Our host, and her helpful son, taught us all about astronauts and what they have to do to stay save in space. We talked about the need to bring oxygen, since there is no air in space, how they have to have special suits, and how they have to learn to float around with no gravity.
She also taught us about rocket ships and how they need so much force to break away from the earth, which parts break off, which parts support the astronauts' lives, which parts are for landing, and which parts help them come safely home again.
The kids were given the option of making shooting stars, or a blasting rocket. First they had to colour their pictures, (there were two identical ones) and then cut them out. Then we used coffee stirring-sticks and sandwiched them between the two pictures they had already made. Then we slid the coffee stick inside a regular straw.
Science Time: We launched our blasting rockets or our shooting stars. It was an exercise in thrust.
The kids lined up, and put the straws into their mouths. On the count of three, they gave a big blow to see if they could launch their rockets and stars. We discovered that if we blew gently, they wouldn't shoot out, and the harder we blew, the further they went.
I don't know what this material is called. It is like play clay, but super stiff. The kids all moulded aliens and had fun making silly looking creatures. Then we baked them in the oven for ten or fifteen minutes to get them hard. Once they were cool, we attached a magnet onto the backs. Voila! Refrigerator art!
Our host family have a little egg-chair from Ikea. The kids got turns going in there and we pulled the lid shut and spun and spun and spun to show them some of the training astronauts have to go through.
We sang the action song, "Zoom, Zoom." It goes like this:
Zoom, zoom, zoom. I'm going to the moon (rub hands together going up and down)
If you want to take a trip, climb aboard my rocket ship (mime climbing a ladder)
10, 9, 8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1, (have hands raised above your head, making the tip of a rocket, and gradually shrink down as you count)
BLASTOFF (Jump back up)
We read two books this week. The first was called Pupniks about the first dogs in space.
The other was called Sheep Blast Off. (sorry about the sideways picture)
I feel bad saying this, because she clearly put so much work into her whole morning, but I have to. Snack time was my favourite part. I thought it was so clever.
We learned how astronauts bring dehydrated food with them in space, and then mix in water to get it ready to eat. And then we made instant pudding.
Each child had a little baggie, and was given a portion of the powder, and then she added the milk to each pouch.
Shake, shake, shake! Wait 2 minutes.
Then instead of putting it into bowls and eating it with spoons, we learned that astronauts have to eat their food in pouches and slurp the food out, or else it would float away in the zero gravity. So we cut little holes in the corner of the bags, and the kids had to squeeze the pudding into their mouths. Loved it!