Whew! There are some complicated science crafts out there! I quizzed my friends, co-workers, and relatives for the best and easiest science-related crafts that they do with their early learners.
1. Easy molding dough
Take ¼ cup hair conditioner and ½ cup of cornstarch to create a dough mixture. Don’t worry if it doesn’t completely mix with a spoon—once out in hands it congeals into a fun version of homemade Play-Doh. Use food coloring or water color (just make sure to wait fifteen minutes before using bare hands!) to give the dough different colors. Mom Ellie wants me to remind readers not to use their own conditioner, but to purchase the cheap stuff at a drug or grocery store.
2. Floating raisins
Fill a tall water glass halfway with water. Have your early learner put in one tablespoon of baking soda and stir. Then have your early learner rip 4-5 raisins in half and drop them in the solution. Finally, fill the rest of the glass with white vinegar and watch the raisins float up and down! Erika likes to record this in slow motion on her phone so that Luis can watch and re-watch. Ask your early learner what effect the baking soda and vinegar had on the raisins.
3. "Jelly Beadz"
Although not entirely homemade, “Jelly Beadz” can show your early learner what happens when certain substances absorb water—and also provide hours of entertainment. We used a small package ordered from Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Ounce-Pack--60-Grams-Rainbow/dp/B008W9IGP2/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1460303866&sr=8-6&keywords=beadz). Soak one teaspoon in a large container of water for six to eight hours to make a little over a quart of these bouncy beads. Closely supervise with beads either in an open container or in a baggy to squish and squeeze. They keep their colors and do not bleed. They last about four to five days, but do start to squish and break apart a little more easily each day!
4. Squishy egg
Does your early learner like pickled eggs? Probably not—so this experiment will be completely new to them! Place an egg in a clear glass, then pour white vinegar over it. Leave the egg in the solution for about ten hours. If you use an organic or farm egg, you may need to leave the egg in longer because of shell thickness. When your egg is ready, take it out and initially allow your early learner to gently squeeze it. Ask them why they believe the shell became softer, and also if they believe if the egg could still break. To test the latter, have your early learner go outside and bounce the egg on a paper or plastic plate.