Monday, August 11, 2008

Homemade Hot Air Balloons & Bedford Reservation

Our concoctions and contraptions book has a hot air balloon on the cover, and Taipan asked earlier last week if we could try that one ... we got around to it on Saturday morning.

The idea is to make a five sided box out of tissue paper, fill it with hot air from a blow dryer and wait for it to float up!

Taipan was ready with the glue sticks while I began tracing and cutting out the pattern for the balloon:

Then we glued the sides of the balloon together, and got the blow dryer out.  

And our balloon didn't float :(  We spent some time keeping it in the air with the blow dryer, and tried various methods to get it to work.

Right about this time Yuta and Taisim woke up.  He looked at the pattern in the book and saw that it said "drawn to scale", and we decided that the one I made was probably not big enough, so he made another balloon, this time bigger:

And it still didn't float.  So we thought we'd try to use a candle - maybe that would work better because we wouldn't have to worry about the blow dryer blowing the balloon around:

Still no floating.  I'm not sure what went wrong, but it was fun to give it a try.  Taipan lost interest somewhere during the cutting out of the second balloon ... it became more of a challenge for me and Yuta to try to figure out how to get the balloon to float.  If anyone reading this has any ideas, please tell us.

After the balloon making, we decided to go to a splash fountain in the Bedford Reservation.  I took the kids here last Sunday, and they loved it, so we went again.  The water is freezing cold, which is perfect for Taipan, as he loves cold water.  Yuta said his feet were going numb though.  Here's a picture from last Sunday so you can get an idea of what the fountain is like:

We played in the fountain for a little over an hour, and then walked around the surrounding field to check things out.  We saw a creek, and lots of trees and plants.  

Taipan noticed a big hole in the tree, so we checked that out too.

On the way back to the van, the kids had fun climbing onto and walking along a ledge.

After that we made a stop at PetSmart to get a scratching post for Cooper.  He hasn't really used it .... he doesn't scratch on the carpet or furniture often, but we figured we'd give the post a go.  We'll give it a week or so and if he doesn't use it we'll probably take it back.

When we came home the kids and I made banana bread .... then we ate banana bread.  It was our second batch this week!

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