Saturday, October 15, 2011

It a Pumpkin

Okay so with Halloween right around the corner I thought why not learn about the vegetable we call "Pumpkin".

So I sat down with my lil' pumpkins in front of the computer and did a lil' research/reading. Here are few quick facts we learned about this vegetable. And how the pumpkin carving got started.

Quick Fact:
1. A pumpkin is really a squash. It is a member of the Cucurbita family which includes squash and cucumbers.

2. Pumpkins are grown all over the world on six of the seven continents, with Antarctica being the sole exception. They are even grown in Alaska.

3. The self proclaimed "Pumpkin Capital of the World" is Morton, Illinois where Libby has it's pumpkin industry and plant.

4. Pumpkins are believed to have originated in Central America. Seeds from related plants have been found in Mexico, dating back over 7000 years to 5500 B.C.

The History of Pumpkin Carving
Halloween evolved, in part, from the Celtic tradition of All Hallow's Eve.

Pumpkin carving evolved from the traditions of this annual event. But, it wasn't pumpkins that were being carved in these ancient times. Pumpkins are native to America, and were not known to the Celtic people of Ireland. They carved turnips and rutabagas

So now my kids are so excited they can not wait to go to the store buy a pumpkin and get to carving :)

Happy Halloween Everyone!!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Solar system

So our Solar System is a very interesting topic. I love thinking about all that is out in the universe, real or not ;-)

So I found a little saying to help my oldest and soon youngest learn their planets.

My - Mercury
Very - Venus
Easy - Earth
Method - Mars
Just - Jupiter
Sped - Saturn
Up - Uranus
Naming - Neptune
Planets – Pluto

I had my kids cut out different sized planets, moons, stars, comets, meteorites, rings and a sun. Then I had them place all of the "Solar System" on black poster paper and then glue each one to the paper.

It was pretty fun craft to do. Of course I also went into the educational info a bit. I explained how our solar system is made up of the Sun and everything that orbits it, the nine (eight) planets (Pluto was changed from a planet to ‘The Dwarf Planet’ in 2006. Because it is so small many scientists don’t consider it a planet at all.) moving in elliptical orbits around it. There are also a lot of asteroids (small lumps of rock). Moons orbit the planets. Mercury and Venus are the only planets that do not have any moons. The Sun’s gravity keeps the planets and a variety of other objects, including comets, moving the way they do because of the Sun's orbit.

Of course I am sure I will be explaining this many times in the future. But, all in all, it was a good day!