Cut the bottom of a celery stalk and put the stalk in a glass of colored water. The color will slowly go up the celery stalk causing it to change color.
Colored Ice Cubes - Anita N. in Rockford
This is a terrific visual experience of color changes. Make red, yellow and blue ice cubes using food coloring and water. Place one red and one yellow ice cube in a ziplock baggie, one red and one blue ice cube in a ziplock baggie, and one yellow and one blue ice cube in a ziplock baggie. Place them in the science area. As the colored ice cubes melt they create new colors.
Exploding Milk - Laura (Tzitzakion)
One of my favorites is exploding milk! And no it is not what it sounds like. Fill a tray with milk (just enough to cover the bottom). Put drops of different colored food coloring in it. Don't disturb them! Add a drop of dish soap on some of the colors and watch the colors explode! They can see how blue and yelllow make green. Etc. This is a fav around here.
Let children use an eyedropper to drop water on a paper towel. Watch how the water spot gets bigger even though more water is not added. Fire is like that, it spreads over an area.
Fish Tank - this was a huge hit with my children
Fill a large plastic soft drink bottle about one-quarter full with water. Add a few drops of blue food coloring and a drop (wee little drop!) of liquid detergent. Pour in a small amount of clean sand or aquarium gravel. Blow up two small balloons, release most of the air, then tie the ends closed. (We used orange balloons and the "fish" were goldfish!) Push the balloons into the bottle and screw the cap on tightly. When you have finished, you will have a fish tank with two bobbing "fish" inside. Let the children take turns holding the bottle sideways and rocking it back and forth to watch the fish "swim" in the blue water. (We had to make one of these for each child!)
Homemade Bird Feeders
- A pinecone which has been rolled in peanut butter.
- String Cheerios through a piece of yarn.
- Half of an orange or grapefruit.
Place small metal objects like screws, nuts, paper clips, and small non-metal objects like plastic toys and chalk in a baking pan. Pour cornmeal over the objects to cover them. Move a magnet slowly over the surface until one object moves. Have the children find the other metal objects that are attracted to the magnet. Discuss a magnet and why things are attracted to it. Place different items under the cornmeal and have the children guess whether the objects will move or not. Variations: oatmeal, rice, or barley could also be used to cover the objects.
Boil some water in a pot until steam forms above it. Then fill a pie pan with ice cubes and hold it above the pot in the steam "cloud." Have the children observe that when the steam comes in contact with the cool air from the pie pan, drops of water form and fall back into the pot like rain.
Planting Watermelon Seeds
Let the children spoon potting soil into egg cartons. Have them plant one or two watermelon seeds in each section. Then let them water their seeds and check them daily. Soon the seeds will sprout and grow into small watermelon plants.
Raisins That Jump
Have the children wash their hands well. Wash enough grapes for every child to have at least five. Place the grapes on a plate and leave in a sunny spot or under a heat lamp for three to seven days. The grapes should have dried enough to become raisins. Introduce club soda to the class. Explain it is carbonated water. Talk about the difference between water and carbonated water with the children. Ask the children what they think will happen when the raisins are placed in water and in carbonated water. Place a clear cup of water and a cup of club soda in front of each child. Give everyone enough raisins to drop a few into each cup. Let the children observe what happens. After the raisins have stopped jumping up and down, eat the raisins.
Sun/Shade Science - Everyday TLC
To compare the sun to the shade, try this science activity. Take six bowls made of the same material. Place a cube of butter in each of the first two, a few ice cubes in the next two, and some old crayons in the last two. Set one bowl with each item in the hot sun. Set the other three bowls in the shade.
Sweet Potato Science
Help children stick toothpicks around the middle of a sweet potato. Fill a glass two-thirds full with water and place the potato in the glass. Have the children check the water level daily and add more water as needed to keep the bottom of the potato covered. In about two weeks roots will appear. Help the children observe the growth each day. Make a chart and record the changes that occur. Help the children make a sweet potato booklet. Make several sweet potato and leaf cutouts for each child. Let the children paste the potato cutouts in their booklet as the leaves appear. Then count and paste the leaves on the potato.