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Blogger Corrine Jacob brings us a few great activities that bring science learning to our spring celebrations. Thanks, Corrine!
Spring is a great time to get outside, explore and learn, and the spring holidays — as well as summer break — provide parents with time to explore with their kids and help them learn even when they don’t feel like they’re learning anything.
Science activities, reading games and math quizzes are all great ways to keep kids connected to learning, and these activities also incorporate science, art, gardening, math and relaxation, but to your kids they will just be fun.
How can we talk about spring-based science activities and not include flowers? This simple, easy-peasy activity was so much fun to do with my little ones. The wonder on their faces as they saw the petals changing colors was truly magical!
So, get a couple of white carnations, two transparent flower vases (any transparent bottle will work just as fine), two different food colorings, and a jar of water to get started with this activity.
Fill the bottles to half with water.
Add a few drops of food coloring to each bottle and place a carnation in each bottle.
Let the flowers stay like that overnight.
Voila! The kids will see that the petals are now the color of the food coloring. This is the perfect opportunity to teach them about transpiration! Practical activities to demonstrate scientific concepts are definitely the best way to instill a love for science in kids.
This is a great activity to introduce kids to germination. Get six or seven disposable plastic cups and glue them to make a row. Line the cups with kitchen paper and sprinkle water on them to dampen them a little.
Place cress seeds over the linings making sure the seeds don’t clump together. Cover the cups with cling film and put them away in a sunny place.
Check on your cress daily and sprinkle water on the seeds.
Cut out a caterpillar face and two caterpillar antennae from felt paper and stick on the front of the first cup to make the entire row look like a long caterpillar. What more could be a spring science activity than growing cress at home!
Filter Paper Butterflies and Flowers
Have your children had the chance to mix colors with their hands other than with play dough and paints? Explore chromatography and the colors around with your child with this DIY science activity.
You will need four coffee filters (one for each butterfly; or however many you want if you are making flowers), small glass jars, markers, and black pipe cleaners for the activity.
Draw a thick circle with a marker around the center of the coffee filter. Fold the filter in a half and then in half again so that it forms a cone. Pour a little water in the glass jar and lightly unfurl the cone to place it in the jar. Make sure the center doesn’t sink in the water; it should ideally just touch the water level. Keep the filter in the jar for a day or until you observe the color flowing up the paper.
Repeat with different colored markers on the remaining filters. Take out the filters when the colors have moved up, unfold them and place them on a newspaper to dry. Once they are dry and crisp, tie them from the center with a small piece of pipe cleaner and twist it to make the antennae of the butterfly. Your filter paper butterflies are ready to spring out in the spring!
Herbal Play Dough
Play dough promotes wonderful fine motor playtime besides helping kids to understand the states of matter. So involve the kids in this activity and promote fine motor playtime while punching in a little lesson of science with it.
Mix together 2 cups of flour, a little less than a cup of salt, 2 tablespoons of oil, half a tablespoon of cream of tartar, and a few drops of blueberry flavoring and blue food coloring diluted with a cup of water.
Knead till there aren’t any more lumps. If you think the dough is gooier than it should be, fold in some more flour and if it’s drier than it should be, fold in some more oil, adding a few drops at a time. Explain to the kids how solid particles mixed with liquids can create such wonderful smelling play dough and welcome spring with this herbal play dough time.
While you engage kids with these wonderful springy DIY science activities, feel free to lend them a hand and relive your childhood crafts and projects days!
Author Bio: Corinne Jacob is a wannabe writer who is convinced that kids learn best when they’re having fun. She is constantly on the lookout for new and exciting ways to make learning an enjoyable experience. Corinne loves all things that scream out un-schooling, alternative education and holistic learning. She writes at Alternate Tutalege about teaching techniques, learning activities and more.