Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Human Body Week

Hello again!  This week we had lots of fun learning about the human body.  We first read the book "The Magic School Bus"  which takes a trip through the human body.  The kids in the book did an experiment where they observed their cheek cells under the microscope, so we did the same thing.  Here are some simple instructions to do this at home.  Eva rubbed the inside of her cheek with a Q-tip and then put it on a glass slide with some water and iodine to stain the cells.  We used my microscope to observe the cells.  Sadly, I don't have a camera on my microscope, so I can't share how they look with you!  I may buy Eva one of those kids microscopes with USB hookup and camera so she can take photos like that.  She will have to wait for her birthday though!  After observing the cells under the microscope, we talked about the functions of different types of specialized cells, and watched some youtube videos about cells.  After that, we made a model of a cell out of items we had around the house.  Can you figure out what each component is?  Eva also made a life-size drawing of a human body by laying on a piece of paper and letting me trace her.  She then drew in the various body parts.  When we got to the heart, we discussed how it pumps our blood all throughout the body, and listened to our own hearts with a stethoscope. We made a mini book that compared Eva's measurements now to those at birth, as well as to Emma's measurements.

An important part of this week was learning how to keep our bodies healthy.  We chewed on plaque tablets you can buy at the Apotheke, to see where plaque builds up on our teeth.  Now we know where to be extra careful about brushing!  This led to a discussion about bacteria and germs in general.  We did some experiments growing bacteria from our bodies and house (see photos below).  We also made some cool germ paintings.

A cool kit that you can buy if you are interested in learning about the body is "Der Kleine Medicus".  We only got to a few experiments, but we had fun building a skeleton model and making a model of teeth.  There are all sorts of cool things in there, like models of different types of joints,a lightbox with radiographs, and learning about the pleural cavity.  What fun! 

looking at some cheek cells
Here are our blood agar plates before we inoculated them with: unwashed hands, washed hands, a scraping from Eva's mouth, and the keyboard from the computer I use to write this blog :)

Here are our plates days later.  Each colony started as one bacterium that kept dividing.  From left to right are unwashed hands, washed hands, mouth and keyboard.  You can see a clear zone around some colonies in the mouth and unwashed hands group, which indicates hemolysis.  The washed hands were not as clean as we had hypothesized.  Yikes!  Do you like our light table we made out of an ipad?
This is just a cute photo Eva took of Emma.  I am always surprised by random photos Eva takes!

Here is Eva using a straw to blow paint around.  We added googly eyes to the crazy shapes to make germs!

Eva reading about the heart while listening to her own heart beat!

A model of teeth and gums that we built!
Here are the plaque tablets we chewed....

Oops, looks like there is some plaque in between the teeth!  This is why flossing is important!

Here is the fun kit we used this week. 
These are the books we used this week.  The Forscherbuch had lots of great experiments for kids to do.

Here is an experiment where we observed how gas builds up in the stomach, making us burp!  Always say "excuse me"!

It is always important to get lots of rest!

Here is our model of the cell.  Can you identify the parts? 
 We always try to lead by example for our kids that staying active is an important part of taking care of our bodies!  Daniel happened to have a bike race that week, so it was a perfect fit to this week!  There was also a kids activity day at the site of the race, so we had lots to do while cheering Papa on.  The only activity I didn't get a photo of was the mechanical bull riding, because she fell off so fast and decided not to try it again!  I was proud of all the things she did: rock climbing, segway driving and Luge racing :)  Eva was the littlest kid trying all of the activities. 

Here is Eva on the carousel.  She chose the bike for her first round!  She rode on this multiple times because all of the activities were FREE! 

Playing in the bouncy house.  Plop!

Papa telling Eva he will be back soon!  And he's off!

Getting in her harness to climb the rock wall.  She was disappointed that they didn't let her climb up the whole thing!  Video is below

This activity made me laugh so hard: Segway driving.

There was also free face painting.  All the girls ahead of us wanted princess makeup. Eva decided on a night sky, with a moon and bats.  Plus, she wanted her lips black!  The lady asked me if it was ok, and I said of course, not like it's a tattoo :)  She definitely got some second glances once her face was painted!

Here is my spooky critter.  Apparently, the boy behind her in line thought it looked cool, because we later saw him running around with the same thing!

Rock wall climbing
Luge racing
Segway adventure
This is just a cute video of Emma playing with a balloon.  I only recommend this if you are watching the baby very closely since the thread poses a strangulation challenge!  Notice Eva is totally zoned out watching TV!

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