Another birthday! Little Brother turned 7 and we had his party over the weekend. We tossed around a few theme ideas and decided on Weather. Sort of an unusual birthday theme, but, surprisingly, it offered a lot of fun ideas to try. Little Brother is "walking sunshine", always smiling and laughing and happy, so the theme seemed appropriate for him.
First, some fun information at Weather Trivia. The fact that fascinated me the most was this one, "The amount of sunlight reaching the earth's surface is 6,000 times the amount of energy used by all human beings worldwide. The total amount of fossil fuel used by humans since the start of civilization is equivalent to less than 30 days of sunshine." What were we ever thinking using fossil fuels when Mother Nature has provided us with an overabundance of free, clean energy to use? Astounding!
Anyway, back to the party... we made wind chimes... I bought embroidery hoops from the thrift store (very cheap) and collected an assortment of "dingers". Metal cookie cutters, a variety of bolts and washers, serving forks, etc. I bought some inexpensive windchimes and cut off the chimes to use, too. You can use fishing line to tie the pieces on, but I thought these threads were a colorful touch. I also thought it might be nice to paint the hoops ahead of time, too, but didn't think of that until it was too late!
The next one we did was very cool, but a bit more complicated. Watch the video on the Steve Spangler site and you'll see a great demonstration of this experiment. I wanted the same "WOW!" factor as the one on the video, but when you read the directions, it's for one using smoke from a match. Not as impressive. So, we managed to put together the experiment as done in the video.
You'll need: a "foot pump" bicycle pump, a #4 stopper (from a hardware store), a tire needle (ours came with the pump), a drill fitted with a #16 drill bit, and a clear 2-liter bottle. Drill a hole in the center of the stopper and insert the tire needle that's attached to the pump.