Beaches, water tables, sprinklers, the sink, the bath–if it involves water and getting soaking wet, it is sure to be a hit with young children…especially during the hottest days of summer!
We were off to the beach yesterday and while the kids built sandcastles, waded in the water, and floated in an inflatable raft our friends brought along, I threw in a little math and science.
Which molds better? Wet sand or dry sand?
Interesting! The water helps the sand stick together! (Got older kids? Find out why…hint: it has to do with surface tension.)
Oh, you are putting rocks around the perimeter?
Here, let’s try something…fill this bottle with water up to the 50 mL mark…
Now, find an object that will fit in the bottle. Let’s measure the volume, the space the object takes up. Drop that rock into the bottle and let’s see what happens!
Each line represents another 10 mL so skip count by 10′s. 50, 60, 70…70! So, the rock is 20 mL in volume.
Let’s try something else. Fill the bottle with stones.
Good. Is it full or can you fit something else in there? You think some pebbles would fit? Let’s try that. Is it full now? You think sand would fit? Great…try that! Now, it is full, right? No? You think you can pour in some water? Let’s see!
Now, is it full? Yes? Wonderful! You know, rocks are solid matter and hold their shape. Water is a liquid, however, which means it will fill the space available.
What else can water do? Our friends brought a water wheel, let’s check it out!
Remember the giant water wheel at the old mill? What did that do? So we can use water power to move gears?
That’s hydraulic power. Yes, like when mommy and daddy keep reminding you to hydrate.
And that’s it…just a little experimentation along with our beach fun and an introduction to some new vocabulary! Later, we’re going to see what floats and learn why those big boats don’t sink!
This post is part of the Smart Summer Challenge–we’re encouraging you to beat the summer vacation slide with fun, everyday learning activities! You can take just 10 minutes a day to find the educational opportunities all around us or get as elaborate as you like! Whatever you do, we invite you to share your experiences each week in our linky, which goes up every Friday during the challenge and stays open through Thursday.
Find out more about the Smart Summer Challenge and grab our free calendar of summer learning ideas, and “like” the Smart Summer Challenge page on Facebook.
Find more great ideas from your hostesses, Candace of Naturally Educational (that’s me!), Amy of TeachMama.com, and MaryLea of Pink and Green Mama!