Posted by : Karen Monday, April 02, 2012

For our final workshop in the first term, I chose to focus on a country: Japan. To begin with we talked about places we'd been to, or that our moms or dads had been to. Then we found Japan on a map, and talked about its flag and the symbolism there - Japan actually means "land of the rising sun". And as Japan forms part of the ring of fire (there is a ring of volcanoes that circle the Pacific Rim due to the nature of plate boundaries), it made sense to me to do some volcanic experiments!

Now, as homeschoolers we do endless ones using bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. This one that my niece told me about uses coke and mint Mentos sweets! 

got to love the wonder!

The kids drew coloured toothpicks to see who would be responsible for what as I only bought three small bottles of coke.With this size coke bottle, we only used half of one sweet per bottle. There's an interesting explanation for the reaction here.
 Warning: to make this work at home, make sure the coke is ROOM TEMPERATURE. It doesn't work at all if the coke comes out of the fridge! I used regular coke not diet or coke zero. And it has to be MINT Mentos sweets.

Then the others who weren't involved in the coke experiment made eyedropper volcanoes inspired by a pin I'd seen for this site:

Then we talked about Children's Day in the far East - an idea I'd often thought about when I was a kid - there was Mother's Day and Father's Day, but what about Children's Day? Turns out that there is a part of the world that does celebrate it  - and because Brent and I had been in South Korea for one, I quickly recalled the crowds of parents and children EVERYWHERE we went on that day!!

 We made Koi Nabori for the kids - fish kites, inspired by this site,(do cross on over, they have loads of nifty ideas!) and they worked beautifully!

Then the highlight of the day - candy sushi! (my inspiration came from these wonderful sites Mommy Knows, Mom Start, Taste of Home and Domestic Charm - but I have one question - how did they get theirs to look so professional??!). But my kids did a mighty fine job and had much fun!

Wonderful wonder!

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