Tot School 37.5 mo Twins – Ice Science

It’s science time again.  This time we are experimenting with ice.  I began by pouring maple syrup, water, Dr Pepper, V8 Splash and milk into small glasses.  I let the boys look, smell and taste all of the liquids.   I set out a small ice-cube tray and gave a turkey baster to the boys to move the liquids over to the tray.  The turkey baster was a bit big and cumbersome for their small hands.

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So after each boy attempted the baster, I gave them a small eye dropper to transfer all the different liquids.  When each of the 5 wells were full, minding that they were all filling to the same level, I asked each boy which liquid would freeze hard the first and which one would be last.  Lance predicted the Dr Pepper would freeze first and the milk would be last while James thought the maple syrup would freeze hard first and the water would be last.

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I popped it into the freezer.  One hour later we checked on the ice tray by  poking our fingers on top of the ice.  The water was freezing the fastest and the V8 Splash was last.  Back into the freezer it went and one more hour later we pulled the tray back out.  The results from our very scientific scratching and eating method revealed that the water froze the hardest, then milk, then V8 Splash, then Dr Pepper and finally the maple syrup.  We didn’t talk about why or how things freeze.  We just applauded the winner and then ate all the remaining icy mixtures.  As Lance proclaimed, “Science is yummy!” so I’m glad they are forming great attitudes about science.

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Tot School 36.5mo Twins – E is For Electrical Engineer

I don’t know who had the most fun being electrical engineers for the day.  The answer might be mommy.  We are plugging right along with exploring the letter E and being engineers has gotten the boys ohing, ahing and asking lots of questions.

We started out talking about dad’s job since he’s an electrical engineer.  I’m not sure if they understand that dad doesn’t go to work and play with balloons all day since most of our experiments used balloons today.  We had hoped to go up to his work and see the lightning chamber but it was being worked on so we’ll have to make a special trip at a later time to see that cool visual of electricity.

Our first experiment wasn’t all that exciting, but it helped to show how electricity flows.  I took one of our very small flashlights and let the boys take the battery out of it.  They love taking things apart!  I showed the boys the two different ends in the chamber and I had to remind Lance to keep his fingers out so he wouldn’t bend the coil or break it.  Then we looked at the two ends of a battery.  I had them tell me whether each end was flat or knobby.  Just throwing a bit of language in there too.  I put the battery in the wrong way.  Of-course the battery didn’t work.  I took the battery out and put it in the right way and it worked.  I told them that anytime a battery was used the battery had to be put in a certain way so the electricity could flow.

Next I pulled out the vacuum cleaner.  I had the boys try to turn on the machine with the switch.  Lance said “Why doesn’t it work mommy?”  I love it when kids ask the perfect question for what you’d like to teach them.  I told them that the outlet in the wall had electricity.  So we plugged the vacuum in, flipped the switch and watched it come to life.  I took this opportunity to let the boys clean my living room floor, just learning reinforcement mind you.  I pulled the plug a few times while the boys vacuumed just to make the point of some machines running on electricity.

Now we moved into the fun experiments.  I blew up a red balloon, any color works and almost everyone has a balloon somewhere in the house.  I told the boys we were going to create our own electricity.  I told Lance that I was going to rub the balloon on his head and it would create static electricity.  At first he said he was too scared to let me do it, but eventually he decided I could.  We laughed as each one of us got our hair to stand up.  The boys wanted to get mom’s long hair to stand up but it weighed too much for our tiny bit of static electricity.

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Next I poured out a few pieces of chex cereal.  I had a hard time getting the boys to pay attention and not eat the cereal.  Anyone else have kids that just go bonkers over food?  So I rubbed the balloon over James’ head really well and put the balloon down close to the cereal.  Just like magic the pieces stood up on end reaching up towards the balloon.  I’d never done that before.

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None of that impressed my electrical engineer husband until our last experiment.  We bent water and he had never done that with a balloon.  Kind of makes me laugh, you can always learn something new.  I took the boys into the bathroom.  I turned on the water to a low, steady stream.  I rubbed my head really well then put the balloon down close to the water.  What do know, the water actually bends and arcs towards the shape of the balloon.  Now that’s cool science.

DSC_1389I didn’t explain all the details of the science because they’re too young for all that.  I did tell them though that it was science at work and not magic that did all those things.  I had fun.  The boys had fun and I think their love for learning increased.

Tot School 36.5mo Twins – E is for Chemical Engineer

We are continuing on this week with the letter E.  Specifically we are exploring engineers.  All types of engineers.  Today we focused on chemical engineers.  Mind you, this is preschool science so no atom splitting going on today but my boys enjoyed the experiments we did.  I’m not expecting a lot of comprehension either.  Rather just instilling a love of learning science, guessing and hearing new words all while having some fun.

I started this morning with handing the boys a pan and letting them fill it up with water and set an egg into it.  I set it on the stove to boil for a hard-boiled egg.  When it was done, we put the egg into a glass bowl.  I poured some vinegar into a measuring cup and let them take turns pouring it over the egg.  I told the boys to watch carefully.  Lots of bubbles started rising off the egg and eventually  the bubbles stopped rising and just settled all over the egg.  I asked the boys to guess at what the vinegar would do to the egg-shell since it was an acid.  At first they both said they didn’t know so I gave them some options to choose from: the egg will harden, the egg will soften, the egg will get rubbery, the water will turn green and the egg will turn black.  James predicted that the egg will harden while Lance guessed that the egg will soften.  I said that the vinegar would react with the calcium in the egg-shell and we would have to wait until Friday to see what will happen.  We put the bowl up on the counter and we will check it everyday until Friday.

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Next we made a series of eruptions.  We added something different each time and tried to guess how the eruption would change.

 

 We started with a drinking glass set inside a shallow pan.  The boys spooned in baking soda and a few color drops in the bottom of a drinking glass.   I gave each of them a measuring cup of  vinegar to pour into the glass.   The first eruption happened fast and overflowed a lot because it was watery and light.

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 Then we prepped another drinking glass in the same way as before except we adding a squirt of dish washing liquid to it.  We got a really fast and big overflow that was foamy.

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  Lastly we prepped everything the same way again but added some vegetable oil to the mix.  What we got was a slower, more controlled fizz. DSC_1362DSC_1363  There were so many big bubbles that slowly rose to the top and the boys had fun poking their fingers into them and popping them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For our last chemical experiment, we were going to learn about what makes leaves change color.  We collected our leaves, tore them up, poured rubbing alcohol over it, covered the jar and place it in hot water.  What should have happened was all the color coming out of the leaves making the water a dark green.  Had that happened, we would have continued on in the experiment, but sadly after 2.5hrs all we had was a pale green color.  Oh well, not everything works as planned.  The boys got to have fun and do one of their favorite things, make eruptions.  Tomorrow will be a fun filled engineering day too.

Tot School 36.5mo Twins – Beginning the Letter E

This week we are working on the letter E.  We read the books, Enemy Pie, When the Elephant Walks, An Elephant On my Roof and My Letter “E” Sound Box on Monday.  Today we worked on some letter E science.  I pulled out a carton of eggs.  We gathered around to look at them.  We talked about their color, the feel, the shape and I asked them if eggs were strong.  From past experience with breaking eggs during cooking, they both said that eggs were not strong.  I told them that they just might find that eggs are actually really strong when the weight is distributed out.  Then I set the carton of eggs on the floor.  I helped James step up on the eggs without his shoes on.  We all laughed in amazement as the eggs held him up.  Then he leaned forward and the carton dumped over and with it James smashed a few eggs with his feet.  I cleaned it up and asked Lance if he wanted to stand on the eggs.  He said no, that he was scared. 

DSC_1315  I put all but 4 eggs back in the fridge so we could make our next “E” science project.  We made an egg custard pie.  My boys are getting quite a bit better at breaking eggs into the bowl.  I only picked out a few shell bits this time.   James has learned how to mix without sloshing everywhere.  They are still working on how to correctly measure ingredients out.  Cooking is becoming a favorite thing to do around here.  Not only do we enjoy doing it, but we love to eat our finished product.

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