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!
A fun vinegar and Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda) experiment.
In the first part of the video Lizzie Witch works magic on a glove.
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.
Shaving foam is usually used as a sensory material for very young children but it can be a really good fun art project for older children and adults.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
In this latest programme children have to find a mystery colour and number from clues provided by Lizzie Witch, Georgie and Alfie.
There’s fun with the letter Gg, counting and number patterns plus ideas for art and craft and follow-up learning activities.
Hands may look boring but just look what you can make with them!
With a little practice, young children given a chunky pencil, felt tip or crayon can draw around their hand. They will find it even easier to draw round yours.
The outlines can then be coloured or patterned and cut out to,make collages or funny people, creatures, trees or flowers. There’s no end to the creativity.
Older children can be challenged to find a different way to texture each of the fingers.
Progress from drawing round a normal hand-spread to moving some of the fingers to suggest dogs, rabbits etc. Just like when you use your hands to make shadows on the wall.
This is a fun family activity which can be adapted to suit all ages and abilities.
It improves hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills and creative thinking.