Thursday, January 23, 2014

Science Crafts and Gifts

This is the last of three posts where I explained some of the Christmas gifts the children made based on Science.

Find it Tube
This is inspired by Steve Spangler science. You can buy his Find it Tubes,
Which are much more colorful and sturdy...

or you can make your own.

I emptied a Sparkling Ice Carbonated Water bottle. This picture came from, and they sell them for about a dollar. But I found some at Biglots for half that price.
I don’t like carbonated drinks, but for 50 cents, I was willing to buy it for the bottle.

The awesome thing about these tall thin bottles is the label comes off without leaving a lot of residue.

I put the bottle on the shoe rack in my dryer. I knew the plastic would melt if I didn't allow it to dry slowly and on the coolest setting. But my 6-yr old is not known for patience. When the dryer beeped, she saw that the bottles weren’t dry and turned the dryer on high.

The bottles that were the driest deformed the most. One of them looked like a clear pickle. (Funny Coincidence – a play I wrote “Hot Fudge Pickles” was just performed Indiana.)
We filled the tubes with rice and other little trinkets. Each Find it Tube is personalized. The letters of the recipient’s name is hidden among the rice.

Recap: You need a clear bottle, rice, and trinkets (buttons, foam  beads, paper clips, brads, etc).

Funny Face Box
A homemade version of Mister Potato Head. We used face pieces from a Pumpkin kit.
My son took a Ritz-Bits cracker box and covered it with duct tape.
He glued an empty face cut from this template (I found it on
Then he marked where the pieces should go, and poked slits in there.
The Science: The duct tape holds the pegs of the face pieces in.
The same thing happens when you poke a pin into a balloon. It doesn’t pop because of the cellophane tape.
A variation: You could make this project magnetic, or laminate the face so that you can draw on it with dry erase markers. Of course, this changes the science of the project as well.

Recap: You need an empty Ritz-Bits box, duct tape, face template, scissors, glue, and face pieces

Rag Box
My youngest loves pulling wet wipes out of the package, and tissues out of the box. My boy made this reusable tissue box for her. When you pull one “rag” out, the next one is supposed to come, if you do it right.
First we duct taped the outside of an empty tissue box. My boy decorated it with stickers.
Then we cut a flat scrubber into little squares.
We glued the squares onto the corners of felt rectangles.

Finally, we folded the felt so that it stacks in the tissue box. (I folded this one for a long tissue box. You need to fold it more square for the box I duct taped.)

Now carefully put the whole pile into the box. When you pull one "rag" out, the scrubbers grab the next one and pull it too.

Recap: You need duct tape, an empty tissue box, felt rectangles (I bought the precut from my local Dollar store), flat square scrubber (the scratchier the better), glue, scissors, and stickers.