Tag Archives: science

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

So it looks like we are stuck with this rain for a bit…. SURPRISE, OREGONIANS! Oh, wait, no, we’re not shocked at all. I don’t know about you, but I might still be just a wee bit unprepared….I was so ready for summer!

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Enter my Rainy Days Pinterest ideas board! Chock full of ideas other people came up with to keep your lil ones busy and cabin-fever free. ( You will have to figure out your own game plan for sanity for yourself, however. Sorry, we can’t do ALL the work!)

Here’s some of my favorite ideas, by age:

babies/toddlers: Punch holes in the top of a LARGE cardboard box, push christmas lights through holes. Throw in some pillows, cozy blankets, favorite stuffed animals, and some books, and TA-DA! Insta-toddler hide-away!

Art: Tape mini markers or fat crayons to the back of toy cars, lay out lots of paper, and let them “drive and draw”. This is super fun and makes for really cute colorings.

School Age Kiddos: My boys, who are 12 and 8, LOVELOVELOVE science experiments, kits, and projects. HERE  is a great site with  plenty of different science experiments for kids. Our favorite is the ol’ stand-by of vinegar and baking soda. My youngest, Henry, likes to turn my kitchen sink into his “lab area” with jars and cups and pitchers of baking soda, vinegar, and  food coloring. Then he spends hours mixing and stirring and “blowing stuff up”.

Of course, rainy days are also good for the classic soda and mentos explosion. Test out how different kinds of sodas react differently to the mentos. Which ones explode more? Which ones just fizzle out? Make sure to do this outside, as it is quite messy, and when you are all done, the rain will just wash it all away!

Another favorite for this age group – so easy and you wouldn’t BELIEVE how long it entertains them! Take a large dish ( baking dish, large shallow bowl, etc) ad warm water and a bit of dish soap. Give kids straws and tell them to blow. See how high they can make

Bubble Tower Science Project
Bubble Tower Science Project

the tower of bubbles before it collapses,  test it out with cold water to see if it works as well, ad other ingredients like sugar, salt, baking soda, etc, just to see what happens, Have them form theories about why it reacts the way it does. Then have them blow more bubble towers. It is simple, enchanting fun at it’s best!

Older kids: Pre-teens, with their newly developed sense of privacy, will love the Invisible Ink project. All you need is stuff you probably already have;

  • Half a lemon
  • Water
  • Spoon
  • Bowl
  • Cotton bud
  • White paper
  • Lamp or other light bulb

 Follow the directions on the site and they can create secret messages to give to their friends!

Art: you can tie die shirts, curtains, or anything else that mom approves of, with sharpie markers and rubbing alcohol. Click HERE for directions.

For even more ideas, here’ s the link to my Rainy Days Pinterest page again. And, if all else, fails, boot up the kiddos and go puddle jumpin’! Might not be the warmest, cleanest, or most convenient way to have fun, but they will have a blast, and I guarantee they will remember it forever!

In the meantime, I hope everyone holds tight to their sanity, and don’t worry, the sun will be back! I think. 🙂 In the meantime, keep an eye out for rainbows!

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My son admiring a rainbow after a big spring storm
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OMSI. Go Ahead. Geek out on science!

OMSI is a great destination for some hands on learning fun. Their upcoming exhibit is the Mummies of the World exhibit, opening on June 14th. They have ongoing tours of their submarine, a state of the art planetarium, laser light shows, and the OMNIMAX theater. Tickets for these are sold separately.

Omsi Turbine Hall, Photo credit : Wikipedia
Omsi Turbine Hall, Photo credit : Wikipedia

The rest of the museum has five halls of(over 200) different  labs and exhibits. The Science Playground, The Earth Hall, The Turbine Hall, The Life Hall, and The Science Labs all exist for kids to experiment, explore, and test the world around them, in areas such as renewable energy, global climate, health and wellness, chemistry, engineering, technology, and more.  OMSI has even has the forethought to add a separate room for the toddler crowd.

Omsi Science Playground, photo credit : Wikipedia

Omsi Science Playground, photo credit : Wikipedia

OMSI SS-581 Submarine, photo credit: Wikipedia

OMSI SS-581 Submarine, photo credit: Wikipedia

                     Regular museum Admission ~ Submarine ~  OMNIMAX® ~ Planetarium / Laser light

Adult $12.00 $5.75 $6.00 – $8.50 $5.75 – $7.50
Youth (3-13) $9.00 $5.75 $5.00 – $6.50 $5.75 – $7.50
Senior (63+) $9.00 $5.75 $5.00 – $6.50 $5.75 – $7.50
Member (Join OMSI) FREE! $4.75 $4.00 – $7.50 $4.75 – $7.50

OMSI is another one of those great places that can, and probably will, take you all day, and you STILL won’t be able to see or do everything. If you and the kids really enjoyed it, I highly suggest buying the membership pass. Then you can come back again and again! Also, you get amazing discounts on admissions to all OMSI features and exhibits, AND it’s considered a charitable donation on your taxes, to boot! Definitely worth the money!

Fun For Pennies tips:

  • OMSI discount Sundays are the first Sunday of each month. Regular museum admission for each individual is just $2! Admission for additional features such as OMNIMAX, planetarium, featured exhibits, and submarine tour, are separate, but also sold at a discount on the first Sunday discount day. A great time to spend the day checking out all that OMSI has to offer before buying a family membership!
  • This is also another one of those wonderful places that allow you to bring your own food and drink in. Pack in a cooler with good foods for lunch and snacks, store it in one of their lockers provided ( for an extra small fee) and save some money! Or, you can hit up their cafe if you prefer not to bring your own.

UP NEXT: Portland Aquarium!

*( featured photo front of OMSI building. credit: Wikipedia)