Posts Tagged ‘fun science’

FUN Science Activity: Sink or Float?

Friday, April 12th, 2013

As most of you know we are a homeschooling family. I also know we have several other homeschooling (or soon to be homeschooling) families here so I thought I would share a recent science activity my boys enjoyed. Well actually any family with young children might enjoy this activity, so don’t let the word “homeschooling” turn you off if that’s not your thing. 🙂

This activity requires very little in the way of prepartion, materials, or clean up… which is definitely my kind of activity!

Materials:

Paper

Pen/Marker

8 random items per child (or any number of items you want to use)

small tub of water

towel

Directions:

I asked each child to go around the house (inside or out) and collect 8 items. While they collected their items I filled a small plastic container with water. I used a 1lb spinach container from Costco (I re-purpose those suckers in a bunch ways!) but any container will work. Then I made a super simple and quick graph on paper. When the boys returned with their items I wrote the name of each item down the left hand column. The next two columns read “sink” and “float”.  (You could also take this opportunity to embed some writing/literacy skills by having your child write the words).

After some basic discussion about the definition of the words sink and float, we decided to test each item. Before actually placing it in the water I would encourage them to predict if they thought the item would sink or float. Once they tested each item, they would then place an X in the appropriate column. You will probably want your towel nearby to wipe up any drips/splashes.

Afterwards we discussed if there were any similarities in the items that floated and those that sank. I also embedded some math skills by encouraging the boys to count how many items sank and how many items floated from each of their charts and then they add them together for a grand total.

For more fun science activities visit Science Kids. Have fun watching your little ones learn and grow!

-Sarah

Fun Science Activity for Children

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

My boys have enjoyed playing ‘scientist’ lately. It only takes me a few minutes to set up some simple experiments for them and they will engage in exploring with the materials for a long period of time. A recent favorite of ours includes basic household items such as various sized bowls, cups, and spoons as well as basic kitchen ingredients including baking soda, vinegar, and food coloring. Additionally I saved some plastic packaging that held cannoli shells which worked perfectly for this type of activity. However you could use any type of container that has several small compartments in it.  We also have a set of test tubes and eye droppers, although it’s fun for kids to mix baking soda and vinegar using any type of utensils/materials so no need to replicate exactly as pictured here. 🙂

I filled some of the compartments with water and some with vinegar. I colored some of them with dye and left some of them clear. First the kids experimented with mixing colors:

After they mixed colors for a while, I gave them some test tubes with baking soda in them as well as a random assortment of small bowls, containers, cups, and spoons. We even had some empty salt shakers that I filled with baking soda for them to use. I stood back and let them explore the materials completely on their own. I enjoyed watching them make new discoveries and listening to them explain what was happening as they mixed ingredients.

As they continued to explore it was neat to see the new curiosities that arrived such as ‘what will happen if I shake this one?’ or ‘what happens if I add these two together?’. There were no limitations placed on what they could mix or how the could mix and and the only variable was some of the liquid was water and some was vinegar. They quickly learned what made the bubbly reaction occur!

I purchase vinegar and baking soda in bulk at Costco for cleaning and for laundry so we almost also have some on hand. Also purchasing in bulk at Costco saves money (and packaging) making this a relatively inexpensive activity for kids to do. Another added bonus is that it will make your table super clean! Just be careful of the dye because it does stain.

Explore and have fun encouraging your little scientist(s)! 🙂

-Sarah