Sunday, August 1, 2010

Science Sunday: exploring caves

 

There’s just some weeks, where I’m feeling lazy, and this was one of those weeks.  Not that I was, I just felt that way.  So, here’s our odd little contribution.

 

 

This is a cute beginner science book with a fun little mystery.  It takes place in New Mexico, not too far from Carlsbad Caverns.  Remembering how they did with our local caves, we opted not to visit there when we drove through New Mexico, but I did want them to learn about the caves, and this was a great extension of learning about the OK Corral, because it had cowboys also.  This book does a lot of covering how to safely explore caves, and how the different formations are made.

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So, to practice what they learned in a way they wouldn’t be freaked out, I kicked them outside while I set up their surprise.  And that’s how they spent most of their time outside.  Staring at the door wondering when I was going to let them back in.  I kid you not.

 

 

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So, how do you safely explore a cave?

1.  Always go in groups of 3.  Never by yourself.  This works out good, I have 3 kids.

 

2.  Wear long pants and shirt, they should be heavy duty.  We didn’t follow that one.  Pajama pants are not known for their protection.

 

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3.  Bring a flashlight, and climbing gear.  Flashlight we had, climbing gear not so much.  They didn’t say, but I’d add in a first aid kit, but that’s just my kids ability to get hurt.

 

4.  The general nature rule: Take only pictures, leave only footprints.  And one added for caves: don’t touch the rock formations, that will “kill” the formation so it can’t continue growing and changing (the oils in our hand react poorly with the chemicals in the formations, not harmful to us, but it is to the cave).

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Batman’s pictures of the cave.  I took our 3 little kid sized tables and draped a bunch of tablecloths over them.

 

 

 

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Inside the cavern, the large room inside a cave, of our cave there was an underground lake.  It’s a mobile lake and also seems to trap people.

 

Caves often have lakes in them.  We also learned that while bats like to nest in caves, they don’t go deep into them, preferring the twilight area near the cave’s entrance.  They don’t like the absolute dark of the interior of the cave.

 

I’m hoping to do this experiment from Little Wonders' Days, and show them how a stalactite grows.

 

So, it’s not this amazing experiment or anything, but it was fun.  And the kids are begging me to keep this up until Daddy comes home tonight (I’m writing this on Thursday).

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