Bright and colorful jelly bean science

After introducing the letter Jj this week, we reinforced our new letter’s sound with some j-j-jelly bean science…

Jelly-bean-science-by-Teach-Preschool

For this activity, each child started with their own cup of assorted jelly beans…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

The children then took their cup of jelly beans and sorted them by colors into our re-purposed fruit tray…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

The children worked together as a team to get all the jelly beans sorted by color into the trays. It is always super cool to watch the kids concentrating on the process, working together, helping each other, and talking to each other as they go along…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

When all of our cups were empty, we were left with a full tray of beautifully sorted jelly beans…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

Along the way, the children were given the opportunity to pick out a few jelly beans from their own cup to taste which gave this process a multi-sensory experience…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

Once the jelly beans were sorted, each child was invited to choose two or three of one color of jelly bean (from the center tray) to put back into their cups…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

Then the children used the pitchers to add water to their of the cups.  And then they stirred the jelly beans around in the water…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

As the children stirred their jelly beans around the water, we asked the question, “What do you think will happen if we leave our jelly beans in the water?”

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

The children suggested that the water might change color, but after a minute or two of stirring, our jelly beans looked the same and for the most part, so did our water except it did have kind of a film starting to show up…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

The children continued to stir and some of the children were beginning to see a slight change in the color of water but we decided to set our cups up on a shelf while we went outside to play and then come back and observe them later…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

As soon as we came back inside the classroom, the children immediately went over to check on their jelly bean cups.  And you know what?  The water did change color and the jelly beans were beginning to turn white…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

We left the jelly beans in our water overnight and by the next day, the beans were completely white and the water went from clear to a new color. We wondered what would happen to the jelly bean if we left it in the water all week. By the way, some of the children added more than one color of jelly bean to their water so in this case, the water turned to kind of a green color…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

Needless to say, this jelly bean science experiment was loads of fun with lots of opportunities to ask “what if” questions.  It was also a great experiment for using all of our senses along the way…

Jelly bean science by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

By | January 18th, 2014|Categories: Science and Nature|Tags: , , , |8 Comments

Balancing bubbles in preschool

As mentioned in the previous post, we have been exploring two words:  “level” and “balance.” To expand on our exploration of level and balance, the children tried their hand at balancing bubbles…

Balancing bubbles by Teach Preschool

Each child filled up a clear plastic tube with water making sure that the water level was almost at the very top of the tube. Then they added a lid to the tube to keep the water sealed inside…

Balancing bubbles by Teach Preschool

Because the tubes were not filled all the way to the very top, a small pocket of air was left in the tube which created a bubble in each child’s tube.  The more air that was left inside, the bigger the bubble (air pocket) but the goal was to have a little bubble so we needed to try leave the smallest amount of air inside  the tube as possible…

Balancing bubbles by Teach Preschool

Once the children had filled their tubes with water and put the lid on tight, then each held their tube sideways and tried to  get the bubble that was inside the tube to balance in the middle by tilting the tube from side to side…

Balancing bubbles by Teach Preschool

Getting the bubble to balance in the middle was a challenge for our students. The task required using gentle and slight tilting movements, a steady hand, and keeping a close eye on the bubble…

Balancing bubbles by Teach Preschool

Not only was this an interesting exercise for the kids to explore, but the process gave us the opportunity to reinforce lots of scientific and engineering terms such as tilt, balance, level, middle, side, top, bottom, air, water, bubbles, air pocket, and steady. The process also promoted the use of eye-hand coordination and fine motor control in a rather unique way…

Balancing bubbles by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

 

Links to Grow On

Fun with Colorful Bubble Science by Teach Preschool

B is for Bbbbbb Bubble by Teach Preschool

Science for Kids: Hanger Balance by Kids Activity Blog

Gummy worm science

Yesterday, I shared with you how we used live worms to create a worm farm.  Today, I’d like to tell you about our gummy worm science.

Gummy worm science by Teach Preschool

This science activity was inspired by the book Candy Experiments by  Loralee Leavitt.  On one of our tables, the children found a small aquarium tank, partially filled with water.  The tank was surrounded by gummy worms and tweezers.  A delightful invitation to play…

Gummy worm science by Teach Preschool

The children needed no instructions, as the intent was clear.  They immediately began picking up the gummy worms with the tweezers and dropping them into the tank…

Gummy worm science by Teach Preschool

When they ran out of gummy worms to drop in the tank, they simply reached in and pulled them out…

Gummy worm science by Teach Preschool

After centers were over for the day, we left the gummy worms in the tank for observation.  The next morning when the children arrived at school, this is what they found…

Gummy worm science by Teach Preschool

The gummy worms were larger and almost translucent.  The water in the aquarium looked a little slimy.  To conclude our gummy worm science, the children were all invited to gather round our large table.  Each child was given one new gummy worm, straight out of the package.  The children closely examined their fresh gummy worm to see what it looked, felt, and smelled like…

Gummy worm science by Teach Preschool

Then we pulled out one of the gummy worms that had been sitting in water overnight.  The children compared the two by looking at them…

Gummy worm science by Teach Preschool

It was obvious that the gummy worm left in the water overnight had gotten much bigger.  Next, each of the children were given one of the water-logged worms to feel…

Gummy worm science by Teach Preschool

The worms that had sat in the water overnight were squishy and slimy and were now much more fragile (we talked about that word).  The children held the gummy worms gently so they would not break apart but we had to do a little squishing in the end…

Gummy worm science by Teach Preschool

Once the children had made observations about both of the gummy worms, they were given the opportunity to stick their hands in the tank and play with the leftover squishy, slimy worms…

Gummy worm science by Teach Preschool

To view our gummy worm science and our worm farm live – take a look at this three minute Fox Morning News segment

Available on Amazon

Links to grow on: 

Gummy bear science by Teach Preschool

Two candy experiments:  Melting and dissolving by Play Create Explore

Learning to measure with gummy worms by Kids Activities Blog

Elephant toothpaste

February is National Children’s Dental month and we’ve been having all kinds of fun learning how animals have different types of teeth!  To extend our study into science, we created elephant toothpaste…

Elephant toothpaste by Teach Preschool

We began our study of animal teeth by reading our Scholastic Weekly Reader.  The front cover of the Weekly Reader gave us a close up view of four different types of animal teeth.  The children had fun trying to identify what type of animal each set of teeth came from.  When we opened our Weekly Readers, we discovered the source of each set of animal teeth.  The children were particularly interested in the elephant tusks.  We talked about how big an elephant’s toothbrush might be and how much toothpaste you might need for that big of a toothbrush.  Following our discussion of animal teeth, I asked the children if they were interested in making “elephant toothpaste.”  The responses ranged from, “Elephant toothpaste?!” to “Eww, gross!  What’s that?”  Boy, were they in for a surprise…

Elephant toothpaste by Teach Preschool

Doing experiments with preschool aged children can be challenging.  However, I’ve learned a few things that can make the process easier and less stressful.  First, doing experiments with children in a small group is much easier than with a large group.  If  you find yourself avoiding experiments due to class size, you may think about dividing your class into smaller groups.  Secondly, preparation is key.  Do your research so that you can be prepared for the unexpected.  Have as many of the components of the experiment prepared ahead of time to make the process as simple as possible for the children.  Lastly, be sure to take your time walking the children through the process step by step.  Elephant toothpaste is a relatively quick experiment, but by taking our time with each step, the children can better understand and enjoy the experiment….

Elephant toothpaste by Teach Preschool

Prior to introducing elephant toothpaste to our students, I did some research on my own.  I wanted to be absolutely sure that this experiment could be recreated by preschoolers.  First, I watched a an elephant toothpaste video by Science Bob.  Then I attempted the experiment on my own at home.  The one thing that I discovered on my own is that a less concentrated form of hydrogen peroxide produces a grand result and more safe for children to explore on their own.

If you would like to try to make your own elephant toothpaste, you will need these items for each child:

  • 16 oz. plastic water bottle
  • 1 tablespoon or one envelope yeast
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap
  • 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide (we used 3% for safety purposes)
  • cup
  • spoon
  • goggles
  • tray or pan for overflow

Elephant toothpaste by Teach Preschool

You can prepare a few of the components ahead of time….

  • Pour a 1/2 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide into each of your plastic water bottles and set aside.  
  • Fill small cups with 3 tablespoons warm water.  
  • Also, pour 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap into individual cups.  

Prepare your table for the experiment by setting out materials for each child.  Each of our students got goggles, a tub for overflow, a packet of yeast, scissors, a spoon, and 1 tablespoon liquid dishwashing soap.  When the children were seated with their goggles on,  I gave them each one of the small cups that I had filled with warm water.  I then asked them to cut open their packets of yeast and pour the yeast into their warm water…

Elephant toothpaste by Teach Preschool

The children then stirred the yeast with their spoon for about 30 seconds…

Elephant toothpaste by Teach Preschool

Once the yeast and water were mixed well, I asked the children to set their cups aside.  Next, I distributed the plastic water bottles that we had previously filled with the 3% hydrogen peroxide.  The children placed their bottles in the middle of their tubs.  We then poured the 1 tablespoon of liquid dishsoap into our bottle of peroxide…

Elephant toothpaste by Teach Preschool

The children swirled the dish soap and peroxide gently to mix the two ingredients together.  Finally, we were ready to add the warm water and yeast mixture to our plastic bottles…

Elephant toothpaste by Teach Preschool

The mixture began to grow before our eyes!  The yeast and water were reacting with the soapy peroxide, creating a fast growing foam.  The children were soon surprised when their bottles were overflowing with elephant toothpaste…

Elephant toothpaste by Teach Preschool

Once our bottles overflowed and the experiment was over, we allowed the children to play in their newly created elephant toothpaste.  We were comfortable letting them explore the mixture with their hands because we used the 3% hydrogen peroxide, which is a less concentrated formula than what many recipes call for but we still stayed around to monitor the play.  The children loved feeling the foamy “toothpaste.”  Many tried to scoop it up and pour it back in their bottles.  When they squeezed their bottles, it would come pouring out again…

Elephant toothpaste by Teach Preschool

The children loved creating elephant toothpaste.  This was a super fun experiment that was made successful with just a little bit of research and planning.  I encourage you to give science experiments a try either at home or in your classroom.  Your children will love getting their hands messy and it will be an experience they won’t soon forget…

Elephant toothpaste by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon


Links to grow on:

Toothbrush water play in preschool by Teach Preschool

Tot school: dental health by The Preschool Experiment

Our pearly whites by Preschool Playbook