Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Science Day

We had a great preschool science day.  These kids love "getting their hands dirty" and experimenting with everything around them.  So it was very natural for the kids to play these games and experiment with all the materials around them.  Here's our cute little preschool boys along with K (J's brother who we were lucky enough to have join us for the day!). Left to Right: EW, T, P, J, G, EM, and K.
Gathering Activity- Trains, Mr. Potato Heads, and Little People.
Circle Time- Color Orange, Cone Shape, Letter Z, Number 11.  All the kids took turns finding a magnet letter that was orange.  We looked at a cone shape and talked about all the things we could do with it- a hat, or ice cream cone, or horn.  We sang the alphabet song and practiced making the letter Z in sign-language.  We also counted to eleven and a few of them made the letter eleven with the magnet numbers.
Group Experiment- Blow-up Balloon.  We learned the word "experiment" and "hypothesis" and practiced saying them.  We did an experiment all together where we talked about how air is all around us, we just can't see it and that we would be doing a lot of experiments about air today.  I put baking soda in water and we watched what happened.  I then put some in vinegar and we watched the chemical reaction that made bubbles in the air.  Finally I put baking soda in a balloon and vinegar in a bottle then put the balloon on the bottle and we watched how the balloon inflated with the expanding air from the reaction.  The kids all thought this was really cool.
After this we split into two groups to do some experiments that were more hands-on.  Teacher W took the boys upstairs to do water experiments in the kitchen and I, Teacher R, took the kids to do some air experiments downstairs.
Water Experiments- Water and Air- The kids learned that air stays in a cup if you hold it straight down into the water.  They put paper towels in the bottom of the cups and tried putting them straight down into the water and seeing that the towels don't get wet! They also saw that if you tip the cup the air in the cups will escape as bubbles in the water.
Sink or Float- The kids learned what it means to "sink" and "float".  They experimented with different objects to see which ones would sink and which would float.  They were able to say, "My hypothesis is the ______ will sink (or float!) and then to test it out.  There were a few surprises like the baseball that floated and the jar lid that sunk.
Balloon in Water- It was explained that air is all around us and when we breathe we get air into our lungs just like when we blow air into a balloon.  The kids watched a balloon being blown up and saw what happened when the air is let out.  They then tried the balloon underwater so they could see the bubbles and air escaping from the balloon.

Air Experiments- Ziplock balloons- Ekid had a straw that they zipped into a ziplock bag and then blew into the straw to fill up the bag and make it a balloon- they then took the straw out and zipped it closed quickly.  Once they opened the bag they saw how it got smaller when the air went out.  The kids got a kick out of this and were all able to do it by themselves.
Straw Races- We used the straws again with crumbled paper towels and practiced blowing them across the table to each other.  We talked about how we are blowing air through the straw and it is pushing the towel. Once we were good with that I lined up the kids and we did straw races.  They all lay down behind the line with their paper towel balls and blew them when I said, "Go".  Most of the kids really enjoyed this activity and asked to do it over and over again.
Making Bubbles- The kids had a few pans of soapy water and blew their straws into the water to make bubbles.  They had fun watching the bubbles get bigger as they blew more air into them.  They also experimented with touching the bubbles- they would pop with a dry finger and not pop with a wet finger!

Bubble Art- Each kid got a colored paper and tried to catch bubbles (as I blew them into the air) on their paper.  Once they had some bubble marks they colored the marks to make bubble art!
Exploding Pop Bottle- T's Dad helped us with this experiment.  We got coats and shoes on and watched him put Mentos into a pop bottle and saw what happened.  The kids loved that it shot up like a rocket into the sky.  They all wanted to do it again! (For Parents: This works best with mint Mentos and Diet Coke).
Snack Experiments- For snack we did a few food experiments.  I poured some club soda or "bubbly water" in a clear cup then dropped some raisins into it and we watched the raisins dance in the bubbles.  Each kid got a little bubbly water to play with as well- some even liked how it tasted! They then each got a raisin box for snack.  They also each made a mixture by mixing cinnamon and sugar together in a jar then putting it on a piece of toast.
After snack we switched which groups for the water and air experiments.

Finally we all got back together and practiced using scissors by cutting up tissue paper into small pieces.  We then blew up balloons and I showed the kids how if you rub the balloon in your hair or on wool or fur then it would pick up the tissue pieces or stick to the wall. They all thought that was really fun and were SO happy when their balloon stuck to the wall.
Here is EW showing off his balloon on the wall.
Some GREAT preschool science books that I used to help me with this lesson:
Pint-Size Science by Linda Allison and Martha Weston
Bubbles, Rainbows, & Worms (Science Experiments for Preschool Children) by Sam Ed Brown

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