Finding fun and engaging activities that allow children to learn can be a challenge. Next Gen EduCare (NGEC) is here to help by providing ideas that children can learn and grow within your home or classroom. At NGEC we enjoy providing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) activities for the children to learn in a fun engaging way! These activities can be adapted to fit a theme you may have within your classroom.
Oil and Water
One fun activity to bring into learning is an oil and water experiment.
*For this activity you will need a clear container or jar, cooking oil, water, and food colouring.*
Fill the jar up about ¾ with water and then pour the oil in. Have the children watch as the oil pours into the water and then settles on top. This may strike up an amazing question such as “Why doesn’t the oil and water mix?” Let’s talk about it! This science experiment is playing with liquid densities. The oil is less dense than the water causing it to float above the water.
Allow the children to add a couple of drops of food colouring to experiment with the additional liquid. Watch as the food colouring falls through the oil and mixes in the water because it is denser than the oil. Adding multiple colours creates a fun firework effect! Wanna make it even more fun? Add a tablet of any effervescent to the mix and watch the bubbles dance!
If you are in a childcare/classroom setting you could set this up as a self or couple collaboration project. That will eliminate a rush to the front of being able to see and have the children engage a little more individually with the experiment.
Providing two-part activities is a great way to bring in a little more cognitive development with patience. Salt painting is not only creative learning but also an element of science.
*To create this project your will, need: salt, glue, watercolours, droplets and stiff paper. *
Draw or trace a design on your paper with the glue. Sprinkle the salt over top and light shake off then allow to air dry. Here comes the tricky part of playing the waiting game!
Take the watercolours and drop them over the salt! Watch as the salt absorbs the coloured water. This is called Hygroscopic which is the ability to absorb moisture from its environment. This activity a simple, fun creative and engaging. It allows the children to experiment with different textures and elements with the art, as well as test out liquids versus solids.
Have Fun with It!
The fun thing about science activities is they can be never-ending and arise good conversational questions. Questions such as What if we didn’t let it dry first? Or Why can’t we use paint instead of watercolours? With a lot of these types of questions, you can answer them with the question as an experiment. For example: What if we used sugar instead of salt? Well, let’s try using sugar instead of salt and see what happens with it! Children learn many skills with these activities that will help develop an understanding of the world. Understanding the what, how, and why of products by experimenting with the ideas and questions will also nurture children’s natural sense of curiosity.
If you are looking for a couple more ideas these pages are amazing to take a look at!
Written by Tynikka Cadle
College of New Caledonia Student
Digital Content Creation Course
Professor Melanie Law