Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Fun

While I was going to post about some experiments with air and tossing things off stairs, a lovely friend of mine reminded me that not everyone will be home for the holiday and not every one's in laws are open to traditional Messy Fingers activities! So I am listening to my wise friend and going to post a few fun experiments that have a low mess factor - even for mothers-in-law!

Dancing Raisins - you will need raisins, obviously and a clear carbonated beverage (ginger ale, club soda, champagne, etc.) of your choice and a clear uncarbonated beverage (like water). Make a prediction (guess) about what might happen and what might be different. Try dropping some raisins into each beverage. What happened? Were your guesses right?

Colored Celery - if you are visiting for a few days, snag a stalk of celery with leaves and place it in jar with colored water - try red or blue food coloring and make the water really dark. What is going to happen to the celery?

Friction - you will need straws, cotton balls, crumpled foil, marbles, etc. and an open space (like the table after it has been cleared). Start at one end of your space and try to blow the cotton ball across it. Was it hard or easy? Will a marble (or ping pong ball) be easier or harder? Try it! Generally smoother things have less friction and are easier to move, but a marble is a lot heavier than cotton.
This is a great activity when kids are getting a bit wild as it helps them breath deeply and calm themselves.

Water tension - in a glass or pie plate filled with water, sprinkle some pepper. Then drip a drop of dish soap in to the pepper. What happens? Soap breaks up the water tension on the top of the water.

Regardless of where you are and whose table you are at, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

December Dates

We are going to be doing some fun things in December. Take a science break from all the holiday mayhem and frolicking and join us!
December 5 - Sense Safari
December 21 - Birds in Winter
Call the library to sign up: 508 865 1181.
Hope to see you there!!

Liquids and solids

Last week we explored Liquids at the library. It was a great time to discuss what are some of the characterists of liquids and solids.
One of the easiest to understand differences between solids and liquids is that solids retain their shape and liquids will take on the shape of the container they are in. If you put a liquid in a round container, they will be round; in a square container they are square.
You can check out what did in this blog here. I would HIGHLY recommend everyone taking the time to make Oobleck with your kids. It is a messy project - one of the messiest (and consider the source!). It is a great way to talk about solids and liquids.
I will post later on what the science plans are in our house on Wednesday. Many schools have a half day of school and for others like us who are not traveling, it is a gift of some extra science time!