Thursday, 14 August 2014

We did science in tot school!

I have to say I am really, really pleased by how our tot school went! We did so much, and I am finally getting organised with our school works for the year! While my scope and sequence [curriculum in Montessori terms] is no where near actually being that, I am getting ideas on paper and at least getting my goals sorted. I'll be sharing it next week to give you guys an idea of what to expect on here. 

This week, I finally included something that we haven't been explicitly working for a while - science. We had such a busy, packed week and I am so, so glad for it because my poor little man is dealing with getting new teeth and as a result has become a bit of a grouch. 


Science for toddlers: baking soda and vinegar ice cubes experiment by Welcome to Mommyhood

These activities, along with the neighbour girls have been the only way I have managed to retain the little bits that are left of my sanity while dealing with some major sleep deprivation. 

Science for Toddlers

Our experiment consisted of a two part session. The first one, the one that started this all, was definitely interest led. I was going through my tot school supplies [organisation for all that planning I mentioned in the beginning] and my son found a bottle of glitter. Instant giggles and smiles! 

Science for toddlers: baking soda and vinegar ice cubes experiment by Welcome to Mommyhood

So! I got out our recently acquired fun ice cube molds: 


Science for toddlers: baking soda and vinegar ice cubes experiment by Welcome to Mommyhood

And the Toddler had loads of fun filling up the molds with glitter. 

Science for toddlers: baking soda and vinegar ice cubes experiment by Welcome to Mommyhood

Science for toddlers: baking soda and vinegar ice cubes experiment by Welcome to Mommyhood

Then he poured some vinegar into the molds!

Science for toddlers: baking soda and vinegar ice cubes experiment by Welcome to Mommyhood

I popped them into the freezer, and we waited until the next day to use them in our science experiment. That day, our neighbour's four daughters came over to visit my kiddo (ages 12, 10, 8 and 5). I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get out our ice molds and see what happens when they defrost on some baking soda! Here's the thing with baking soda: it is far too difficult to find in the Netherlands and I knew that they would have no idea what it is. I had to go to a random Asian grocery shop to find good ole arm & hammer! Vinegar, however, costs about .37 cents a bottle and we had loads of that to experiment with. 

Our action shots here are limited because I was alone with five kiddos and wanted to explain what was happening. I think you'll still get the idea! I poured about half a cup of baking soda into a large bowl and emptied out our pre-made ice cubes. 

Science for toddlers: baking soda and vinegar ice cubes experiment by Welcome to Mommyhood

At first we listened to see if we could hear the reaction and asked the older kids if they knew what was happening. I explained that it's a chemical reaction between the vinegar and baking soda as the ice cubes melt. I had to keep it simple because my knowledge of Dutch is limited to conversational discussions or international relations terminology. 

I poured a bit of vinegar into a small cup and let each child take turns pour the vinegar over the ice cubes and baking soda after we got tired of waiting for them to melt. It started bubbling and soon we had an entire bottle emptied into the bowl. 


Science for toddlers: baking soda and vinegar ice cubes experiment by Welcome to Mommyhood

I brought more 'supplies' for each child. I brought spatulas, whisks, spoons, whatever I could find in the kitchen. 

Science for toddlers: baking soda and vinegar ice cubes experiment by Welcome to Mommyhood


After about half an hour of exploration of what happens with more vinegar and yet more baking soda, I asked: do you want to take our experiment further and test what happens when we add other vinegar to other powders? A resounding yes! hit me, and we scoured the kitchen for more supplies. We came up with:

  • Flour
  • Sugar cubes
  • Oil 
  • Stars (decoration for baking) 
  • More baking soda


Science for toddlers: baking soda and vinegar ice cubes experiment by Welcome to Mommyhood

I got out a cupcake mold and more kitchen supplies to avoid the inevitable sharing troubles that were bound to occur. 

Science for toddlers: baking soda and vinegar ice cubes experiment by Welcome to Mommyhood

Science for toddlers: baking soda and vinegar ice cubes experiment by Welcome to Mommyhood

I let everyone take turns pouring the next item that would go into the cupcake mold, and then we poured vinegar. First, I asked if they thought there would a reaction. Then, we observed. 

And then, it was free play with loads of mixing, pouring, and splashing! All in all, all five kiddos were occupied for just about two hours! I felt so cool.  


Oh the lovely mess we made! Towards the end of the two hours, the Toddler started getting grouchy and I knew it was nap time. I told the girls that I would take the Toddler to bed, but they could continue without us. And then something miraculous happened... 

They cleaned it up. 

Seriously, everyone just cleaned it up. I still had to load the dishwasher, but they brought everything inside, put the dishes in the sink and wiped down the table. Mind = blown. I love those girls. I promised them we could do something like this again soon (after I restock our baking soda stash). They came back after nap time and entertained the Toddler some more. I really love those girls. I actually think their mom (another WAHM) also appreciates the break, and I appreciate my free pseudo babysitters that let me work during the day. 
Science for toddlers: baking soda and vinegar ice cubes experiment by Welcome to Mommyhood
We did do our regular school routine this week, too, and the girls also participated in some of those works, including our arts and crafts projects, but that post is coming later! 

Today's post is all about how simple ingredients (baking soda + vinegar) and objects (spoons + bowls  + whisks) can lead to hours for toddlers, and even older kids as they explore. I love that the hours of entertaining and learning were all initiated by my son's discovery of a bottle of glitter, and that the girls and the Toddler helped to take the experiment further by looking in the kitchen for more powders that we would test our reaction on. 

Questions 

  • Do you teach your toddlers about science? 
  • What kind of activities do you like to do with your kids? 

Today, I am linking up at: The Thoughtful Spot Blog Hop, The Sunday Showcase,Jolanthe at Homeschool creationsMontessori MondaysThe Weekly Kids CoopThe Pinning Party, the Tot school Gathering Place hosted by Carisa at 1+1+1=1 and Tuesday Tots, Show and Share Saturday!



Thank you so much for stopping by!
Yuliya