Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sweet Science

Does sugar make kids hyper? This is Sarah's question for her GUESS science fair project. Big one. Last year she wanted to invent a telaportation device or a horizontal elevator. Needless to say, we did not participate. This year, sweet success! We agreed on a project. We have a notebook with notes. We made charts together. Graphs and poster boards loom in our future. This has not been a smooth sail, but we're keeping at it.

The conversations we've had, the things she's thought of are simply amazing. She wanted various ages. She listed the variables she could think of. She listed what she wanted to use to identify "hyper". She also explained to me in detail why she did not want to use children who were actively nursing in the study. They may like their breast milk more than the candy. The breast milk may interfere with their behavior. (Makes an LLL leader proud!)

Today was the first of two experimental playdates. 6 kids, ages 3-9. 2 bowls of candy, one full of sugar, the other sugar free. 2 hours of observation. Sarah was so excited! So excited in fact, she was the most hyper kid in the house! Volume, Activeness, Agreeableness all were duly noted. She hasn't drawn any conclusions yet, so I cannot say much more. However, I did make some observations of my own. My favorite was that before the sugar/sugar free was introduced there was a tussle. The children involved held discussions with their mothers, but were not ready to interact with each other. Soon after the candy, they apologized, heard each other out, dialogued, etc. "I'm sorry. I did it to get your attention. I just wanted to play with you." "But that doesn't make me want to play with you! It makes me want to play with you less!" "Oh, OK." That was between 9 and 6 year old boys, and was enough for them to go on playing for another two hours.

With those kind of results, I may just serve sugar at all future playdates!

A great big THANK YOU! to the mamas who brought their little ones over today.
Sarah couldn't do this without them, or you.

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