Deciding When to Take Time off And Making Fizzing Play Dough

We decided to take a purposeful day off from school today. I always have a hard time figuring out WHEN is a good time for taking a day off.

We take days of here and there when we have too many other things to do; doctors appointments, errands, preparing for holidays, etc.

We take days of here and there when the kids or myself get sick.

But we rarely take days off just to take them off and enjoy; like a vacation.  Today we decided to pretend we were on vacation.

Ian and I finished up The Hunger Games last night at bedtime and the younger boys and I read another chapter in the Gameknight999 series so as I settled into bed last night thinking about all the reading we had done and the fact that two of the boys had completed their math workbooks, I decided it was the perfect time for a day off.

We were all excited at the prospect of a long weekend.

I was hopeful to turn this Friday into a field trip day but the weather was iffy.  It was cool and cloudy and looked like rain. I did not want to get stuck outdoors at a zoo or park in the rain,

 I thought the boys would be as disappointed as I was.  I was wrong.

The boys were delighted to have an entire day at home with nothing to do but play and have fun.

They didn't even want to go to park day!

What do we do on our days off?  Anything we Want!  

Ian and I sat together and re-watched The Hunger games movie; we compared the movie to the book. (reading/ language arts) While we were busy doing that the younger two boys played Lego Batman.
They tried to play a game on the WiiU but we discovered our console was not working properly.  After researching possible solutions on-line, and realizing none of them were going to work, we followed the instructions to send it to Nintendo and have it fixed.  We did discover it was under warranty at least but the boys were bummed that we have no WiiU in the meantime.  Ian was nice enough to share his Xbox with them and they got to play for quite awhile in his room. (sharing/ life skills).

We took a break mid- morning and ran some errands.  The boys and I had spent some time in the morning looking through Pinterest and finding some gift ideas for their grandmothers for mother's day.  We had a list of things we needed to get and we were happy to listen to our book on Cd while we were out and about.  (reading/ art)

Once home Ian pulled out his remote control helicopter and Alec rummaged through his room and found his remote control helicopter too and the two boys headed outside to see how well the two helicopters would fly.  (science)

They soon came inside because the wind was blowing the helicopters all around.

They flew them around the living room and Ian practiced using the video camera that was attached to his helicopter.  He can also switch to still pictures and he attempted to take a picture out our window.  We were anxious to see how they would come out.  I figured the videos would make me nauseous with all the moving all around and I was curious to see how clear the photos would be since the helicopter does not stay still at all.

 We made some new play dough (science):

 We combined baking soda and hand lotion for a nice smelling and feeling soft play dough.  It's been some time since we've experimented in the kitchen and made some new dough.  I hoped that by using lotion it would help Alec's skin.  He still has such dry, cracked hands and wrists.

To make the dough we mixed a half bottle of lotion with a few cups of baking soda (enough baking soda to make it mold-able and not sticky).

It didn't really work for softening Alec's hands though because once the two boys heard that the play dough was made using only baking soda and hand lotion, Evan immediately wanted to know if the play dough would erupt when we added vinegar to it.  I told him I thought it probably would but we poured some vinegar into a few containers and got out our droppers so they could play and experiment.

I warned them ahead of time that we could not save the dough once they were done working if they used vinegar with it all.  They didn't care and since the lotion was from the dollar store and this dough was relatively inexpensive I didn't mind them turning it into a science experiment either.   It was much messier than I had anticipated but they had lots of fun and sat playing for over an hour.

2 ingredients for our dough 

Alec made a ball out of his 

Then he made an igloo

Evan started dropping vinegar; testing small portions
of it.

He made a tunnel and pretended the animals
were climbing up an erupting volcano 

Alec played with all of the Sonic and Mario Characters;
 lots of dramatic play happening there!  The scenarios
he was acting out were fantastic! 

Evan gave up on the dropper 

More vinegar= bigger explosions! 
 It was a wonderful day off and break from our normal routine.

Plus it was real nice to get messy again.  I've been missing our science experiments and our art projects so it was great to accomplish both today (sorry, can't share the art stuff-- they're gifts!).

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