I have taken out a subscription to a monthly children’s science magazine called “Whizz Pop Bang!”. The idea behind this is to give us inspiration and fun ideas for our science part of home educating. Inside it is full of information, some articles, and hands on experiments to get your little people enthused. With 2 very different ages in our home (1 eight year old and 2 four year olds) I need to utilise it so both age sets get something out of the experience. I aim to include the little twins in the experiments (but with a little more hands on help from myself as required), but let our little lady explore the experiments, more or less left to her own devices whilst I am hovering over the twins in the same room. The more informative parts I can read to the little men and chat about on their level, and then let her take off with the remainder of the magazine to read and digest as and when she wants to. I hadn’t anticipated starting straight away with the first issue we were sent, as she is still in school, but after seeing her very enthusiastic response to discovering it on the doormat on Friday after school, there was no holding her back. Luckily, the magazine emails me (and other subscribers) the items needed to any experiments a few days in advance of receiving the magazine, which is very handy and you can make sure you are prepared. So what have we done and learnt so far?? Unsurprisingly, being so close to Easter, this issue is heavily based around eggs – egg science.
So we have done a few of the egg science experiments so far. We have tested how strong eggs are alongside learning to see what happens to items (using eggs) when you spread the pressure over a whole surface rather than a single point. This has been done by balancing on 2 half dozen packs of eggs, and trying to squeeze a raw egg in your hand.
We were a little whimpish in getting the littler two to stand on the eggs first, and then our little lady stood on them and all was fine, until she rocked slightly on her heel and cracked one of the back ones. However, this demonstrated perfectly about what happens when you spread weight evenly or place it all in one place. None of us managed to crush a raw egg in our hands, much to Dadda’s exasperation and teasing, so we gladly handed them to him (Mr ex Royal Marine all round tough guy) for the same result (hee hee hee hee!!!!). We then had discussions about crawling/ lying on icy ponds rather than walking onto them and that proved very interesting to them. So further discussions were prompted too. The other egg science experiment we have done so far is make dragon eggs. Which were consumed the next day for breakfast which was fun for all three. Egg science has definitely been a hit.
The last experiment we have done so far, is to test the melting point of chocolate. This is in part of a section called “Changing States” in the magazine. It involved gobbling chocolate so everyone was motivated (I had to prove the scientific point too) and no doubt they will remember the knowledge behind doing that and looking at solid matter changing to liquid matter. We then went on to look at the changing states of water. Later on, after the children had gone to bed (on their sugar high!), I got out the KS2 science curriculum guide I had bought to guide me, and there was the subject of states of matter in it. This is what I had hoped would occur when I’d subscribed to the magazine. I could go back, refer to the curriculum, and discover we were covering topics in a fun way. It has also inspired me to then look up and investigate other fun experiments to try for this topic (as will be the case when we link future issues to the curriculum guide). We have the making of rock candy and clouds to look forward to amongst other things.
All three have enjoyed doing the hands on things so far, and although the little men may not take away the level of knowledge an 8 year old does from doing them, there is no doubt they are having fun, being introduced to science, and learning something from the experience. So something for all ages, it links well to the curriculum (as stated by the magazine), and everyone is very very interested. It’s easy to use across my age range in the home too, perfect for our big home education adventure. One happy Mamma :-).