Monday, September 15, 2014

Science Kits

Our public library recently got science kits for kids that you can check out for two weeks. Is this a new thing at public libraries? Our library has books, CDs, movies, and video games, but was surprised to see these kits.

When I spotted them and pointed them out to Kai, he was very interested in trying them. The first week, we brought home a kit that included a solar panel. It also included hundreds of other pieces from which you construct things like robots or vehicles that move when it gets enough sunlight.

Kai loved putting it together, while I was mainly concerned with keeping track of all the little pieces so that we could put each one back in their correct bag when it came time to return it. We were the first ones to check out this kit, but I’m frankly a little doubtful that all the pieces will remain as more and more families use it.

Frustration set in when the solar motor didn’t work. Just to clarify, Kai was surprisingly calm about the whole thing. But I got more frustrated when a good portion of my afternoon went by while I futilely tried re-building the thing to no avail. The pictures and directions were not as clear as Lego sets, that’s for sure.

The next week we returned the solar set and checked out a physics set. I liked this one better. There were fewer small pieces and more larger ones.

Here is Kai working on the first experiment that tested the law of gravity.

And then he later made a sailboat.

* * * * *

We went back to the Skokie lagoons for biking and kayaking. Kai continues to enjoy bicycling which is nice as in the past we couldn’t count on that carrying over from week to week.

But he really wanted to go kayaking again.

These photos make it seem like he was paddling the whole time, but that was not the case. I offered to switch with my wife next time and let her partner with Kai, but she said Kai would have to paddle more. I’d estimate that I was doing all the work about 75% of the time.

Still, when he did paddle, we didn’t fill our kayak with seaweed this time and we were even in sync once in a while.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable fall afternoon.


  1. Having Science kits is a great idea for libraries to have stocked.

    I remember Kayaking with both, my wife, and son. My son had done a much better job than had my wife. My wife had kept skipping her paddle and soaking me. She would drag her paddles also, and when we kept turning (in the middle of a lake), she kept saying it was the result of the current :)

    That last picture is a keeper. I'll bet it would look good enlatged over a fireplace mantle some day.

    1. We've only kayaked in very still waters. I'm guessing it will be much more challenging on the open waters of a large lake. Though I think it is safer for my marriage that my wife and I paddle in separate kayaks. :)

  2. I love that last beautiful!

    1. The symmetry of our paddling, the idyllic setting, it is nice, isn't it? :) Thanks, Betsy.


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