Forensic Friday #7 – Archaeology

Life skills. It’s all about the life skills.

And with spawnlings, it’s all about how you SELL those life skills.

Today, let’s focus on cleaning.

*that choking, warbling sound you may hear in the background is EG Dad as he cracks up laughing, then stumbles across the EG Lair, stepping on the many carefully placed Lego mines before collapsing in a fit of disbelief, mumbling “reality has finally imploded”*

Obviously, cleaning is not an easy life skill to sell to spawnlings … until now. 😀

Introducing Archaeology 101 – Toddler edition

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Curious George’s Dinosaur Discovery – Zaltu’s 2nd favourite cosplay

Even if you are new here, surely the moustached lady would indicate to you how much we like to cosplay.

Either that, or I’m Maltese. Which I am – about 1/4. But I digress.

So it should come as no surprise that the spawnlings love to dress up, almost every chance they can. Zaltu (the 2yo) is currently enamoured with Curious George. Loves the monkey – loves the mischief. Good fit really. Her current favourite is Curious George’s Dinosaur Discovery.

For today’s Forensic Friday (because I really want to get back into this particular theme), I decided to give Zaltu her own mini Dino Dig Site. Problem being, I don’t have any real sand or dirt to use. And she has her 2yo-molars playing around, so we still have a “mouth-obsession” thing going on.

While I was thinking around the supplies in the Lair, Zaltu decided she wanted to bake a cake… and pulled out one of the bags of flour. All over the kitchen floor. Followed by a toppled bottle of Canola Oil.

Now, clearly I am a bad blogger. I cleaned up the mess before realising the photo opportunity. BUT as I was cleaning up the mess (*yes, EG Dad is still giggling about me cleaning*) I noticed the change to the flour.

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When the oil and flour mixed to together, it didn’t clump disastrously. It sort of smoothed the flour a bit. Like a silky coating. So I mixed some in a container. And added a little powdered colouring (the colouring you would use for chocolates or other oily based things).

And look at that! I made some lovely soft “sandy” flour!

Next step, adding a few dinosaurs in. Then, give it another shake around to cover the dinosaurs and we have our own mini dinosaur dig.

Before you go “that’s not very forensic”, you need to realise it doesn’t stop there. In fact, all of this is preparation work. Any true EG Parent or Mad Scientist (or both, if you’re really special) will tell you the hardest work is in the preparation.IMG_8193[1]

And any archaeologist will tell you their job is 90% cleaning up, 8% saying “I think I found something!!” and about 2% being something worth finding.

“Oh , well,” the scientist said. “It’s not a bone. Just a rock.”

The lesson that comes out of this little Dino Dig Set is to teach the spawnlings about the attention to detail required in this area of science (being both archaeology and paleontology). It involves: digging; sifting; brushing; cleaning; analysing; cataloging. It is a painstaking process and can be quite boring for a long period of time. But when you DO find something, it is amazing, exhilarating, and down-right awesome.

IMG_8189[1]With a few extra pieces of equipment (like a brush, mini-scoop and a notebook filled with dinosaur stickers to tick off her finds), Zaltu has already started learning about this process. At the same time, she has been learning the life skills of cleaning every nook and cranny of her dinosaurs. She has been loving the cosplay of this particular book. We even catalogued the dinosaurs she found.

Now I’m just waiting for Nefarious and Sinister to come home and tell me off for putting Jurassic dinosaurs (like Stegosaurus) with Cretaceous dinosaurs (like Triceratops). That’s fine – this is where the Paleontology is going to kick in. Way to give yourself more work, spawnlings.

All in all, I was able to clean up a mess, start my “Forensic Friday” posts again, give Zaltu a lesson in how to work a dig-site/crime scene AND teach her how to clean up.

I think I’ll go and eat some chocolate now.

Ingredient List

  • About 4 cups of flour (I used Self-Raising Flour because it was spilt over the floor at the time, but any flour will do. I don’t think the SR Flour will create zombie dinosaurs, but one can hope)
  • About 1/2 cup of oil
  • About teaspoon of powdered colouring
  • Small dinosaur toys to bury

Mix it together. Really well. That’s it.

Minion Musings:

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