Crack the Norm! Six Egg-citing Egg Drop Experiment Ideas

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Spring is the perfect time to conduct an egg drop lesson with your students. The open-ended nature of the challenge, to build a contraption that prevents a raw egg from breaking when dropped, encourages the use of experimentation, prediction, and analyses to solve a problem—the true nature of science! And, speaking of nature, it’s warm enough to take your class outside to test their contraptions. Plus, egg drop lessons are a natural way to introduce the engineering design process (Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, Improve), as well as demonstrate several key scientific principles including Newton’s First Law (Inertia), motion, velocity, acceleration, and gravity.

There are countless ways to conduct an egg drop experiment. Some contests reward the contraption that protects the most eggs and some require the creation of a contraption to catch a “ naked egg” . The suggestions below are designed with younger kids in mind, and focus on the creation of a contraption to protect a single falling egg. No matter what kind of egg drop experiment you host and whichever contraption you build, be sure to conduct this activity outside, cover the ground around your experimentation zone with trash bags for easy clean up, and have your kids stand back at drop time!

Since younger kids are less familiar with these scientific principles and may not have tried an egg drop before, they’ll need a bit of guidance to ensure a successful experience. You may want to begin by discussing ways to protect eggs, such as commercial egg cartons, parachutes, and trampolines. Ask your students about the merits of the commercial egg carton design—how would they improve upon it? What ideas do they have to protect a falling egg?

Next, check out the six egg-citing egg drop ideas below. Ask your students to predict which option they think will best protect a falling egg and have them explain their reasoning. Now it’s go time! You know your class best, so you can decide whether to simply set the materials out and let your students loose, or provide a set of materials and specific instructions for a more guided experience. Either way, egg drop day is sure to be a smashing success!

Option 1 – Rice Cereal Cushion

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Supplies:

  • 4 Small zipper baggies
  • 1 Large zipper baggie
  • Box of rice cereal

Instructions:

  • 1. Put the egg in a small baggie and surround it with rice cereal
  • 2. Fill the remaining small baggies with rice cereal
  • 3. Place the egg baggie in the center of the large baggie and surround it with the other cereal-filled baggies, so that the egg baggie is cushioned in the center

Ask Your Students:

If the drop was successful: Do you think the egg would have survived if it had been dropped in its single cereal bag (without the box and other bags to cushion it)? Why or why not?

If the drop was not successful: Do you think the egg would have survived if it had been surrounded by more baggies full of cereal? How many more? Might a different cereal have worked better?

Option 2 – Popcorn Ball

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Supplies:

  • Hollow rubber bouncing ball (at least 6” in diameter)
  • Scissors
  • Popped popcorn (or packing peanuts)
  • Duct tape

Instructions:

  • 1. Slice a hole in the rubber ball and place your egg inside
  • 2. Fill the ball with popcorn, making sure the egg is in the center
  • 3. Tape the ball shut with duct tape

Ask Your Students:

Would this experiment have been successful if the ball was full of water instead of popcorn? Why or why not?

Option 3 – Cup Stack Up

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Supplies:

  • 8 Styrofoam cups
  • Duct tape
  • Small rock or paper weight

Instructions:

  • 1. Place the rock or weight in the bottom of one cup and stack six empty cups on top of the weight
  • 2. Place the egg in a cup and add that cup to the stack
  • 3. Place the last cup in the stack and run a strip of tape down both sides of your stack to keep the cups in place

Ask Your Students:

If your drop was successful: Would this experiment have worked with fewer cups? How many or few would it take to protect the egg?

If your drop was not successful: Would more cups have prevented the egg from breaking? How many more?

Option 4 – Panty Hose Sling

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Supplies:

  • 1 Pair nylons (panty hose)
  • 2 Rubber bands
  • Cardboard box
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Duct Tape

Instructions:

  • 1. Cut a leg off of the nylons and insert the egg in the middle.
  • 2. Wrap a rubber band at either side of the egg to keep it from sliding in the hose
  • 3. Place the egg in the center of the box and stretch the hose on either side tightly to the edge of the box, securing with a staple and tape

Ask Your Students:

Would this experiment have been successful if the panty hose you used was twice as long?

Option 5 – Simple Straw Pyramid

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Supplies:

  • 6 Straws (the non-bendy kind!)
  • Duct tape

Instructions:

  • 1. Cut each straw exactly in half
  • 2. Arrange the straws in a triangular pyramid shape (triangle base and sides), taping each corner together
  • 3. Suspend the egg in the center so that the triangular pyramid absorbs the impact

Ask Your Students:

Would this experiment work if you replace the straws with Popsicle sticks? Why or why not?

Option 6 – Advanced Straw Pyramid

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Supplies:

  • Supplies from Option 5 PLUS:
  • 12 More straws (the non-bendy kind)

Instructions:

  • 1. Follow the instructions for Option 5.
  • 2. Tape two of the new straws together, end to end, to make one long straw. Repeat 5 times, until you have 6 super long straws.
  • 3. Tape one super long straw to each edge of the triangular pyramid created in Option 5

Ask Your Students:

Did the addition of the super long straws around the edge make a difference? Why or why not?

Have you conducted egg drop experiments with your students? Which contraptions have worked well for you? Share your experience with your fellow teachers in the comments below.

Sweet Surprises—Seven Unique Easter Basket Ideas

Spring is almost upon us! For many families, that means celebrating Easter, and sharing beautiful Easter baskets. Check out the unique, themed basket ideas, filled with fun things your child will love, below:

Summer

The Eggcellent Adventure Basket

The weather will be warming soon, which means more time outside—hooray! Consider creating a basket packed with outdoor adventure items, including kid-friendly binoculars like our GeoSafari® Jr. Kidnoculars™ and bug collecting tools for younger kids, or Nancy B’s Science Club® Binoculars and GeoSafari® Adventure Pens for older kids. Nestle in a new hat, sunscreen, and data-collecting notebook, and voila!

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The Eggstra Innings Basket

If you’ve got a sports-lovin’ kid on your hands, nothing will score bigger than a sports-themed Easter basket. Include a jersey, tee-shirt, or hat with their favorite team’s logo, a new basketball, football, or soccer ball, and a pump. Got a swimmer? Drop in a fun new towel, bathing suit, and shammy. Be sure to add fun, sports-themed games like Blurt!® Sports, the sports-themed quiz game for kids 10 and up, and round it all out with sunscreen, lip balm, a new water bottle, and a whistle.

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Crack Open a Good Book Basket

Who doesn’t love to see their little one reading? A book-themed basket can be lots of fun, especially if you include a plush version of your kiddo’s favorite literary star, a clip-on reading light, and a fun new bookmark along with a few new books. Our Hot Dots® Tots Interactive Board Books for toddlers and Hot Dots Jr. Famous Fables Interactive Set for slightly older little ones make great, interactive additions to any Easter basket!

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Celebrity Surprise Basket

Pete the Cat® is everyone’s favorite furry feline and no preschooler will be able to resist a Pete the Cat themed Easter Basket! Start with one of the dozens of Pete the Cat books and four different Hot Dots® Jr. Pete the Cat preschool and kindergarten sets. Then, add a Pete the Cat plush doll and an interactive Pete the Cat Puppet-on-a-Stick™ to bring your basket to life!

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April Showers Indoor Games Basket

Roll the dice on a basket of games to surprise your kids on Easter morning! Fill your preschooler’s basket (and practice foundational academic skills) with Hoppy Floppy’s Happy Hunt™ Game; Ready, Set, Woof!™; Crazy Cereal™; and Brownie Match™. Your older kiddo can test his strategic thinking skills with RiddleCube The Game, Even Steven’s Odd!™, and Kanoodle®.Toss in some classic card games (and a card holder for little ones) and put on your game face!

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The Colors of Spring Arts & Crafts Basket

Your crafty kiddo will delight in a basket full of art supplies! Drop in a fresh box of crayons and a doodle pad or coloring book. Then add some bright colors to the mix—three colors to be exact – with our Rainbow Prancers™ Puppet-on-a-Stick™ Markers. These feisty unicorn puppet markers do double duty with beautiful braidable manes and movable muzzles. Round out the creative fun with squishy, squashy sculpting play courtesy of colorful Playfoam®. And don’t forget the fun, decorative extras like pipe cleaners, googly eyes, popsicle sticks, tempera paints, and construction paper.

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Dinos You’ll Dig Basket

Dino-lovers will dig a dinosaur-themed Easter basket and we’ve got you covered! Get rolling (or roaring) with a dinosaur/monster truck mash up from Dino Construction Company™! Then add Dinosaurs Puppet-on-a-Stick™ for pretend play fun; include a touch of archeology courtesy of our GeoSafari® Dino Dig Tyrannosaurus; and introduce a bit of creativity with a Playfoam® Dino Pals Themed Set!

Which of these themes would YOUR sweetie love best? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to share a photo of your EI Easter Basket with hashtag #EducationalInsights.

Instill a Lifelong Love of Reading…

Storytime is almost as much fun for the grown-up reading as it is for the child listening! After all, you’re usually snuggled together, sharing some quiet time, enjoying an exciting story with imaginative illustrations and fun (sometimes new!) language. It’s such a shame when the tale comes to a close that we usually reach for another story, just to keep those good times going! The former teachers, child development experts, and parents at EI know just how you feel, so we put our heads together to come up with some together-time activities designed to extend story time by bringing your child’s favorite books to life. Help cement that lifelong love of reading that serves kids so well with an after-book activity like:

Flipping a Fairy Tale—Together, imagine that the hero or heroine was really the bad guy and the villain was actually good. Talk through ways the story might have played out if roles were reversed!

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Alternate Endings—Did the story end the way your child thought it would? Were there other ways it might have ended? What would have made for a really sad ending? How about a really happy or funny one? Talk it through, together.

Making Story Stones—Collect 6-8, smooth, fist-sized stones and heat them in your oven. Remove them, one at a time, place on a kitchen towel, and use wax crayons to draw a character or prop from the story (careful—they’ll be hot!). Then arrange and rearrange them to shake up the order of events and create your very own versions of the tale!

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Drawing, Painting, or Sculpting Your Favorite Characters—Using an age-appropriate medium like crayons, colored pencils, markers, watercolors, dough, Playfoam®, air-dry or bake-dry clay, recreate your favorite characters from the story. You can even go mixed medium and add button eyes, yarn hair, and fabric clothes.

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Updating the Cover Art—Challenge your child to design his or her own cover for the story by drawing or painting a favorite scene.

Doing an Activity from the Story—Was there something in the story that you or your child would like to try? Why not give it a go? Read The Gingerbread Man, then bake some gingerbread cookies, together. Read The Ugly Duckling, then try ice skating at your local rink, gliding along the ice like beautiful swans.

Trying Once Upon a Craft™—EI’s storybook-meets-craft-kit sets make it easy to bring your child’s favorite tales to life! Each set includes a beautifully-illustrated, fairy tale book to read together and all of the materials you need to complete two story-themed crafts! Complete the crafts and display your work or use them as props for your next telling of the tale.

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There are lots of creative ways to keep the story time vibe alive! Give one of these activities a try and let us know how it goes. Or, if you have a favorite way to bring your kids’ books to life, share it in the comments below!

From Sweaty Palms to Racing Hearts…The Science of Love

Although we’d like to think love is about destiny and soulmates, there’s also a considerable amount of science happening behind the scenes! Check out our amazing infographic to learn a little bit more about the physiological science of love:

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Yup, there seems to be significant science behind falling in love, but we prefer to think it’s all magic and moonlight! What do you think?

Let Them Know You Love Them Even When You’re Not There!

Keep the Valentines love going all month long with these adorable, downloadable, lunchbox love notes! From sweet to silly, they’re a simple way to show you care and remind your children that you’re thinking of them even when you’re not there. Just print, cut, and drop into your child’s lunchbox!

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What are the little things you do each day to let your family know you love them? Let us know in the comments below!