Children come out with the most unexpected questions. While your kids are still inquisitive, take advantage of this time for learning. Hands-on scientific activities are a great way to expand your child’s mind and prepare them for a healthy relationship with education. Here are some simple ways to stimulate your kid’s intellectual development:
Grow a Garden
Biological discoveries start in your back yard! Get your children growing plants and vegetables with you. Encourage wildlife into your garden by sowing flowers, hanging birdfeeders and maybe even making a pond. Examine the animals and insects that stop-by, commenting on the food chain and their biological processes.
When your vegetables have grown, cook together to learn about weighing and measuring – it doesn’t hurt to have an extra pair of hands in the kitchen. Best of all, you can explore the sensory system – touch, texture, taste, sound, smells, and sight – while cooking your masterpieces.
Science museums made for a fantastic day out for the family. Interactive stalls are both fun and informative. Every science museum is different and you can explore a variety of unique exhibitions, ranging from the human anatomy to discovering space. If a natural history museum is nearby, you can pop in and carry on with your interactive science experience there. Evolution is exciting!
It’s amazing what you can do with eggs. Make a bouncy egg through osmosis. Fill a bowl with vinegar and then completely submerge your egg, shell and all. After 72 hours, gently pull the egg out of the bowl and softly rub away the shell with your fingers – be very careful.
When all the shell has gone, hold the egg under a dripping tap (not at full-blast, or it could burst the egg). Now you have a translucent egg!
Hold this egg about 10-15cm above the table and let go. It’ll bounce. How cool is that?
Hot Air Balloon Toaster
Ever wanted your own hot air balloon? Science to the rescue! Turn on your toaster. Take a cardboard box and place it over the toaster. Open the bottom of the box and place over a cheap, white binbag. Hold there, over your makeshift chimney, for about 10-15 seconds before letting go. Watch your binbag whizz up to the ceiling!
Through triboluminescene, you can create light by crushing sugar. All you need is a few white sugar cubes and a pitch black room. Turn the lights off and wait for a few minutes, so your eyes grow accustomed to the dark, and then crush the sugar with a heavy bottomed glass.
This will cause light to flash! Scientists aren’t entirely sure why this happens, but it’s shocking none-the-less!
Water Bottle Rockets
Make rockets out of water bottles by taking a wine cork, a bicycle tyre valve, a bike pump, a gardening fork, and a fizzy drinks bottle. Thread the tyre valve straight through the cork and attach the cork into the head of the bottle; but not before filling approximately 1/3 of your bottle with water.
Stick your fork into the ground and use the handle as a platform. Attach your pump to the valve, check there is no-one in the firing range and start pumping. The bottle should explode into the air!
Post by Tony on behalf of Knowsley Safari Park. Visit their website to find out about Knowsley Safari Park school trips.