Fizzy Foamy Science: for bubble-lovers only


This past weekend, Nica and her dad spent an afternoon playing with My First Fizzy Foamy Science Kit.


Though I didn’t find the kit so exciting, myself, Nica and Archie had a lot of fun with it. For a 5-year-old, this is an unintimidating way to begin learning the principles of science and the rudiments of the scientific method. The kit includes seven simple experiments that involve fizzing or bubbling of some sort. It covers all the gassy classics: You got your volcano, your yeast, your soap bubbles. Most of the experiments involve combining a base with an acid—thus the fizzing and foaming action. This is pretty much what most of them look like:


Red fizz

Blue fizz

(The tray and measuring cup are not included, by the way.)

And this is as dramatic as it gets:

Fizz to the max


The lamest experiment was the one called Yeasty Beasties. The name is already setting you up for disappointment. Nica was probably imagining something along the lines of this:

Now those are some yeasty beasties


But the actual outcome was this:

Crappy beasties

The alternative gift guide (for some specific types of 7-and-unders)

1. For the siblings who want to play a game together but can’t sit still (or there’s a toddler in the mix): Chameleon Crunch Game

The object: to throw bugs into the chameleon’s mouth, which opens and closes at random. For added action, the chameleon moves around a bit (and says a couple of phrases). Both my kids (ages 5 and 22 months) love playing this. They had fun playing this with their 3-year-old cousin, too.


2. For the on-trend kid: Furby

It’s ba-ack! And it’s one of the hot toys of the season, no less.


3. For the anal-retentive Legoist: Lego Sort & Store

Shake, shake, shake, and your Legos get sorted by size into different trays. Now if you could just hack a Roomba to pick them up off the floor first….


4. For the DIY diva: Fancy Nancy Sticky Mosaics Fancy Tiaras

The tiaras turn out pretty snazzy! Warning: You and other family members will be expected to wear the creations.


5. For the kid who just can’t wait to take driver’s ed: Drive Time Street Signs

For the driveway, or, in our case, for the kitchen. Whichever.


6. For the budding magician: My First Magic Set (with DVD Instructions)

We got this for Nica’s birthday, along with a hat and cape. She now performs full magic shows in front of audiences (she’s very picky about which audiences, though—she got it like that). The included DVD doesn’t quite jibe with the items in the set, but Archie and Nica figured it out. Archie is her “lovely assistant” during her performances.


7. For the kid who has everything except maybe a street named after him: Personalized sign à la Sesame Street

Adorable! Great for a luxe birthday party or for room décor.


8. For the Barbie lover who’s interested in her culture and maybe other people’s too: Dolls of the World (pictured, Princess of South Africa Barbie)

We got Nica the Princess of the Korean Court Barbie, because she’s getting more curious about her ethnicity and feeling some Korean pride these days.

9. For the kid who likes to touch gross stuff in the name of science: Scientific Explorer’s Sci-fi Slime Science Kit

This is so in Ham’s future.


10. For the baby with jokester parents: Buff Baby: Dumbbell Rattle

I totally would’ve gotten this for Ham when he was an infant. Because he was enormous, and it would’ve been hilarious. Damn!


11. For the music lover who loves to build stuff, too: Quercetti Saxoflute

This is a cool toy the kids’ aunt and uncle got for them. Both Ham and Nica enjoyed making different wind instruments. I did not enjoy washing out the saliva afterward. But, you know, that’s just me.


12. For the kid who can’t decide which (s)he loves more, Angry Birds or Star Wars: Angry Birds Star Wars Fighter Pods AT AT Attack


Angry Birds Star Wars 5″ Plush

This is on the list because, come on! This is bizarre! Yet strangely cute.

Hunting in the backyard

The weather was beautiful this week, so we enjoyed the outdoors as much as possible. Yesterday the kids took their Backyard Explorer kits to the backyard. We got ours at a children’s museum, but basically they’re a lot like this Adventure Kids Bug Catcher Box Set.


Ours are simpler and contain these items:


Ham and Nica took one kit each and ventured forth to capture little creatures. Nica tried the tweezers first, but lost her nerve.



Ham tried the tweezers too.


Nica decided to focus on catching butterflies.


Eventually, she got bored with the butterfly hunt and sought bigger game.
“Mommy, see that tree? It’s a hollow tree. Inside it, there’s a squirrel, three bunnies and a kinda small dragon. That’s how he can fit in there. Dragons are usually huge!”
“How did they all end up in there?”
“They’re all hiding from me, because I am the hunter! I’m going to catch them with this net!”
“Aren’t the squirrel and bunnies scared of the dragon?”
“Yes, but they’re more scared of ME! Grrrrr! Teehee!”


Then there was a magic spell that turned the net into a “gigantihuge” net to catch a mother dragon who came looking for her kinda small dragon baby. But then Nica felt bad for the baby dragon, who was stuck in the tree but saw his mother stuck in the net, so, they were both set free after they promised not to burn people up. Oh, and the squirrel and bunnies were also released and are now living in our yard. I can’t see them because they move so fast. Then it was time to go in for string cheese and crackers.