Category Archives: niños

Playing to be a paleontologist. (Digging your own Ammonites)

Today things are going about paleontology.

From very tiny I knew what fossils were because in my house there is a small collection. Nothing about showcases or inaccessible sites, there, at the entrance, where you could hand touch and “study” them.

Besides, the garden walls of my house contained small “treasures”. They were merely shells (mostly), but it was fun to inspect one by one in search of a most important finding.

When I was older, my aunt (geologist) took me to a museum and  taught me about many others that I did not know.

And so we come to this.

taco (Large)

It may seem like a piece of sand like any other, but as they say in the movies of our childhood “beauty is on the inside”.

With a little digging work we discover our fossil:

medio (Large)

“Ammonites are an extinct group of marine invertebrate animals in the subclass Ammonoidea of the class Cephalopoda. These molluscsare more closely related to living coleoids (i.e. octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish) than they are to shelled nautiloids such as the living Nautilus species. The earliest ammonites appear during the Devonian, and the last species died out during the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event.

Ammonites are excellent index fossils, and it is often possible to link the rock layer in which a particular species or genus is found to specific geological time periods”

(Wikipedia)

When our daughter grows up, she will have their own treasures to unearth, learn with brush and hand peak and imagine the history of the little bug that that was buried millions of years ago.

am2 (Large)amm1 (Large)

A play and learning tool that will appeal to parents and children, teachers and students … and soon it will be available in our store.

tres (Large)

A pot of fairy dust

Since I heard that Tinker Bell was described by Barrie as a fairy who mended pots and kettles, like an actual tinker, I have more sympathy for her and I admit I’ve seen all his movies almost in one day.

As we all know, Tinker Bell and other fairies need “fairy dust” to fly.

The craft that I propose today is done in a few minutes, the idea came up to me yesterday when I saw a toy of my nieces Angela and Julia (nieces of Miguel) and today I could not resist the temptation to try it.

The toy is a black light flashlight, I think it came with a doll who changes her hair color. In any case, if you don’t find something like that you can buy a black light bulb in a hardware store.

“A black light, also referred to as a UV-A lightWood’s lamp, or simply ultraviolet light, is a lamp which emits long wave (UV-A) ultraviolet light and not much visible light”  (Wikipedia)

We will also need a highlighter pen, I have used a yellow one because it seemed closer to the color of fairy dust, baby oil (really any oil, but baby oil is usually transparent) and of course a clear jar that we like . (It is important that it closes tightly to prevent catastrophes).

material

The fluorescent highlighter ink glows when illuminated with black light, so we will take advantage on that and that water and oil do not mix, so that the ink inside the jar will make very small balls but not just dissolve.

rotuThe only complication we have with this is to extract the ink. As far as I know there are two types of markers. Those with liquid ink in a cartridge which is what I used because it was more concentrated (one Pilot in my case) have difficulty drilling into the cartridge without spilling. I did it with a screwdriver after removing all detachable.

manoThe other case is that of the normal markers, which have an impregnated cotton inside. In that case, all we have to do is put it under the faucet with a bowl underneath to catch the stained water . We can also is to put the cotton directly into the water and squeeze… but I warn you that it’s going to happen something like this in your hands. Well, whatever you do, it will surely occur. As mentioned, water and oil do not mix, so by putting the ink into the jar full of oil will get something like this:

tinta

Shake and ready. We have a jar with floating fairy dust.

tarro

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tarro2

I made a mini video but, in the dark, the effect does not look too good.
I like it better in live.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bItnOZOoYNg[/youtube]

P.S. A side effect that I had not calculated that … Maybe one of our little fairies (or pixies) want to sprinkle a little to fly ….