Christmas Time Fun

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So what did we do this Christmas time? We tobogganed, experimented with computer programming again, played board games and much more. Here are a few of our holiday projects.

We had learned about the different types of levers earlier, including the mnemonic “ple” to remember which type of lever is with. Each letter of “ple” stands for what is in the center of the lever. A type one lever has the pivot in the middle, a type two has the load, and a type three has the effort in the middle. Well this Christmas we reviewed the different types of levers while cracking nuts. We only have one nutcracker, which for a while we had misplaced, so for a while we were using a pair of slip-joint pliers to crack nuts. When we put both side by side we could take note of the two different types of levers.

Another day we built a little platform out of lego, coated it with an old plastic bag and mounted it on a lego spinner so that we could experiment with paint. We tried two different paints, with different viscosity, as well as using a paintbrush on the spinning paint.

Christmas eve we made our annual gingerbread house. When I was a child we used to make gingerbread houses using melted sugar as the glue, but since we don’t eat much sugar here I’ve found it a nice challenge as an adult to figure out other ways of building a gingerbread house. What has worked well for us the last few years is to bake a (fruit-sweetened) carrot-cake to use as a foundation. Then the gingerbread walls are held up by the cake and the icing only needs to seal the cracks and hold the roof on. For icing we use a cream-cheese butter icing with a bit of orange juice concentrate mixed in. We decorate the cake with dried fruit and nuts. We do it on Christmas eve so that we can show it off Christmas day before cutting it up and eating it.

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