Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday Science - Ladybug Kites, Cookies, and Books

We returned to the dandelion filled, vacant lot, to check up on the ladybugs, but found they had all flown away - or blown away, as a strong wind was blowing.

Flying ladybugs, and strong winds made us think of kites. Our nice sturdy, store bought kites from last fall, were all destroyed by little hands, sometime during the winter, so we had to start from scratch.

Looking around for thin paper, and wooden sticks, we settled on pink and purple tissue paper, and a couple of thin wooden skewers.

We broke the end off of one of the skewers, to make it shorter than the other, and then taped it horizontally across the longer one.

We used the sticks as a guide... cut a couple of tissue paper diamonds, the purple one to serve as the body, and the pink one, flipped over, cut in half, and glued, at the top, to the back, as wings (did I mention this was supposed to be a flying ladybug kite?).

We decorated the wings with marker drawn spots, and taped the sticks to the backside.

Then, we taped on a tail, made of a ribbon, with a few tissue paper, ladybug, circles, taped onto it.

Finally, we tied the loose end of a spool of thread to the center of the sticks.

And it flew!

But, the floppy wings, and unbalanced string, tied to the center of the sticks, made it fly in an erratic, attack kite, kind of fashion, which was fun, but eventually led to the string wrapping around the kite, and tearing the fragile tissue paper.

So, we headed back into the house, and started over, this time using a black plastic body...

...and heart shaped, tissue paper, wings, glued down securely.

Though, not securely enough, because they blew right off, on our first test run. So, we brought the kite back in, and taped them down, front and back. We also made a more balanced loop, tied to the middle poles, to connect our thread to...

...snipped off the very pointy end on our middle skewer, and taped down all the ends more securely, so our thread couldn't slip between the skewers, and the kite, while flying.

Stepping out onto the deck, we discovered, the wind had gone. Oh, the trials of science! But, that was okay, because the temperature was steadily dropping, and it was really getting too cold for kite flying, anyway.

So, we packed it in for the day, and decided instead to make our yearly batch of ladybug cookies.

I added a handful M&M aphids this year, just to keep things fresh.

While the children enjoyed their buggy snack, I read a few ladybug themed books.

A couple of simple, easy reader, science types:

Then, our favorite for the evening, Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld's Ladybug at Orchard Avenue. It reads like a very dramatic, fictional story, about a ladybug hunting for aphids, and being hunted for by ants, spiders, and birds, with the building urgency of cold weather approaching. But really, it is part of the Smithsonian's Backyard series, and is packed full of ladybug facts. We'll be looking for more of that series.

Finally, we read Bridget Fidget and the Most Perfect Pet, by Joe Berger - not a scientific tome at all, but rather a fanciful fiction, about a young girl who longs for a pet unicorn, and just happens to end up with a ladybug.

Of course, if it's science you want, then you should click on over to the Science Sunday link-up, at Adventures in Mommydom.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Phyllis said...

Cute kite, but even cuter cookies!! We have trouble getting enough wind here for kite flying. We are only successful at the beach and even there it is hard.

Christy Killoran said...

How funny, I just wrote about kites C and R made with their aunt.

I love your ladybug cookies. I am officially declaring you the queen of cookies!

Lisa @ Our Country Road said...

Okay the cookies are the cutest things I have seen in awhile. They would have been hard to eat!!

Books4Learning said...

What a fun idea to do the kites. I LOVE the cookies. I am going to try to make some. The aphid touch is awesome! Thanks.

Susan said...

I bet my girls would really like to try their hands at making kites.
I also love the cute!

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

What a fun post to read! I love that first kite - it really looked amazing. :) And those cookies have my mouth watering, seriously. Very cute!

Valerie @ Inner Child Fun said...

Love all the creative problem solving that naturally occurs when building and flying kites -- plus it is so much fun!! Your cookie look SO yummy!!! :-)

Ticia said...

Oh my, Princess would love Bridget Fidget..... What a cute book.

I'll give these kites a try, the miniscule kites I got for the kids have ridiculously long tails that keep getting way too tangled.

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

Wow, you managed to get a lot done in one day! I have to look for some of those ladybug books. Interestingly, we have just read a very similar book to your last one, only the girl got a bug pet in it.

Julie said...

Flying kites and eating yummy ladybug cookies. What a fun day!