Let’s talk a bit about a failed science experiment and the fast acting moms of my playgroup that helped turn it around.
My most recent science provocation was dancing raisins. Super cute, fun idea that I got from Buggy and Buddy, one of my go-to resources for science inspirations. I had it all set up, a tray for each family (as there are some families with two children in our group, mine included), with a small cup of raisins, two glass jars (with seltzer on the side to be poured into one jar before taking the tray), a pouring container of tap water and instructions. This gave the mom/child an opportunity to explore the experiment on their own terms, but with some guidelines they could follow.
We started first. I poured seltzer into one container and we talked about what we saw in it, and how cool it was to have fizzy bubbles in water. A couple of raisins were dropped in and we talked about how the bubbles attached to the raisins. Wasn’t that cool?
And then we waited. And waited. And bubbles attached to the raisin, then floated up. And the mom and child next to us had raisins in their fizzy water, and waited, and waited. And another mom and her child had raisins in their fizzy water, waiting. It was all I could do to keep ahold of the attention, shouting randomly out loud, “I think its about to do something!”, until finally, someone’s raisin began to dance!! (just not ours) At that point, interest level at our personal experiment tray was beginning to dissipate faster than the seltzer bubbles. The problem? Our raisins were too plump and juicy, you needed smaller, dried out ones (note to you – buy cheap raisins for this experiment).
However, one of our quick thinking moms, C, quickly brought up – “Hey – any pasta left over from digging up dinosaur bones?” Yes! I pulled out some “dino heads” and watched to see if that would dance (mostly not). And then I pulled out the assorted beans we had used for planting and mosaic making. And some cloves! Pretty soon we had an unappealing soup of dancing food.
So, if you are thinking about going outside of your comfort zone on something, like starting a playgroup, for example. And you worry you might make mistakes. Well, stop worrying. For sure you will. You will make mistakes as you are human. Hopefully you will be surrounded by a room full of generous moms who recognize you are trying, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. But if it wasn’t for the opportunity to make mistakes, you may not have a glass jar full of dancing food. And while not consumable, it was entertaining.