When I first started piling things on the bottom steps, it was simply because I was sick of running up the stairs every time I found something that really belonged in one of the rooms on our second floor. The hope was that anyone — anyone besides me — would see something that belonged to them on the way up the steps, grab it, and carry it to its rightful place in the house. Anyone who has kids knows this was wishful thinking on my part. Stacking my daughter’s things on the lowest steps has not made our house any cleaner or made her any more likely to put things away.
It has, however, become a sort of litmus test for what really interests her. Take, for example, what happened when I placed Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments on the bottom step. Written by my pal and former Babble.com co-worker Mike Adamick, the book had just arrived in the mail, and I hoped it would pique the interest of an 8-year-old who is always begging us to do more “projects” with her. I didn’t, however, have a chance to say anything to her before the book disappeared completely.
The stack of items on which it had been sitting was still sitting on the bottom step, but the book itself, was gone.
I’d find it — days later, of course — splayed open on the desk in her room. Yes, it was clear we had a winner on our hands.
Not that I was terribly surprised. We made quick work of Mike’s first book — Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects — which takes you past macaroni necklaces and into a more Macgyver-esque world of crafting with kids.
But where craft projects are satisfying for what they create, science experiments are more appealing (for kids and adults alike) for the whys of creation. That’s what Mike has managed to give kids in this book — a look not only at how to turn some mashed up spinach leaves into a walk through the autumnal process of leaf colorization or how to get an egg to pop up out of a bottle without squeezing — but some kid-friendly, right-on-their-level explanations of the mysteries of the universe.
He doesn’t talk down to them (or to parents, I should note), but makes them feel like they’re part of the magic.
And it doesn’t hurt that he’s managed to improve on the awesomeness that is making a bottle of soda explode with some Mentos.
Sound like a whole lot of fun? Well, you’re in luck, because I’ve got a copy of Dad’s Awesome Book of Science Experiments to give away to one Inside Out Motherhood reader. You know what to do:
Have you “liked” Inside Out Motherhood on Facebook yet?