When Noah was on his school holidays at the end of last year, C decided to introduce him to some simple Science concepts via experiments. His main objective is to get Noah to be more curious about why and how certain things occur, and I think he read somewhere that Science experiments were a good way to help children think more critically.
He started small, with the simplest experiment he could think of: putting cups of water into the fridge and freezer. He got Noah to help him fill three cups of water (half-full is good enough), then they put a cup on the table, another in the fridge, and the last one in the freezer. He asked Noah to predict what would happen to the cups of water, and after Noah’s nap, they checked on the three cups together.
“Look! Mummy! It’s frozen!”
The three cups
Noah was quite excited when he discovered that the cup of water in the freezer had turned into ice, and C decided to continue the experiment by letting him dissolve the cube of ice on the stove. This was where our learning tower really came in handy, because it allowed Noah to get close enough to the boiling pot of water on the stove, without us having to worry if he would fall off or get burnt.
Putting the water and ice into the pot
Checking the temperature of the water before putting it on the stove
Watching the water boil
Bubble, bubble, bubble
Despite being really simple, this is one of Noah’s favourite experiments, and he still asks C quite often if they can do it again. You don’t need any special equipment or materials for it, so it’s really doable, even without any preparation.
The next experiment that C introduced to Noah was the testing of different densities. He selected an egg, as well as a few items from Noah’s toy collection, filled a small container with water, and asked Noah to predict if the items would float or sink, before letting Noah put the items into the water. Be prepared for a little mess, because if your child is like Noah, he would probably try to create a huge splash when he drops the items into the water!
Some of the items used
Gleefully dropping his toys into the water
For the egg, C did the honours instead, just in case Noah broke the egg. As expected, it sank, but C got Noah to add some salt to the water (and to taste the salty water too, much to my horror), and Noah was so amazed when the egg started to float! If you’re like me and can’t quite figure out why that happens, you can read this post to learn more.
“Look! The egg is floating now!”
The third experiment conducted required the use of candles, and transparent containers. The objective was to show Noah that fire needed air to survive, so C would light the candle, then cover the flame with a plastic cover. This wasn’t a very successful experiment because the transparent plastic cover melted when it was placed over the flame. He used two different covers: one flat, and the other was a container, which had more space/air in it, allowing the candle to burn for a longer period of time. Noah enjoyed watching the experiment, and got C to repeat it a couple of times in succession.
Checking out the flame
Listening to Daddy’s explanation
The last experiment was probably the most fascinating one for Noah, and it also required the most amount of preparation. You’ll need a balloon, an empty bottle, a funnel, baking soda, and vinegar for this. C got Noah to use the funnel to put two or three teaspoons of baking soda into the balloon, then poured some vinegar into the empty bottle. He then fit the balloon carefully over the bottle’s opening, so that none of the baking soda fell into the bottle.
Noah had the honours of emptying the baking soda from the balloon into the bottle, and he was so excited when the balloon started to inflate, due to the chemical reaction of the baking soda and vinegar. If you want a more detailed explanation of the science behind this experiment, please read about it HERE.
“Look at the balloon!”
C says it’s never to early to expose children to the concept of Science, and I must say that these experiments are indeed simple enough to do with preschoolers. Noah has plenty of fun doing experiments with daddy, and has been asking him for more experiments, so C has to do more research online to find suitable experiments for him!
PS. If you’ve been doing experiments with your preschoolers at home, please do share some ideas with us! Thank you!