Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Science Play the 3 1/2 Year Old Way

One of the my daughter's fave concepts to explore in her play is that of Cause and Effect. Most kids love it; think of the tots turning lights on and off, playing with the TV remote, and pressing buttons on the dishwasher, - all are great examples of kiddies testing out cause and effect!
This can also be easily demonstrated with a simple experiment. Mixing bicarb soda and vinegar! As we know, the vinegar makes the soda fizz and bubble. This is because the bicarbonate in the soda and the acid in the vinegar react to create carbonic acid which is unstable and causes the bubbles. Sounds complex and of course, you don't have to go into this explanation with your little ones (I surely didn't!). 

Eden simply found out that mixing the soda and vinegar was FUN!
I put a fair bit of bicarb soda into a brownie tin, and portioned out vingear into some egg cups. I dyed it with food dye ('cause it just looks prettier that way!), gave her some spoons and a medicine dropper, and stood back.

She began by adding drops of the coloured vinegar to the tray and watching the little bubbles burble and pop, quickly progressing to putting whole eggcups in the tray and adding pinches of soda to the eggcups, watching delightedly as they fizzed over!

Hmmm, what happens when we put all the eggcups in there at once and add bicarb soda to each of them? All the colours overflow the cups and swirl together! Whoa!
I loved that Eden came up with all of these ideas entirely on her own. No suggestions from me whatsoever! It always amazes me to see how resourceful children can be, and how much just being allowed to explore something really frees them to try all sorts of things. Love it!
Next on her list was 'medicine making'. Tip a bit of this colour into this eggcup, add a bit of already-coloured vinegar, and what do you get? Something that looks a lot like Bubblegum Swirl Ice-cream!

How cool is that?!
Surprisingly, Eden was absorbed in this activity for nearly an hour and a half. You read correctly. I know! Pretty impressive concentration span for a 3 1/2 year old! That's the beauty of something like this though; parents provide the items and a safe environment to explore in, and the kids just dive on in head first, charting their own course, asking their own questions and drawing their own conclusions. It doesn't get much cooler than that.

And what did Eden think of this activity? ......

..... She seemed to enjoy herself. Hahaha!!

Thanks for reading! ~ L.

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