How to cool a drink quickly
Jul23

How to cool a drink quickly

The UK is in the middle of a heatwave at the moment, which is great, but also means we need a lot of cold drinks to keep the kids cool. This fun experiment is brilliant for cooling drinks quickly and learning at the same time. How to cool a drink quickly What you need: A metal bowl Water Ice Drink is a glass bottle Salt Method Half fill the bowl with water and ice. Place the drink in the ice. Add a handful to salt to the water and...

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6 Air Pressure Experiments for Kids
May26

6 Air Pressure Experiments for Kids

Air pressure is the weight of the atmosphere pressing down on Earth. We measure air pressure using a barometer. Have you ever climbed a mountain or visited an area at high altitude and found you get out of breath more easily? This is because air pressure decreases at higher altitudes. Have you been on a plane and felt discomfort in your ears? This is due to changes in air pressure. Changes in air pressure allow for lots of cool...

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Ideas For Learning About Forces
Jan29

Ideas For Learning About Forces

Forces are all around us and affect everything we do, with that in mind we’ve put together a collection of ideas for learning about forces with something for everyone from preschoolers to grown ups. Lets start with some basics. What is a force? A force is a push or a pull. Forces can make object moves or stop, speed them up or slow them down. If you push a toy car it moves, if you push it harder it moves faster. Forces can also...

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Make a Hovercraft
Jan14

Make a Hovercraft

Hovercrafts are really interesting as they move on top of a layer of air. The layer of air reduces friction allowing the hovercraft to move quickly over both land and sea. We’ve been learning about friction recently, which is quite a difficult topic to grasp, but a hovercraft is a useful demonstration. You will need: A CD you don’t need. We actually used the plastic cover from a pack of CDs which also worked well....

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Make an optical illusion
Oct18

Make an optical illusion

This optical illusion lets you turn two pictures into one. What you need: white cardboard pencils and colouring pens scissors glue/sellotape Instructions Cut out two shapes from a sheet of white cardboard. Draw whatever you want, but we tried some fish on one piece and the tank on the other. Glue or sellotape a pencil in between the two pictures. Hold the pencil between your palms and rub your hands to make the picture spin around....

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Baking Soda Powered Boat
Sep25

Baking Soda Powered Boat

Today I have another great baking soda and vinegar activity for you. We are going to make a baking soda powered boat. Materials Empty water bottle – small Baking Soda Kitchen roll or tissue Scissors Straw Vinegar Tape Bath or large container Water Method Pierce a hole in the non lid end of the water bottle and poke the straw through, I trimmed mine so only used about one third of the length. Tape around the gap to prevent air...

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More magnetism with a spooky ghost
Sep08

More magnetism with a spooky ghost

Following on from our Mini Magnet Maze last week, today we made a spooky ghost. What you need Paper Thick Cardboard Paper Clips Magnet The first idea I had was to use the magnet to make a paper ghost move. We cut out a ghost from a piece of paper and made a DUPLO stand for it. I added a couple of metal paperclips so that when the magnet came near the clips the paper moved. It didn’t work quite as well as I’d hoped, so we...

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Mini Magnet Maze
Aug15

Mini Magnet Maze

We have a little magnet set that we play with frequently, the magnets in the cars repel each other and the children are always so surprised that they can feel the force pushing the cars apart. To try and explain magnetism, we did a fun little activity. First we had a play to see which type of objects a big magnet stuck to, once we’d decided metals were the key, we made some predictions about other objects and then tested them....

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Splatter Patterns, Water Balloons and a Hangout
Jul29

Splatter Patterns, Water Balloons and a Hangout

Our rather disjointed Science Sparks Hangout today explored how to get a good splatter pattern from water balloons.  What we were hoping to show was that a water balloon dropped from a greater height will fall with more speed and have a bigger splatter pattern than a water balloon of the same size dropped from a lower height. As you can see in the Hangout we hit a few issues,  the balloons broke a little too easily, one on the tap and...

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Racing Lolly Sticks – Surface Tension Experiment
Jun26

Racing Lolly Sticks – Surface Tension Experiment

How do you make a lolly stick race across water? Would you believe me if I told you all you needed was a drop of washing up liquid and some water to do a fun surface tension experiment?   What you need Water and a large container – we used our water table, but you could even do it in the bath. Washing up liquid Wooden lolly stick Instructions Fill your container with water, you only need it a couple of cm deep. Place the lolly...

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