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Science activities for preschoolers done at home!

If we do a poll on children’s favourite subject, Science would probably top the list. It is fun and exciting because it can be very hands-on and there is usually a very obvious outcome to it. It is very relatable as it is about the world and the life around us. In this article, we will share some possible simple science activities you can explore with your preschoolers at home. Most of these activities can be done with materials that you could easily find at home or at the supermarket. The common item used in these activities would be primarily water and food colouring.

  1. Exploring different densities!

For this activity, you will need liquids of different densities and a clear container. The basic form of this activity will use different types of liquid that have different densities. Here we rank these liquids from the most dense to the least dense: honey, chocolate syrup, maple syrup, whole milk, dish soap, water, vegetable oil and baby oil. You can also make use of food colouring agents to make the distinction between some of the liquids more obvious and it is up to you how many types of liquid you would like to use. Just oil and water in a closed container can make a lava lamp! On top of pouring these liquids, you could also put in some solids to see which layer they will be at. Some solids that you could use are marbles, dice, fruits, ice cubes or metal objects. Try not to pour the liquids in various orders so that the change in their positions become obvious too. A higher level to this activity is to use liquids of differing sugar levels. You could do this by mixing water with different amounts of sugar and colouring it to label it differently, or try this with different types of sweet drinks, from fruit juices to carbonated drinks.

  1. Mixing of colours!

A common activity to teach children about primary and secondary colours is by letting them mix the colours on their own. While they can also explore this during art activities, using food colouring agents in water makes the colour mixing process faster. They can explore to see how the difference in amount of food colouring affects the type of primary and secondary colours that they can produce too.

  1. Dyeing activities!

After mixing all the colours, we do not have to throw them away. If you are doing some gardening at home and have white flowers, you can use the coloured liquids to dye the white flower. A sufficient amount of food colouring should be used in warm water so that the colours will start to appear in a few hours time. Apart from flowers, you can also use them to dye different fabrics. If you have old white clothes, you could also use them to tie-dye the clothes. In this case, you would have to first soak the clothes into a liquid mixture, made up of white vinegar and water in a 1 to 1 ratio, for about an hour. Then wring the clothes so that they are not dripping wet but remain damp. Then tie the clothes in a certain way and apply the coloured water onto it. Sufficient amount must be used so that the dye goes through the various layers. Once you are done, leave it for a day before washing it with washing detergent and then it will be done! Do take note to use plastic gloves to protect your hands from being coloured as well.

  1. Wash the milk!

Another activity you could do with food colouring is to colour milk instead of water this time. Note that it has to be whole milk as we need the fat content in the liquid. Note that this time we are not mixing the food colouring with the milk and instead we are adding small amounts of these food colouring. Then use a cotton bud and dip one of its tips with dishwashing liquid. Place the cotton bud where the food colouring had been added and see how the colours move around or move away from it!

  1. Musical notes from cups!

If you have glass cups / bowls, you can fill them up with some water, wet your finger and start playing a note! Then start to increase or decrease the amount of water to present varying amounts of water so that different notes can be played. Alternatively, knocking the glasses with a spoon works like a xylophone too. If you have enough cups to make different notes, preschoolers can then use all the different cups to try using these musical cups to make the tune of their favourite rhymes and songs.

  1. Forming your own rainbow!

Another activity you can do with glass cups and water is to show the separation of white light into a rainbow. While it can rain pretty often in Singapore, it is not as easy to catch a rainbow after that. A glass filled with water can form an artificial rainbow on the table or on the floor when you lift it up against the sunlight. If there is no sunlight, you can shine light into the glass using the torch and using a mirror to reflect it to the surface you would like to see the rainbow. Alternatively, if you have an outdoor area and a hose, spraying water with your back against the sun will create an artificial rainbow in front of you.

You can begin the activity by asking them to make some predictions as to what will happen, forming a hypothesis on what they would expect to see. They may not have the scientific knowledge to back them up but that is not important at the moment and you could still ask them to explain why they think so. After the activity, they can then check the results with their initial hypothesis and invite them to ask questions. You may not know the answer but the learning process is afterall a process of asking questions and finding the answers.

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