Archive For The “Scientific Discovery” Category

Cosplay To Enhance Playtime Experience

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Aeromax Space Shuttle & Astronaut Costume
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post whereby we received product in exchange for an honest review. As always, the opinions expressed herein are strictly our own. This post contains affiliate links.

 

Aeromax Space Shuttle & Astronaut Costume

During playtime, there’s something really cool about dressing the part. I remember playing teacher when I was little and wanting to wear extra long skirts and pretend glasses to imitate my favorite elementary teacher. I would line my dolls and bears up on the bed and give them instructions. Of course it took me three times as long to complete my homework this way… but I was in my happy place.

When introduced to Aeromax Toys, it immediately brought me back to my childhood. My brother and I would race our bikes around and around the house pretending they were race cars. How cool would it have been to be dressed as an actual race car driver or the mechanic… and yes even the occasional police officer pulling us over? LOL. These are some of my favorite memories with my brother. We would circle the house for hours, tying things to our bikes, making up story lines and the whole bit. It was the perfect scenario for childhood cosplay.

I look at my little scientist, Victoria, and see how dressing in her astronaut suit lifts her imagination. It’s perfect while she’s working on a kit or just playing. There’s something magical that happens to play when you can dress the part.

Aeromax has so many authentic looking costumes and play wear. Kids can be anything from a ladybug to a doctor, flight crew and magician. Costumes are also available for infants and adults… so everyone can join in the fun. Look for their accessories too, or perhaps be inspired to create your own.

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Digging Up Dinosaurs At Liberty Science Center

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At some point, I think every kid wants to become a Paleontologist. Dinosaurs are fascinating… captivating our imaginations and taking us back to a world from long long ago. A place and time we can only piece together – quite literally through excavation efforts from scientists like the famous, Jack Horner.  At the Liberty Science Center, located in Jersey City, children are welcome to explore the Jack Horner Dino Dig excavation exhibit. {Parent Tip: Maybe don’t wear white. Just Saying.}

DISCLOSURE:  As a Liberty Science Center Blog Ambassador for the day, we had been provided admission vouchers for our visit. As always, the opinions expressed herein are strictly that of Homeroom At Home.

This hands-on temporary exhibit offers guests the opportunity to dig for dinosaur bones and eggs. The Jack Horner Dino Dig exhibit, updated since Jack Horner’s visit last year,  specifically reflects his excavation experiences and prehistoric discoveries.  Jack Horner is a legendary paleontologist who struggled academically, but stuck with his passion. Struggling with undiagnosed Dyslexia, his interest in dinosaurs began with his childhood curiosity in why Canada turned up “better” fossil findings than his home town of Shelby, Montana. He channeled his curiosity for dinosaurs into his senior year Science Fair Project… and won. You can hear him describe his fantastic break-through story and discuss the early part of his career in the video clip below with Hank Green of Sci Show. In this episode, you will also learn how birds are related to dinosaurs.

With over 50 bones buried in 35 tons of sand, there is plenty of digging for everyone. The science museum provides the brushes and off you go, provided the weather is cooperative. Under a huge canapy, your little diggers are protected from the direct rays of the sun. Be sure to check out the excavation map on the exterior wall with helpful information about what’s to be discovered under all that sand. And cafeteria and restrooms are close by in case of much needed breaks. The LSC staff of scientist were right there to dig along side all these young paleontologist wannabes.

 

Unlike other “dig” sites, the Jack Hormer Dino Dig uses soft brushes similar to paint brushes. The children aren’t drilling, scraping, or chiseling rock but simply brushing sand away. Caution your children not to brush sand into someone else’s exposed fossil finds.

 

Buried beneath all this sand is a 72 inch long Triceratops skull, plus many other species including Tyrannosaurus, Pachycephalosaurus and Maiasaura, which Mr. Horner discovered cared for their young’s nest & eggs. This is one thing dinosaurs have in common with today’s bird specifies, specifically penguins.

 

Jack Horner’s Dino Dig excavation site is included in the Liberty Science Center general admission. Hours of operation, exhibit info, parking, directions and more can be found on their website at www.LSC.org. I encourage parents to bookmark the site since there are great resources available on their pages.

 

 

 

The Dino Days of Summer adventures don’t stop there. Be sure to venture to the 4th floor for the Our Hudson Home exhibit space to include opportunities to practice removing fossils from brick blocks and the touch tank, where guest can touch an animal that’s been around since before dinosaurs… the hermit crab. For the little learners, Dino Tales offers story time. There is something for everyone in this interactive and informative summer program.

Got a cool dinosaur tee? Children wearing dinosaur themed clothing get a $5 discount off admission during the Dino Days of Summer!!  This is good for up to four children in a party. Be sure to mention the discount at the box office. And if that’s not enough excitement… keep an eye out for the 12 inch stuff T-Rex hidden in the museum. Each week, Rex is moved to a new spot and any child spying him during their visit earns a raffle ticket for a special dino surprise pack.

 

Win a Dinosaur Digging Adventure Family Four Pack!!

One lucky family will win a four-pack of tickets to the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ. Admission to Jack Horner’s Dino Dig is included in general admission. This prize pack is worth up to $87. Click on the Rafflecopter Giveaway below to enter the contest.

Here are the rules for entry and winning:

Winner will be selected at random by Rafflecopter. You have multiple chances of winning depending on the number of entries you’ve submitted.
Participants MUST live in the United States.
The contest will run from July 31, 2017 through August 11, 2017, 12am.
The winner will be announced on August 12, 2017 from Homeroom At Home.
Liberty Science Center will be notified of winner and directly issue 4 general admission tickets.
The winner must respond within 24 hours or another winner will be selected via Rafflecopter.
No purchase is necessary to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Discover the Dinosaurs of the Jurassic World Exhibit at The Franklin Institute

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Be greeted by a GIANT Brachiosaurus at the Franklin Institute’s Jurassic World Dinosaur exhibit. Children and adults alike are fascinated by the prehistoric world of dinosaurs.  The life-like realistic features are hard not to take in… and take you back in time.

Based on the blockbuster film, Jurassic World, this exhibition features some of the most well known and terrifying dinosaurs of days long gone, in a story setting of bringing these creatures to life again. The exhibition includes the lab, featuring eggs and newly born dinosaurs, as well as the DNA extraction to “make it all possible”. An animetronic Apachyahinosarus family awaits around the corner. Visit the caged Tyrannosaurus Rex getting eerily close to those teeth. Her growl compares to no other.

The Franklin Institute has plenty of hands-on displays in the Jurassic World exhibit stimulating our senses and enabling a completely immersed experience. This is surely a memorable experience to be talked about at the dinner table for many nights and weeks to come. Take advantage of the various educational toys, projects and resources to continue the discussion and keep the family engaged in this most curious time of history.

The Franklin Institute offers the Jurassic World:The Exhibition Mobile Guide with additional facts and video content to enhance your experience. Consider the VIP experience to include a souvenir photo. The exhibition ends April 23rd, so hurry for this once in a lifetime opportunity to experience “the closest you will ever come to living dinosaurs” (TFI.com).

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Satisfy Your Curiosity With Curious George

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As Ambassadors for the day, Mark and Victoria were invited for a complementary blogging tour of the Liberty Science Center. Admission tickets are in exchange of this honest review where all ideas and opinions expressed are strictly that of myself, Mark and Victoria. #Sponsored

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A key to enhancing your child’s learning experience is to tap into their natural curiosities.  So naturally we were very excited when the opportunity arose to check out the new Curious George exhibit at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ. It was a hike for us South Jersey folks but well worth it. Victoria and Mark had the opportunity to explore the exhibit as part of a special bloggers event, and we’re here to give you the inside scoop.

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Curious George: Let’s Get Curious! is on display now through January 8th, 2017 with plenty for our youngest explorers to discover. Children are encouraged to get curious and hands-on. The exhibit is, in part, retrospective of Curious George’s career with artifacts from his classic tv show and stories. Curious George as an astronaut, farmer, and construction worker… taking you back yet? The showcase features snippets of his greatest adventures. Like Barbie, he’s done a little of everything.

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There are several interactive and super creative areas like this rocket-ship below. This was probably one of the most popular attractions with spiral stairs. As was the Farmer’s Market with a register, aprons and the full feel of running a market/store.

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Toward the back of display, the writer’s story comes to life with an old time office and memorabilia. Victoria was obsessed with the phone and office set up. She returned at least three times to this display and was completely wrapped up in her own world of imaginative play.

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Another family favorite was the Barn – equipped with a crafting area and a wind sock (how cute). Victoria made a pin wheel. And again the imagination kicked in with her playtime. The exhibit was beautifully decorated with murals from scenes of the books along the walls including a bakery, city, farms and a park. It really came to life with extras like park benches, balloon trees and Curious George for pictures. The construction zone was impressive with a two-story crank taking foam blocks to the top level.

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Mark was really impressed with the mini golf arrangement with 3 little holes interactive with cranks and ramps. He felt it was “a very creative use of PVC piping as tunnels”. He was equally taken back with the apartment scene whereas Curious George was hanging onto a rope to clean the windows… another famous scene from his stories. The front of the building had wheels and pulleys with ropes to pull George up and down to clean the apartment windows. The whole exhibit had quite a lot to take in, including the lobby with a doorman dress up station, mail cabinets and an interactive elevator.

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Young visitors are invited “to let curiosity and inquiry be their guides as they explore familiar buildings and locales from the “Curious George” books and television series on PBS KIDS. The exhibit presents key concepts in science, math and engineering, which are woven throughout the exhibit.” – LSC Press Release Sept 2016

The Liberty Science Center did an amazing job incorporating a childhood and family favorite classic: Curious George (and the Man with the Yellow Hat) into a fully engaging exhibit promoting the experiment of weight, size & sorting, engineering concepts,  light & shadow, physics, creativity, and wind power. A beautiful blend of exploration and nostalgia.

Wanna Visit? Win a Family Four Pack of Tickets

We are excited to announce a giveaway for one lucky family, winning a four-pack of tickets to the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ. Admission to Curious George: Let’s Get Curious Exhibit is included in general admission. This prize pack is worth up to $87. Click on the Rafflecopter Giveaway below to enter the contest.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Liberty Science Center has far more than this “museum within a museum”. Be sure to check out all of their programs – something for everyone ages 0-99. We are greatly looking forward to sharing additional articles highlighting some of their other permanent exhibits. So definitely stay tuned.

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Floof: Indoor “Snow” Activities for Any Season

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So we might not be quite ready to think about snow days… but this reusable Floof  “snow” is a great activity for any season.

Partnered with companies such as Play Vision offers the opportunity to share with readers the very “coolest” toys. While this is a #sponsored post (we received a sample product for this review), the opinions expressed herein are strictly my own.

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It’s the end of summer and we’ve been just a little busy with game reviews… so we’re super excited about Floof. No instructions!!  Just soft, snow-like material to shape and mold. Here we’ve been playing with the Mr. & Mrs. Snowman set which comes with  accessories to build a small family.

Floof Molding Resusable Toy
The girls really enjoyed the simple craft time. The Floof is so soft to hold and very relaxing to manipulate.

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One bucket has enough to make several snowmen, but only has enough eyes, carrots for 2 figures. You can get creative with lego or barbie pieces to outfit the remaining snowmen if needed. Or use the leftover Floof to create a snow drift or snowy blanket floor.

Floof Reusable Molding Toy

As a mom, I must mention how simple the clean up was. After the girls put all the pieces and Floof into the bucket, I just took a wet paper towel to the play area and that’s how easy it was. I will mention though, that because Floof is water soluble make sure children have dry, clean hands when playing. Otherwise it gets a bit sticky (just wash hands and dry to resume play).

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Soak Up Last Days of Summer with Nature Explorer’s Handbook

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Although this post contains affiliate links, the opinions expressed herein are honest and my own.

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In the Nature Explorer’s Handbook, youngsters will be enticed to explore the outdoor world of their backyard with the colorful and easy to read pages, checklists and varying activities. Encouraged to get dirty, get close to the ground and up close to nature… Science has never looked so accessible and fun!

Nature Explorers Handbook 2This handbook is tabbed with five sections:

Awesome Bugs

Garden Critters

Birds and Bats

Woodland Adventure

Plants

Splashes of tips and trivia make this resource engaging and cool. The spiral bound handbook is easy to carry and keeps the page open while your child is busy exploring on their own.

Nature Exporers Handbook 3

Other features include Safety Tips and “Do It” suggestions, 60+ stickers and a fold out calendar for seasonal exploration. I love that Nature Explorer’s Handbook has thought of clever ways to draw children into scientific discovery using checklists, activities, journalist techniques and showcasing year-round exploratory advantage.  Part journal, part workbook, this Nature Explorer’s Handbook is designed for taking notes, doodles, and on the go discovery… and it couldn’t be done better! Be sure to have a pencil in hand with this book.

Checklist allows children to track their progress and really zero-in on the details of their findings.

Superb resource!

Nature Explorers Handbook

PS – The blue Para’Kito Mosquito Repellent band on her ankle was previously provided as a review product… and we truly love it. You can read our review of this outdoor necessity item HERE.

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Light Up Family Game Night with Circuit Maze

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We greatly look forward to family game night, especially when partnered with brands such as Think Fun. We were offered a sample copy of this game for review purposes. The opinions expressed herein are strictly mine as an honest review of the game. #Sponsored  This post may contain affiliate links.

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Circuit Maze is a puzzle game that focuses on electrical currents. Circuit Maze is a single player game that has several different challenges to be completed… 60 actually.  Each challenges and difficulty levels is presented on a card. Each card has a grid that says where the start and end pieces are to be placed, which pieces that need to be used, and what the objective is. When the player completes the challenge puzzle a real electrical circuit is formed and the beacon lights up. Aside from being a terrific puzzle game for critical thinking skills, Circuit Maze offers a wonderful introduction or enhancement to any electrical themed curriculum (homeschool or otherwise). Children interested in electricity will be delighted to play this game whereby creating actual electrical currents and visually being able to see their success light before them.

In our house we enjoy building puzzles and testing our mental prowess with many activities. Circuit Maze made a great addition to our collection of games because of it diversity. This is a terrific gift idea for families that perhaps have and enjoy many games, as this as elements of Rush Hour but of course with the twist of electrical current. With 60 challenges it offers entertainment to a wide age range.

Caution: Please be sure to fully read the instructions. It is possible to cause a short circuit, damaging the unit and becoming a fire hazard. We wouldn’t be doing the right thing but not mentioning this and therefore advise that all children are supervised when playing this game. This shouldn’t be a deterrent but a caution for any and all tools used for teaching or engaging in electrical display.

Check out our other game reviews here and consider Circuit Maze for your holiday gift giving or birthdays.

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Philly Bug Festival: Academy of Natural Sciences

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Homeroom At Home is proud to be partnered with The Academy of Natural Sciences to provide our readers with details on upcoming events, exhibits and programs. We were offered a complimentary family membership in exchange for media coverage. #Sponsored This post may contain affiliate links.

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Oh, the good old days of summer. Running around outdoors: catching butterflies, digging up millipedes, skipping stones and plenty of other outdoor exploration. Not so much has to have changed. The Bug Fest at the Academy Of Natural Sciences is happening this weekend, August 13th & 14th with plenty of hands-on, creepy, slimy discovery fun.

Bug Fest Selfie

Every year, The Academy coordinates an amazing festival of insects. Families can get up close and personal with cockroaches and caterpillars or take selfies with centipedes. Not to mention dine on insect enriched snacks like “Chocolate Chirp Cookies” and “Cajun Crickets” with Chef Zach Lemann. Oh and you gotta check out his bug rap video below, super cool.

More than just a day of family entertainment, the Bug Fest offers demonstrations of bedbug dog sniffers and offers suggestions if these pests find their way into your home. Understanding the role that spiders, maggots and slugs have in our natural world may dissuade families from an insect killing spree. And perhaps pick up a few tricks on keeping said pesky critters out of our homes, like how cinnamon deters ants. All helpful tidbits mixed in with the family fun, crafts and activities.

Bug Fest 2016

The Bug Fest has plenty to explore over the two-day event and below is a quick preview of the exhibits and festival favorites per the Academy’s website (www.ansp.org):

NEW IN 2016

The Hive

What’s the buzz about bees? Come find out for yourself as you encounter these interesting insects, taste some sweet honey, and help build a hive. Try on some “bee goggles” to gather nectar from some nearby flowers, and then learn how to make your own backyard friendlier to these important insects. Make your very own bee beard mask to take home and amaze you friends and family.

Via at Bug Fest 2016Arthropod Architects

Bugs are some of the best builders. Inspect spider webbing up close and meet the live spiders that spin it. See what’s hiding in a wasp nest and work together to build a huge termite mound. Find out if your building skills are up to snuff when you try to build your own beautiful caddisfly casing. Learn which bugs you should thank for some of our own architectural advances, and see a 3-D printer try to build some of our bugs’ super structures. A few lucky guests each day will get to take home some insect-inspired 3-D models.

Delightful Decomposers

Live maggots, slugs, and millipedes take center stage as we look at how these often misunderstood critters help make the world a cleaner place. What’s the difference between a centipede and a millipede? How do bugs help us solve crimes? Are slugs in your garden always a bad thing? Answer all your burning (or rotting) questions!

Invertebrate Invaders!

Learn about the science behind the headlines as you talk to experts about mosquitoes and other invasive (and sometimes destructive) species like lantern flies and ash borer beetles. See specimens and live invaders up close.

RETURNING FAVES

Roach Race 500: Cheer on your favorite roach as it tries to conquer three different tracks in the famous Roach Race 500!

Live Invertebrate Stage Show: See our bugs on the big screen!

Demo at Bug Fest 2016Bedbug-sniffing Dog Demonstrations: Learn more about the bugs that bug us and what you can do if you find them in your home. Meet the canines and their companions that help to sniff out these unwanted houseguests. (Sponsored by Western Pest Management)

Bug Walks: Join Academy entomologists on an expedition outside the museum to see what species of invertebrates live there.

Bug Appétit: Enjoy culinary art with a buggy twist. Cajun Chef Zack Lemann and his “Chocolate Chirp” cookies will return to Bug Fest this year!

Meet the Entomologist: Talk with Academy entomologists and representatives from the American Entomological Society. Find out about current research projects and get an up close look at some specimens from our collections.

Crafty Critters: Create your own bug-themed craft to take home.

While a day out exploring is very exciting… it doesn’t have to stop when the museum closes. Consider these cool education kits to keep your children engaged in insects. The Ant Farm by Uncle Milton allows kids to watch the ever-working ants build a colony and travel back and forth in their new community. Insect Lore has fantastic learning toys including the Ladybug Land and Butterfly Garden. All three of these kits have a voucher to mail away for live insects to care for and nurture in their new habitat. The butterflies must be released into the wild within 4 days of transforming into butterflies. It is such an exciting experiment to watch these infant insects transform into adult form. Did you know ladybugs don’t have spots right away? Check out our quick video reviews and jump over to Amazon where you can purchase a kit as a late summer experiment or back to school treat.

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