Monday, 9 March 2015

Blaze & the Monster Machines Party Time #NickJrBlaze

Today we co-hosted Blaze and the Monster Machines Twitter Party with and Nick Jr. to celebrate the show premiering on Nick Jr.  for the first time.

The theme of the party was to learn through education with plenty of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) focused activities during the party to keep the children entertained as these topics are something you will find a lot of in Blaze and the Monster Machines.

The party kicked off in time for the show to appear on our television for the first time and we also enjoyed our first activity Crusher's Maze with all the kids competing to help Crusher find Pickle first. Blaze and the Machines certainly grabbed all the kids attention and it was not only entertaining but educational too, definitely touching on various STEM topics and it was nice to hear the children responding to the questions being asked during the show which I am sure parents will be pleased to hear. 

Engineering Activities

Our first engineering activity was to create a Sweetie Blaze Monster Truck which was met with a lot of excitement when the kids saw all the materials for the task laid out including my attempt at a demo truck. We had milky bars, smarties, giant sprinkle covered buttons, jelly babies, icing and some chocolate fingers. I was not only impressed with the creativity and the enthusiasm of the children but also their willpower to resist eating the sweet treats until they were made. 

For our next engineering activity we got cutting, sticking and gluing and made our very own cardboard box Blaze Monster Car with working wheels and were not only fun to make but to race after. I have to admit we lost a few of our creative team to the TV though as they wanted to continue watching Blaze and the Monster Machines. 

Maths Activity

We had some fun with numbers, shapes and sorting doing AJ's Sorting Activity which tested the children's number skills, colour and shape recognition plus their counting and mathematical capabilities using a fun board and lots of buttons.


Technology Activity

Next was Gabby's Sink and Float Test which proved to be lots of fun. Kids love water play at the best of times so adding in the "will it sink or float" aspect was a great idea and had them running about finding more and more items to put to the test while learning about the laws behind buoyancy or why some items sink and why some float as they did - it was also a trip back in time for me as I remembered some of the things I learned in Physics class.

We had leaves and feathers, corks, bottle tops, stones, toy cars, apples, grapes and blueberries, plastic eggs, straws, sticks and bath toys. It was nice to be able to explain why things sink using Archimedes Principle which basically says an object will float if it displaces as much water as it weighs, i.e everything you put in the water pushes the water away from itself, if the volume of water it pushes away is the same weight as that of the object it will float.

I found explaining buoyancy was best done by using a floating bath toy which had air inside it to make it lighter and a feather which weighed very little hence floated on the surface as it was lighter than the water it was placed in. The children seemed to get it quite quickly and guessed correctly wheat would happen when it came to things like the stone, feather and metal car amongst other things. There was definitely lots of laughter and clearly heaps of fun had with this one.

Science Activity

We were sent some science kits from the company 4M who is currently distributed by Great Gizmos to help with this task. These included a Hover Jet, Magnetic Racer and Diving Submarine.

We learned how a hover craft moves as air propels it forward, had fun controlling our car with a magnet and watch a submarine dive and resurface with the help of baking powder. It took a few attempts to get the submarine working but we figured it out in the end and it was interesting to learn that the submarine dives as it is heavier than the water however when the water comes into contact with the baking powder, carbon dioxide is released and the release of gasses causes the submarine to surface, when all the carbon dioxide from one reaction has been released from the submarine you see bubbles and it dives again, repeating the process until the baking powder has been reduced to such a level that it cannot create enough carbon dioxide to raise the sub again.

Time to say goodbye

When it was time to go home no one wanted to leave however the goody bags helped especially the Nick Jr. umbrellas which were a hit. The party may be over but the good news is that Blaze and the Monster Machines will be back on Nick Jr every week day at 4pm (Sky 615, Virgin 715, Talk Talk 559) so tune in for lots more fun and you can also check out Nick Jr. for more fun Blaze and the Monster Machines activities and games.

*Disclaimer: I received all the materials needed to host this party and run the activities.


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