Friday, February 15, 2013

Hands on Learning: Science

Science is probably one of the easiest, because it is set up to be hands on and exploratory. Everything about science screams: Get Dirty! So try some of these activities on for size!

Grow Something!

Nothing teaches kids about the parts of a plant, the life cycle of a plant better than actually growing it yourself. It can be simple like a lima bean & a wet paper towel in a ziploc taped to a window. Or a carrot top cut off & replanted. Or a potato suspended by toothpics with one end in water in a cup. Also try paperwhite flowers in water with food coloring. It changes to flower's color!

Or you could get more complicated with a house plant or even growing vegetables. What a great way to make them better eaters!

Get A Pet

I know, I know - we all need something ELSE to do! But there are so many low maintenance pets out there, anyone can do this. Get a lizard, a hamster, a pet snake, even a hermit crab. Setting up a correct habitat for that pet teaches them about climate, geographical areas, and the responsibility that comes from caring for a pet is second to none! Have your child research the pet, what it eats, what kind of climate/geographical area it is from. Can salamanders live in the desert? Can a hamster live in water? It sounds silly but so much learning happens here. DO IT! Don't be scared. It will be okay!

The Water Cycle

Make a soda Bottle Terrarium!! Super easy & shows the water cycle up close & personal. Great science fair project too! (Directions on website under teaching tips) 

Squishy Egg Experiment

One raw egg 
Large bowl


Put a raw egg (in its shell) into a bowl and cover it completely with vinegar. Wait two days, then drain off the vinegar. When you touch the egg, it will feel rubbery. Be careful not to break the membrane, and wash your hands after you touch the egg. (Throw it away after a few days.)


Vinegar, an acid, dissolves the calcium in the eggshell. It's calcium that makes the shell hard. But a thin, flexible membrane just under the shell still holds the egg's shape. 

Make A Volcano 

Baking soda
a container for the mixture (water bottle)
A container to hold everything (box or rubbermaid container)
paper towels

Put the vinegar and baking soda into the small container (water bottle)
watch the reaction that takes place

The baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a base while the vinegar (acetic acid) is an acid. When they react together they form carbonic acid which is very unstable, it instantly breaks apart into water and carbon dioxide, which creates all the fizzing as it escapes the solution.
For extra effect you can make a realistic looking volcano. It takes some craft skills but it will make your vinegar and baking soda eruptions will look even more impressive!

There are a million ways to make science hands on, creative & fun. Do a google search for science experiments. You could do one every day for a year!!!

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