Chromatography Experiment

In really simple terms Chromatography is a method of separating a mixture of chemicals. M and Z were interested to see what colours were in the ink of different coloured pens. They drew dots of different coloured ink on blotting paper about an inch from the bottom of the paper.

Next, they placed the blotting paper in a jar with about a cm of water in. The paper soaked up the ink and the colours separated.

We initially tried this experiment with Sharpie’s (permanent markers), these inks didn’t separate easily so we tried regular felt tips and achieved better results.

The purple, brown and grey felt tips pens produced interesting results. Have a go and see what colours you see…

In this photograph, you can see the difference between using sharpies and using regular felt tip pens.

Thanks for reading. 🙂

 

How to make a Toy Peg Chair

Check out this beautiful toy chair made of pegs. It was given to the children by their Granny who had had it for many years. How cute is it?!

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M asked to make one so we set about dismantling a load of pegs (15 to be precise) and began the process of copying, gluing and sticking. We used PVA glue to stick the pegs together.

We looked at the front and back of the chair and re-created each section. We made the area to sit on and then attached each section together.  I’ve called this post a ‘How to’ but really I’m asking you to do what we did and copy what you see and attempt to put together a chair.

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img_6707We made this chair over a couple of weeks. We had to let each small part dry before adding on to it or joining the parts together.

So if you’ve got patience and fancy giving this project a go take a good look at the photographs! I’d love to hear about it if you give this project a try 🙂

Maybe next time we will design a table!

Ice Excavation Activity

img_6134.jpgMy children absolutely loved this activity. Although it needed a little pre-planning (which they were part of), this activity kept them busy for nearly an hour.

Collect (or get your children to) lots of small plastic toys. Put them into a large bowl and fill with water (leave about an inch at the top for the water to expand)! Put the bowl in the freezer.

The next day get a washing up bowl and upturn large frozen bowl into it. Give the children spoons and a squeezy bottle of warm water and let them get excavating!!

img_6139It took about an hour, and lots of warm water, to free all the plastic toys from the ice. img_6135What fun!! Thanks for reading!

How to make a water volcano 🌋

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Being able to do this activity is all about having the right size and shaped containers. Having said that, our small jar was far from perfect, right size but the shape was a little off! A small jar with a narrower neck or a very small bottle would have been more effective.

For this volcano, you will need a large glass jar, a smaller glass bottle, wire, red food colouring and hot and cold water. Tie some wire around the small glass bottle so that it can be picked up without having to hold the glass.

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Pour cold water into the large glass jar so it’s about 2/3 full. Fill the small glass jar with hot water and add a teaspoon red food colouring. Z went a bit over the top with the food colouring as she poured it in!

img_6094Carefully place the small jar into the large jar and watch the water volcano erupt. This happens super quickly so you (or the children) may want to do this a few times. This volcano shows how cold and warm water mix. The hot water expands, taking up more space. It is, therefore, lighter than cold water and rises to the surface.

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We found this activity in My First Science Book it’s full of 23 really simple, doable science experiments that can easily be done at home. Well worth getting for any young science enthusiasts.

Have you done any volcano experiments? I’d love to hear about them. Please comment below.

Thanks for reading

Sarah 🙂

*This post includes affiliate links (see disclaimer)

 

Walking Water – Mixing Primary Colours

Don’t you just love vibrant colours? We did this experiment to show how water can move and to learn about primary and secondary colours. It’s so simple and really fun to watch. All you need is 9 glass jars, some kitchen paper, water and food colouring.

Fill up six of your jars with water, put red food colouring in two, blue in two and yellow in two. Fold up 3 pieces of kitchen paper and follow the diagram below.

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Water was absorbed by the kitchen paper and travelled into the empty jar. Here the two primary colours mixed making a secondary colour. We liked the green and orange but weren’t so impressed with the purple! Maybe our blue was too strong?!

From start to end this probably took a couple of hours. We were able to get on with other things and keep coming back to see what was happening. I think that M and Z will be asking to do this one again!

Have you done any experiments that your children ask to repeat? I’m always on the look out for engaging science.

Thanks for reading.

Sarah 🙂

How to make a fabulous den!

Okido magazine always has some fabulous activities in. This month their magazine is all about architecture.

M and Z had loads of fun creating this den made out of newspaper. First they made 25 long tubes from large newspapers.

We the attached them together, first creating an equilateral triangle and then adding tubes to make a row of nine triangles. We attached them together using a stapler, although later we had to reinforce it with sellotape.

We then has to attach the bottom point on one end of the row to the bottom point on the other end of the row, this created the 3 dimensional structure. We added more tube to complete the first section of the structure with a pentagon on the ground and a pentagon on the second layer, this was rather tricky and this was where the sellotape reinforcements came in.

We then made the star shape with the remaining 5 tubes. And attached these to the structure to make the roof.Processed with VSCO with s1 presetNow the den was complete and M and Z spend the next hour inside it looking at Okido magazines!Processed with VSCO with s1 presetThis den is rather little! I wonder whether it could be made bigger. I’m thinking another row of triangles?! I’ll get designing and make a mini one before attempting to make a big one. I’ll let you know how I get on!

We’ve previously made a rocket out of cardboard, which could constitute as a den, you can check out the pictures here. Also we’ve made an outdoor den from sticks, you can check this out here.

Have you made any dens? What was your most successful?

First hand experiences – Butterflies

M was delighted when these tiny caterpillars arrived at the door as an early birthday present. They really were itty bitty tiny. Crazy to think that in just a few weeks they would be fully fledged Painted Lady Butterflies. I wanted to record our experience so I took photographs most days. From receiving the caterpillars till they turned in to chrysalis took just 13 days. Unfortunately one little caterpillar (he was definitely the runt of the group) never made it this far.

Our caterpillars came from Insect Lore. They guarantee that at least 3 of the caterpillars will become butterflies. If they don’t they will send you more. We started off with 5 caterpillars, one died before changing into a chrysalis. One chrysalis was on the bottom of the tub and never became a butterfly. Thankfully 3 became butterflies.

It took another 12 days before the first butterfly emerged. We received the caterpillars at the end of August when it was feeling cooler. I am wondering if we’d had them earlier in the year that we’d have had more success, as in 5 butterflies.

Unfortunetly we went on holiday (really not unfortunately!) and we didn’t see the last two butterflies emerge. Our friends looked after our butterflies and we had the pleasure of setting them free when we returned. We loved having these wild creatures resting in our hands before flying away.

There’s no better way to learn about the life cycle of a butterfly than to watch it first hand. It has been a truly delightful experience, one we will definitely be repeating next year.

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Have you ever experienced anything like this? I’d love to hear about it. Please comment below.

Sarah 🙂

Artist Series: Claude Monet

We love to be creative and to be inspired. We thought we’d take some time out to be inspired by some of the greats.

First stop – Claude Monet

One of Monet’s waterlily paintings was at the Barber Institute. We didn’t want to miss the opportunity of seeing it first hand. To get the children inspired we read this book by James Mayhew. They absolutely loved the book and wanted to read the rest of the Katie series. In the book Katie jumps into 5 different Monet paintings and comes up with her own Monet inspired art.

As we were on the way to the art gallery Z talked about wanting to jump into the paintings (Which Katie does in the book). I explained a bit of art gallery etiquette to ensure she didn’t attempt this!

I’d talked with M about drawing Monet’s painting and we packed his art book and pencils. M does love to draw everyday so I thought he maybe keen.

M and his friend spent nearly an hour sketching and colouring their own versions of The Waterlily Pond. It was truly lovely to see the outcome of their efforts. M was very proud of his work.

Do you have a favourite artist? Have you any ideas for encouring children to be inspired by other artists?

Thanks for reading

Sarah 🙂

Lacing the ABC’s

Today I am posting a guest post from Jessica over at education.com

“Lacing is a great way to practice hand-eye coordination, which will help later with writing. Turn it into a fun art project, by stringing up some ABCs!

What You Need:

  • 26 colored foam sheets (you can get this at any craft store, but in a pinch you can use cardboard)
  • Safety scissors
  • Lots of shoe strings (or yarn lengths, taped at the ends)
  • Hole puncher
  • Pencil
  • Lined paper

What You Do:

  1. Make the letters. Take out the first foam sheets and ask your child to use the pencil to write the letter “A” on it. Continue, using one piece of craft foam for each letter of the alphabet. As she finishes each letter, look over her work and if you see any letters written incorrectly, coach her on how to write them, using lined paper. Once she’s gotten the hang of it, you can flip over the foam and write the letter correctly on the other side. When all the letters are written she should carefully cut them out using her safety scissors.
  2. Connect the dots. Have your child draw dots along the strokes of each letter, as if she were making a “connect the dots” alphabet. Then, punch a hole in each dot, using the hole puncher. Be careful not to punch too close to the edges of the letters.
  3. Ready to lace! Help your child string each letter using the shoelaces or yarn—and don’t forget to do it in the direction she’d write. For example, for the letter A, start at the top middle, where the letter comes to a point, and lace down the left side. Then go up the back of the foam and begin at the top again so you can lace down the right side. Then string through the middle, moving left to right.

As she’s working, remember to talk to your expert lacer about the sounds each letter makes. Brainstorm words that begin with the letter she’s working one, such as A= apple, or B=bear. And don’t forget to have some fun!”

This is a fun activity that can be adapted to suit your child. We took the idea and had some fun creating some shapes and doing our own threading.

Thanks for reading

Sarah 🙂