One year. Wow! It is quite difficult to believe that a year has passed since I posted my first blog entry. Throughout that year, my blog has served as a reflection of my hectic schedule. When life had been just ducky, my blog posts were frequent and overflowing with activities. However, as I am sure you are aware, spare time is a fluid entity—Some months I had enough, some months, well, not so much. It seems as if my spare time since the end of January has disappeared along with the frigid temps of the winter. Therefore, my blog posts have become less frequent.
Last week, however, I did manage to devote some time to an afternoon of fun with a friend by visiting a 40 foot tall (YES, I did say 40 foot tall) rubber duck that casually bobbed up and down in the Hague in front of the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Virginia. My friend and I were not alone. There was a school group, a gathering of locals, curious out-of-towners, even a group of folks dressed up like the Statue of Liberty—all with cameras in hand.
Up until then, I had some trouble coming up with a special topic for my 1 year anniversary blog post. When I saw the giant rubber duck, however, my problem was solved. After all, who doesn’t love a rubber duck?!
First, a little background on the giant rubber duck—
The giant 40 foot rubber duck was created by the talented and outside-the-box pioneer Florentijn Hofman. He crafted his piece of whimsy in 2007. Since its first appearance in the Netherlands (Hofman’s home), the duck has traveled the world. To date, the duck has only appeared in 2 U.S. cities—Pittsburgh, PA and Norfolk, VA.
Hofman’s creation depicts our connection to each other (After all, ducks do float on water—which flows from city to city, country to country, and continent to continent) as well as inspires a sense of joy and return to childhood.
So, as Hofman intended, I decided that it’s time for some rubber ducky fun!
Given the enormous size of the duck, I decided to create an activity that focuses on size comparison. Rubber ducks in various sizes can be used to compare sizes, discover and discuss the concept of water displacement, and discover and discuss the buoyancy of an object (i.e. A duck filled with air should float. What will a duck filled with water do?)
A Rubber Duck CAN Float—But What If It Doesn’t?
This easy-to-complete activity demonstrates the concept of buoyancy and water displacement as a way of identifying the volume of an irregularly shaped object.
Rubber ducks in various sizes
A bowl large enough to cover the largest duck with water
A crayon or wax marker
Printout of ducks
2 water balloons—one filled with water, one filled with airAdhesive dots
Directions:1. Show the ducks to the children. Discuss how they are different (size, shape, etc.).
2. Place the ducks in order from smallest to largest.
3. Place a piece of tape to cover any holes in the ducks to keep water from seeping inside when they are immersed in water.
4. Add water to the bowl, leaving at least 1 inch unfilled.
5. Use the crayon or wax marker to mark the water line on the bowl.
6. Beginning with the smallest duck, hold the duck upside down and push it into the water. Observe how the water level changes. If possible, use the crayon to mark the level of water on the side of the bowl.
Hint: for the smallest duck, there will be little observable change.
7. Repeat for each duck, marking the side of the bowl when each duck is immersed in the water.
8. Discuss why it was hard to see the change in the water level when the small duck was under the water, but much easier to see the change when the large duck was under the water.
9. Show the picture of Florentijn Hofman’s duck to the children. Discuss how much water would be displaced (spilled) if that duck was pushed into the water. (See Link Above)
10. Discuss why the ducks had to be pushed into the water (The ducks are filled with air). Use the 2 water balloons to demonstrate by placing them into the bowl of water. The balloon filled with air will float. The balloon filled with water will sink.
Use the printout of the ducks to demonstrate the concepts of area and size comparison. Use the dot stickers to cover the ducks as much as possible without overlapping the dots. Count how many dots it takes to cover each duck. Discuss how many dots it would take to cover Hofman’s duck.
Use your imagination and create an afternoon of learning fun with your little ones—rubber ducky style!
In celebration of the first anniversary of my blog, I’m hosting a very special giveaway. This giveaway includes a numbered and signed rubber duck designed by Florentijn Hofman and a $20.00 Amazon gift card to purchase your own set of ducks (The other ducks pictured came from Amazon) or any other treat that you could use for some fun activities with the kiddos.
*This giveaway will include a signed and numbered souvenir rubber duck (a $22.00 value) from the Chrysler Museum and a $20.00 Amazon gift card sent via email to the winner. The registration will last from the posting of this blog post until midnight, June 13, 2014. One winner will be randomly selected from all entries. The rubber duck and gift card will be shipped within approximately 2 weeks following the close of the giveaway. The giveaway is open ONLY to residents of the United States with a United State’s mailing address. The winner’s name will be posted on the blog, unless the winner chooses not to have his/her name posted.
To enter the contest the entrant must post a comment on this blog as well as submit an email address through the contact link on the blog’s home page. The winner will be contacted via email at the close of this giveaway. The winner of the contest must reply to the contact within 72 hours. An alternate winner will be selected in the event that the initial winner does not respond within the 72 hour time frame.