Friday, June 23, 2017

Unschooling with Baking

Baking Kids Love bu Cindy Mushet

Before vacation, I picked up the book Baking Kids Love by Cindy Mushat at a Scholastic Warehouse sale. Elisabeth has expressed an interest in baking for some time and I thought this recipe book might be a good one for her (and me). I have tried to let her help me bake in the past, but when it is my project that I plan to serve to others I have a hard time giving up control. Getting this book does seem to have solved that issue and I was able to be much more hands off and let her just do it. Elisabeth picked out a recipe from the book and helped purchase the necessary ingredients. I was pleased to see her follow the recipe and get to the end product with only minor help and supervision from me.  
Baking, after all, is a great unschooling activity. I'm glad I found a way step back and encourage interest. 

  • read the recipe
  • learned that 1/2 cup plus 1/2 cup equals 1 cup 
  • learned what 1 1/4 cup means
  • learned how to use a mixer including how to insert and remove the beaters
  • learned to distinguish tablespoon (tbsp) from teaspoon (tsp)

Milk Chocolate and Toffee Bars

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Death Valley: The Hottest Place on Earth

Temperature reading at Furnace Creek Visitor Center in Death Valley
The highest temperature ever recorded in the world was in Death Valley on July 10, 1913 at a whopping 134 degrees. During the late afternoon of our first day in Death Valley National Park, the temperature at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center read 112 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park
There are a few reasons why Death Valley experiences such extreme temperatures. The most obvious reason though is the elevation. On our second day in Death Valley we visited the Badwater Basin at 282 feet below sea level which is not only the lowest point in the valley but the lowest point in North America. It wasn't 134 degrees on our visit but it was oppressively hot by the time we got there around noon. Signs throughout the park warn agains walking after 10 a.m. and they aren't kidding. 

Salt Flats at Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park

Monday, June 19, 2017

Museum of Natural Curiosity

The Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point is probably the most elaborate, amazing kid's museum that I have ever seen. The fact that I didn't see many pictures or a map on the website set me up for quite a surprise during our afternoon visit.

The Rainforest is essentially a giant playground 3 stories high that is robust enough for adults to traverse. 

Above the Rainforest there is a Ropes Course built into the rafter area where I espied this kid going along all by himself which did cause me a certain amount of angst.

Then there is the Kidopolis which is a very elaborate kids town filled with rooms dedicated to different themes: a laundromat, a 2-story library, a magicians shop, and a community theater to name a few. Jonah changed the Kiosk on the theatre to read "LEGO Batman."

There is also a huge Water Works section and many nooks and crannies inside that I did not photograph.

Outside is a huge Discovery Garden complete with faux caves that imitate the nearby Timpanogos Cave National Monument, as well as a goldfish pond and several play areas not pictured.

These pictures do not do this place justice by any means. If you have kids and are in the Salt Lake City area, this place should be high on the priority list. 

With the ASTC Travel Passport Program, we saved $39 on admission. However, I would say this place is worth paying the fee if you plan on staying a few hours. This was our second stop for the day after the Museum of Ancient Life so we only stayed a couple of hours.