Its been rather windy here for the past few days and it sounds like it has been similar around the UK. We thought making a wind sock to test the direction of the wind is fun and then using it in the garden or during your walk (or both!) playing with it afterwards is also great!
You will need: Tissue paper (or a newspaper sheet would do - thin paper is best as it is lighter). A strip of card (or a few strips of paper stuck together to make a thicker, stronger strip), glue, a hole punch (or something to make holes - a sharp pencil would do), some string.
Hold up your windsock and see if you can work out which way the wind is blowing. You can try running up and down the garden (or a local space) to see if it flies behind you better in one direction or another - why do you think this is?
We spent a lot of time running with it, making it fly like a kite and then trying to work out of the wind blows in the same direction everywhere in the garden (it didn't) and looking at why it might change. Enjoy!
Hopefully you saw the pre planning for this activity yesterday. Otherwise, you will need to do some freezing before you can complete this activity... its worth it though, it's good one!
You will need: A bowl, some paint or food colouring, water.
Mix the water and colouring together. Add it to the bowl and freeze.
Next you will need: salt (plenty) and water. A pipette is useful, but not essential.
Take the frozen coloured water out of the freezer. Turn it out of the bowl, so you just have the ice. Pop it into the garden or onto a tray (it's going to melt!). Ask your child(ren) to rub salt onto the top of the ice block. Use the pipette to ad small amounts of water to help the salt melt the ice. If you don't have a pippette, wet hands and rub water over the ice. Now leave for a few minutes (if its a hot day, 5 minutes will be fine, for a cold day, 15 is ideal).
Revisit the ice. Hold the block up to the sky/sunshine. What can you see?
Note: you should see the salt has made tunnels/ravines in the ice. You might want to discuss how/why this happened (salt lowers the freezing temperature of the water, so melts the ice).
We have enjoyed collecting things around the garden for our hammer pictures, nature pictures and pattern spotting. This activity has a nice maths focus too... it's repeating patterns.
You will need: a selection of items from around the garden. Try to gather 4 or 5 of each thing. We recommend sticks, leaves (different shapes can count as different ones), flowers, a few piles of earth.... You may want a piece of paper and glue to stick the patterns down.
If you have a younger child, start off by showing your child a repeating pattern. 1 leaf, 1 twig, 1 leaf, 1 twig. Explain what it is. Then start a pattern; 1 leaf, 1 flower, 1 leaf... ask them to put the next 3 bits of the pattern into the row. You may need to do this a couple of times. Once you are sure they understand, see if they can spot a mistake in your pattern.
Once they can do this, ask them to create their own repeating patterns. You can extend this buy making more complex repeating patterns (see the picture below). You might want to stick these onto a piece of paper.
If you have an older child, you may want to ask them to explain a repeating pattern. Can they illustrate this by showing you? Repeating patterns can be more complex (see the page below). if you start some more complex patterns, can they complete them? Then ask them to try and catch you out, can they create a complex repeating pattern that you might find hard to finish?
To extend this, you may want to ask them if they can spot any natural repeating patterns in the garden? Tip: a slice of a tree, the teeth on the edge of a leaf, a spiders web...
You will need: some skittles/smarties/m&ms. Coffee filter paper cut into strips or kitchen towel cut into strips, a small plate with a rim (you're going to put water in it).
Put hold a sweet into a tiny bit of water. Count to 20. Then place the sweet onto the bottom (about 1 cm from the end) and leave it to dry. Repeat 3 more times with different coloured sweets (we recommend 1 primary colour - red or yellow, then other colours - purple and green work well). You should have a small coloured circle where each of the sweets have been.
Have a chat with your children. Do they remember the colour mixing from earlier in the week? How do you make green/purple etc.
Now clean the water and hold the strip of paper just under the occurred circle in the water. Count to 60 - you should see the water absorbing up the paper. Now leave the paper to dry (and some sneaky sweet eating!)
Come back to the paper. Can you see how the colours have separated? You should see really clearly how the colours have been mixed.
This is a favourite for the children I work with, even the older ones!
You will need: 3 colours of water (ideally yellow, red and blue). The easiest way to do this is to use food colouring and water and mix them together, but paint and water works just as well. 6 cups (3 with the water colours in and 3 empty). A jug of water. A pipette or old medicine syringe is helpful but not essential.
Pour some plain water into a cup (preferably see through). Use the syringe/pippette to add one of the colours into the water. Now add another colour. Mix them with a stick. What colour do they make?
It is a good idea to start simply and mix:
Yellow and red
Red and Blue
Blue and Yellow
Once the children have the idea, they can play about and see how many colours they can make! It's useful to talk about primary colours and why they are the basis for all other colours... if you're not sure, there is a video here.
It might be the Easter holidays, but as lockdown continues, so do we. We will continue to post a daily activity through the holidays, as well as at the weekends. Enjoy!
You will need: a sheet of white paper, a small mirror, a glass of water, a small bowl of water, a CD, and (not necessary but fun) a garden hose.
Rainbow 1 - this one is the easiest! Fill a large bowl or dish halfway with water and prop up the mirror inside it so some of the mirror is under the water and some is out (about half and half works well). Pop the bowl near a sunny window with direct light coming in so that it hits the mirror (early morning or early evening light works best). Holding a large white piece of paper above the mirror to catch the rainbow. You might have to move a bit until you find it. Now, move around the paper closer and then further away from the mirror to see how your rainbow changes.
Rainbow 2 - A glass of water. Take a piece of paper and cut a thin rectangle (like a vertical thin postbox) into the middle. Tape this onto the side of a smooth, clear drinking glass so that the sun’s rays can pass through. Fill the glass with water, all the way to the top. Place the glass on a white floor or white piece of paper, making sure the sun’s rays are shining through the slot in your paper and hitting the surface of the water. This is best done in the middle of the day, in the sunniest spot of your garden. You should see a mini-rainbow appear below the glass!
Rainbow 3, a water spray rainbow! Stand in a spot where the sun is behind you, shining on your back. (You will be able to see your shadow in front of you when the sun is behind you.) Put your thumb over part of the end of the hose so that the water creates a spray when it comes out (or use a spray attachment). Hold the hose out in front of you and turn slowly. Keep you finger over the hose to make a spray. Watch for a rainbow to appear above the water. A rainbow should appear just above the spray of water from your hose when sunlight hits the water at the right angle.
You might want to explain why this happens. This is how I usually explain it: Sunlight is made up of many colours all put together. A rainbow appears when the light gets split up into its 7 different colours: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. The reason the light gets split up, is because it is passing through water that bends the light. The different colours bend in different amounts. The least bendy colour, Red, appears on the top of the rainbow, while the most bendy colour, violet ends up on the bottom – all the other colours end up in between.
When we see a rainbow in the sky, it is usually when the sun is shining through millions of tiny raindrops floating in the sky. All of the raindrops are working together, bending the light and projecting the rainbow.
You will need: Bicarbonate of soda, Vinegar, a spade.
Handy but not necessary; a pipette, 2 different colours of paint
Use your spade to make a little mud volcano shape in the garden. Make a little well in the top of the volcano and pour a little bicarb into the well.
If you have a pipette you might want to squirt some vinegar into a cup, so your child can use the pipette to suck up vinegar and squeeze it onto the bicarb. If you don't, your child will pour it straight onto the bicarb. Watch for the eruption.
Your child might want to repeat this a few times. If you mix the vinegar with paint first, you get a coloured volcano. You can use one colour and repeat again with a different colour to get stripes volcanos. This is also a good way to learn about colour mixing.
Note: If you do not have a garden you can do this experiment with a beaker, but you might want a tray underneath, as it can get a little messy!