Lego Science Experiments: Sink or Swim

If your kids are anything like mine, your house is covered in Legos. My son has been obsessed with Legos since he was a toddler and I’ve got the “agh! was that a Lego buried in the carpet?!” bruises on my feet to prove it. As much as he enjoys following the instructions on sets, he also loves going rogue and building his own Lego creations. One of his favorite things to create is Lego boats – and then test their ability to float in the sink.

So naturally, when our friends at the Legoland Discovery Center sent me this infographic about using LEGO® bricks to create float or sink experiments, I had to share it. It’s a fun, hands-on approach to get kids involved in the scientific process of trial and error using a toy they already love to play with. Brilliant.

LDC float or sink experiments infographic

10 Activities to Do with Kids While You’re Babysitting

Babysitting is a lot easier when you’ve got fun activities planned! Here are ten activities that you can adapt to your babysitting needs:

  1. Start the day (or evening) off by passing out pre-made “fun” bags. In the bag you can have many things that you will use during your time together: movies, music, coloring pages, small toys, the materials for crafts and some games.
  2. Games are great and don’t require much preparation. There are the traditional “Simon Says” or “123 Red Light” which are best played outside. As for inside favorites, besides board games there’s the “Do Not Laugh” game. All sit in a semi-circle and make silly faces; the one who laughs last is the winner and should be awarded a small prize. Tried and true “Hide and Seek” is usually very popular, too.
  3. Go to a nearby park or playground. Assuming it’s okay with the parents, taking kids to a playground is a fun and easy way to let them burn off energy. No park nearby? Grab a soccer ball and head out to the backyard for some fresh air.
  4. Crafts are always a wonderful way to spend babysitting hours. For younger children, activities like finger-painting using edible materials such as vanilla yogurt and food coloring are a big hit. Older children will love cutting shapes out of cookie dough and baking their fantasy creations.
  5. Reading aloud is always an option for babysitters and nothing enhances the experience more than if you take blankets and pillows and make a reading tent. If you pop some popcorn that will make the time shared feel even more special.
  6. Speaking of popcorn, watching a movie together can be a tremendously fun experience. Give out “tickets” before the show and collect them at the “door”. Then, turn off the lights and prepare to have a wonderful time in the land of imagination!
  7. Small children love to do things by themselves. Let them “help” you by stirring their own drinks or making their own sandwiches.
  8. Reverse the roles and play pretend. Let the kids “be” the babysitter. Permit them to give you a prepared snack, like fruit roll-ups and a boxed juice.
  9. Put on some music and dance! Download some great music on your iPod and then, like Snoopy and the Peanuts crowd, make merry! Teach them a dance or encourage them to choreograph their own.
  10. Do a puzzle together. Not only will this keep kids busy for a while, it keeps their energy at a controllable level — which makes it a great activity for before bedtime.

Regardless of what you plan to do, check with the parents first and make sure you have their approval. Be sure to be a responsible babysitter so that all have an enjoyable but safe time during activities. Above all, maintain a positive attitude and have fun! Your energy and smile will enhance any activity and make your time with the children you are caring for memorable indeed.