It is never too soon for your children to start learning how science works. Preschoolers may require a little help and a lot of supervision when they perform simple science experiments, but watching their efforts produce visible results is a great way to get them interested. The experiments described here require common household ingredients, a little time, and a lot of observation and discussion.
Homemade Lava LampThe simple way to perform this experiment is with a clear glass or jar, some food coloring, about a cup of vegetable oil, and some water. Put the oil in the glass container. Mix drops of food coloring with small amounts of water. Drip the colored water into the glass container. Since oil and water do not mix, the water will retain the color and move in bubbles or streams through the oil. For more movement, break an original Alka-Seltzer into small pieces and drop one into the container. Where oil and water will separate, the carbon dioxide of the tablet bonds to the water molecules and lifts them in the container.
Experimenting with Sound WavesTwo tin cans and a length of string is always an entertaining and informative science experiment for preschoolers. To make it easier for the little ones, use two lines with a can at both ends, one for speaking and one for listening. Use a nail to make a small hole in the bottom of the cans, slip the string through it, and tie a large knot at the end of the string. Experiment with how the quality of the sound is affected by how taut the string is pulled and how the sound stops completely when the line goes limp. What if someone touches the string while it is being used?
Watching Beans GrowPlanting beans in a clear plastic cup gives children the ability to watch beans sprout and roots grow through the soil. Variations include growing a potato from eyes in a cup of water, or any number of vegetable or flower plants. The biology of watching roots growing through soil is an excellent example of how tiny seeds can transform into larger plants, and helps children gain an understanding of living things and where food comes from.
These ideas are just a sampling of the science experiments you can do with preschoolers. You can either perform these basic experiments or try different things like swapping the oil and water quantities, using different types of string between the cans or comparing different types of seed to see which ones sprout and grow the fastest. The important thing is to introduce your preschooler to the wonders of science and how we can use it to better understand the world we live in.
Montessori education teaches students through hands-on activities and encourages families to do the same at home. To learn more about Montessori education and to schedule a tour at the Montessori School of Flagstaff Westside Campus, contact us today.