Marble Race and Water Bottle Fountains

It's often a struggle to find that happy medium between planning time, teaching time, and just plain old regular time to enjoy my kids.  Some days I feel like I spend most of the time planning and I don't like that, but I do like to have fun activities for us to do and they take prep. work.

Today, I asked Ian to go through my Pinterest boards and find something fun for us to do today. He decided he wanted to make a water bottle fountain.

We had all the supplies so I agreed but told him he needed to wait until his brothers were ready, since I knew they'd enjoy it too. 

We used:

empty soda bottle
duct tape
food coloring

We poked a hole on the side of the soda bottle just big enough for the straw to fit through.  We used a bendy straw and made sure the straw opening was facing up.  Then used duct tape to tape all around it.

We moved over to the counter and filled the bottle part way up with water and food coloring.  We made sure the bottle wasn't leaking and found that depending on how much water we put into the bottle some water did come out.  I made sure our straw was facing over the sink just in case.

However, there was always a point at which the water just stopped.  That's where the balloon comes in!  We filled up the balloon and stretched it over the hole of the bottle and watched as the air pressure in the balloon pushed the water out of the soda bottle.
We did our water bottle fountain and it was fantastically fun!  The boys loved it.  We filled up the bottle twice and the balloon four times. 

Please ignore the dishes in the sink. 

Ian sat down to read a few books to Evan; they each chose one and since they both love trucks that's what they chose to read about.  B is for Bulldozer and Roadwork.

Alec and I played Yahtzee for math.  There's so much to learn there; addition, multiplication, writing double digit numbers, etc.  Ian joined in for our second round and then I set the boys up with some exploratory play. 

I cut two pool noodles in half (lengthwise) and had them each find a marble or two.  Instant marble maze!

It's super easy to just use a sharp knife and run it down the side of the noodle. 

I gave them a stopwatch and they timed each ball, each race, they experiment with different heights, different angles, turning the maze on it's side, making a curve, a tunnel, and even taping some together to make a monorail.

They played, discovered, and explored for almost a half hour negotiating and problem solving their way through any problems.

 It was great and great fun too!

 They didn't want to stop and eat lunch when it was ready so I just let them keep playing.  We finally found the fun in our homeschooling again!  Today was wonderful. 



  1. Ah amazing, I'm glad you have the fun back. I honk it's tray you let them choose what they wanted to do. It does look like a great activity and seeing as they didn't want to stop for lunch it tells you all you need to know x Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

    1. Yep, I find if they are willing to pass up food it must be good!


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