We were actually snowed in a few weeks back but considering my Twitter stream was packed with tweets about snow days I thought I’d better post this now while so many of you have snow ( It can also be done with ice if you are short on snow). My son loved this and it’s the type of activity that adjusts seamlessly to different ages and abilities.The goal is to answer the question : Where does snow melt the fastest in your house? And why?
- Gather your materials. You will need some small bowls or containers, a stop watch or clock,a measuring cup, large piece of paper, and marker.
- Start by making a chart with 4 columns : Container #, Place, Prediction, Result. If your child can help write encourage them to.
- Number your containers, decide where you will place them and make your time predictions. I had my son go to each room and think about how long it would take the based on how warm each was.
- Go outside and gather some snow! Don’t forget to put about the same amount in each container .
- Put them in different spots around your house.
- Start the timer.
- Enter your results.
- Discuss the results. It was cold in our garage it wasn’t until bedtime that the snow was all water! Since doing this a few weeks ago my son has made many mentions about our cold garage.
Have a little one not ready for this yet? Try ice cube painting .
I don’t think it is a secret how much I love science. I love teaching my kids about science, without telling them it’s science. Preschoolers are so much fun to watch when they experiment and learn. We did this fun activity on a recent rainy day that taught my kids about spacial relations and physics, but it was disguised as a wrecking ball.
Here is what you will need: some yarn, an empty key ring, a ball, masking tape, and some blocks.
First, tape the key ring to a door frame using the masking tape. You want to only use masking tape because any other tape may damage paint or stained wood.
Next wrap the ball with the yarn. Any ball will do.
Have your child build a structure with the blocks. You do not have to use blocks. Empty yogurt or butter containers work great, so do food storage containers.
Thread the yarn through the key ring.
Have your child hold the end of the yarn in one hand and the ball in the other. Show them how they can adjust the height by pulling or letting go of the yarn. For the younger two kids I held the non-ball end for them.
Now your child can let loose and do some demolition!
We had a neat time talking about how we needed to pull it to make it higher and standing further back to make the ball hit the building harder. It was so exciting to hear my son point these things out. I would ask how we could hit the blocks at the very bottom and he would tell me how he thought it could be done. So I told him to test it out.
It was a good time for everyone. Nothing says fun like demolition.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.
I saw this idea originally here on mumma made it and have been wanting to do it ever since. We have had thunderstorms for a few days so what a perfect opportunity to try it out.
All you will need are pool noodles, gumballs, and a serrated knife.
I cut the pool noodles into different lengths and then cut them in half. You can use scissors for this, but a serrated knife made it so easy (be careful, though).
I set up a system of the “slides” on the furniture. My kids were tickled pink.
I had them guess whether the gumball was going to make it to the bottom or not. This time it didn’t make it.
We played around with a few different ways of putting the slides and connecting them. I challenged Cole to make a system using at least 3 different colors. Here is what he very meticulously made.
He was hoping the gumball would shoot up at the end and into his mouth. You and I know that it didn’t do that, but didn’t understand why. So I had the opportunity to explain (in preschooler terms) about speed, force, and gravity.
We also set up slides next to each other to race. We wondered if certain colors would go faster than others. We had to test it out and talked about why they went equally fast.
We tested out whether the incline would make a difference on how fast it went. My son was really into trying all sorts of angles. I think we did this experiment at least 20 times on different pieces of furniture.
While my daughter didn’t really get into the hypothesis and explaining part, she loved participating in the testing. She would squeal as the gumballs went shooting down the slides.
This can easily be modified using a marble, but I know my toddler and I know she would put it in her mouth. So I opted for gumballs. If I know it is going in her mouth I might as well use something that is meant to be there.
While gumballs are a suitable choice for preschoolers with supervision, they are choking hazards for under 3 years of age. My house has gumballs often (thanks for the gumball machine Grandma) and my children are very familiar with them. I was very confident doing this activity with my daughter. You know your children and if you are not comfortable doing this with them, it is better not to.
This activity was a great opportunity to discuss all sorts of different science concepts with my preschooler. I took advantage of the different colors of pool noodles and gumballs and showed them to my toddler. Overall it was a great activity for both age levels. We had a lot of fun doing it.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.
You could do this activity with flowers as well.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Katy is a mom of one who loves art, mystery novels, and anything involving peanut butter–she blogs about raising her little miracle at Bird on the Street.
Water tables are not cheap, a pain to store if like up you have short warm months, and for people in smaller houses, condos and apartments bulky even if they are being used. So this is an easy and fun way to play with water with simple toys and tools that can be used for other things as well. The bike helmet is optional.
- Gather your materials. You will need a plastic bin ( I got this one in the dish rack aisle at Walmart for under $3, some fun beach type toys like this water mill which I love because it is so dynamic and was bought at Target for $1.99, then a turkey baster, a silly funnel and measuring cups from my kitchen. Also water !
- There aren’t many steps other than play outside, or place some towels down around it as well as have some handy if you are playing inside.
- For more fun add ice cubes and/or bath toys.
- If you are doing this outside after your child has had enough , water your plants, grass and flowers!
Books About Water
Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen is a funny little story about a group of animals trying to get into a little rowboat without capsizing. The reader is asked time and time again who they think sank the boat was it the big cow? The fat pig? you’ll have to read to find out. This would be a fun book to read while exploring a Sink and Float activity.
Big Red Tub by Julia Jarman is a silly tale with really great little subtle details. A brother and sister are in the tub splashing about when their dog jumps in. The fun continues with more and more animals jumping in the big red tub. Finally the tub breaks free from the bathroom and eventually ends up in space! It’s a fantasy but they come back down to reality when mom walks through the door , complete with briefcase while dad is in the background with the shampoo. I loved that detail, nothing is overt but for families with stay at home dads it’s a great shout out I think. Also if you look closely you will see some of the animals that jumped in the bath as toys, slippers and more strewn about the bathroom.
Water by Tara McClintick a preview can be read online here on memetales. The book is a wordless collection of photos of water proceeded by a poem about water. The photos include water in many different forms, a water fountain , pool, shower, glass of water and more. I love that it shows how water is used for so many purposes, delivered in so many different ways but are is always wet. Great basic book!