Saturday, 25 October 2014

Learning about Science through water play

When I was at school science was fairly boring, apart from a magnesium strip which burnt brightly there was not a lot to hold our interest in class. Having said that I loved chemistry, more I think for the maths and formulas in it, and biology, I was more into science because I did not enjoy history and was hopeless at art and music.

Nowadays children are much more interested in what goes on around them, they are encouraged to be inquisitive and ask questions, much more than my generation ever was. Education these days does not have to be educational in the way it was in my day. Education is fun, learning is done through fun, and children will retain that information better because of the fun aspect. Education does not even have to take place in the classroom. There are so many educational toys that can be used in the home environment. This is great when you have children like Bob who are home educated, but even Fifi enjoys the aspect of learning.

Science is a great medium for learning, be that learning the science behind using baking powder to make gluten free cakes rise and taste yummy, or learning about blowing air into a balloon to inflate it, right to the basic level of seeds growing into plants and producing more seeds as well as food you can eat. Children learn just by their environment and the opportunities that presents to them on a day to day basis.

So when I was asked to have some fun with the grandchildren and let them try out a couple of sets from Science4you I jumped at the chance.

We were sent a water science set, designed for age 6+


and the website gives us more information at a glance, letting us know which areas the set you have chosen will help to boost. ours amongst others will help with creativity, concentration and manual skills. 




So Bob and I had a read through the book, there is a lot of background information in the book before you get to the experiments. Bob chose a few different experiments to start us off. Bob has been fascinated with bubbles ever since we saw " the Bubble Man"  three years ago training locally and he allowed us to bring the children along and spent over an hour with them making amazing bubbles.


So first for Bob was bubble blowing. We started with the experiment of blowing up a balloon and allowing the air to escape from the balloon through a straw to blow the bubbles for you.  From here we went to him blowing multiple bubbles, learning about blowing softly, hard and harder to achieve different results. Learning that blowing too hard is not always a good thing.


Here he has to work out how to get the elastic band to hold the balloon onto the straw, fine motor skills as well as thinking.



We discussed breathing, in and out, and how when you breathe out there is still something there even though you cannot see it. We could relate this to his peak flow meter and how when he is wheezy less comes out. We learnt that the air that comes out blows up the balloon.  Learning that the air that comes out of the balloon causes the bubbles, the bubbles become bigger as they expand, thereby overflowing onto the tray.




Practise blowing gently to create bubbles within bubbles


 Lots of straws equals lots of small bubbles rather than one big one.




We talked about water and how it can exist as water, steam, or ice if we heat it or cool it. We also talked about water appearing to "disappear". We did the snow experiment but with blue slow to make it easier to see. Here again Bob had to use the syringe correctly to measure a set amount of water, work out where the water had gone and why the contents of the tub were swelling and getting bigger. We related this to Minky and Dinkys nappies, and how they start off small but absorb their pee and grow larger and heavier until they leak.


Fifi received a Slimy Factory set and you can read whet we thought of it here.

Theses sets are great and show that learning can be fun.

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