Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Science of fluids inquiry activity for preschoolers

Yesterday was one of those yucky days when our apartment complex's kids space floods, and it gets really hard to enjoy any time outside, so I thought it was time for an activity I had been saving.

I put a selection of squeeze bottles and pumps on the edge of the tub, and invited my little scientists to do some experiments.

For quite a while they were happy just dumping and pumping.    Then, they spent a long time trying to figure out the best way to fill up a water balloon.

They learned that as you pour water into a balloon, the balloon will expand, but only to a point.  Beyond that point, you have to force the water into the balloon in such a way that it makes the balloon expand.  Pressure, limits: those little pieces of intuitive knowledge can be so valuable later on.

Of course, they spent some time blowing bubbles, too.

From a science perspective, it was a great opportunity to let them say, "What if?" and then find out.  

 I have been saying, "No", "Don't touch" and "Not so hard!"  more than usual lately.  The teacher in me feels guilty.  After all, I know that they are only trying to understand and manipulate the world around them, things I really want them to do, and do well.  The homemaker in me feels like I am barely surviving as it is.  This activity was a great remedy for that situation.  They could squeeze, dump, and blow bubbles to their hearts' content without creating more work for me.  They loved it, they were learning, and I was relaxed.

What fun ways have you found to focus your children's natural curiosity recently? 

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I can't wait to hear what you have to say! Thanks for sharing.