In an ideal world, this wold have been last thursday which was Roald Dahl Day. There will be plenty more opportunities to celebrate l’s favourite author coming up, with Dahl’s birthday on 28th September along with the 30th birthday of the BFG himself. But this rainy sunday, I still wanted to make the most of this week’s opportunity, as well as tailoring our play to L, who spends most of the week in school and so less play time at home.
There are so many amazing creative ideas around these books that i wished I had made this a theme for a birthday party. But I settled on this fantastic and fun science activity of making a dream jar based on a home made lava lamp idea. And sure enough, my little scientist was just as captivated by the science behind it as he was with the BFG story.
First, we mixed water with food colouring and filled as many jars and bottles as we could find, three quaters full of the coloured water. If I had been more organised, we would have had a wider range of colours, but we still managed to create a green phizzwizard, a pleasant orange coloured dream with no name, and a scary black trogglehumper.
Next, we added a glug of oil to each jar (in the instructions I read this was all measured, but we didn’t bother and it didn’t matter). L, predictably, asked why the oil floated, and so I did my best to explain relative density to him whilst N busied herself adding glittery “dream dust” and sparkly stars to the jars. She was very careful in choosing her colours of glitter, deciding which went best with which water, which was a nice colour or a scary colour etc etc.
then came the exc iting bit, which was to add salt to the jars. The salt forms a bubble with the oil which sinks to the bottom of the jar, then rises again as the salt dissolves. here are some of the results:
L’s reaction to all of this was pure joy. The last time I saw him so excited was when we went on a plane to visit Grandma and Grandpa. I wish I’d been able to capture his wonder on camera, but the cry of “Wow, Mummy, it’s amazing, it’s magic!” will definitely stay with me! This makes me think he is ready for a science kit.
he was inspired by thisd, and the link with his all time favourite story, to make a BFG dream trumpet, designed by his very own self. This really pleased me, since he is so hesitant to be independently creative, since he fears getting things wrong, and I have really been trying to develop his confidence and creative side recently. So when he decided “we need a tube, and a cone to stick together” then that’s what we did!
L’s enthusiasm was spilling over, and the hardest part for me was containing his exuberance as he acted out the dream-catching scene from the film of the BFG, leaping of furniture, chasing N around the room, blowing dreams enthusiastically at all of us! he did blow dreams very gently to baby F, who also seemed to enjoy wtaching the light shine through our dream jars when we lined them up on the table with a lamp behind them. L very thoughtfully mixed a princess dream for N, and blew it into her room ready for bedtime.
All this fun did mean that we didn’t have time to make the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory play dough that
I am desperate to make I think the children would love. but L did tell me that he wants to play Charlie and the Chocolate Factory next, leaving a convenient opening for Dahl’s birthday in a couple of weeks’ time!