On your toes

January 9, 2016 - Leave a Response

toes
Me: I read somewhere that rubbing Vicks Vaporub into children’s feet can help with a cough at night.

D: Really? …Mum, is there anything that can make painful feet go away?

Me: What do you mean?

D: I mean, when I go to Karate and we run around in bare feet my heels start to hurt. It’s not just in karate though.

Me: You might need to look at how you’re running. Do you run on the balls of your feet?

D: We’re not allowed to run on balls.

Me: It’s a part of your foot – the ball of you foot is just beneath your toes. You should run and do sport on the balls of your feet, without your heel touching the ground – it makes you springier and faster. If you’re running heel-first, you’ll hurt your feet and not be very fast. Have you heard the expression “having it away on your toes?”

D: Yes, but I thought it meant having your toes chopped off or something.

Me: Just remember, don’t put your heels down, stay up on your toes and you’ll be faster.

Next day:

D: Mum, it was awesome! I ran along with the fastest person in the class at break time. I don’t know if they were going at their top speed, but I was only a little bit behind. I reckon I’ve gone from the last quickest to the 5th quickest in the class.

Me: Because you were on your toes and able to spring?

D: Yes!

Adding a dimension

December 27, 2015 - Leave a Response

 
Decided to build on my 2D printing knowledge and take our experience to another dimension by experimenting with a 3D printer at home!

This particular printer was chosen because:

  • It was delivered from within the UK
  • Has an entry-level price tag
  • Had photos and videos of it working
  • Had some honest reviews on the website, with what looked to be very responsive web chat support
  • Is a #2 version of the machine which had been reviewed online at technologyoutlet.co.uk

The printer came pretty much ready assembled – it was pretty easy to work out which final pieces to link together.

…Then the ‘how to’ guide was discovered on the tiny memory card (which was a little tricky to insert into the printer).

It was probably easier to assemble by sight anyway as the English on the document wasn’t great, but there were photos included and the set up instructions were important to look at.

We didn’t use enough of the glass bed spray to begin with – the PLA lifted off after a couple of layers of print, but a quick respray followed by a second attempt and we were very impressed with the quality of print from the Wanhao i3 Duplicator.

Time will tell how we go on with it…

2.5hrs is condensed into 33 seconds in this video:

Saving Santa?

December 26, 2015 - Leave a Response

Q’s about Santa this year:
Q: I know I sent him a letter, but… How can Santa still be alive if he’s been around forever?

A: He’s magical.

Q: How can he fly around the world and deliver presents to every house in one night?

A: He’s magical and he has a time machine. He can go wherever he wants whenever he wants.

Q: Why does Santa not freeze to death in the North Pole? 

A: Because he has that big furry jacket, the hat, the boots and the mittens. And he’s magical.

Q: Why do all those guys dress up as fake Santas?

A: Because they’re Santa’s helpers in the run-up to Christmas – Santa needs helpers everywhere to help get people into the Christmas spirit.

Q: How come all the films are different about what Santa does? I mean, how does Santa get down the chimney in everyone’s house?

A: Not every house has that sort of a chimney; so some parents might leave the back door open… And he’s magical and can go where he wants.

Q: Why did I see you putting the presents in my room?

A: You didn’t – you must have dreamt that.

Q: How does Santa get all the presents? They’re not made by him because it says on the packets who they’re made by. Santa can’t just go to the shop and buy things can he?

A: Santa’s magical and can do whatever he wants. He can also go wherever he wants. He’s a saintly being – ‘Saint Nicholas’ is his other name. ‘Santa’ is Italian for ‘Saint’.

Me: Why don’t we put your new music CD on?

D: Which CD?

Me: You know – the new ‘Now’ album I bought you.

D: Oh yes! … You bought me those Santa presents didn’t you? The ‘Now’ CD came with the other reindeer wrapping paper presents.

Identifying a stone

October 9, 2015 - Leave a Response

White stone that glitters in the sunlight – could it be white marble or dolorstone? Dylan carries out an experiment on a stone he found today….

A Million Hands – New Product Design

September 26, 2015 - Leave a Response

Dylan wanted to add a new product to his sweet shop range, after a slight lull in business activity. In line with the ‘A Million Hands’ initiative by The Scout Association, he came up with the following design:

A Million Hands Lolly DesignWe worked on the development of a resistant mould that would accommodate hot, liquid sugar (using silicone sealant, oil and cornflour), and today managed to realise his design into these prototypes:

A Million Hands Lollies and Sherbet

Left to right: Strawberry lolly with fizzy strawberry sherbet; Lemon lolly with fizzy lemon sherbet; Chocolate lolly with fizzy lemon sherbet. We still need to work out the costings..

Keeping those marbles together

August 28, 2015 - Leave a Response

Today Dylan made a bag to keep his marbles in out of an old T-Shirt (I helped a little with the name on the front). 

For a first-time attempt, I thought it deserved an 8 out of 10. Dylan agreed; he thought the drawstring was awesome but the bag could have perhaps been decorated a little more (but not today). We could have also used draw strings at either side for an easier close. 

How to fly a Space Ball

July 3, 2015 - Leave a Response

Dylan shows how to fly a Space Ball from the Science Museum.

Kings, Queens & Great British Stories

June 7, 2015 - Leave a Response

 D: Did you know, we’re going to have a king next? Why do we even need a king and a queen?

Me: Some people like the fact that our country has a king or a queen – it gives us a rich history of true stories.

D: But they’re just normal humans like us, so why should they be a king and queen? Why should they be rulers?

Me: In our country, the monarchy passes the power to the government so that rules are more fair and it’s not just down to the king or queen.

D: And what does Mr Government do?

Me: The government is made up of lots of politicians.

D: I know. But what do they do?

Me: Well, it depends on who has been voted in by the people, but basically they argue with each other lots to decide on what’s best for the country and make lots of rules.

D: But why do we need them to make rules? Why can’t we just do what we want?

Me: Ah, you’re talking about anarchy! If you could do what you wanted what would you do?

D: I’d have a story CD every night until I didn’t want them any more. 

Me: It’s not the government who says you can’t have a story CD every night – it’s me, as your parent.

D: Well I don’t think you should make rules either. I like story CDs! Can I have one tonight?

Building an engine

April 20, 2015 - Leave a Response

This weekend was mostly spent getting rid of dead or broken things in the garden and building an engine!

I was allowed to do most of the ‘fixing it together’ bits for the engine, whilst Dylan watched SpongeBob SquarePants (thank you, Dylan)! But he did help out when it came to the testing.

   

 


Dinosaurs, Primates & Games

April 12, 2015 - Leave a Response

I’ve missed our ‘dining room table activities’. It feels like ages since we last cranked up the music and took some time to share some time. So, this morning we did: art, table tennis (as you do) and, of course, lunch.

  

‘Land of the dinosaurs’ by Dylan Piper

 

‘Transitions’ by Becky Piper

 

Dylan created his first game: ‘Cat & Mouse’ on the Raspberry Pi this afternoon using 16 steps on Scratch. Actually, those few steps did turn into a few more as there was quite a bit of experimentation with the ‘costume’ options and ‘shrink’ sprite tool… Needless to say, he thought it was awesome, before he headed off to play Wormy, Tetromino For Idiots (which he thinks was built by some bully) and Squirrel Eat Squirrel (where he managed to achieve the status of ‘Omega Squirrel’).

Still need to sort out the audio on it though…

We’re rounding off the day with some comedy and Britain’s Got Talent auditions on Catch Up :)

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