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Science Kids on the Loose

Science Kids on the Loose

A Play Date with Sid the Science Kid

Leo started preschool in September and made his first real friend who was outside of Henry’s direct sphere of influence. Devon is Leo’s BFF. The boys see a lot of each other because in addition to being in the same preschool class, their older siblings are in the same Kindergarten class. It’s great because I also get a mommy friend out the deal, Shelly. Heaven knows we can all use more support during pick up, drop offs, volunteer days, coffee runs, play dates, and work-at-home mom meetings. I am so grateful for my village!
When Devon and Leo have an extended play date, I plan the time into segments that a 3-year-old can handle: play/snack/play/lunch/rest and TV/play/snack/pick up. The boys play really well together; so for the most part this kind of play date means I have some time to myself while I keep an eye on the boys.
On a recent play date, I had a lot of segments to fill. I want to be THAT mom in the neighborhood. You know, the mom that all the kids like, the one who thinks of fun activities, initiates adventures, makes tasty treats, and legendary grilled cheese sandwiches. So I pulled out my secret weapon: Sid the Science Kid! I put on the episode called “Ignatz’s Inertia” and looked up the corresponding activity. When I saw the materials included a skateboard and stuffed animals, I knew I had made a really good choice. Devon and Leo sang their way through the episode. They also had an adorable conversation while watching.
Leo: Sid is having a play date with Gabriela.
Devon: She’s a girl.
Leo: Yeah, a girl and boy.
Devon: We are a boy and a boy.
Leo: (giggles) Our play date is a boy and boy. Not a girl and boy like Sid and Gabriela.
They seemed to conclude that THEIR play date was far superior. Priceless.
After the show the show I asked them to each choose a stuffed animal to use in their own Sid experiment. Both boys were very interested. Leo returned with a kangaroo and Devon with a moose. After a quick call to a neighbor I located a skateboard and we were ready to roll.
At first we tried rolling the animals into a curb on the street, but a slight downgrade made them fall before impact. As we experimented with different obstacles and locations I couldn’t help but notice how engaged the boys were in problem solving. They moved the animals to different spots on the skateboard, tried different speeds, and took turns without being told. Good times!
We finally found success on the front stoop of the house. Leo and Devon were able to observe the skateboard stop as it hit the step, while the kangaroo and moose went flying through the air. Inertia exemplified. Leo and Devon were able to articulate the concept when I asked. I was so incredibly satisfied. It was a great play date.
Later that afternoon, before dinner, Leo and Henry were playing in the garage. Henry was intrigued to find a skateboard and questioned Leo about it. From what we can gather, Leo took Henry to the front stoop and recreated the inertia activity. All by himself! Afterwards, Henry burst into the house, full of praise for the fun Sid activity.
As I explained the science behind the experiment to Henry, I could tell he was really thinking it through. Then my little smarty pants older son started talking about riding in the car with a seat belt and how when mommy stops hard he feels his body move, but the car stops. I almost fell over. Henry used a real world example from the show — an episode he had never seen. I definitely felt like THAT mom for a moment: the one with the brilliant kids.
How do you make play dates fun at your house? What kinds of activities are your kids interested in?

Produced by: Funding is provided by:
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