Thursday, 20 February 2014

Alka Seltzer Paintings

We decided to combine science and art with our 3 year old group this week. Before we began, we let the children investigate the Alka-Seltzer tablets by touching, smelling, and even tasting it. This is what the children had to say about it:
"It feels like a marble."
"Smells like peppermint..yucky!"
"Taste yucky!"
"It bubbles."
"It's getting smaller."
"It's cool."
"Feels tingly."

Once the children were finished exploring the tablets, we put different colored paints mixed with water in old film containers. Once we were outside we added Alka-Seltzer tablets into the containers, (quickly) put the covers on, and stepped back to see what would happen! The children stood back with great anticipation waiting for the result!  We began to count together to see how long it would take for something to happen. After 14 seconds the first container exploded with a huge POP. Paint splattered over the ground and the children bolted over to see the results!          

When it was time to try our experiment again, the children decided what color we should do next. Tabatha would place the tablet in the next container, the children would run back, and we'd all begin counting! Not all of the containers exploded, but fizzled over like a volcano. When the children decided that it was a "dud one" they'd run over to listen to the fizzling sounds and watch it bubble all over the snow. After we tried shaking the containers to see if it would make a difference, and the cap went flying about 20 feet! 

The experiment resulted in colorful artwork all over our driveway. I noticed children bringing their parents over before leaving that day  to show them what they did! I'd like to try the experiment again, but perhaps adding different mixtures to the containers (vinegar & baking soda, mentos & soda) to see what happens! I wonder what kind of mixtures the children would think would work best? 

                                                                                                                   - Leslie Dionne

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Snow Cakes!

            Whenever you give a child playdough, slime, mud, or any other moldable concoction they always seem to make one thing; BIRTHDAY CAKE. Earlier this week I got to spend some time with our Littlest Munchkins, and as soon as I sat down to play I was given eight different birthday cakes. When I was done consuming one cake they immediately ran to the kitchen to bake me another. I had chocolate, cheese, strawberry, and rainbow cake along with several glasses of milk to wash it down with. After singing Happy Birthday to me several times I decided to extend this activity by making actual birthday cakes! I wanted the children to be able to have the freedom to decorate as many cakes as they wanted, and with the fresh snow fall I figured decorating snow cakes would be perfect! As soon as we were outside I laid all the materials out in the snow. Immediately, the candles were spotted and they all started yelling, "cake! cake! I want to make cake!" The children all huddled around one area and started opening the containers and decorating the snow. They used the spoons to scoop the snow into piles, and rolling pins to smooth the tops. Luckily the snow was a little wet which made the frosting spread over the tops easier. (Fluffy snow would not be as successful.)


                   Different spices allowed the children to make different types of cake. Chocolate was the most popular flavor, but cinnamon was a close second. As they sprinkled the spices on their cake they told me "Mmm that smell good, Les-a-lie!" When I asked them if they had smelled something like they before and one little guy said, "Yes. It's cinnamon."(Like I was crazy for asking! :)
                  Once the candles were in place it was now time to sing Happy Birthday to everyone, followed by taking turns blowing out the candles.

                    The children really seemed to enjoy making snow cakes, and I'm excited to see how else we can incorporate cake making with these little ones!

Why This Matters:

Fine Motor Development - Opening and closing containers, using utensils to cut, scoop, and spread

Hand- Eye Coordination- Placing Candles, Frostin the Cakes

Social Development - Taking turns, Working together to construct & decorate

Language Development - Singing Happy Birthday, Communicating amongst the group

                                                                                                         -Leslie Dionne