Why? Why are there more yellow flowers?

WHY? My daughter once asked me why there were more yellow flowers than white. To be honest I’d never even noticed! But, yes, she was right. When I looked around there were more yellow flowers. Why? I hadn’t a clue so I threw back the question! “I don’t know. Why do you think it is?” Young children are SO much better than us at answering their own difficult questions! Back came the answer, ‘Maybe it’s because the bees prefer yellow flowers?’ A pretty good hypothesis to start with. So from there we got into a conversation about what the bees were doing on the flowers and was it just bees or did other insects visit flowers and why? Then of course came an even more difficult question! “But how can we find out?” Well, by then it was getting rather near to tea time and my mind wasn’t really on bees and flowers. But daughter being very persistent would not let it go! To cut a long story short she decided to test out her colour theory by placing clear plastic dishes with a sugar solution on a selection of different coloured card. Then I got on with making the tea while she sat there like a statue counting how many insects visited the different coloured ‘flowers’! The result? Was her prediction correct? Try it and see!

The one with the glove!

A fun vinegar and Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda) experiment.

In the first part of the video Lizzie Witch works magic on a glove.

THIS IS THE LINK TO THE VIDEO

In the second part we show how this can be achieved without magic. In other words ‘clever science ‘.

There is also a simple explanation of the process which is an acid reaction.

So, with the help of an adult, children can produce the same results as Lizzie but …..is that enough? Well, in my opinion it isn’t! I think once they have repeated the experiment they need to investigate further. This is where the creative thinking comes in and that is so important!

So what can they do now?

Well, here are some suggestions:

  • What happens if you add less or more bicarb to the same amount of vinegar. Get them to predict what they think will happen before doing the experiment.
  • does changing the kind of vinegar change the results?
  • Can you use different thicknesses of gloves?
  • Can a balloon be blown up in this way.

I Spy Trasimeno

I SPY TRASIMENO is a booklet I’ve compiled for families with small children visiting the area around Lake Trasimeno. It includes, Castiglione del Lago, Corciano, Passignano, SAN Feliciano, Isola Maggiore, Isola Polvese, Monte del Lago and SAN Savino.

It contains photographs of places and objects for children to find when visiting these different places and features my ‘Jumbles’ toys. The booklets are available from Tourist Information Offices and from Jumble House.

Learning about Snails for Young Children 

Gardeners don’t like Snails for obvious reasons but kids are fascinated by them AND they are incredibly interesting creatures AND very gymnastic AND make very good pets!

CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEO ON SNAILS

Looking at them through the eyes of a child they are quite incredible creatures with their slippery silver trails and waving tentacles.  What other creature carries its house on its back!  It’s the stuff of fairy tales.

In the video Lizzie finds a snail eating  her plants and decides to find out how she can stop this happening without hurting the snail. There is also an investigation for parents or teachers to carry out with their children.

This is the first of two programmes. In the second programme Lizzie will be looking inside the snail shell and exploring spiral shapes in nature and buildings.   Click on the link below for a programme on spirals.

SPIRALS IN ART AND NATURE

Crazy Colours

Crazy Colours. A spectacular effect with the minimum or resources and effort! Children love this experiment but do get them to ‘predict’ what they think will happen before adding the soap. Then at the end ask them to think ‘why’ it happened. There is a video giving a simple explanation for them to watch on my channel. It’s called ‘Crazy Colours’ and it is in the FUN SCIENCE playlist. The Jumblefun Channel

I used UHT semi-skimmed milk. A further experiment could be to see if anything different happens when you use full fat or skimmed milk. For a rainbow effect use red, blue and yellow. The soap can be applied by a brush as shown in the video or by finger or cotton wool bud.

Why does it happen?

Although milk is mainly water it does contain lots of other things like vitamins and protein and fat.

Fats and protein are very sensitive to changes in the milk. When soap is added it sends the fat molecules crazy and they all start to twist and turn. During these acrobatics the colour molecules get pushed around so creating the crazy patterns.

Watch the very short video demo below. Have fun!

LINK TO SHORT VIDEO DEMONSTRATION

Recycle!

Recycling ideas for small plastic bottles.

Not really suitable for young children to make but they will learn a lot from watching and will love the little doll.

Plastic bottles make really good plant holders. Use a skewer to make a small hole in the bottom for drainage.

The doll was an after thought when I was faced with five or six bottle tops! It’s made in the same way with the addition of a polystyrene ball for the head. The tops of bottles also make good funnels and can be used as slow watering devices for the garden if you drill a very tiny hole in the cap.