At Utopia Education, we believe in the importance of children's development throughout all subjects - including science, children are innately curious about the physical environment and naturally open to making meaning through their exploration and conversations with others. Science teaching and learning has a place in all early learning services. Furthermore, science helps children develop key life skills including an ability to communicate, remain organised and focused, and even form their own opinions based on observation. This is why the team here at Utopia Education has combined activities and experiments, to present to all our teachers and centres, to help you and your children engage in the endless world of science. Feel free to scroll through and click on the added links where you will find simple instructions on experiments to get your science on! We hope you all can enjoy these activities with your children as well as learn more about science and its importance.
1. The magic milk experiment
This is one of those classic science activities that’s been thrilling kids in classrooms and kitchens for years. It’s fun, quick, and easy, and kids of all ages (grown-ups too!) will find it fascinating! Be warned though: you won’t just do it once. If you’re like us, you’ll want to set those colors swirling, twirling and colliding over and over again! This is one of those science activities that you really need to see with your own eyes to fully appreciate it.
What you need:
· saucer or small plate
· milk (we used 1%, but 2% or whole milk is said to work best)
· liquid food coloring
· dish soap (I believe any brand will work)
2. Melting frozen hands!
When it comes to easy science activities for toddlers and preschoolers this one is a winner!
This simple salt and ice activity is a wonderful chemistry experiment for toddlers and preschoolers It’s perfect indoors or outdoors at any time of the year.
· Latex gloves
· food coloring
· twist-ties (a pipe cleaner will work too)
· shallow baking pan
Prep the hands:
1. Fill a glove with water. Leave yourself a couple of inches at the top because you’re going to have to twist it shut.
2. Add a drop or two of food coloring and shake the glove to disperse the color.
3. Twist glove tightly a couple of times and secure snugly with a twist-tie.
4. Lay glove in baking pan. (the pan will catch any water in the event that a glove leaks).
5. Place pan in freezer overnight.
HOW TO REMOVE THE GLOVE:
The trick to preventing the fingers from snapping off is to run the gloved hand under a bit of cool water, and very gently slide the glove off.
Take your time when you’re working on the fingers. You may have to drip a bit of water into the glove but be careful not to melt the fingers with the water.
HOW TO DO THE EXPERIMENT:
· colorful ice hands
· a shallow pan, container or tray to put your icy hands in salt bowl to hold your salt
· scoops and spoons
The ice started melting when adds the salt. It was really cool to see the cracks and crevices that formed and to watch the hands dissolve when you add more and more salt.
For those of you who have never done a salt and ice activity with your kids, you have to try it! Not only is it engaging and fun, a salt and ice activity is a chemistry lesson that never fails to impress kids of all ages.
3. Making an egg float:
An egg sinks to the bottom if you drop it into a glass of ordinary drinking water but what happens if you add salt? The results are very interesting and can teach you some fun facts about density.
You will need
- One eggs
- A tall drinking glass
- Pour water into the glass until it is about half full.
- Stir in lots of salt (about 6 tablespoons).
- Carefully pour in plain water until the glass is nearly full (be careful to not disturb or mix the salty water with the plain water).
- Gently lower the egg into the water and watch what happens
4. Lava Lamp experiment:
You can also watch this video to find out how Kidspot NZ made their fun lava lamps:
What you need:
● clear plastic bottle with lid
● vegetable oil
● food coloring
● Alka-Seltzer tablet
Fill the bottle three quarters of the way with vegetable oil.
Fill the rest of the bottle with water that has been colored with food coloring.
Close the bottle lid tightly. Wait for the two layers to settle.
Break the Alka-Seltzer tablet into small pieces.
Drop small pieces of the tablet into the bottle to create a bubbly fizzy lava lamp.
Now watch your lava lamp come to life!
5. Rainbow Walking Water science experiment:
Your children will love the rainbow effect as the water “walks” through the cups! Here is a video to help you and everything you’ll need plus instructions below:
● Printable walking water recording sheets (button to download at the bottom of the post)
● Small plastic cups or glasses
● Paper towels (*read my tips below for picking the right ones)
● Food coloring in primary colors
* The pick-a-size paper towels are best because then you just use half sheets for each cup. If you only have full sheets, then cut them in half. More absorbent paper towels work better too. out the recording sheets and make copies, if needed.
Place 7 cups in a row and pour water in the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th cup. My cups were about 3/4 full. I have since heard that fuller is better
Add 5 drops of red food coloring to the 1st cup and the 7th cup.
Add 5 drops of yellow food coloring to the 3rd cup.
Add 5 drops of yellow food coloring to the 3rd cup. Add 5 drops of blue food coloring to the 5th cup. Take a half sheet of paper towel and fold it in half lengthwise and in half again lengthwise. Trim off some of the length so that there isn’t too much excess paper towel that will stick up in the air between each cup. This will make the water walk more quickly. Place one half of a rolled paper towel in the 1st cup and place the other half in the cup next to it. Then another paper towel from the 2nd cup and into the 3rd cup. This continues until you have placed the last paper towel that drapes over from the 6th cup to the 7th cup. Stare at the cups and watch what starts happening. You should quickly be able to see the colored water begin to crawl up the paper towel.
Don’t forget to do the first part of the recording sheet. Students will predict what they think will happen.