Thursday, May 20, 2010

What is often missing in Early Education?

There are many great preschools and daycares in the world, not to mention the great work that parents are doing with their kids but there is often time something missing. More often than not that thing seems to be science.

Preschoolers can not operate bunson burners and we do not want them mixing up dangerous chemicals but there is still room for science in their lives. You do not have to be "hardcore" to be a "real scientist".

Some experiments to try with young kids:

Color mixing

Supplies needed:
ice cube tray
3 small bowls
red, blue and yellow food coloring
eye droppers

Put water in the three bowls. To the first bowl add enough drops of red food coloring to make red water. Now make the water in the second bowl blue and the third bowl yellow. Allow the kids to use the droppers to extract water from the bowls and put it in the slots of the ice cube tray. Allow them to mix the colors to get new colors. As they do this be sure to point out the new colors by name. You could even make lists for them of the colors that were added together to make the new colors.

Popcorn Dance

Supplies needed:
clear glass jar
2 tbsp baking soda
10-15 popcorn kernels

Fill a small clear glass jar 3/4 way with water. Add the baking soda and mix well. At this point you can add food coloring also if you would like but it is not necessary. Put the unpopped popcorn kernels n the jar and add a few drops of vinegar. In about 1-2 minutes the popcorn will begin to dance around.

Sun Painting

Supplies needed:
black construction paper
flat objects

Take the supplies outside and set the paper in a sunny spot. Lay the objects on top of the paper. Leave it in the sun for a few hours and when you come back the paper that was not covered will have been faded by the sun.

Invisible Drawings

Supplies needed:
white paper
white crayons
colored crayons

have the children draw a picture or write on the white paper with the white crayon. When they are ready to see the drawing have them use a colored crayon to color over the whole white page. The crayon will not color in where the white crayon has already made marks.

Ice, Ice Baby

Supplies needed:
wide mouth jar
ice cubes

Put water in the jar and add an ice cube. Have the child put the string on top of the ice cube and see if they can pick it up. Since they can not then sprinkle a little salt on the ice cube and count to 10. Now try it again. They will be amazed that they can pick it up now. You can explain to them that the salt allowed the ice to melt just enough to stick to the string.

And remember that not all experiments will go as planned. Sometimes they will just want to pour the water from one container to another and that is fine also. The important part is trying something with your kids.

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