18 August 2021
At YWCA Canberra, we value the importance of early childhood education and teaching children fundamental skills to help the development their mind and natural curiosity. With lockdown well and truly underway, we wanted to remind everyone that learning in the home doesn’t have to be boring!
This week for National Science Week, we want to encourage children to explore the world of science by sharing three easy science experiments you can with in the home!
COLOURFUL CHEMISTRY: Explore density, colour, and the properties of liquids.
Experiment: fireworks in a jar
Materials: a tall glass (or glass jar), water, small measuring cup, vegetable oil, food colouring (a few different colours) in dropper bottles, fork
Invite children to describe what is happening and to explain why they think it is happening.
What’s happening? Oil and water do not mix well and oil floats on water because it is less dense. The food colouring sinks through the oil towards the water because it is made of pigment mixed with water. When the colour pigment reaches the water, it creates streamers that look like fireworks. Density is a measure of the amount of mass in a given volume. It is a difficult concept to introduce to young children but exposing children to activities related to density provides them with experiences that will help them build knowledge and understanding. Knowing ‘what’ happens will give a child the experience they need to learn ‘why’ these things happen as they grow older and move into higher levels of education.
GROOVY GRAVITY: Explore the force that makes things fall and how air resistance slows them down
Activity idea: Fastest fall
Materials: Sheets of paper, balls of various sizes, feathers, toy hammer
BEAUTIFUL BIOLOGY: Explore camouflage, collecting, and categorising
Activity idea: Camouflage race
Materials: Green, white, brown, black, and red cardboard shapes (small squares, circles or triangles, or plastic counters), approximately ten of each colour
Ask your child what is happening? Talk about how the colour and texture of an animal can help it blend into its surroundings. This is important for animals to hide from predators that might eat them, and for predators to sneak up on their prey! However, some animals use the opposite strategy to survive: their bodies are brightly coloured, and they stand out to warn other animals to stay away because they are poisonous (e.g., corroboree frogs).
Want more fun learning activities to do with your children? Make sure to follow our Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter where we will be sharing kid-friendly resources for parents!