Friday, January 20, 2012

Salt Dough Brains

We have been studying human biology.

I am making my own curriculum up as we go along.

One thing I remember from my psychology classes in college is that I wished that I had a model of the human brain.  I always felt it would be so much easier to study the parts and function of the brain with a 3D model than a 1 dimensional drawing in a book.

So, we made brains.

Out of salt dough.

I wanted them to be big enough to write on,
but I was afraid they would be too big to cook all the way through.

So, we made a rough shape from recycled grocery store bags for the center.

Salt Dough

4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup hot tap water

You may need to add more hot tap water if it is not pliable enough.

We chose this recipe because it was cold and the warm dough felt like a spa treatment :)

Then we flattened out pieces of dough and pressed it into place over the grocery bags.

We dipped toothpicks in water.

And made the brain "wrinkles".
We think it is kind of funny that they call them wrinkles.
Wrinkly brains.

We let them dry overnight.

Then my dad came over and convinced me that I could put them in the oven on low and the plastic bags would not melt.

He was right.

But on LOW.
and WATCH it!

Then we painted them.

P tried to make hers look like a brain.

A healthy brain is actually pink not the flesh tone they always show in pictures.

A decided to paint all of the lobes different colors.

Then we labeled each lobe according to its' function.

The girls will always remember that vision is in the back of the brain, hearing on the sides, imagination in the front.

They found it fascinating that the left side of your brain controls the right side of your body and that the right side of your brain controls the left side of your body.

They also learned that people who are considered "right brained" are artistic, while those considered "left brained" are better at sciences and math.

We took a quiz and discovered that we were all somewhere in the middle.
A little organized, a little creative, ok with spatial relations, not bad with math and science.

P did not paint all of the lobes different colors,
but she did label which parts of the brain were responsible for different functions.

 The girls were proud of their projects and enjoy talking about it with, well, anyone who will listen.

So, be forewarned, if you come over our house, you will hear all about the human brain
and maybe even see a model or two ;-)