Category Archives: Science

Numbers are everywhere! Exploring length

The children have been interested in the bugs they’ve been finding in the garden recently.

Look a wiggly worm

To extend their learning, last week we brought a mini beast hunt indoors using autumn leaves collected by some children on a local walk. They enjoyed learning the names of the different bugs, exploring textures and role playing with them. This week we’ve added some calipers to allow the children to explore the concept of measuring and length.

It’s 7
It’s up to here

In the early years when maths is explored during play it becomes more powerful, allowing children to apply their growing knowledge and build lifelong understanding.

It’s 11, it’s bigger

 

I saw a spider

The addition of callipers allowed the children to explore their mathematical potential freely; using the language of length and size, comparing lengths, identifying  and writing numbers.

I’m going to try the bee
Is it longer?

The children also recorded their findings using their own mathematical graphics on a simple table.

It’s 10 again
Exploring writing numbers

I wonder what the children will measure next?

Please share any pictures of your children using these skills at home so we can print them off and share with their friends 😊

 

Five senses- hearing

Hearing

How do our ears work?

The large flap on the outside of your ear catches noise and directs it into your ear canal and on to the eardrum. Behind your ear drum are ossicles (three small bones) followed by the cochlea. The cochlea is shaped like a snail, filled with liquid and lined with hair-like particles. Our ears allow us to hear sounds through vibrations. Vibrations cause sound waves. These are funnelled from the ear flap to the ear canal, the eardrum, into the ossicles in the middle ear, and finally into the cochlea. The hairs in the cochlea are stimulated by the vibrations and send the sound signal to your brain for interpretation. Is the sound alerting us to something dangerous or important, like a fire alarm or a honking car horn?  Is the sound quiet and calming, like classical music or the whirring of a fan? What is going on around us? What should we do next?

Fun fact- your ear contains the three smallest bones in your body; the malleus, incus and stapes but are better known as the hammer, anvil and stirrup because of their shape.

Related activities-

  • Sound walk- go for a walk in your local area and discuss the different sounds you can hear
  • Paint to music- have a mix of dance/up beat and chilled out music, paint to the tempo of the music
  • Predict from four items what would make the loudest or softest noise if you skate it/tap it
  • Sound bingo- https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=h0Kp_J9kvNM
  • Take a sound trip around the body: Listen to the sounds of the body, heart beating, lungs breathing etc. 
  • Using jars filled with water of different levels, listen to the sound each jar makes by running a wet finger round the top
  • Make a rain stick using a kitchen roll tube, card/paper, rice/lentils and kitchen foil. Firstly decorate the tube then cut two circles of card/paper slightly bigger than the circumference of the tube. Snip the circles as in the picture and attach one to the end the tube. Then roll and twist the foil and put inside along with the rice and seal the other end.

  • Play Simon says, musical statues, musical chairs
  • Place various items in sealed containers, ask your child to shake them and ask what it could be
  • Help your child understand that we hear sound through vibrations
    • a musical triangle works best but if you don’t have one you could hang a metal fork or spoon from a piece of string. Hit the triangle with a metal beater and listen to the sound made through the vibration, then do it again but this time ask your child to catch the triangle. It stops the vibrations and, therefore, the sound.
    • another fun activity if you happen to have a drum or bongo drum in the house is to place some rice on top then scream as loud as you can and watch the rice jump around due to the vibrations. Try experimenting by putting cling film or kitchen foil on top of a large mixing bowl and please let us know if it works.

Remember you can share any fun activities with us on our twitter page.

Have fun and take care,

Eilidh x

Five senses- smell

Our sense of smell is a way for our brains to receive information about the world around us. The sensory receptors in the nose pick up information about the smells around us and pass this information along a channel of nerves where it eventually reaches the brain. Our sense of smell can discriminate between thousands of odours and help us determine whether they are strong, faint, pleasurable, foul or dangerous. It is also associated with the sense of taste helping to create the flavours that we taste in food.  This is why nothing seems to taste quite right when you have a bad cold.

Fun fact- Our sense of smell is closely related to a part of our nervous system which is responsible for emotions and memories. This is why certain smells can bring back memories.

Related activities-

  • Smell jars
    • This can be done either blind folded so your child is solely relying on their sense of smell or without so they are also using their sense of sight. 
    • If blind folded- place various food items in jars/cups/on plates. Then ask children- What do you smell? Does the smell remind you of something? Remove the blind fold and see if they still have the same answers. You might, for example, use a mint leaf so your child may think it is like toothpaste but once they can see they will know it is something different. 
    • If not blind folded- same idea as above but try using foods that look similar such as a mint leaf and a basil leaf or coffee and grated chocolate. This way you child can guess first by looking then use their sense of smell to confirm or change their answer. 
    • For each of these activities I would not expect children of this age to know the name of all herbs/spices etc. but they may be able to compare them to items they are familiar with e.g. basil is like pesto pasta. The main point is to understand how we use our senses separately and in conjunction with each other and to use a variety of language to describe the smells. 
  • Scented paints
    • Make your own paint by mixing a 1/2 cup of flour and a 1/2 cup of salt together then add a 1/2 cup of water until you get a smooth paste (you may need a little more water if too thick). Divide the mixture into three zip lock bags and add different scented food flavourings such as peppermint, lemon etc. You could also add colours e.g. yellow food colouring to the lemon scented bag etc. Then mix the scents and colour through the paint. Once thoroughly mixed, cut the corner of the ziplock bag and you have a ready made piping bag to squeeze the paint onto the paper.
    • Use herbal tea bags to create a colourful scented picture. This works best if you can hang the paper on an easel or stick on to a wall (in the garden I would think!)  Stick the tea bags onto a sheet of paper using tape or safety pins then use a spray bottle to get them wet.  Squish the tea bags and watch the colours dripping down the page. The more you squish, the more scent will be released!
  • Scented playdough
    • Basic playdough is made by mixing two cups flour, one cup salt, one cup water and a little oil together. To make scented playdough add flavour to the water before mixing to allow the scent to spread evenly through the playdough. Alternatively try using different flavoured oils such as garlic or rosemary. 
  • Water play
    • Add rosemary/lavender/oranges to the water tray and enjoy the lovely scent while splashing around.

Five senses- sight

Each day this week I will be posting a blog to help your child learn about their five senses. I will give a brief explanation of how the sense works and then give ideas of activities your child can take part in to help their understanding. Please do not feel you have to do all activities, it’s just to give you a bank of ideas and you can choose which ones your child will enjoy. Have fun!!!

Sight

How does your sense of sight work?

A fly darts towards your head! Light bounces off the insect and enters your eye’s cornea, a clear covering over your eye. The light passes through your pupil, the black circle in the centre of the iris, to the lens. The lens focuses the light onto your retina – a thin but vital lining on the back of your eye that is as flimsy as a wet tissue. Your retina acts like camera film, capturing the picture of the fly. This image is sent to the brain, which instantly tells you to – duck!

What do we need to see?

  • Eyes
  • Brain
  • Light

Fun fact-

You blink more than 10,000 times a day!!

Related activities-

  • Memory game- ask your child to draw pairs of shapes i.e. two circles, two squares etc. then turn them all over and take turns to find the matching shapes.
  • Spot the difference- if you are feeling creative you could draw two pictures for your child to spot the difference between or alternatively there are online options such as this from CBeebies 
  • I spy- use colours or shapes as an alternative to letters
  • Light and dark activities- emphasise that we need light to see
    • Use sunlight to create shadows with your hands
    • Cut small shapes and stick them on to a torch to create a variety of shadows 
    • Scavenger hunt-use torches to find different objects in a dark room/tent
  • Make your own binoculars- decorate/colour two toilet roll tubes then tie them together with string and go on a bug hunt

  • Make your own magnifying glass- fill a glass jar with water as full as possible to minimise air bubbles, place top on then put on its side and use as a magnifier. Alternatively, cut a circle from the neck of a plastic bottle, such as a coke bottle, so it is the same shape as an oversized contact lens then put a little water in this.

Please share your experiences with us on Twitter @cartmillcentre

Bubble Snakes 🐍 🐍

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all well and keeping busy.

Today, I wanted to share with you how to make bubble snakes.

What you will need is

  • 🐍 a plastic bottle
  • 🐍 a sock
  • 🐍 scissors
  • 🐍 washing up liquid
  • 🐍 a cup of water
  • 🐍 food colouring (optional)
  • 🐍 measuring spoon
  • 🐍 bowl

First get an adult to cut the bottom of the bottle off.

Then put a sock over the bottom.

Measure one cup of water into your bowl. Next measure 2 tablespoons of washing up liquid, pour into the water and mix.

Dip the sock end into the water/washing up liquid mixture.

Blow through the neck of the bottle to make your snake.

Even the big kids had fun blowing bubbles. I hope you have as much fun as we did.

We did try adding food colouring to our sock to make the bubbles colourful but I’m afraid it didn’t work for us. Maybe you could experiment and see if you can make a colourful snake.

Let see how long you can make your bubble snake. 🐍

Love Fiona 😁

 

 

 

Science fun!

Hi everyone! Sarah-Jane here.. I hope you are all well and keeping safe.
As we have been grateful to have such nice weather over the weekend, I decided to get my lay z spa set up.
However, the setting up is the difficult part and it actually ended up turning into a bit of a science experiment, (this is a really useful tip if you have one of these at home!)

As you all know, most swimming pools have a chemical called chlorine in it to clean the water of any bacteria and germs. However, in order to be able to use the water in the spa, we had to test to see if it was safe. This is called testing the PH of the water.

I had to improvise as I didn’t have any PH paper to test my water, so I used to magic of google to find an alternative and this is what it gave me…

First, you cut up or grate your red cabbage and place it into a clear glass bowl. Then boil about 2 cups of distilled water in a separate pot and pour the boiled water over the cabbage(adult). Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon and leave the cabbage in the water for around half an hour..

A chemical reaction will then happen causing the cabbage to turn the water to a purplish red colour. Then you strain the liquid. This will be used as what you call a “pH indicator solution”

Pour a small amount of the water you are testing into a separate clear plastic or glass container, put a few drops of your purplish solution into the water you are testing.

The water colour will change and either give you an acidic, a neutral or a basic alkaline measurement. Our water stayed purple, meaning it was alkali so was not safe to use in our lay z spa.

To ensure that our experiment wasn’t affected by anything, we added vinegar to our purple solution which changed to pink/red, meaning it was acidic. This confirmed that our experiment worked! Yay!

This is a really fun experiment to do and can be done to test any type of water or liquid such as vinegar, fizzy juice, soapy water and milk, not just if you have a hot tub in your garden! The children will enjoy watching the colours changing and being able to match it on the pH colour chart.

There are some more experiments that can be done using the red cabbage indicator..

www.sciencekiddo.com

www.littlebinsforlittlehands.com

www.homeschoolden.com

Have fun everyone and be sure to share your discoveries with us on our Cart Mill twitter!

Miss you all and hope to see you real soon, Stay safe!! xx

Rainbow science with Linzi 🌈

Hi everyone!

I hope you are all well. I’m missing your wee faces and funny stories ❤️

Today I’ve been trying out some rainbow science with my kids, Seren and Keir.  I know how much the children at Cart Mill love our science investigations so, here are 2 easy ones to try at home with everyday items.

Seren got a sheet of kitchen roll and drew on it with different coloured pens – she did shapes to add a bit of numeracy into this activity – then she drew over them with black ink.

Pop it on a tray as you are about to get messy 

Keir used a spray bottle to squirt water on the shapes (good for fine motor skill development) however you can use anything so long as your wee one can drip water onto each shape.

What colour will appear?

Just like magic, every spray revealed a colour. The paper absorbed the water, moving the colour with it.  Keir enjoyed it so much we did it again with faces.

Next we tried to grow our own rainbow. Seren got another bit of kitchen roll and drew rainbow colours on each end.

She placed it into an arch shape using two cups and tried to guess what would happen. Keir poured water into each cup.

Good for hand-eye co-ordination

We watched as our rainbow grew 🌈

Look at those colours

Keir was able to relate what happened back to our previous activity and he understood the “water maked it move”.

Why don’t you guys give this a go at home and tweet us a picture of your rainbow science 🌈

Take care and stay safe, Linzi x

 

Spring is coming!

The toddlers were really busy learning about how a seed can grow into a beautiful flower. We listened to a story about growing plants and flowers and wanted to make our own.

We filled some pots with compost and added some seeds.

 

 

 

 

 

We watered the seeds in the pot to help them grow and sat them by the window for some sunlight.

We will be looking after our plants by watering them and hopefully repotting them in April when we will add them into the greenhouse in the big garden.

How Will Our Garden Grow?

Exciting times in the Cart Mill garden this week with the arrival of our new greenhouse. Michelle, Fiona and Val have been working to build this beautiful new addition to our outdoor space. Having somewhere to start our seedlings grow will provide so many wonderful experiences for the children at Cart Mill. Not only will it help explain the wonders of nature and life cycles, it will encourage children to care for and nurture their very own plants.
We have been eagerly waiting for our greenhouse for a few weeks and now the hard work begins. The shelves are up, the seed trays are ready. So, what will we plant first?

What will happen?

Happy Valentine’s Day to our Cart Mill Family!

We have been doing Valentine themed activities this week and finding out what the day means to the children.

In the science corner we’ve kept to our theme to help us explore what happens when we put paper into water. We learned new vocabulary and discussed hypothesis.

We started with paper hearts
Then folded them up

We tried to guess what would happen when we put our folded hearts into water…there were lots of fabulous theories; “it’ll change colour”, “it’ll explode”, “it’ll sink”, “ it’ll get sugary, break apart”

We placed them into water and waited to see what would happen

The paper opened back up into a heart shape.  We discussed why this happened – the paper absorbed the water causing the fibres in to paper to expand and push the paper apart.  One child asked if there was more water would it sink.  So we decided to find out and added a bowl that was deeper.  Again we tried to guess what would happen. “It’ll sink” “it’ll float” “it’ll make waves”

We discussed the difference between shallow and deep; “sink means you fall under the water”, “float is staying on the top”

Again the paper opened up “it’s opened up because we drop it in” one child exclaimed.  Another child agreed saying “yes because we put it into the wet”.

The children clapped when the heart opened up

The children continued to explore this for the rest of the morning.