Three Christmas craft ideas
Are you in the mood for crafting? Here are a few ideas to help you decorate your home for Christmas.
1. String tree
Cut a triangle out of cardboard and wrap a string around it until it’s completely covered. Make sure to glue the string at the beginning and end to keep it from unrolling. Decorate your tree with pompoms, sequins, or tiny multicolored beads to give it a festive look.
2. Paper Santa
Paint almost half the surface of a white paper plate red. Draw the red paint down one side of the plate, creating a rounded, tapered edge to form Santa’s hat. Color everything else beige. Then, draw Santa’s eyes and nose. For the finishing touch, glue cotton balls all over the bottom of Santa’s face and around the edge of the hat to make it look like his beard and hair.
3. Winter landscape
Glue a large black circle in the middle of a colored piece of cardboard. Glue a white half-moon on top to hide the bottom of the circle. This will create snowy ground and night sky. Glue two bottle caps on top of each other in the middle of the landscape to form a snowman. Draw a face on the bottom of the top cap and buttons on the lower one. Then, make Christmas trees out of green and brown cardboard and glue them to each side of your snowman. Finally, if you want it to look like it’s snowing, sprinkle white confetti in the sky.
Now, all you have to do is display your work!
What makes it rain?
Ever wonder why drops of water fall from the sky? Here’s an explanation.
The sun heats large bodies of water like seas, lakes, and rivers, causing the water to evaporate and rise as vapor. As the moisture moves upward, it cools and condenses to form clouds. These clouds are blown toward land by the wind. As the clouds move, they gather water droplets and become heavy. Eventually, gravity makes the water droplets fall as rain. The water returns to earth, and the cycle starts all over again.
It rains more in the spring and summer because it’s warm. Warmth produces more evaporation, producing more clouds that make rain.
How are rainbows formed?
Rainbows are beautiful optical illusions. Have you ever seen one before and wondered how they’re made? Here’s a quick explanation.
Although sunlight looks clear, it’s a blend of many different colors. A rainbow is created when white light enters a water droplet and splits into many colors. This happens because the water scatters the light waves through a process called refraction. The pattern of colors starts with red on the outside and chan¬ges through orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet on the inside.
The rainbow effect can be seen when water drops are in the air, like after a big rainstorm or near a waterfall. If you want to see a rainbow, your back must be to the sun. The lower the sun is in the sky, the higher the rainbow’s arc will be.
Keep your eyes out for a rainbow in the sky next time it rains.
Spring craft: an egg carton garden
Do you want to learn about where your food comes from? Planting an egg carton garden is a great place to start.
Here’s a list of what you’ll need:
• A cardboard egg carton
• A pair of scissors
• A pencil
• Good-quality potting soil
• A spray bottle
• A plastic bag
• Vegetable, herb, or flower seeds
Follow these steps to start your very own garden:
1. Cut the lid off an egg carton with scissors
2. Poke a drainage hole in the bottom of each egg cell using the tip of a pencil
3. Place the egg carton lid under the bottom to create a drainage tray
4. Fill each egg cell about half full of potting soil
5. Drop two or three seeds into each cell
6. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of potting soil
7. Write directly on each egg cell to keep your seeds organized
8. Mist the seeds lightly with a spray bottle
9. Place the carton in a plastic bag to keep the seeds warm
10. Water the seeds regularly until they sprout
11. Once the seedlings are about an inch tall, place them in a sunny location
When the seedlings have two or three sets of leaves, ask your parents to help you transfer them to a permanent location outside. Separate each egg cell and plant them directly in the ground with the seedling. The cardboard will decompose in the soil.
All that’s left to do is watch your seedlings grow into mature plants.
10 fun facts about bumble bees
Bumble bees are large yellow and black flying insects that harvest nectar and pollen from flowering plants. They play an important role in keeping the world’s ecosystems healthy. Here are ten interesting facts about this hardworking insect.
1. Bumble bees have extremely fast metabolisms and must eat almost continuously.
2. Bumble bees use buzz pollination. They place their upper body close to the inside of the flower and rapidly vibrate their flight muscles, producing a strong vibration. This shakes the pollen-free.
3. Bumble bees have two stomachs: one for eating and one for storing nectar.
4. Unlike honey bees, bumble bees can sting more than once because their stinger is smooth, not barbed.
5. Bumble bees have five eyes: two large eyes on either side of their heads and three eyes on the top of their heads.
6. Bumble bee colonies die in late fall except for new queens, which hibernate underground over the winter.
7. Bumble bees beat their wings 130 or more times per second.
8. Bumble bees get their name from the word bumble, which means to buzz, hum, or move about awkwardly.
9. Bumble bees are covered in a layer of oil that makes them resistant to water.
10. The largest bumble bee species can grow to an inch and a half long.
Find out how to attract bumble bees into your yard to see these insects up close.
Quiz: Natural phenomena
Are you passionate about thunderstorms, volcanoes, hurricanes, and other natural phenomena? If so, test your knowledge by answering these 10 true-or-false questions.
True or false
1. About 60 volcanoes erupt every year around the world.
2. The clouds that cause thunderstorms are called stratocumulus clouds.
3. The aurora borealis generally occurs five to 20 miles above the Earth’s surface.
4. The terms hurricane, cyclone, and typhoon refer to the same weather phenomenon.
5. Seism is another word for earthquake.
6. Tsunami waves can be more than 33 feet high.
7. The sole way to determine if a storm is a blizzard is to record the temperature and amount of snowfall.
8. The Richter scale is used to assess the strength of tornadoes.
9. Hikers can cause avalanches.
10. Rainbows are multi-colored semi-circles.
1. True. There are about 1,500 active volcanoes around the world.
2. False. Cumulonimbus clouds cause thunderstorms.
3. False. The Northern Lights occur 65 to 185 miles above the Earth’s surface.
4. True. The preferred name for this weather event depends on various criteria, including its origin.
5. True. Earthquake specialists are called seismologists.
6. True. During a tsunami, several minutes may pass between the formation of each giant wave.
7. False. Wind strength and low visibility are also considered.
8. False. The Richter scale measures the strength of earthquakes. The Fujita scale is used for tornadoes.
9. True. A variety of weather events can cause avalanches. However, they can also be triggered by skiers, snowmobilers, and machine operators.
10. False. Rainbows are circular. However, their lower half is typically hidden by the horizon.
DIY: How to give old socks a second life
Have you outgrown your old socks? If they’re still in good condition, pass them on to a friend or sibling. If not, you can give them a second life with one of these four easy-to-complete projects.
1. Flowerpot cover
Cut off the bottom part of the sock, keeping the tube-shaped top section intact. Then, slip it around a small plastic or clay flowerpot. Ask your parents to help you attach it with hot glue if necessary.
2. Toy fish
Cut an oval from thick cardboard and stretch your old sock around it. Fill the sock with scraps of fabric or cotton balls and close it with a rubber band. Make sure to leave a bit of extra fabric on end for the fish’s tail. Glue on buttons or other small round objects for the eyes.
Do you need somewhere to store your phone, loose change, marbles, or other small objects? Cut off the bottom part of your sock, keeping the tube-shaped top section intact. Then, sew or glue one end shut. Depending on what you have on hand, you can close your pouch with elastic, Velcro, or a pretty ribbon.
4. Heating pad
Fill your old sock with grains of rice and tie the end shut. Make sure there aren’t any holes. Put it in the microwave for a few seconds, and then use it to soothe sore muscles after playing outside.
There are many fun ways to repurpose old socks. Get creative, and find out what other neat things you can make.
Wind: 7mph SSE
UV index: 4