucky. I guess that's why it's called "Yuck".
In real life polymers are very useful. You may have used them to help the soil around your plants to absorb more water. I used polymers last year as an object lesson at day camp. I had a bunch of hydrated (chunky yuck) polymers made up ahead of time. When I began my talk, I explained that the polymers were like sin. Sin is yucky. But, when we allow Jesus to wash away our sins, it's as if they disappear. I then add some water to the bowl of polymers and, since they are made up of mostly water anyway, when you add water, they...you guessed it...disappeared. Not really, they were still there, but the kids couldn't see them anymore. It's a neat object lesson, but not really what we're hear for.
Anyway, when we received the packet, we were given small samples of all four of the above mentioned products with some suggested science experiments. Probably Joshua's favorite experiment was the one using the "Saucy Yuck". We were to measure the yuck ahead of time then add two cups of water and observe how much time it took for it to begin absorbing the water. Then we continued to add one cup at a time until it was about the consistency of applesauce. Then we had to take one cup of the "applesauce yuck" and put it in a separate bowl to observe what happens when we continue to add water to it. Joshua had a blast, and, of course, Jacob had to get into the act and it was a hit with him as well. It's a fun, yucky, way to learn science. What boy doesn't like yucky stuff? A quick word of warning. Yuck is messy! And, it can't be put down a drain. It can be disposed of in the trash or outside around your plants. Just make sure that you have plenty of newspaper or plastic and a way to dispose of it before you do any experiments with it.
Also inside of the package was a list of games that you could play using "Yuck" products with your youth or kids group. Can you imagine using some of the saucy yuck on your giant slip and slide next summer? What about adding some of it into water balloons for your water balloon fight? Or, putting a bunch of chunky yuck into a kiddie pool with marbles and having kids fish out the marbles with their toes? There are loads and loads of games that you can play with yuck, and Buckets-O-Fun sells yuck in...well...buckets, so that you will have plenty of it to use for your group.
Okay, after all of that, there is one slight problem. Buckets-O-Fun has just begun their homeschool/classroom science project product line, and it isn't yet available. So, if you are interested in using it for science you can do one of two things. They do give away free samples of each of their products (one per individual/organization) so you could ask for that. Or, you could go in with some other homeschooling families and order a full bucket and divide it up. Or, if you are interested in using it for your youth group, you don't have to worry about smaller batches, you would just order the bucket. I'll bet that if you asked, they would send you the sheet of experiments that they sent to us. The letter that they sent along with the products said that their full line of homeschool/classroom products would be introduced within the next few months, so hopefully they will have smaller batches for homeschool use available soon.
Until then, buckets of yuck sell for $16-$20 a pound depending on which product you buy, but make gallons and gallons of yuck - again, different products make more than others. You can get to the Buckets-O-Fun website by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. Check out the site, it has a lot of neat stuff other than just yuck that you can buy. I was just reading some of the creative ideas that other members of the TOS Crew had for their yuck. You can find them by clicking here. Hope you all have a real yucky time! Happy Home Educating!
Thursday, 28 October 2010
This Post is Rated PG
Topic: Family Product Review
What would you do if:
These are real concerns that Sarah and I have about our boys. The three scenarios above are true. However, I'm sure that every parent has similar worries. So? What do we do? How do we make sure that our kids are really safe?
Enter the PG Key! So, what is this nifty little thing pictured above that looks almost like one of those memory sticks? Well I can just tell you what it claims to be able to do and go from there. We had some mailing issues where our first package somehow went to the wrong address, and, when we finally got our PG Key, our computers went down. I am not allowed to download anything or install anything on this borrowed computer so I can only tell you what it's supposed to do then write a follow up article when we try it out on one of our fixed computers. Which hopefully will get fixed very soon!
I hate to copy and paste from a website, but that is exactly what I am going to do since I really have no experience with the PG Key so far. Here is what the website says:
Now, let me tell you why I am super excited about this. I like the idea that it is easy to install, has no way of over riding it (I've heard of some really smart children that can do that) and that it has time control so that I can control the time my kids are on the computer. Those are all very appealing to me. But, as I said before, I'll have to wait a couple weeks before I can really try it myself. When I do, however, you all will be the first to know what I really think.
So how much is this nifty little thing? How about just $49.99 plus shipping? And, there are no monthly or yearly fees, that's it - Just $49.99. Still not convinced? The website says that there is a free trial available. Just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above to get to it. Okay, now for the kicker. Even though I haven't used it yet, there are loads of other TOS Homeschool Crew reviewers who did. To get to their reviews just click here. Happy Home Educating and look for my full review soon!
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent a free PG Key in order to use and review on my blog.
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
I Promise It's NOT X Rated...
Mood: don't ask
I had a review due today but I've been sick. I suppose I could have written it while in the prone position resting, but my mind hasn't been real clear all day and I thought better of it. I'm feeling a little better tonight so I'll give it until tomorrow morning to write it.
This review, however, isn't just any normal review...it's rated! But, don't worry, it's not X Rated, it's...
That's all I'm going to tell you though. You'll have to check back tomorrow!
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
How would you like to win the lottery? This family did...but not like you think!
Topic: Compassion International
What does it take to get you excited? You've seen those commercials for Publishers Clearing House. Would winning a million dollars excite you like the people on the commercials? Well, by the reaction of the people in the following clip, you would have thought that they had won the sweepstakes and you know what? For them it was the sweepstakes. What was the thrilling news that got them to react that way? They just got the news that someone sponsored their child. In the commercials on TV the people win $10,000 or more but you can make a family in a Compassion country feel like they've won the lottery for just $38 a month.
Watch the video first. It's a little fuzzy, but you'll see enough. Then click here for more information on how you can sponsor a child and make a family feel like they've won a million bucks!