Last week I found this great book in a second hand book shop. It has heaps of fun ideas for activities to do with kids at home with easy to find materials.
Today I picked a random experiment from the book for the girls to try - a nice simple one called 'Melting Ice'
The experiments are printed out very clearly with an aim, materials and steps for each one. The book is also divided into six different sections on Astronomy, Chemistry, Geology and Geography, Weather, Biology and Physics. The experiment we chose today was from the Chemistry section.
Basically we put 2 ice cubes each in 5 small plastic cups and placed them in various spots around the house and garden. The girls then predicted for each cup how long it would take the ice to melt.
They wrote down where they'd put the cups and the time they'd predicted for the melting, then started the stopwatch. The ice took much longer than expected to melt - the first one - out in the full sun, took 28 minutes (a lot longer than the expected 6 minutes!). The last one to melt was kept in a dark cupboard and the ice lasted a full hour longer than the one outside!
The girls found the experiment interesting - particularly since the results were different to what they had expected. It was a nice simple one to set up and do too!
I think this book is going to have some great ideas for us to do some fun experiments this year.
On the curriculum for both girls school year is conducting science experiments - planning, predicting and discussing how the experiment is conducted and the results. The year 3 curriculum (for our younger daughter) also deals with the change of heat between solid and liquid as a result of heat, so this experiment in particular is relevant there. It also sparked a second experiment to discover what difference placing the cup of ice under the ceiling fan makes!
Do you have any simple science experiments you've done with your kids at home?