Our home turned into a biodegradable plastic factory for one day

Simon found the recipe in one of his chemistry booklets. We have used potato starch, vinegar, glycerine, food coloring and water. The most fun piece was the little blue squashy blob you can throw with and squeeze in your hands.

And getting starch all over yourself afterwards was fun too!



Got second-hand LittleBits last night!

Simon was up to a new challenge and spent the whole day building circuits. Even during his Chinese lesson. We managed to finish 5 projects today:

Spin Roller


Bubble Bot


Breezy Buddy (a fan)

Bit Bot

Rotolamp (a disco lamp with a remote control to change it’s spinning speed)

Simon was doing most of the work himself (reading the instructions in English, assembling the circuits, pressing them on motherboards). The pressing bit required some help sometimes as well as securing the wires with tape. I made the paper templates, which Neva helped decorate.

She also made this cute evening video of the Rotolamp herself (she is singing a Russian lullaby, with modified lyrics):

Colours are Math Too

The last couple of days have been dominated by the colours theme, that eventually ended up expressed in fractions (of how to mix the primary colours as in paints or the primary colours as in RGB light waves). In the artwork-like chart above Simon got all the shades by mixing the three primary colours. On the pictures with plastic cups he was trying to design a colour ‘genealogical tree’.

The tall beer glass has liquids of different density in it that don’t mix. He also experimented with different temperatures of water to see if the paints dissolve better in hot water. The straps of paper towel with colourful flames on them are the result of deconstructing felt pen inks. The next hypothesis (expressed here in fractions) that any colour can be created by simply adding up the necessary amount of the primary colours was experimentally tested as well. The last illustration is a scan of a text he wrote this morning (using nothing but his memory as resource) explaining how a human eye works and how the RGB light waves mix.

Kleuren mengen breukenRGB en grijstinten uitleg Mei 2016

We have also watched a cartoon about the Indigofera and why there is so little blue in organic substances, experimented with trying to see infrared light (through a mobile phone camera) and read about how tiny the visible spectrum is. Simon’s maths teacher told him about how the same three RGB colours make up the three quarks in a proton!