Category: Little Mad Scientist

Parts of a Flower

This week our home learners group got together for the second week in our gardening activity.  Our topic this week was the parts of a flower.

Supplies:
Lilies
magnifying Glass
Parts of a Flower Worksheet

This was a simple activity where we had the kids look and “dissect” a flower to learn the different parts of the flower.  We had the kids look at the flower and try to match up the different parts of the flower with the labels on the worksheet.  They also colored the picture to match the actual flower.

Thing 1 really enjoyed the activity.  I was really impressed with how much he remembered and how much he liked looking at the flower, especially after his friends left.

 

{Little Mad Scientists} Parachuting Bugs

I will have to admit, after I planned this activity I was really worried that it wasn’t going to work.  However, it turned out well and all three boys had a lot of fun dropping their parachutes down.

Supplies:
2 plastic trash bags
yarn
ruler
scissors

Directions:
1.  Cut three squares out of the plastic trash bags.  I made one that was 5 inches by 5 inches. The second was 10 inches by 10 inches and the third was 15 inches by 15 inches.


2.  Cut 4 pieces of string for each parachute.  Cut the first four 6 inches long.  Cut the second four 11 inches long.  Cut the last four 16 inches long.
3. Tie the four strings to the corner of each parachute.  The 6 inch strings go with the 5 in. by 5 in. parachute.  The 11 inch strings go with the 10 in. by 10 in. parachute and the 16 inch string goes with the 15 in. by 15 in. parachute.
4.  This is the step where the bugs come in to the picture.  Since we don’t own any army men, we decided to use the bugs as our weight.  You don’t have to use anything for weight, but it was a lot more fun.


5.  Drop your parachutes from somewhere high.  We have a “bridge” that goes over the front entry way that we dropped our parachutes from.  If you don’t have any stairs you could go to a park and drop them from the top of the play equipment.

While the boys were dropping the parachute bugs, I spent time asking them questions.  I gave them the you are jumping out of a plane scenerio and asked them what parachute they would like to have.  I asked them what they thougth was happening as the parachutes were dropping.  I asked them why they thougth the parachutes fell at the speed they did.

The boys had a great time.  At first they were all excited with how fast the smallest parachute dropped.  (“It won!”)  However, after I gave them the jumping out of a plane scenerio, Thing 1 decided that he would like to jump with the largest parachute.  When I asked the question what was causing the parachute to open, Thing 1 yelled out “the air,” which definitely caught me off guard.  Also, when I asked why the largest parachute went the slowest, again Thing 1 answered, “because it is bigger.”  I was super impressed with their knowledge.

This experiment was also a lot of fun because Thing 3 was able to participate in this experiment.  He thought he was the coolest kid on the block because he was able to do stuff with his big brothers.

The boys played with their parachutes for the rest of the afternoon and I got a great workout retrieving all of the parachutes after the boys dropped them.

What science activities have you done this week? It’s your turn to share.

1.  Please link directly to you blog post that contains your science activity.  That makes it easier to find!
2.  Please link back to Raising the Cameron Clan somewhere on your blog.  This will allow others to discover the awesome science acitivities that are out there!
3.  Please consider following Raising the Cameron Clan, that way you are first to know when the weekly linky party is up!
4.  Please share.

Let’s get this party started!



{Little Mad Scientists} Cups & String

I know you have seen it, two kids talking to each other through two cups and a string.  However, I have always wondered if it really works.  So as part of our science Fridays, I thought that the boys and I would test it out.

Supplies:
2 plastics cups
string (the longer the better)  we used some embroidery thread that I had

Directions:
1. Put a small hole in the bottom of both plastic cups.
2. Thread the string through each end of the cups.  Tie a knot in the string so it stays inside the cup.
3.  Spread apart and start talking!

The boys and I really learned a lot and had a great time. It didn’t take long for Thing 1 and Thing 2 to make some discoveries.

The first discovery made was that the only way to hear through the cups was to have the string tight.  The boys realized that if they string was loose, they couldn’t hear each other.

The second discovery made was that if you touched the string, even if it was tight, you could not hear through the cup.

Both of these discoveries gave me the perfect opportunity to talk about sound waves on a 3 and 4 year old level.  I could see the wheels turning in Thing 1’s head as he peppered me with questions.

Lastly, they had to learn to communicate and work together.  The soon realized that if one was talking the other one had to be listening.  They had to work together, which is something that is often lost on them, and many adults.

This was a simple science activity that the boys and I enjoyed.  They were so excited about this activity that they immediately asked if they could share it with Daddy Cameron when he got home.

What scientific discoveries have you made this week?

 

{Little Mad Scientists} Volcano!

Ever since my boys saw the new chipmunk movie, they have wanted to learn about volcanos.  So, after doing some searching I found a volcano experiment that I wanted to try with the boys.  The reason I chose this version of making a volcano was that the bubbles in this version are filled with the same gas that make bubbles in real lava.

Supplies:
8 oz glass or plastic bottle
2 Tbsp yeast
2 Tbsp honey
6 C. flour
2 C. salt
4 Tbsp cooking oil
2 C. water
1 C. warm water
Large bowl
Baking Pan

Directions:

1.  In a large bowl mix flour, salt, cooking oil and water to make a playdough like mixture.  Add water, if necessary, to make the dough stick together.

2. Put honey into the small bottle.  Then fill it half way up with warm water.  Shake the bottle until the honey dissolves.

3.  On the baking pan, using the dough mixture begin to roughly shape a volcano.  Make sure to leave a hole in the center for the bottle.

4.  Add yeast to the bottle and shake it again.

5.  Finish filling the bottle with warm water.

6.  Place the bottle in the center of your volcano.  Then finish molding the dough into a volcano around the bottle.  Make sure that you do not let any of the dough fall into the bottle.

7.  Then wait for the lava to flow.

I was a little disappointed because the eruption wasn’t as exciting as I hoped it would have been.  In hindsight I should have just used baking soda and vinegar, I think the boys would have enjoyed that reaction more.  Also, I would have used some red food coloring in the mixture so that the lava would have been easier to see.  (I guess I should have listened to my husband.)

However, the boys really enjoyed watching the volcano erupt.  At one point all three boys were sitting around our outdoor craft table.  It was great family time.

Have you ever made a volcano?

 

Now it is your turn to show us what you and your little scientist have done this week.

1.  Please link directly to you blog post that contains your science activities.  That makes it easier to find!
2.  Please link back to Raising the Cameron Clan somewhere on your blog.  This will allow others to discover the awesome science activities that are out there!
3.  Please consider following Raising the Cameron Clan, that way you are first to know when the weekly linky party is up!

Raising the Cameron Clan | Little Mad Scientists



{Little Mad Scientists} Baking Soda & Vinegar

I love doing science activities with my boys.  I think they are pretty neat, but I love to see they boys’ faces when something cool happens.  This is a super simple activity that amused my boys for over an hour and probably more if I had not run out of vinegar.

Ingredients:

baking soda
vinegar
food coloring (optional)
baking sheet (optional)

Directions:
1. Put baking soda on the pan.  I then added the food coloring to each boys pan.  Then add vinegar and see what happens. We used a syringe, a spray bottle, a suction thing (sorry I can’ think of what it is called) and anything else the boys asked to use.

The boys really enjoyed this.  They both started by touching the baking soda.  We talked about what it felt like and made a few simple observations about it.

Then they got busy adding different amounts of vinegar with different utensils.  They had a great time.  I just wish I could have caught some of their expressions better.

 What fun science activities have you and your kids done?  It’s time to share.

1.  Please link directly to you blog post that contains your science activities.  That makes it easier to find!

2.  Please link back to Raising the Cameron Clan somewhere on your blog.  This will allow others to discover the awesome science activities that are out there!

3.  Please consider following Raising the Cameron Clan, that way you are first to know when the weekly linky party is up!




    {Little Mad Scientists} : Melting Ice

    I am not sure how the conversation started, but the boys and I were talking about melting ice.  So, I thought we could have a little fun and melt some ice for our weekly science experiment.  We tested to see what would melt ice the fastest; nothing added, salt, cold water, salt water, or hot water.

    Supplies:
    ice cubes
    salt
    water
    9 bowls

    What we did:

    To help my boys out measured out a small amount (2 TBSP) of each different thing we were going to use to melt the ice and put it into some small bowls for the boys to explore.

    While they explored, I asked them to hypothesize what would melt the ice the fastest and I recorded it onto a white board I had nearby.

    Once all of our hypothesise were made, I added ice cubes to the five remaining bowls.  Then I let the boys take turns pouring the different things onto the ice cubes.  Then I started a timer.

    The boys sat and watched as the ice melted.

    After 4 minutes we observed which ice cube had melted the most.  We did this again at 20 minutes and 30 minutes.

    In the end it was a close call between the hot water and the salt water.

    Adaptations:

    This experiment can be done at many different ages.  We went simple because my boys are young.

    However, to make it more scientific, you could use a food scale to measure the ice cubes at the beginning and throughout your observations.  You might also want to add all the solutions to the ice cube at the same time.  Also, making observations/measurements at regular intervals will make your findings a little more accurate.

    I am sure there are a few more things that I can not think of at the moment that would make this a little more scientific.

    What fun things have you discovered with your Little Mad Scienctist?