Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Free Weekend Family Fun: Children's World of Play

Hey Science Time friends and families,

Queen City FencingMy family and I will be at Children's World of Play Saturday, May 3.  This is a great, free, family event going on at Imaginon and 7th Street Market.

We will be supporting Queen City Fencing and Coach Sean Bates.  There will be fencing demonstrations and Q&A.  Stop by, say hello and check out an Olympic sport.  My kids love fencing with Coach Sean. 

Southern Girls Regional Chess Championship will also be there providing a great chance to expose your kids to a wonderful, portable game.  Our family has recently gotten in to chess and now we don't leave home without our travel set.  

Here are some of the other things you can do there: 
  • Craft a Greek mask
  • Fold a Japanese origami animal
  • Enjoy face painting
  • Listen to a storyteller from Latin America
  • Delight in a magic act
  • Make an alphabet bracelet
  • Learn Chinese calligraphy
  • Watch a martial arts demonstration from Korea
  • Learn to Zumba
  • Giggle at an Indonesian puppet show
  • Go on a scavenger hunt
  • Learn to say hello in another language
For more information go to the International House: Children's World of Play site at

The Light Rail line ends at Imaginon so the kids and I will be hopping on, fencing gear and all, at the Pineville Station.  Taking a train makes it extra special, right?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Staff Introductions: Boxer and Family

Once upon a time, a box turtle layed her eggs in my garden.  We didn't realize that she layed her eggs in the lettuce patch.  In fact, we thought she was a boy and named her Boxer.  
One day I was out weeding the garden and found this little guy.  We named him Sean.  The kids sang happy birthday.  

Look how tiny he is.  Box Turtles are born with a very soft shell so they spend most of their time hiding.  Their yolk sac is still attached to them after they leave their egg.  It is like their lunch box so they don't have to worry about food, just hiding and growing.  
Day by day, we found Sean's brothers and sisters.  The bumps on their shells are vertibrae.  The shell or carapace is part of a turtles skeleton and grows out from the center as the turtle grows. 
Look how handsome Sean is as a three year old.  His shell is much smoother but you can still see the vertibrae.  The scutes, or sections of his shell, have rings on them.  One for each year of the turtles life, just like the rings of a tree. 
As he gets older, Sean's shell will develop markings just like his mama Boxer's shell.  Box turtles live in the woods and the markings help camouflage them in the dappled light shining through the leaves.  

Boxer and her family are hibernating right now.  Boxer lives wild but our yard is her habitat so we see her from time to time, especially after a good summer rain when the worms are at the surface like a lovely lunchtime buffet.  

Sean and his siblings live in a giant pen in the yard.  When they are old enough to crawl out of the pen then they too will live wild like their mother.  

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Egg Hunt: Science Time Style

Happy Easter, everyone.

Look what I found on the beach this morning.

 Some people call them Mermaid's Purses but they are actually egg cases. 

Whose eggs are these?

These are most likely Skates egg cases.  


These will go in the Science Time collection of specimens but I was so excited about finding five of these little beauties this morning that I had to share.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter Fun with ARKive

ARKive is one of our favorite site's for beautiful videos and images of animals.  Purely educational without any of the clutter on the sides that makes viewing youtube with preschoolers kind of awkward.

Does you child have a favorite animal? Try looking it up on ARKive.

There is also a MyARKive that allows visitors to set up their own albums of favorite videos and images.

Here is a fun egg themed quiz full of fun facts and pictures:


Enjoy and have fun on Spring Break.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Break Fun and Water Water Everywhere

It's Spring Break and the kids are at their grandparents.  So, what am I doing?

Revising a manuscript?
Researching my latest project?

Vi sleeping on 2013 Camp Journals
I'm getting Science Journals ready for the June 9-13 session of Science Time Summer Camp.  Each day the children add badges, coloring pages and even pictures of themselves to their Science Journals, creating a perfect memento of the week to bring home to the family.

Frodo(10 wks old) Summer Camp 2013
I am also tinkering with a water wheel project made out of plastic cups and cardboard. Next I'll start building Water Walls because Friday during camp is nothing but outside water fun. 

Spring Break is the perfect time to think about Summer.

We still have openings for Science Time Summer Camp in June if you have a curious little scientist on your hands.

Registration available at Lake Wylie Lutheran Preschool's website:   http://www.lakewylielutheran.org/tp50/application.asp?app=form2&form=5528&id=297972

Questions:  Contact Ms. Peggy at sciencetimecamp@gmail.com

Stag Beatle, courtesy of Marin
There will be a micro zoo, an observation station, visits from Frodo (hedgehog), Julia (guinea pig), Sarah Jane (rabbit) and Rockbottom (box turtle) as well as tons of science fun, outdoor play and crafts.  Just look at this awesome schedule.

You're little scientist will need a nap when they get home.  And isn't that a good thing? 

Science Time Summer Camp, June 9-13
Water Water Everywhere

Hawk Moth, 2013 Micro Zoo
Day 1:  All About Water
    Molecules and Mixtures
    Water Cycle
    Sink or Float
    Observation Station:  Dipolar Rainbow
Day 2:  Pond and Lake
    Tadpoles and Frogs
    Fish Printing
    Observation Station: Meet the Micro Zoo
Day 3:  Rivers
    Rivers are Habitats
    Observation Station:  Water Wheel
Day 4:  Ocean
    Submarines and     Jelly Fish
    Blue Whales
    Observation Station:  Salt Water Density
Day 5:  Water Fun
    Paint with ice cubes
    Water Tower
    Bubble Paint 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Meet Our Staff: Ms. Kristen

I was voted to be the voice behind the blog because when I'm not teaching Science Time I am a children's writer and random blogger at the Garden of Good Intentions (gardenofgoodintentions.blogspot.com).

Blogging about Science Time for kids and their parents is a totally fun project that I know I will enjoy once I get past this awkward task of introducing myself. 

Ms. Kristen is the other half of the Science Time teaching team and her unofficial title is critter wrangler.  The quadruped staff and the Micro Zoo live at her house. 

If the weather is nice, you can find Ms. Kristen outside looking for bugs, snails and frogs, launching paper rockets, testing new projects or backpacking with her family.

Kristen loves Pinterest (feel free to follow me, Kristen Gurri) but always ends up putting a Science Time twist on the crafts.  If your child has brought home a bug model made out of cereal boxes with obsessively detailed cut outs, then you understand.

Ms. Kristen is also the driving force behind some of the messier outside activities that go on during our Summer Camps in June and August at Lake Wylie Lutheran Preschool.  

Summer Camp is Ms. Kristen's favorite time of the year because she gets to do all the great projects that just don't fit in the one hour after school format.  9 out of 10 parents just don't appreciate wet paint and drippy glue in the family car. 

For more information about Summer Camp, go to:
Email Ms. Peggy:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Meet Our Staff: Ms. Peggy

During summer camp last year, Ms. Peggy read "Cecily the Cicada" to the children then took them out to the playground.

Nature provided a magic moment when one of the children immediately noticed a cicada emerging.

We always tell the children "It's not magic, it's science!" but that day was a little of both. 

Ms. Peggy is the voice behind our e-mail, the book keeper, the summer camp director and the official Jiminy Cricket of Science Time.

"No, Ms. Kristen, I don't think we should give the kids air cannons again," says Ms. Peggy.

"Why don't we simplfy that bug model some more," says Ms. Peggy.  "Do we really need to include every spiracle and pedipalp?"

"Let's not send the kids home with live lady bugs," says Ms. Peggy.

However, once a year Ms. Peggy lets her hair down.  At the end of October she dons a black and white wig, pulls a lab coat from the back of her closet and becomes Dr. Peggy Potions.

Using the contents of Ms. Kristen's lunch box, Dr. Peggy Potions performs amazing acts of science to the delight and merriment of the kids.

The Dr. Peggy Potions class is part of our weekly after school program.

Science Time After School is a one hour science class taught by two instructors with a maximum of 20 students.  1/3 of the proceeds goes directly to the preschool.

Parents like that extra hour where we channel their child's energy and curiosity while doing some direct fundraising for the school.

To learn more, email Ms. Peggy at sciencetimecamp@gmail.com or call Ms. Kristen at 803-207-9372

Stay tuned as we introduce the rest of our staff and share some science fun.