Where do the holes come from? The Science of Bread.

We wanted to know how the holes got into bread so we watched Maisie making a loaf of bread ‘Yummy Good for your Tummy Bread’ and then made some ourselves.

Click here for the video showing how to make the bread

Watching the yeast fermenting and producing all those tiny bubbles is fascinating and children love to have a go kneading the bread dough.

Using fresh yeast to do this makes the science behind bread making much clearer.

After producing a really delicious loaf of bread using Maisie’s instructions we looked at the conditions needed for the yeast to work.

This is what we did:

We put the same amount of yeast in seven dishes.

Dish A … we added sugar.

Dish B … we added cold milk

Dish C … we added warm milk

Dish D …we added sugar and cold milk

Dish E … we added sugar and warm milk

Dish F … we added sugar and very hot milk.

Dish G … just yeast. Nothing added.

Then the children were asked to PREDICT which dish the yeast would work best in.

The dishes were left for 30minutes.

This dish did the best. Which was it? What conclusions did we draw?Well, you need to try the experiment out for yourselves to find out because that is what ‘Jumble Fun’ is all about! Motivating children to be ‘hands on’

A good introduction to the simple science of yeast for very young children can be found on the Jumble Fun in the ‘Science for Kids’ playlist on out channel: http://tinyurl.com/funjumbles

In this programme Lizzie Witch illustrates how to blow up a balloon using yeast

Click here for the yeast and balloon experiment

We’ve been watching an egg cooking.

We’ve been watching a poached egg cooking! Today’s example of an everyday occurrence we take for granted but when watched through the eyes of a child the transformation is magical! ‘How does this happen?’ Most three year olds will appreciate that it’s something to do with hot water.

We’ve no time now but this evening we are going to test that theory by putting one egg into cold water and the other into hot.

Learning about Rain. Art meets Science

Make a rainy day fun by finding out more about rain.

What is rain? What shape do raindrops make in puddles? Why do wet pebbles look shiny?

There are so many questions to find the answers to and so many art and craft projects to continue the theme and explorations.

Follow the link below and watch the short video with your child. Then start to look, to listen, to investigate.

It’s Raining. Art meets Science

Simple answers to those difficult questions:

What is rain?

Rain falls from clouds. Clouds are made from lots and lots of tiny water droplets. These droplets move around and bump into each other They stick together into clumps that get bigger and heavier. Eventually they get so big and heavy they can’t float any more and they fall to the ground as rain.

Why are wet stones and pebbles shiny and darker than dry ones?

The water coats the stone giving it a smooth surface. Light reflects off this surface just like it does in a lake or in the sea.

What shape do raindrops make on puddles?

Rain drops make concentric circles. That is one circle inside another. You can illustrate this by putting a very small plate on a slightly larger one and that on top of a larger one still.

Why do raindrops stay on top of leaves?

Leaves are covered with a kind of waxy coat. Some leaves are more waxy than others. This makes them waterproof and so the raindrops stay on the surface..

Why do raindrops on a window always go down and never up?

its all to do with the pull of gravity. Gravity is like a great big magnet pulling everything down towards the ground. Without gravity we would float in the air and so would all the cars and buses! When raindrops land on the window they are pulled downwards by gravity. As they travel down the window they bump into other drops and be one heavier. The heavier they become the faster they move.,

For related art and craft projects please see the previous two posts. Or search for raindrops and Concentric circles.

Raindrops on Puddles Part One

It’s incredible how much can be learnt using raindrops on puddles as inspiration.

Science. Art. Mathematics. Vocabulary. Fine motor skills and lots more.

But to kids it’s all just great fun and that’s what learning should be.

Here are just a few ideas. There will be more in the next few posts.

Learning about Lizard

Today we saw a lizard in our little garden. She was very active and very healthy. But, a year ago we found one in our cantina. She wasn’t very well at all. We christened her ‘Little LIZZIE Lizard’.

Read on to find out what happened.

Yesterday we found this little lizard in our cantina and it wasn’t very well. We called it Little Lizzie Lizard!

She looked so thin and lifeless and so dull that we were really afraid she would  die but we were determined to do our best and try to help her.  First we needed to find out some facts about lizards.  We have shared them and the story of Little Lizzie Lizard below.


Some Lizard Facts!

Lizards belong to an animal class called REPTILES.
Reptiles (with a few exceptions) are cold-blooded animals which lay eggs. They have a backbone, four legs and are covered in scales.   Lizards can be found all over the world except at the North and South Poles.

 Can you guess why? 

There are over 3,000 different types of lizards and they come in all sorts of shapes, colours and sizes! The smallest measures a tiny 7cms whereas the largest, the Komodo Dragon can reach lengths of 3 metres.
Lizards have four legs each with five little toes and they are very fast runners and very good at climbing. They also have a very long tail part of which can detach itself if a predator grabs hold! The lizard then grows another one!

They are insectivores which means that they eat only insects but some of the larger ones are carnivores and eat small animals,
Most lizards live in trees or under rocks and are more active at night. During the day they like to sunbathe!

 Why?? .
Well, it has something to do with the fact they aren’t found at the North or South Poles !!
Do you know what the climate is like at the poles?
Yes! Ice and snow and VERY cold.
You and I and all mammals like dogs and cats and rabbits and mice and horses are warm bloodied which means we are able to control our body temperature. To keep it the same even when the temperature outside changes. But reptiles and that includes lizards, are cold bloodied which means that they can’t control their body temperature. So they need to sunbathe to warm up!

This is why our little lizard was so poorly when we found her.   She had been locked in a cold underground room with no sun and was very, very cold.  She was also very dehydrated which means her  body was lacking in water and dehydration is very serious.  We couid tell she was poorly because she was so happy to be handled and that is NOT normal.   The poor thing hadn’t the energy to run away!


So!  The Jumbles came to the rescue!!

We had to warm her up and re-hydrate her which means we had to make sure she drank some water.  We held her near a bowl of water and were really pleased because she started to lap it up !

Then we found a nice big bowl and popped her in with a shallow bowl of water and then we put it in a nice warm spot outside but not in direct sunlight because it is VERY hot here at the moment.  We also gave her a little box just in case she wanted to hide!


Then we left her in peace but kept checking every hour.

After about four hours Lizzie Lizard was looking very different. More alert and a much better colour !  So we put a few ants and maggots into the bowl to tempt her to eat.  The DOG BISCUIT was not for Lizzie Lizard! It was just a quick way to catch some insects and transport to the bowl !


By the following morning Lizzie Lizard  was anxious to get out and, instead if wanting to be handled she ran off when we tried to touch her !

That was a good sign Lizzie was feeling normal again.

It was time to let her out !


And that’s what we did!

It was such a great feeling to have helped an animal back to health and to return it to the wild.

Video of Little Lizzie Lizard’s recovery!

Rainbow Coloured Flowers

Georgie had a surprise at Rome airport yesterday when she came face to face with a Christmas Tree multicoloured just like her! Here she is with Paolo and Ruben from UNICEF.

Then we saw this cake in patisserie Glacé in the Marina Bay Link Mall, Singapore so now you know where the JUMBLES are visiting. Yes, it’s Singapore!

So it was RAINBOWS everywhere!

For a fun rainbow activity see the link below.

Fast, simple and fun investigation to do at home. All you need is a plate, milk, liquid soap and food colouring.

Be warned that food colouring stains everything including fingers. In the video I use my finger to apply the soap because it’s easier to film.  You may want to use a cotton wool bud instead!

The Bouncy Egg

A fun, simple and effective investigation with eggs.

All you need is two eggs, cider or white wine vinegar and two clear containers.

The experiment needs to be left for 18 to 24 hours.

All my programmes are designed to motivate children to ask questions, to predict, to reason.

This video is in two parts. The first explains how to set up the experiment and asks children to predict WHAT they think will happen to the eggs. Then they do the experiment and try to think WHY it happened.

The second part is the explanation put very simply. I suggest you stop the video between the two parts.

Adult supervision is required

Click on this link to watch the video