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Entertain Elementary Kids With Science at Home

by Tania Cowling | July 16th, 2014 | Elementary, Social

kids scienceIt’s summer and the kids are already whining, “I’m bored.” It’s fun to play games and craft, but don’t forget that summer’s also a time for learning. Think about some easy science experiments that can be done at home. Your kitchen is the place to demonstrate very simple scientific principles by performing experiments. Use every opportunity to bring out science in fun and entertaining projects. Since children learn through their senses, simple experiments promote discovery and learning. Here are a few activities to try with your budding scientists.

A is for Absorption
Do your children understand the concept of absorption? There are simple experiments to determine which objects draw up water and which don’t. Absorbing liquids also has to do with sinking and floating. What do sponges, corks, and cotton have in common? Do they absorb water? A fun project involves celery stalks and/or white carnations. Leave them in water with food coloring to show how water rises up the veins in the stalks of plants.

Take stalks of celery and slice off a piece from the bottom (you can also do this with the stems of white carnation flowers). Have your child place these into a glass of water tinted with food coloring (any color your child chooses, but make sure you make the water dark). Within a few hours you’ll be able to see how the liquid has absorbed into the stem and trace the coloring through the veins. Notice how the celery absorbs color and how the white carnation develops color from the tinted water.

Beware of Erupting Volcanoes
Magma is a substance that builds up below the earth’s surface. Volcanoes contain magma, which causes them to erupt. You can create a volcano-like eruption right in your kitchen lab using some everyday ingredients. Give your children clay to mold into a volcano shape. Place this structure onto a tray making sure it has a wide-mouth opening to insert an aluminum can inside. To scientifically cause a burst of fake magma, put 1/4 cup of baking soda into the bottom of the can. Next, mix 3/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup liquid dish detergent, 1/2 cup water, and red food coloring into a mixing pitcher. For the eruption, slowly pour this liquid into the can of baking soda. In seconds you and your children will witness a pretend volcanic eruption just like the real volcanoes of Hawaii and Fiji, but in your own kitchen.

Hands-On Ooblek
Ooblek is a substance that feels like a solid in your hands, but will ooze through your fingers like a liquid. Most kids love to play with this unique material that can easily be made at home. Place two cups of dry cornstarch into a bowl and mix it with water until you reach thick dough. It should be thick enough to form a ball when you roll it in your hands. But, it will also run through your fingers like a flowing batter. Some kids like to tint the mixture green. If you enhance this science project by reading Bartholemew and the Ooblek by Dr. Seuss, this intriguing material will take on a new meaning as far as a play material.

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