DNA-Coded Friendship Bracelet | HP’s School of Fun Series

I’ve partnered with HP to create a series of printables to help you bring some science home! First up is this amazing DNA-inspired friendship bracelet craft where you can encode a secret message right into the bracelet! I created this project at the beginning of the pandemic lockdowns, thinking that a lot of kids would be feeling isolated from their friends. I thought this would be a fun project to not only make, but then send to a friend who can then decode the bracelet and feel some love from afar.

The printable from HP includes a short lesson on DNA and how it serves as coded instructions for our cells. It also includes a full tutorial on the project, a blank bracelet code sheet, a bracelet creation sheet, and a full example to get you started. I’ve have this friendship bracelet project in my head for so long and I’m so excited that HP could help share it with such a wide audience.

Take a look at the printable here!

The only supplies you need are embroidery floss, colored pencils or crayons to match your floss, tape, and the printable!

Find me on Instagram @cara_florance for more ideas!

Porch Bats from Leaves- DIY Eco-friendly Halloween Decorations

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These leaf bats are actually one of my kid’s ideas. We use our giant magnolia tree’s leaves for crafts all year long, and her inspiration was some paper bats that we have in the house. The leaf version will only last a season but making them could become a great tradition every October.

How to make leaf bats- an eco-friendly halloween decoration

Leaf Bat Halloween Decorations

  1. Find thick, waxy leaves, like from a magnolia or red oak, and let them dry (or find some from the ground that have dried somewhat. If you can’t find a tree with thick leaves, take any leaf (that is large enough to make a bat) and press it between the pages of a large book for a few days. If the leaf isn’t dry or pressed, it will curl up a few days after you cut it.
  2. If the leaf is waxy, you might be able to fold it in half like I do in the picture below (if not just cut out the whole bat instead of half). Draw the shape of a half bat on the leaf as many times as will fit. Cut it out. Repeat for as many bats as you want.
  3. Optional: paint the leaf bats black.
  4. Hang on your wall with painters tape or sticky tack. To get the look of bats coming from a distance, place the smaller bats at the bottom of your design and the larger ones towards the top, and make the whole bunch fan out from the starting point.

Science!

-Bats are actually integral pollinators and hundreds of species of plants rely on them as primary pollinators.

-Bat are not blind! This is a common misconception to justify their amazing ability to echolocate, but bats actually have fantastic night vision. Recent research has even shown some bats can see well in the day time, and some even have the ability to see ultraviolet light! (PLoS One. 2009; 4(7): e6390)

-Bats can help in the management of mosquitoes. Take a look at installing bat boxes to welcome them onto your land.