For Christmas my Grace-Girl received a Gem dig kit. You know the one. She was SO excited that I had to hide it until the appropriate time to do the project (aka NOT at my sister's house). As soon as we got home she was aching to try out her little hammer and chisel. Safety goggles on, pajamas still in place, we ventured into the world of gems and rocks. We read about the types of rock, identified the gems (to the best of our amateur ability) and discussed methodology of extraction.
She surprised even me with her fastidiousness. This project took a long time and she worked carefully; uncovering each small gem or rock from its dusty home. When it was all done I sent her outside to dispose of the mess. Then, in a whirlwind of genius, I sent the gingerbread house out with her. Somehow I knew the only thing that would justify not eating the thing would be smashing it to bits. And I was right.
That careful scientist went a little wild when she was able to become fully destructive. This is a great way to get energy out of your homebound kids (see the snow? see the snow on the trampoline?). Unfortunately, and I wouldn't recommend this, she smashed it right on the back patio next to the back door. I think I'll be finding red hots and fondant next spring when all the snow melts. In the meantime the birds are having a sugar-induced heyday (yes, yes, we cleaned it up as best as we could, people. The birds were not actually harmed).
There you go. Fun with science. And gingerbread. And pajamas. It's homeschooling in a nutshell.