June 26, 2007

The UV Animal

With July a few days away, here is a craft activity with a scientific twist. From a number of science toys dealers you can buy pony beads sensitive to UV light. I have bought mine from Educational Innovations - 240 beads for $6.95. Out of the sun they are white, and when they are in the sun they change to various colours like yellow, orange, red, purple and blue. This is an excellent reminder to use suntan lotion if you have tender skin like me.

The webshops suggests making a simple bracelet of the beads, and that works well with small kids. For kids aged 7 and up (and boys who don't want to use bracelets), a colleague of mine, Anne Bruvold, has made a different product of the pony beads. She has called it "The UV Animal" (UVdyret), and here is a description of how to make it:

You need 25 UV beads, 2 normal pony beads (for eyes) and 70 cm elastic band. Start at the tail end, tread one bead onto the elastic band and make sure the two ends are of the same length. Continue with the next beads as the drawing underneath shows, and take care to get the body and the legs assembled correctly. If you want to make the animal with beads of specific colours, take them outdoors to "activate" them before you choose which ones to use. Good luck!
I have made a number of these and have attached them to bags and rucksacs. You can also put it on your throusers, like this boy has done.

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