I need some ideas for a science lesson for my 3.5 year old, and I thought this forum would be a good place to glean ideas. She's been really confused/curious about the concept of dissolving stuff or mixing stuff in. Today, for instance, I sprinkled maple sugar over her yogurt. She mixed it up, and then wasn't sure if she still had sprinkle. And where did it go? If I dig down, will I find it? What happened to my sprinkle, mommy? Any ideas for some projects we can do to help her understand how things disperse and dissolve when they're mixed?
there are so many....and all i can think of are great sensory type stuff and messy... let her play with a bin of dried beans and small toys -- cover them up and find them... shaving cream and food colors... corn starch and water (let her mix them together -- she can sprinkle the corn starch over the water - and if you leave that one out long enough it ill return to corn starch :) ....those water bead things too (they soak up water and you put them in floral vases) .... im trying to think of something you can combine and then sift apart....maybe beans and rice???
What about dissolving different things (salt and sugar, as an example) into water, then letting the water evaporate over a few days and leave the residue behind? There would be lots to talk about, you could measure the height of the water in the glass, as well as explain how the water evaporated but left the precipitate (Right word?) behind.
Mixing anything, really. I have had my girls think up completely improbable experiments that had predictably (for an adult) improbable results, but they thought it was fun. So, let her brainstorm what she might want to do and encourage her to do it, no matter how silly it sounds (OK, I admit there are limits).
Make red cabbage broth and put in 2 glasses (very large so she can keep adding to them). Pour baking soda in one (let her taste) and watch it dissolve and turn the liquid blue. You can add vinegar or (to keep with the dissolution theme) citric acid in another to make that one pink (don't tell, either). Keep adding, watching the color change, see how much to take it back to purple again, mix both cups together and start over again. Fun to do over and over. If she really likes the pink, cook some red cabbage or purple cauliflower and let her eat it with vinegar--pink food!!!
You can also try rock candy, which is a bit much for a 3.5yo, but why not? I really love Vicki Cobb's Science Experiments You Can Eat, which has a really thorough explanation of saturation, etc. for making rock candy (again, a bt much for a 3.5yo) which includes instructions to add the sugar to cold water first until the water cannot hold any more in suspension, the heating it (it dissolves again!! How'd that happen??) Then add more until you've got it saturated again. Then the rock candy magic can begin.
Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
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