Sunday, September 5, 2010

Science Sunday

We did a few science-related lessons this week.

We started out the week doing a sorting activity where we studied recyclables.  We labeled three brown paper bags into "trash," "recycle," and "yard waste," and colored them to match the color of our bins outside.  Then I gave the Bibliophile a small box of throw-aways to sort.  Afterward, we read What Are Things Made Of? (which isn't really about recycling, but is semi-related.  This is a bit advanced for his age, but for some reason he has always liked having it read to him anyway).  I considered doing a decomposition lesson by putting stuff outside, but got lazy. 

The next day, we made orange juice together, which I tried to make into a sort of science (agricultural) lesson.  I gave him a handout that explained:
Where does orange juice come from? 

Oranges grow on trees.  There are orange trees in many different countries.  The countries that have the most oranges are Brazil, the United States, and Mexico.

To make orange juice, people pick the oranges, and squeeze them to get all of the juice out.  Let’s make orange juice together!

He enjoyed the process, but not the pulp in the finished product. 

We finished off the week with a fun experiment from Bite-Sized Science: Activities for Children in 15 Minutes or Less.  I was excited to find this book at the library, and many of the ideas are toddler-friendly.  Honestly, I wouldn't have thought of many of them as "science," but I know I need to broaden my thinking when it comes to science for a toddler.

Bite-Sized Science: Activities for Children in 15 Minutes or Less

The activity we chose from the book was to make a homemade magnifying glass by filling a ziploc baggie full of water.  We did explain to him very simply why it worked (water bending the light), but he didn't really understand or remember that.  Which is fine.  He's only 2, afterall!

The mismatched pajamas add to his "crazy scientist" persona.
If you try this experiment, I recommend NOT ignoring the directions about taping the top of the ziploc shut, for added protection.  Or, at least keep a monkey towel handy.

Next week we are going to try to be a bit more focused, so I let the Bibliophile choose a focus animal.  He chose giraffes.  And I'm contemplating some fun science activities in connection with our geography study of Iceland (volcanoes, glaciers, geysers - the possibilities are endless).

I am linking this post up with Science Sunday.

Comment: What are your favorite science activities for very young ones?

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Christy said...

I love your honesty about being lazy!!!

We made orange juice when we were studying Florida. The kids had fun with that.

I like the homemade magnifying glass.

If you ask my children, they will say their favorite science experiments are things they can eat! They also had a great time playing with oobleck and that might be my favorite science experiment we have done - all three of my kids loved it.

Joyful Learner said...

Great ideas! We just bought oranges for orange week. We will be making juice too!

We haven't done enough science experiments lately but our daughter loves anything that moves or crawls so we've been studying animals/insects mostly.

Brimful Curiosities said...

Sounds like you had a busy week in regards to science activities!

My kids like hands-on science activities....things they can touch and feel and help out with.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I'm finding the kids like, and remember hands on science, that involves play, or food, the best, too.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I love the monkey towel. This looks like so much fun.

Ticia said...

My kids would say anything with vinegar and baking soda, that's always popular.

They loved our cricket unit where we studied crickets for several days. Anything with animals.

Lisa said...

We have that monkey towel.

I am so impressed with your dedication to his education. You're an example to the rest of us.

Raising a Happy Child said...

I have to look for this book. I admit that Anna enjoyed all the science suggestions from Sid the Science Kid - they are really easy to pull off. Now from time to time she comes up with experiments of her own - for example what happens if you mix some toothpaste with water and drink it. Seriously - she insisted that it was an experiment. Have to keep an eye on this Marie Curie.

Infant Bibliophile said...

@Raising Your comment made me laugh out loud! I've been teaching my guy the meaning of "hypothesis" this week, and his examples of his hypotheses are also keeping me very entertained. I will blog about it next Sunday probably. :)

@Lisa Like I replied privately, thank you so much, but really I just get bored easily! Need to keep us entertained. :)

@Ticia Crickets sound fun. I considered a vinegar and baking soda volcano this week, but my son is a little funny about messy things. I think he might not like it yet.

@JDaniel I love the towel too. From LLBean I think.

@An Almost, Brimful Hands-on definitely entertains the best!

@Joyful Learner We've been counting our animal studies as science too! According to the little guy, next week will be monkey week. Or, orangutan specifically.

@Christy I wonder if my son would tolerate oobleck. He hates messy/sticky stuff, but I seem to recall your son having some issues like that too, so maybe mine would like it too!

Britt said...

So, I had a kick-butt idea for a science project before falling asleep last night.... and I can't remember it for the life of me!!

In 9th grade, I tried adding chemicals to candles to make the flame change color... I don't recommend that with a toddler, though. :)