Fostering curiosity in kids (and their parents) since 2011

Posts from the ‘Questions’ category

On an average day, my daughter’s question-to-declarative sentence ratio clocks in at a healthy 5:1. In this section of the blog, I explore what happens when instead of just saying “I don’t know,” I try saying “Let’s find out!”

cast iron pan filled with homemade biscuits

"Why do my biscuits taste like metal?"

A few years ago, my husband began making biscuits on Saturday mornings. Although not all of his efforts have been equally delicious, we love starch in nearly all of its forms, so we happily ate the not-so-great batches to make room on the table for the even better batches to come. With one exception. The one and only batch of biscuits so horrible no amount of bacon could save them tasted like fluffy metal. How did that happen?

Yellow crocuses pushing up from a wintry brown soil.

What is a Victory Garden and do I need one to survive 2020?

Recently I’ve realized that the only thing worse for my mental health than Political Twitter is Coronavirus Twitter. To cheer myself up, I’ve started reading post-apocalyptic dystopian novels. I haven’t read that many yet, but I have read enough to notice that the just-in-time food supply rarely survives the first few chapters. That made me wonder… what if my best strategy for surviving an apocalypse is not merely to stockpile food, but to learn how to grow it?

Reading Goals 2020

The end of January is traditionally the time when I give up on whatever it is I’ve resolved to do differently this year. This year, I’m trying something different — not making the resolution until the end of January in the first place. Let’s see if that works. 🙂

Facebook post that reads: "one of the downsides of the three-year-old's brad paisley obsession is her tendency to belt out 'we're going to catch all the fish and drink all the beer' while we're at the playground.

What’s a parent to do about Facebook?

I joined Facebook a very long time ago as a way to reconnect with old friends, keep my extended family up to date on funny stuff The Youngest Howell said, and of course, post cat pictures. It was fun and seemed harmless at the time. But my daughter is older now, and it’s time to re-examine my social media use.

Shar Pei dogs have dense but loose folds of skin all over their short-haired bodies.

Are dogs really descended from wolves?

I was shocked to learn that Darwin didn’t believe dogs were descended from wolves. I had just assumed that the idea came from him. Learning it didn’t has me questioning all kinds of things — like do scientists think dogs are related to wolves at all?

A dinosaur eye peers out from a partially cracked handmade dinosaur egg.

“Can we hatch our own giganotosaurus egg?”

Four years ago, my daughter asked me if we could do an actually fun craft one day, like hatch our own giganotosaur. Today I finally got around to scouring the web until I found instructions for making your own dinosaur egg from common crafting supplies and household tools.

So they named a new dinosaur species last week…

News broke this week that paleontologists have determined that a set of bones found in Big Bend back in the 1980s is actually a hitherto unknown type of duck-billed dinosaur. Whenever I hear of a new species, I can’t help but wonder how long that new species identification will last.

sleek black vintage convertible with white wall tires.

A selection of vintage Ford cars

Earlier this summer, we happened across a line of vintage cars parked on a street next to a town festival in Northern California. Naturally, I took pictures. Here’s a selection of vintage Ford motor cars from that show.