Science experiments can be a wonderful way for children to learn, not only about science but also about working as a team, developing patience and following directions. Science experiments are also wonderful for boosting cognitive flexibility, focus and curiosity.The following two experiments are fairly simple but full fun and learning:
Science & art experiment 1
Droplets of Color = Why Do Oil and Water not mix?
- vegetable oil
- food coloring in small containers
- pipettes or eye droppers
- white plates
Place one to two table spoons of oil onto a plate to create an oil “canvas”.
Using pipettes drop food coloring onto the oil and watch as droplets form. Drop a few drop of just water or water mixed with food coloring to observe the ways in which the water, oil and coloring interact. The color droplets are really neat!
What’s the science behind all this? I found a simple and easy way to explain this to my children at Human Touch of Chemistry. This is what they had to say: ” Oil and water don’t mix because oil is made up of non-polar molecules while water molecules are polar in nature. Because water molecules are electrically charged, they get attracted to other water molecules and exclude the oil molecules. This eventually causes the oil molecules, or lipids, to clump together.” Read a little more about: Why Water and Oil do not mix.
Science & Art experiment 2
Fizzy Paint:Why does Baking soda bubble up when paired with vinegar?
- a baking sheet
- white vinegar
- food coloring
- baking soda
Line a baking sheet with foil, then cover the foil with a smooth layer of baking soda to create a smooth “canvas”. Combine food coloring with some white vinegar to make your “paints”. Using pipettes or small spoons, drip the colors onto the canvas. Watch as the colors bubble up and fizzle!
The science behind it? Carbon dioxide is a gas that forms when the vinegar reacts with the baking soda.
What did we learn?
All three of my children (ages 3, 5 and 7 years) did these experiment and were totally amazed and interested. With both experiments the children had to figure out how take turns using the colors and sharing tools. There was some waiting and coordinating needed so things would’t turn into a mess and a lot of cooperation needed to clean up at the end too! Ever since we did these experiment the children have been asking about different chemical reactions and we have made many other simple experiments as well. This was also a great opportunity to talk about safety and cooperation as well.
So, have you tried any experiments with your children? Which ones have been the favorites?
Peace & Be Well,