Teaching your kids about the world around them and how things work is a great way to supplement their education. Check out some out some of these activities you can do easily at home.
Learn how oil and water don’t mix.
What you’ll need: oil (baby oil works well), water, food coloring, eye droppers, cups or bowls, a clear shallow dish.
- Fill your pie pan with oil.
- For each color you have of food coloring, fill a cup with water and mix with a few drops of food coloring.
- Fill an eye dropper with some of the colored water and squirt into the pie pan.
- Kids can see that the water and oil don’t mix because oil is less dense than water and because the water molecules are attracted to other water molecules more than they are oil molecules.
Learn how fat keeps animals warm
What you’ll need: a large bowl, ice, vegetable shortening (like Crisco), vinyl or plastic gloves, plastic wrap.
- Fill your bowl with water and ice.
- Have your child touch the cold water.
- Dry your child’s hand and put on a glove.
- Cover their gloved hand in shortening and wrap the hand in plastic wrap.
- Have your child put their gloved hand in the water again.
- Kids see how fat (shorting) acts as insolation against cold.
Test the strength of spaghetti
What you’ll need: uncooked spaghetti, 2 sheets of Styrofoam, heavy objects (like books).
- Lay one sheet of Styrofoam on a flat surface, preferably the floor.
- Pick an item to test the weight of. Have your child guess how many pieces of spaghetti it will take to support it.
- Insert roughly 20-30 pieces of spaghetti into the Styrofoam so that they stick straight up.
- Lay the other sheet of Styrofoam on top.
- Place one book on top of the Styrofoam.
- The entire structure should collapse.
- Repeat step three, this time put as many spaghetti in the Styrofoam as possible.
- Repeat steps four through five. This time, the spaghetti should hold up.
- Kids can see that even very fragile material can be strong when you use enough of it.