More plastic milk
Feb18

More plastic milk

Plastic milk was one of the first experiments I posted on Science Sparks, when the kids were quite little.  It was a lovely sensory experience for them at the time, but they obviously couldn’t understand what was happening, with that in mind we revisited the activity with the addition of some food colouring. You can find the full instructions for how to make plastic milk here. I didn’t measure the ingredients at all this...

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Science Experiments for 4 and 5 year olds
Feb09

Science Experiments for 4 and 5 year olds

I’ve found my 5 year old to be incredibly curious at the moment, always asking questions and wanting to know how things work. Even something as simple as a rain gauge has been VERY exciting for her. With that in mind I’ve pulled together some of my favourite science experiments which are ideal for 4 and 5 year olds. Find out how many of your own feet tall you are. Is there a pattern? Learn about what’s inside your...

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How waterproof is it?
Jan22

How waterproof is it?

This activity is great for learning about properties of materials, particulary how waterproof they are. It could be a bit messy so perhaps best to try in the bath or outside. We’re going to test some materials and find out which have waterproof properties. Equipment A container Water Small soft toys Materials to test for example foil, paper, food bag, fabric Sellotape Method Half fill your container with water. Wrap a dry soft...

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Jumping Frogs
Jan02

Jumping Frogs

Have you ever had a static shock from a shopping trolley or an escalator? The shock is because of static electricity which can cause materials to attract or repel each other. A fun way to demonstrate static electricity is by making jumping frogs. Equipment Balloon Paper, cut into shapes. We used sugar paper, but tissue paper would also work brilliantly. Woolly jumper or hair Method Cut up your different types of paper into frog shapes...

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Sensory play with pretend snow
Dec18

Sensory play with pretend snow

We’ve yet to see any real snow this year, despite promises of downfalls in November, so we decided to make some pretend snow of our own. We made three different types and set about exploring their different properties for a wonderful sensory experience. Cornflour Snow Add a small amount of water to some cornflour. This is just goop or oobleck. H was fascinated when it was in the bowl as it felt quite solid, but when we put it in...

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Learn about your body
Nov26

Learn about your body

My two little girls love Doc McStuffins, do you watch her on the TV? Thanks to Doc they have suddenly become very interested in playing doctors and learning about their body. With that in mind we’ve revisited some of our old posts all about the body and staying healthy. Here are our favourite activities for learning about the body. For Preschoolers If you have a big piece of paper or cardboard, get the children to draw around...

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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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Making giant bubbles
Aug29

Making giant bubbles

Our last Summer Science Hangout was all about bubbles, not just normal bubbles, but GIANT bubbles. I tried the bubbles first using ordinary bubbles mixture, which didn’t work at all, so I turned to Red Ted Art for some help. We made the bubble mixture following the recipe here, and it worked amazingly well. We made our own bubble wands using some string and straws, this photo shows our mini version. The big version made these...

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Candy sorting
Aug19

Candy sorting

In the UK we have some chocolate covered sweets called Revels. Inside each bag are different flavoured chocolates, maltesers, plain chocolate, coffee flavour, orange flavour, toffee and chocolate covered raisins. They seemed like the perfect thing to use for a sorting activity. I set the children the task of sorting them into the different flavours without eating them. We talked about the different ways we could tell the difference...

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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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