Changes, Mixtures, and Gardening
There are plenty of opportunities for children to experience changes and mixtures! Here are a few ideas...
Creating Play Dough
Involving children in the process of making play dough gives them a hands-on opportunity to view the changes that occur from this mixture! They can see and feel the changes occurring as they create their dough. This simple recipe will help throughout the process and it can be fun to experiment with what happens when you add different amounts of the ingredients! Try this out and work to discover what makes the "perfect" dough. And revel in the messy "mistakes" that are not mistakes at all, but are a critical part of science.
Simple Playdough Recipe
2 Cups Flour
1/2 Cup Salt
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 Cup Water
Observing the changes that occur in water is a simple way for children to begin to understand the states of matter. Freezing ice and watching it melt allows them to observe the changes and to make sense of what is happening. Involving children in this process could look like this:
Have children pour water into a container and put it in the freezer
Once the water is solid, take it out and put it in a bin or place it outside to watch it melt and talk about it.
...What changes do you see? How is this happening? How can we get it to melt faster? What can we do to make the water solid again? How can we get it to melt faster?
Creating a garden is special for children and adults. It is also an incredible opportunity for children to witness other kinds of natural changes that occur, such as the life cycle of a plant. When you create a garden, involve children in all of it. Have them brainstorm what they want to plant and research what those plants need to grow. Have children be responsible for the care of the garden. Ask them what changes they are noticing and why they think those changes are happening. Graph the life cycle of your plants and add to it as they grow! There is so much you can do with a garden, indoors and outdoors!
CHECK out our Preschool STEM Institute
to explore more STEM in the context of the garden, plant, and growing.