Young Scientists at Play: Concoction Lab

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This week during our hour of Young Scientists at Play I created a concoctions lab, enlisting the help of one of my twins:

L10, almost as excited as the littles
L10, almost as excited as the littles

I made up a tray full of bits and pieces from the kitchen:

The tray contained coloured water, coloured vinegar and coloured milk;  also it had baking powder, bicarb, flour, cornflour and icing sugar
The tray contained coloured water, coloured vinegar and coloured milk; also it had baking powder, bicarb, flour, cornflour and icing sugar.  I popped in spoons, mixers and a turkey baster
Each little 'un had a small tray with mixing bowls, sieve, spoons, syringe and goggles
Each little ‘un had a small tray with mixing bowls, sieve, spoons, syringe and goggles

And then we let the fun begin!  We are always as hands off as possible during preschool science.  This is chiefly exploratory time for them and as such I have NO end result in mind.  This is one of the most freeing ways to home school, yet the children are still learning loads:

A4 takes it all very seriously
A4 takes it all very seriously
And is very methodical
And is very methodical
She gives her full concentration to every mixture
She gives her full concentration to every mixture
Only looking up to tell me all she is seeing and discovering
Only looking up to tell me all she is seeing and discovering
She finds science utterly exhilarating!
She finds science utterly exhilarating!
For B2 it is one of the few times in our week when I seem to have her full attention
For B2 it is one of the few times in our week when I seem to have her full attention
where her utter sense of wonder prevails over everything
where her sense of wonder prevails over everything
As she sprinkles...
As she sprinkles…
pipettes...
pipettes…
turkey bastes...
turkey bastes…
spoons...
spoons…
pours..
pours..
mixes..
mixes..
and generally captures the heart of all and any who happen to be in the room.
and generally captures the heart of all and any who happen to be in the room.

B2 is by far my hardest baby to keep content.  She is unsettled ALOT of the time.  Yet for one hour a week she is peaceful, absorbed, with no expectations hampering her learning.  This has fed some rather exciting ideas for an hour activity each day, with open-ended learning for my pre-schoolers.  I’ll share in the future, if they prove successful.

I had one last activity for my little ones, to reinforce what they had learnt the week before.  A4 was very excited.  She is such a pleasure to teach, lapping up anything and everything I do with her.  Such a privilege to home-school!  This time I filled them a small tray each, full of bicarb.  I filled up a couple of trays of test tubes with vinegar which I coloured lots of different colours:

The littles itching to get at their trays
The littles itching to get at their trays, pipettes at the ready!

The goal was for them to pipette different colours of vinegars onto the bicarb, not just to see the fizzy reaction, but to notice the mixing of colours:

This was such a great activity, as gratification was an immediate and fizzy reaction
This was such a great activity, as gratification was an immediate and fizzy reaction
Again A4 was very methodical and placed each colour next to each other rather than mixing them
Again A4 was very methodical and placed each colour next to each other rather than mixing them
She loved seeing all the colours merging and producing new ones
She loved seeing all the colours merging and producing new ones
B2 just loved making a mess!!
B2 just loved making a mess!!

This one hour of science play has helped open my eyes to see potential in B2, a peek into her way of learning, into the activities which interest her.  I think it has been one of the most successful ideas I have ever implemented in our school.  Long may it last!

  Tot School  Highhill Homeschool  Science Sunday

31 comments

  1. I remember doing very similar activities with Tiger when he was preschool age. He couldn’t get enough of concoctions and mixtures. Tiger was very like B2 at that age! He just wanted to put everything together and see what they do. A4 is indeed a very methodical learner. It’s all very good to see. 🙂

    1. It is so interesting watching their little personalities develop and having the freedom to change my teaching methods to suit everyone in our little school. Thanks for popping by Hwee!

  2. oooooooo what a fantastic day its going to be here Wednesday..(or should I say messy) I’ll be at the grocery store if anyone needs me! We have the bins and most ‘ingredients’ but i have some disgusting ideas! i did this as a child at my grandmothers for HOURS EVERYDAY literally! i LOVED concoction potions i used to make–thank u 4 assisting me in continuing to think like my childhood self! BEST! mind if i reblog???

    1. These are so simple to put together and require so little effort or thought you’ll have no problem. What child doesn’t like making a mess ‘legally’?- it’s a winner from the start!!

  3. I need to do more sciemce with my littlies. They know lots of theory, but we haven’t done much experimenting yet. We’re starting with gardening, and have discovered they joys of sloppy mud and wiggly worms, and this week we mixed food coloring. You’re given me some ideas for science with wee’uns.

  4. What a cute group of scientists you’ve got! What a fun, playful idea – love it =)

    Thanks for linking up to TGIF! I hope to see you linked up again later today,
    Beth =)

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