For this week’s science topic, I asked the children what they would like to look at. They chose water, and more specifically ice. This topic of water and ice science never fails to fascinate them. It has some good criteria making it a fun science topic. It can be messy, the experiments generally work (always a crowd pleaser!), and pipettes are involved. So, without further ado, here is what we have been up to.
Ice Melt Experiment:
The first water and ice science experiment involved a little prior planning and preparation. But it needn’t have to, as you can use just ordinary ice cubes. My trio decided they’d like little characters in theirs. My little lady laid a character into each hole of an ice cube tray, and then we filled it up with water and left it in the freezer to freeze. The idea was to have a few different solutions and see which one melted the ice first. We had hot water, cold water, vinegar, and salt water. We all discussed our thoughts first, and then gently pipetted various solutions onto individual ice cubes to see what would happen.
Size and Shape Ice Melt:
Our second water and ice science experiment involved seeing if ice melted at the same rate regardless of shape and size. Out little lady filled three tin foil moulds each with the same amount of water. This ensured the original volume was the same, but size, shape, and thickness differed. They were then put into the freezer to freeze. On removing them we had a discussion as to which one they thought would melt first…..and then we dropped one! It smashed everywhere. So on we plodded with 2 samples instead 🙂 The children accurately predicted what would happen, and its reason (no spoiler alert here!), so I was really happy for them.
Paper Flowers and Water Absorption:
This next water and ice science task involved cutting four (you can have more or less) flower shapes (identical, so use a template). We had to use four different types of paper. Our supplies were tissue paper, lightweight paper, heavier weight paper, and card. Each flower’s petals were then folded into the middle and the flower placed in a bowl of water. The idea was to see which flower would open first (unfortunately mini man no.2 dropped the tissue flower in petals down in his enthusiasm, so that one was then out of the experiment!). This experiment worked really well and was very visual for them. It is replicating the fact that real flowers only open their petals when plants move water into them.
The children were given 2 sheets of kitchen towel for our fourth water and ice science experiment. One dry and one damp. They then gently pipetted different colours of paint onto their towels. The idea was to notice how the colour spreads. They were looking as well for any difference in absorption between the damp and dry towels. This was making them think about plants’ roots absorbing things from soil, and whether it would be more effective if the soil (the paper towel) was damp or dry. It did progress to investigative messy play at the end with hands and fingers being involved for a more sensory experience 🙂
Exploring Surface Tension:
This is one of my trio’s favourite experiments (and mine as it is relatively clean!!). They use a pipette (you can see they enjoy this little item a lot!) and see how many drops of water they can fit onto a penny (or a krona in our case). They watch it grow in size into a bubble until the droplets can attract each other no more and it gives way. They will sit and repeat this many times trying to beat their highest score, being totally fascinated by it.
Sweetie Colour Run:
This wasn’t really in our topic but we wanted to do it anyway, as it tastes good 🙂 Lay some sweets like skittles or smarties on some paper towel. Then slowly pipette water onto them and watch the colours run into the paper and breakdown into the colours they are constituted from! A very effective experiment.