Spring is (Almost) Here!

frances_photo.jpgThis past month it has been very cold. My guess is we won’t have to deal with sub-zero temperatures anymore this winter. There has been enough snow for many of the things my friends and I like to do outside. In the coming weeks as the sun shines warmer and longer, we can expect our outdoors to get pretty slushy. I know much younger kids like slushy sidewalks the same way they are happy to see puddles after it rains. Because little kids like to put on big boots and splash water with their feet. For those of us older than that it’s probably best to think of things to do inside the house. I like to read, watch YouTube videos, send e-mail to friends and play with my cats, but I can’t just do those four things for a whole month.

My Grandma Flo and I recently started to assemble a 1,000-piece puzzle of ducks in a river. My grandma really, really like ducks!  The first day we spent all of our time just finding the edge pieces. Next we try to arrange the other pieces by which part of the puzzle we think they belong. It’s pretty fun because you get to see the picture come together right in front of you. Also, you can have long conversations with each other since putting a puzzle together doesn’t require all of your concentration. I like long conversations about as much as my grandma likes ducks.

Arts and crafts kits are another good way to occupy your mind and hands. I have ones for making pillows, handbags, bracelets, etc. My favorites are the little colored iron beads. Some of the kits have specialty pegboards in the shape of animals and stuff like that. Sometimes I prefer to make up a pattern of my own. Here’s a tip if you’re creating a large project. Place the pegboard on something you can move, like a cutting board. If you have cats or younger siblings you can move your work in progress to your room and close the door.

Another fun thing to do, at least for me, is to conduct experiments. How long does it take for the tube of ice in my water bottle to melt? How many crayons can I tape together, end-to-end, to make a big stick? What happens to a tarnished penny if it spends a week inside a can of cola? Two years ago I did an experiment where I crushed up some hard candies, then placed them in water to measure how long it took for them to completely dissolve. It was part of an assignment on absorption when we were learning about nutrition and digestion. I discovered that if you crushed the hard candy before adding it to the water the pieces would completely dissolve (be absorbed) 1-2 minutes before the un-crushed hard candy.

Now you have a few ways to spend your time until the snow completely melts and we all can go bike riding!



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