Fun with Ice

Young children are fascinated with ice and will enjoy and learn from this simple activity. It’s a great opportunity to introduce some new vocabulary.   Older children will be fascinated in simply experimenting with a solid block of ice but for twos and threes there is more incentive if you freeze lots of little objects in the ice. Choose a variety. Ones that float and ones that sink. Even little chocolate eggs wrapped in foil work well. This extends the learning.

Freeze the water. Gather together some small containers and fill with salt, food colouring and water and tiny scoops and dropper or syringe. 

When you are ready turn out the ice onto a large tray. Have ready kitchen paper and cloths and protective clothing! 

Of course as soon as small children spot the objects they will want to get them out. Especially the chocolate eggs!  But it’s surprising how long ice takes to melt and young children get bored very quickly! 

That’s where the salt comes in. If salt is sprinkled on followed by food colouring then they will be able to watch while the salt carves out little rivulets in the ice.  It’s a good opportunity to talk about salt and how we sprinkle it on ice paths in the winter.  If you use liquid watercolours in place of food colouring then the variety of colours is extended and you also have a lesson in colour mixing. 

When the fascination wears off they can resort to dripping first cold water and then warm water over the ice. Again lots of opportunities for learning.  

The most important thing is that do everything themselves. Dripping on the colour, sprinkling on the salt. Don’t dictate what they should do,rather ask open ended questions. Questions that motivate. Questions that challenge. You can hide the water until they have experimented with the salt and colours! 

 It may look like a disorganised mess but they ARE learning by playing and observing. Try again in six months and you will see that they tackle the activity differently.  

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Why is science important

Why? 


Because young children are naturally curious and science investigations stimulate this natural curiosity. 

Because science answers all those tricky questions about the world around them. 

Because it encourages children to problem solve. To be creative thinkers. To develop a love of learning. 

Because it motivates children to be active not passive. 

Because by engaging in science investigations children learn to challenge what they see and hear rather just acceptngl,

Because they learn that making mistakes is the way to learn. 

Because children learn best through doing. Through play. 

Because it’s FUN! 

You don’t need to be a teacher or have a science degree to engage in science investigations. ‘ Jumble Fun’ has made Science easy and fun for parents and careers too. Resources have been kept to a minimum and can usually be found in your kitchen or bathroom. We suggest watching a programme yourself prior to viewing with your child then you can easily gather th resources together in a bag

The short programmes not only show fun science investigations but suggest ways to adapt the investigation plus extension activities plus it’s all free. 

        Click here to go to the FUN SCIENCE playlist

Delicious Milk Loaf 


I love really rough, dark, whole grain bread oozing seeds and nuts but nowadays either because of age or IBS, or probably both, my system does NOT like it and objects strongly. 

Unfortunately, most of the foods IT likes, I do NOT! 

So,  I’ve come up with a white Loaf which both of us can enjoy.  ( family and friends with ‘normal uncomplaining guts’ like it as well! ) 


It’s light, moist, tasty and keeps really well. It actually brings to mind the bread Heidi used to take to her Granma who found the  rough brown bread difficult to chew!   But, if you haven’t read HEIDI then you won’t know what I’m talking about! If you have, then you are probably as old as me! 

I use strong white flour and I like to crumble a Vitamin C (ascorbico acid) tablet into the flour as it speeds up the process but not absolutely necessary. I also always use fresh yeast. I just love to watch it frothing and the smell is divine. 

The olive oil should be Extra Virgin and allow three nice big tablespoons. 

The grated carrot seems odd I know but it adds moisture and colour and taste (but it definitely does NOT taste of carrot. Trust me! )

We don’t have an oven at Jumble House so I do have to bake the bread in the Breadmaker but that’s all I use it for as I like to knead the dough myself. If I had an oven I would definitely use that to bake the bread because the crust is infinitely better plus you can make interestingly shaped loaves and cobs and bread rolls.  

Anything else ….. only to say that kids love bread making and it is so good for their coordination and strengthens those little hand muscles in preparation for years of writing!  Real dough is better than playdough cause you can eat the results! White dough is also easier to manipulate than brown.  Get them making little plaited rolls and cobs and all kinds of animal shapes. 

Since I buy fresh yeast in twin packs I sometimes use the second cube mixed with sugar and warm water to blow up a balloon!  (The mixture poured into a plastic water bottle with the balloon over the neck).   It’s a good way of demonstrating just how and why the bread is rising and what makes those little air pockets.  There’s a fun video for kids on my channel showing this. Just click on the link below: 

Link to video for children. All about yeast. Shows how to blow up a balloon with yeast.

Onions! Rooting veg. FUN


Four days ago we made some little rooting containers from plastic water bottle tops stuck onto lids to keep them stable. They work really well!  We put a red onion in one positioned so the base was nearly touching the water. 

Four days later and it looks like this! 


Children of all ages will learn such a lot from just this simple activity but let them find out for themselves by observation and careful questioning. Get them to predict. To investigate. Suggest their own experiments. How far this goes depends on the developmental stage of the child but don’t underestimate. Children are capable of  understanding  and absorbing a lot more than we think! 

Take photos or draw the vegetables at different stages. Take measurements of the shoot and the root and the girth of the onion bulb at the beginnng and every three or four days. Make charts to show the difference.  

Compare the growth of the plant with our growth. What we need to grow. Where we get food from. Where does the food for the plant come from? 
Ask questions and use the question words. What? Where? Why? How? 

What’s happened to the water? The roots? The shoots? The onion bulb ? 

Will this work with other veg.?

With pieces of veg? 

What will happen if we root two of the same veg. but positioned differently.

Ask them to look carefully at the veg. first and to predict where the roots will grow. 

Why do plants grow roots? 

If you turn the onion/potato etc round what will happen to the roots? Try and see. 

Why are roots white and shoots green? 

Do shoots always grow up and roots down? How can we find out? 

Why has the bulb shrunk? 

Now try this! 


Have fun! 

Floating Eggs

What? Why? How? 

Children need to e challenged not spoon-fed with facts! 

They need to question. To predict. To investigate. This is the first of a series of challenges for children. They are suitable for children from about four years upwards.  Children learn by ‘doing’ and all the challenges are simple enough for them to perform themselves with adult supervision. 

This first challenge is all about floating and density. 

The first video shows the challenge. 

The second video repeats the investigation and then answers the questions. 

My suggestion is that you watch the first video then perform the challenge asking the questions 

Later the second video giving the solutions can be watched.

Butterflies and Chromatography 

Chromatography is a big word but it simply means splitting something down into its basic components. So milk is milk but it’s components are fat, sugar, protein, water etc. 

In the same way but MUCH more fun, we can split colours down into their basic pigments. 

Sounds complicated but it’s a piece of cake!  A,fun activity that even a preschool,child will enjoy (always supervised, of course) . 

Watch the video and you will see! 

Learn and have Fun with Bubbles

 Bubbles

The second ‘Stories from Jumble House’.
Topic: Bubbles
Number: 4
Letter: Ss
Colour: red
The story: Sally Strawberry learns a Lesson.

 

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I hope you enjoyed our programme on Bubbles. If you haven’t watched it yet you can use the link below to view.

BUBBLES. Stories from Jumble House
If you are looking for some more activities on the ‘bubble ‘ theme then here they are!

Why are bubbles different colours?
My kids loved this activity!
We half filled a bowl with water and added lots of soap to make masses of strong bubbles. Then we placed our hands under a pile of bubbles and walked around inside and out observing how the colours changed. Children will realise quickly what is happening but they won’t probably know the term ‘reflecting ‘ so this is a good  opportunity to introduce and explain.

Are bubbles always round?



No matter how you try the bubbles you blow will always be round because they are free. There is nothing pushing on them. But, look at the shape of the bubbles on a bubble print. There lots of bubbles are squashed together and so push each other into all kinds of shapes.  Can you make a square bubble?  With a bit of an effort yes!  Learn how on the link below: 

Can you make a square bubble?

Where else do you find bubbles?
Play a game, ‘Spot the Bubbles ‘ . It can last a whole week!
There are bubbles everywhere!

Make some bread.  Yeast produces bubbles when it is given warmth, sugar and liquid. Make some bread using fresh yeast then they can appreciate the process. 
Click on the link below the photo to watch how to make delicious ‘ Yummy Srummy Good for my Tummy Bread’!! 


 Make Bread with Maisie Jumble

Bubbles on the surface of a pond or lake.

Ask questions later like: ‘where do you think they come from?  ‘what is in the water that produces these bubbles? ‘

Click on this link to find out more:  What’s making the bubbles? 

Some foods have bubbles.   Just look at a block of Aero chocolate!  

Bread. Chocolate Mousse  You can make a fun bubbly jelly too. 

So how do we get the air into the liquid?
Here are some good ways to demonstrate this:
Whipping   (cream and egg whites) 
Blowing
Steam-like for Cappuccino. 
Using a milk frother – .These little milk frothers are really good and providing the milk isn’t too hot Children can make themselves a frothy milk drink.

Bubbles, air and frothy milk 




Early Learning
Of course, while your little ones are discovering bubbles they will also be learning basic scientific and mathematical concepts like temperature, weighing and measuring, density AND accumulating lots of new words.

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