Try It!

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Rainbow Gravity Spinner

Free materials for this Take and Make, for ages 5-12, are available starting today at area PPLD libraries. For more pictures of this project, click on the pdf link included at the end.

Materials and Directions:

Materials we provide:
Circle Template
Large Paper Clip
Large Straw
Materials you provide:
Scissors
Tape
Markers

1. Color the sections of the circle template with rainbow colors.

2. Cut the circle out. Also cut on the lines between each color, stopping about ½” from the center. Fold flaps down.

3. Straighten the paper clip and then fold a small part of one end down to a 90 degree angle. Carefully poke the paper clip through the center of the circle and tape the small folded part to the colored side.

4. Bend the other end of the paper clip so it can be inserted in the straw and stay secure. Cut the length of the straw in half.

5. To fly your spinner, hold it between your palms with the circle at the top. Roll it quickly and let go. It should spin and float. The colors will blend as it flies. It may take some practice.

It’s time to get creative!

The Homeschool Art Show returns in April, giving local homeschoolers a chance to share art with the community.

Homeschoolers, grades K - 12, can submit one artwork (drawing, painting, sculpture, needlework, etc.) for this non-juried exhibit.
Choose a favorite piece and submit your art at the East Library Children’s Department between March 20 - March 30, 2023!

Artwork will be displayed at East Library throughout the month of April.

If you have any questions, please contact jfleishhacker@ppld.org.

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harmonica

Materials for this Take and Make will be available at area PPLD libraries, beginning Feb. 10, 2023.

Supplies and Directions:

For additional pictures of this project, click on the pdf file link below.)

Jumbo craft sticks (2)

A wide rubberband

Two smaller rubber bands

A straw

You provide the scissors.

1. Cut two pieces of straw that are 1 – 1 .5 inches long.

2. Stretch the thick rubber band around one of the craft sticks.  Place one of the straws under the rubber band.
3. Put the other craft stick on top and attach them with one of the small rubberband on the same end as the straw.

4. Stick the other piece of straw at the other end of the harmonica, but this time place it on top of the wide rubber band.  Secure the end with the second small rubber band.

5. To play the harmonica, all you have to do is blow.  Our younger kids were wanting to hum into it at first, but then they got the hang of it.

It makes a really cool noise!  When you blow, the wide rubber band vibrates and makes a sound.
To change the pitch, slide the straws closer together or farther apart.  When you slide them closer together, the section of rubber band that is vibrating is shorter, so it makes a higher sound. Slide the straws all the way to the edges to get the lowest possible sound (which is still pretty high, but lower).

Make it an experiment!

Does the thickness or the tension of the wide rubber band affect the pitch?  Try different ones.

Can you change the pitch by blowing harder or softer?  Does the shape of your mouth affect the pitch? (Yes, it does! One of my boys figured out how to play a song by blowing different ways.)

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calderart

Take and Makes for this project, for ages 5-12, will be available at PPLD locations beginning Friday, January 13, 2023.


Supplies and Directions:


Materials we provide:

Colored Cardstock

Stickers

Materials you provide:

Scissors

Markers, crayons, or colored pencils

Alexander Calder was an American sculpture known for his colorful giant sculptures . See some examples of Calder's work in the pdf link below.
Directions:
1. Take a cardstock rectangle. Decorate it with markers, crayons, or colored pencils if desired.

2. Fold it in half.

3. Make cuts similar to those in the picture that almost reach the fold.

4. Unfold.

5. If desired, use colored stickers to decorate.

6. Fold, alternating folding one toward the back and the next toward the front. Alternate this way to allow your sculpture to stand. (For example, the right side would be back, front, back, front, etc. and the left side would be front, back, front, back, etc.)

Get creative with your cutting to create additional amazing sculptures!

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spoolracer

Free materials for this Take and Make will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning Dec. 9, 2023.

Materials provided:
Spool
Washer
Rubber Band
Toothpicks
Materials you provide:
Scissors
Tape
Markers, if desired
Directions: (see additional pictures in the pdf link below)
1. Use markers to decorate the spool, if desired.
2. Push the rubber band through the center of the spool. Use a toothpick to help poke it through if needed.
3. Break a toothpick, slide it through one rubber band loop, and secure it to the spool with tape.
4. Slide the washer onto the rubber band loop at the other end of the spool.
5. Insert a toothpick through the loop.
6. Wind the toothpick.
7. Set it down on a smooth surface and let go. Watch it race or spin!
8. Experiment with how you can adjust it to make it go straighter or farther. You can also race your friends.

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depth perception

How does your brain understand how far away something is? This experiment shows how your eyes work together to perceive distance.

Our eyes both face the same direction. Because they do, they produce slightly different views of the same object. Our brains are able to use this overlapping information (retinal disparity) to figure out how far away an object is. (If our eyes were on the sides of our heads like some animals, we would have poor depth perception.)

Try this: Close one eye and focus on a nearby object. Switch which eye is open and focus on the object again. You should see the object shift. Try it again with a faraway object. When you use just one eye, your brain can’t use feedback from both eyes to discern depth perception.

Materials needed:
Pipe cleaners – use half for each
Clay
Scissors
Pencils

Instructions:
1. Cut your full pipe cleaner in half. Use ½ pipe cleaner for each.
2. Bend the end of a pipe cleaner so you have a circle that’s slightly bigger than a pencil. Twist it to secure.
3. Use a bit of clay to make a stand for the pipe cleaner.
4. Make 2 more pipe cleaner stands with slightly bigger circles. You should have 3 pipe cleaners on stands.
5. Test your depth perception – Place the pipe cleaner with the largest opening on a table in front of you so you cannot see the opening. Close one eye and try to put the pencil through the hole. Try it again with both eyes open. Which is easier? Try it with each sized hole and see the difference.
6. If this is too easy, try getting a needle and thread and threading the needle with one eye closed!

Based on: https://www.kiwico.com/diy/stem/anatomy-biology/seeing-depth-perception

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spinner

Take and Makes for this project will be available at area PPLD libraries on Oct. 14, 2022.

Supplies and Directions:

Materials we provide:

Paper Templates

Cardboard

Materials you provide:

Scissors

Penny

Glue

Markers, Crayons, or Colored Pencils

Directions:

Color your template. Glue the template to the cardboard. Cut out around your template.

Cut a small slit in the center of the circle to insert the penny. The slit needs to snugly hold the penny.

Spin. As it spins, note what you see.

The Science Behind it: Something in motion stays in motion unless a force acts upon it. In Penny Spinners, the friction between the penny and the surface slows it down and eventually causes it to stop. This project also shows color mixing as the colors combine when the spinner spins.

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leaf

Take and Makes for this project, for ages 5-12, will be available at area PPLD libraries, beginning Sept. 9, 2022.

Supplies:

We provide:
Coffee Filters

Washable Markers

Leaf Template

Materials you provide:

Scissors

Cup of Water

Pencil

Directions:
(See pdf link below for additional pictures of this project.)

1. Stack your coffee filters. Use the template to trace a leaf on the top one. (If you’d prefer, just draw your own leaf.) Cut the leaves out through all the coffee filters.

2. Use a washable marker to draw a thick circle in the center of each coffee filter leaf. Do not fill in the center of the circle or color the entire leaf.

3. Fold the leaf 3 times (in half, in half again, and in half again). You should have a point in the middle of your circle.

4. Carefully dip the point of the leaf in the cup of water and hold it there until the leaf is saturated. It may need a minute or so. You will probably want a new cup of water for each leaf.

5. Let the leaves dry on a surface that can get color on it. Once they are dry, carefully unfold them.

This STEM project is a favorite from our quarantine days of virtual programming.

Supplies:

Large jar (24 oz. spaghetti sauce jar or a large mason jar)
Water - 2 1/2 cups water (or until it reaches 3/4 of the way up the jar)
Oil - 1/2 cup
Sprinkle in as much salt as necessary but you'd need about 1/4 cup total
Food coloring (optional)

Directions:

Pour water 3/4 to the top of a mason jar. Stir in optional food coloring.
Pour oil into jar. Allow water and oil to separate.
Sprinkle salt into jar. Watch the reaction occur and make observations.
Watch this project at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3qhs9SW-RA

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sharkgame

Shark Week begins July 24. Here's a preview into our cool shark game Take and Make, for ages 5-12, which will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning July 8, 2022.

Supplies and Directions:

Materials provided in Take and Make:

  • Paper Tube
  • Blue paper
  • Googly Eye Stickers
  • Yarn
  • Bead

Materials you provide:

  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Markers
  1. Tape blue construction paper around the paper roll.
  2. Create and tape a triangular fin to the top.
  3. Decorate the roll at one end to look like a shark with its mouth open. Use the sticker eyes if desired.
  4. Push one end of the yarn through the bead and tie a double knot. You may need to use a pencil to push the yarn through.
  5. Tie a double knot around the paper roll. Leave approximately 6-8 inches for the ball to swing on. Cut off any excess yarn.
  6. Gently swing the ball and see if you can catch it in the shark’s mouth! Gentle swings are the key!

Supplies:

Clean, clear jar with lid
Thin glow stick
Scissors
Table covering or tray
Glitter (optional)
Directions:

With a grown-up's help, cut the tip off the glow stick.
Place the open end of the glow stick in the jar and shake it back and forth so that it splatters. Turn the jar as you splatter.
Add a small pinch of glitter, sprinkling onto the sides of the jar where the splatters are.
Cover with lid and take into a very dark room.
Fireflies are not flies but beetles and do exist in Colorado! They hang out by permanent water sources like ponds, lakes, and streams. Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/LRNWJVQRFYw

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FileFolderAirplane

Take and Makes for this project, for ages 5-12, will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning this Friday, June 10, 2022.

Supplies and Directions:

Materials We Provide:

File Folder

Origami Paper

Rubber Band

Materials You Provide:

Stapler

Scissors

Ruler

Pencil
Directions: (for additional pictures, see pdf link below:
1. Draw a rectangle along the fold of your file folder that’s approximately 4.5 x 7 inches. The folded edge should be part of your rectangle. Cut it out, but don’t cut the folded edge. When you open your rectangle, it should be about 9 inches x 7 inches.

2. Fold one side down to the folded edge. Turn the folder over and do the same to the other side.

3. Fold each side back up to the top. Crease well.

4. Open the folder up along the original fold. Staple the rubber band to one end near that center fold.

5. Use the origami paper to fold a classic dart airplane.

6. Stretch the rubber band around the front of the launcher and around to the back. Hook it to the back near the top.

7. Slide the airplane into the center slot of the file folder launcher. It should rest all the way back against the rubber band.
8. Pull the sides of the launcher apart. The rubber band should propel the airplane forward!

To expand this project, experiment with different weights of paper for your airplane, different rubber band thicknesses, and different launcher lengths. You could also change the trajectory to see how the distance traveled changes.

Based on: https://frugalfun4boys.com/file-folder-paper-airplane-launcher

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suncatcher

Take and Makes for this project (from May 13, 2022) may still be available at area PPLD Libraries!

Supplies and Directions:

Materials we provide:

  • Paper plate
  • Contact paper
  • Yarn

Materials you provide:

  • Natural materials
  • Scissors

Directions:

  1. Go outside and pick up a variety of natural materials.
  2. Cut out the center circle of your plate.
  3. Peel the backing off your contact paper.
  4. Place your contact paper sticky side up on your surface.
  5. Place the outside plate circle over the contact paper.
  6. Arrange your natural materials on the sticky side of your contact paper.
  7. Use the yarn to hang your suncatcher.

Based on https://handsonaswegrow.com/craft-for-toddlers-nature-collage-suncatche…

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water balloon parachute

Can your water balloons survive a big drop? Find out with this experiment.

Supplies and Directions:

  • One balloon
  • Water
  • One plastic shopping bag
  • One rubber band

Directions:

  1. Add water to your balloon, don't fill the balloon, leave lots of room to tie the balloon closed.
  2. Cut the ends of the handles of the bags. Tie or rubber band them to the knotted end of a water balloon
  3. Go outside and drop it from a high place to see if it breaks when it lands.
  4. Test and retest until your balloon breaks.
  5. Try it again with another balloon.
  6. See what else you can attach to your parachute and let drop.
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trashart

Happy Earth Month!
Does your family recycle? There are tons of companies in town that recycle. Maybe you could encourage your family to join in this simple process but yes, it's does cost something. Try cleaning and saving some plastics with caps and cardboard and other stuff. Make a Trash Art creation!

Did you know you can't just recycle anything? According to one recycle business in town, here's what you can/cannot recycle:

Do Recycle:
CLEAN glass jars and metal lids (but not all companies accept glass)
CLEAN plastic bottles and containers. Look for the recycle symbol with a #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7.
Flattened cardboard cereal and other dry food boxes, shoe boxes, tissue boxes, moving boxes, soda cartons, TP/paper rolls
CLEAN aluminum, steel, or tin cans and lids
Newspaper, scrap paper, paper bags, index cards, envelopes

Do NOT recycle:
Styrofoam
dirty cardboard like pizza boxes
electronic devices and monitors
yard waste
shredded paper
plastic bags
plastic caps unless there is a recycle symbol on it
food
dishes
paint cans
motor oil containers

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dog toy

Supplies and Directions:

Supplies:

All you need is three long strips of fleece and scissors.

Directions:

  1. Trim your pieces of fleece so you have three pieces that are each 2 in. wide by 2 ft. long.
  2. Take your three pieces of fleece and tie them together at one end.
  3. Braid the three pieces together.
  4. Tie them together in a knot at the other end.
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leftover art sculpture

Do you have some leftover art pieces sitting around? Make new art by cutting past art into pieces and creating new art.

Supplies and Directions:

  • Past art that can be cut into pieces (get permission first)
  • Cereal box cut into pieces or index cards
  • Glue
  1. Cut art and glue onto index card or piece of cereal box cardboard. (Watercolor paper is strong enough to stand on its own). Let glued pieces dry.
  2. Using one art piece as the base of your sculpture, plan how you'd like to arrange the other pieces sitting on top of the base art piece.
  3. With an adult's help, if needed, cut slits into the art pieces and arrange into a sculpture. You may have to glue some corners and sides for strength, it's up to you.
  4. Get creative and show off your new leftover art sculpture!
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wind sock

Take and Makes for this project will be available at area PPLD libraries, beginning Friday, March 11, 2022.

Materials and Directions

Materials we provide:

  • Colored Paper
  • Stickers
  • Ribbon or yarn

Materials you provide:

  • Tape or stapler
  • Crayons or markers

Directions:

  1. Color one side of your paper if desired. Apply stickers to the same side.
  2. Roll the paper into a tube with your decorations facing the outside.
  3. Use tape or a stapler to fasten the short edges of your tube together.
  4. One end of the tube has multiple holes punched in it. Tie ribbons or yarn through each of the holes.
  5. The other end of the tube has just 2 holes. Tie one ribbon through those holes to allow it to hang.
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rain

Try this easy experiment with the help of an adult.

Supplies and Directions:

Supplies:

  • Bowl
  • Large glass jar
  • Plate
  • 12 ice cubes
  • Water
  • Microwave

Directions:

  1. Fill the bowl with water and heat it up in the microwave for about 3 minutes. It doesn’t have to boil. CAREFUL – the bowl will be hot.
  2. Pour the water into the large glass jar and cover it with a dinner plate.
  3. Let the plate-covered jar sit about a minute, then put 12 ice cubes onto the plate.
  4. Watch what happens. It will rain inside the jar!

Watch this project from a year ago at https://youtu.be/nNIaTK7sFgA?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu

Supplies and Directions:

Supplies:

  • A bendy pencil or a straight one will do
  • Feathers
  • A Mad Lib (there is a Mad Lib example seen on the video link above, or make up your own)
  • Glue (preferably a liquid glue like Elmer's)
  • Pencil sharpener

Directions:

  1. Glue your feathers to the erasure side of the pencil.
  2. Add a little pressure to the feathers around the pencil. This will help keep them in place.
  3. Wait for the glue to dry
  4. Use your Truffula Tree pencil to create a silly story using the Mad Lib! Try not to read the story until you've filled out all the blank spaces. You might need help from a grownup with this.
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straw propeller

Take and Makes for this project, for ages 5-12, will be available beginning Friday, Feb. 11, 2022. Learn about air pressure with this simple experiment! You can also find more step-by-step pictures in the pdf link provided below.

Supplies and Directions:

Materials we provide:

  • 2 large straws
  • 1 skinny straw

Materials you provide:

  • Scissors
  • Tape

Directions:

  1. Use the scissors to cut 2 diamond shaped holes in your skinny straw. Do this by folding the straw in 2 separate places and cutting a triangle. The holes should be in a line on the straw.
  2. Tape one end of the skinny straw closed so that no air will escape when you blow into it.
  3. Bend one of the large straws in half and cut a diagonal hole on each side of the straw.
  4. Squeeze this straw flat and tape the ends closed. The hole should line up with your work surface. If you hold your straw up to look through the holes, the taped ends should be up and down.
  5. Cut notches in the ends of the large straw. The cut should be at the top of one end and at the bottom of the other.
  6. Slide your skinny straw through the holes in the large straw. You might want to place a piece of tape to keep the straw in place over a hole in the skinny straw while still allowing it to rotate freely.
  7. Repeat the process with the other large straw.
  8. Blow into the open end of the skinny straw and watch things twirl. If your straws don’t twirl freely, you might need to adjust the size of the holes.

Supplies:

  • Half a cardboard egg carton
  • Scrap pieces of newspaper or other paper
  • Tape: masking tape, or painter's tape, or scotch tape
  • 7 rubber bands
  • Plastic spoon
  • Pompoms or cotton balls or mini marshmallows
  • Various clean containers

Directions:

  1. Stuff each section of the egg carton with balled up newspaper.
  2. Close the lid and secure with 2 rubber bands, placed around the body of the carton.
  3. Wrap 2 more rubber bands horizontally around the carton, just below where the lid closes.
  4. Tape a rubber band to the handle of the spoon by attaching a long piece of tape to one side of the handle and inserting a rubber band before attaching the tape to the back of the spoon.
  5. Tuck the handle of the spoon under the rubber bands that were attached horizontally around the carton. The scoop part of the spoon should be facing away from the egg carton.
  6. Stretch the rubber band that's attached to the spoon up and over the spoon and around the back of the carton.
  7. Wrap 2 more rubber bands around the body of the carton so there are 4 rubber bands around the carton helping to keep it closed.
  8. Place a cotton ball in the spoon and shoot!. Place clean containers where you can aim your cotton ball.

To watch the project, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4o4eC5E_Qs

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puffy paint

Supplies and Directions

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2-4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Ziploc bags
  1. Mix 1 cup flour, 3-4 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and enough water to make a dough the consistency of pancake batter.
  2. Divide your dough into ziploc bags. (Snack sized ones are ideal!)
  3. Add food coloring to each bag and squish to make the color you like. Squish carefully as to not pop the bag. The mixing could take several minutes.
  4. Snip a tiny piece of the corner and squeeze the paint out the bag through the hole to paint on a piece of paper.
  5. After painting, pop the paper in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. The paints will set and become more solid.
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food

Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/r6SIFnnWVrU

Supplies and Directions:

  • potato masher
  • funnel
  • 2 small ripe bananas
  • 1 plain biscuit
  • 2 empty bowls
  • 30 ml or 2 T. orange juice
  • 30 ml or 2 T. water
  • red and green food coloring (optional)
  • Ziploc bag
  • one leg from a pair of old tights
  • tray or plate
  • scissors
  1. Place a biscuit and banana into an empty bowl and gently crush with a potato masher. (This represents food being chewed).
  2. Pour the crushed biscuit and banana into an empty Ziploc bag. Add 2 tablespoons of water. (The water represents saliva).
  3. Pour 2 tablespoons of orange juice (stomach acid) into the bag and tightly seal it, making sure there is no air left inside.
  4. Squeeze the bag for about a minute, further crushing up the biscuit and banana. (This represents the stomach breaking down the food).
  5. After about a minute of squeezing, the contents of the bag should feel like a thick liquid. CAREFULLY, cut a small a small hole in the corner of the bag and squeeze the contents into the open leg of the tights. (The tights represent the small intestines).
  6. Add one or two drops of red and green food coloring into the tights. (The red food coloring represents dead red blood cells and the green represents bile that is released by the liver.).
  7. Carefully holding the tights over a tray or bowl, gently squeeze out the liquid. (The liquid is the nutrients that your body absorbs and uses!)
  8. What is left behind… is Poop!

Photo by Sam Moqadam on Unsplash

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ice lantern

Take and Makes for this project will be available at area PPLD libraries starting Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. Watch this project (a favorite from last winter) at: https://youtu.be/1spsamOSMtg?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu/

Supplies:

  • Plastic cups in 2 sizes
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Pompoms and other doodads or baubles or other items of your choice
  • Battery operated tea light candle
  • Tape
  • Water
  • Freezer
  • Paper towel
  • Additional baubles or doodads
  • Weights, like rocks

Directions:

This is an engineering challenge! For more step-by-step pictures of project, open pdf link below.

  1. Twist your pipe cleaners up the inside of the larger cup.
  2. Slide the smaller cup inside with the pipe cleaners in between the large and small cups.
  3. Carefully push pompoms and/or other baubles or doodads between the 2 cups also.
  4. With the tops of the cups even, crisscross two pieces of tape across the top of the cups.
  5. Placing cups on a paper towel, gently fill the larger cup with water until it’s about 1 inch from the top. You do not want water to go into the smaller cup. You may need to add something to weigh down the smaller cup.
  6. Place in the freezer until it’s frozen solid. This could take about 5 hours.
  7. Observe your creation! You may notice that the smaller cup is higher as is the water/ice level. This is a great illustration of how water expands as it changes states from a liquid to a solid.
  8. Remove from freezer and let sit about 10 mins., carefully remove the smaller cup (and tape). Then remove the larger cup. You may need to cut the cups off.
  9. Turn on the battery operated candle and place it in the center of your lantern. Put your lantern outside to admire!

Based on https://www.steampoweredfamily.com/activities/engineering-ice-lantern-s…