The best students in this world are the children. They are natural born explorers.
Their thirst for knowledge is remarkable and their curiosity never ends. We, as parents, should do everything we can to keep their enthusiasm and the pure joy of learning alive!
We all know that they get bored quite easily, and in order to teach them something, it has to be fun. And it would be even better if it allows them to participate.
Therefore, I am offering you some ideas for experiments that you can make at home with your little ones. These are simple activities that will make an impression on them.
- Pencil trick
You will need 1 polyethylene bag, water and few pencils. Fill about half of the bag with water. Pierce the bag with the pencils where the water is. The water will not leak at all. If you do it in the reverse order, first pierce the bag, then put the water and it will leak.
The explanation is that when the polyethylene is broken apart, its molecules move closer together. Polyethylene tightens around the pencils, and the water can’t leak.
- Walking water experiment
This is super easy to set up and it has a huge WOOOW effect.
You will need at least three empty glasses of same size, water, food coloring and paper towels. You can choose any color you want: red and yellow, blue and yellow, red and blue… Or even better, let them choose. Fill a glass with water and food coloring. For every pair of colors you will need one empty glass. Cut and fold the paper towels. One end of the towel shall enter the colored water glass and the other end the empty one. The water walks up the paper towels into the empty glass. The middle glass will start to fill with water until all the three glasses have the same level of water. This experiment can also serve as a color mixing lesson, if you use primary colors.
Tips: If you have to wait couple of minutes to see the action, you should change the paper towels. Try Target brand version using smaller sizes instead or the larger sheets. If you want to see something happen right away, you should fill the outer glasses all the way to the top.
- Turn milk into plastic
You can turn milk into plastic in just couple of minutes and you only need milk and vinegar.
Take one cup of milk and warm it in your microwave for about 1 and a half minute. You want it hot, but not boiling. Stir in four tablespoons of vinegar. The acid in the vinegar breaks down the protein in the milk. The milk will start to clump. Stir for about a minute. Strain the milk through a strainer. Push on the clumps to get all the liquid out. Transfer it to some paper towels and then you can shape it or even color it. You can use a cookie cutter and food coloring. You can let them dry for two nights, and then use them as Christmas decoration or a regular decoration.
- A cloud in a jar
You will need: a glass jar with a lid, hot water (boiling even better), an aerosol spray (you can use a hair spray), and ice cubes. Pour 1/3 of cup boiling water in to the jar. Quickly spray the hairspray in to the jar. The spray gives the water vapor a surface to condense into tiny cloudy droplets. Pop the lid on with the ice and watch how the cloud is made. My boy was amazed, we did it several times and he still got excited as the first time.
- What melts in the sun?
Since we are almost welcoming the summer, we can use the hot sun for some experiments.
Grab a muffin tin and fill it with diverse objects. You can use: rock, ice, wooden block, a Lego, a cube of butter, chocolate, crayons, cheese, a marble, cube of soap.
Place the tray in the sun and set a timer for 10 minutes. After the times passes you can observe the changes, chocolate would be melted, the cheese would be different but not melted yet. Leave the tray now for about 40 minutes. Now even the crayons would be melted, and the cheese will make a puddle. You can also make a game of it. Let your child guess what will melt first. If he wins give him an award: a strawberry, cherry, whatever he likes. With this lesson he/she will learn that all solids have a melting point.
- Magnifying glass
Another simple experiment is to use the sun to start a fire with the magnifying glass. Just hold the magnifying glass under the sun, and wait till the smoke comes.
A safer version of this experiment is to put a piece of white paper under the magnifying glass and watch how the paper gets consumed by the sun.
I hope I have given you fun and simple ideas to make your child interested in science.
We do need lot of them for the generations to come (:
Author: Daniela Mioska
My Quiet Spot
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