Category Archives: Science

The floor is lava

Today the children played  “The floor is lava” but with a twist…

They worked together to collect different materials including:

  • Paper/card
  • lollipop sticks
  • twigs
  • Small figures
  • building blocks
  • Cars
  • Bowls

They then used the materials to design and build a stable structure together that was suitable to save the little figures and cars from the lava without it falling over.

“It needs to be up high, what can we use?”

”we can use the blocks to get it high”

The children came up with a variety of ways to save the cars and people from the lava while developing their listening and teamwork skills.

They used their problem solving skills to organise the different shaped blocks by size so that the figure didn’t fall over.

”The big ones need to go to the bottom because they will fall if they are at the top, they won’t balance”

“The bowl can go under in case he falls”

The children had so much fun making a safe structure for the cars and people using materials around the nursery. Why don’t you try creating your own at home.

Glitter Bug

We had a special visitor at Cart Mill today! One of our nursery mum’s came to teach us all about hand washing. Eilidh brought her special germ finding equipment to show us what happens when we don’t wash our hands properly.

First Eilidh asked us if we knew when and why we wash our hands. Of course our clever Cart Mill children could tell us. “Before my lunch/snack” “when you go to the toilet.”  “If you touch anything that’s muddy” “when you blow your nose”.
Eilidh told us about Glitter Bug. Glitter bug was shy and was hiding in the bottle. Glitter bug is a special soap that shows us what we miss when we clean our hands.

When we had the glitter bug Soap on, Eilidh showed us her method of checking our hands. We put our hands in the black tent and a UV light was able to highlight any spots that were dirty.

When the UV light was on, our hands went a purple colour and we could see the white “germs”. Next Eilidh asked us to re-wash our hands and look at the difference.

We put our freshly washed hands back in the tent, under the UV light and all the “germs” had vanished.

We loved seeing the difference good hand washing with soap makes, and we learned the importance of properly washing our hands. It was so much fun! Even Emma and Helen had a turn. Thank you so much for coming to visit  us today Eilidh!

Blossom mud pie

The children were having lots of fun in the mud kitchen today making lots of delicious food but they needed more ‘ingredients’ so we decided to go a local walk to collect some flowers that had fallen off the trees.

Once we had collected lots of blossom, we took it back to nursery and into the mud kitchen. The children decided they would like to make a blossom mud pie, so we got to work on the recipe. The children worked as a team to collect all the ingredients, measure, empty and fill the containers before voila! A mud pie, hand decorated with the blossom.

Once our blossom pie was ready the children took it over to our ‘restaurant’ and cut it into pieces giving everyone a bit.

”This is so yummy”
Who knew mud could look so good!

What is a scientist?

Today we have been learning about and  discussing scientists.

In our science area  during a group discussion we used a mind map to  record what we already know  and knowledge we could share with each other.

Here are some or our thoughts……

“ A scientist looks at things with a magnifying glass “

”They make explosions ”

”They investigate things”

We looked at things  as scientist might wear and why. Some of us tried dressing up as one.

“They wear coats so they don’t get messy from mixtures and gloves and goggles to keep their hands and eyes safe”.

We  looked at some of the equipment that a scientist might use with their experiments. We looked at magnifying glasses and microscopes and we learned that they help to make things bigger and  easier to look at. At first we found it a little bit tricky as we has to focus the lens but we soon got the hang of it and had fun exploring and looking more  closely in our Discovery area.


We took time to look at and read through a popular book we have in nursery. It is called ‘Ada Twist Scientist’. This book tells the story of a girl who has lots of questions and always wonders how things work and why. We watched her story on our Promethium board to help tell us more about how  Ada  the scientist  investigates things.

Do you have questions about how things work? Or what new things can you discover together at home?



Planting and growing 🌱

Today in our lovely sunny garden we were super busy planting our potatoes. We had previously left our potatoes in our greenhouse in the sun to chit, so we looked to see if our potatoes were ready to be planted, they were so we got started. The children used their gross motor skills for digging, carrying and lifting the soil over to where we are growing our potatoes, they then placed them into the black bag and covered them in soil again.

The children will be taking responsibility for the care of our vegetables in Cart Mill’s garden and that we will need to make sure we are watering them regularly, especially when the weather is sunny. We discussed what things we needed to do to look after our vegetables and also that we will need to be patient while waiting for them to grow.

Colour mixing creativity in the studio😊

Today some of the children chose to do some colour mixing learning experiences. They decided to use shaving foam and food colouring and see what happened when the colours mixed the children thought they would mix the colours using marbles.

First they found some big trays added some foam and then used the pipettes to add different colours of food colouring. “ Its turning brown” “ Its hard to mix the colours with all of the shaving foam” “ I need more red” “ We need to add lots of different colours for a rainbow effect“

The children then got some paper and pressed it down on the foam. “ It looks lovely like a butterfly “ The younger children particularly enjoyed the sensory aspect of the experience.

Next the children decided to mix some different shades of green, orange and purple using paint. They used problem solving to decide what to do if the colour they mixed didn’t turn out how they expected, they also took turns guessing about what colour they were going to make. There was lots of opportunities to use mathematical language, such as more and less.
This activity allowed the children to have great fun experimenting with cause and effect.  What a fabulous, busy day in the studio.

Our super scientists investigate volcanoes!

🌋     🌋    🌋    🌋    🌋   🌋

Today in our Discovery room we were learning about volcanoes and how they erupt. We looked at pictures of volcanoes erupting in some of our books we have in the science area. To investigate more and gather more information we watched some videos of live volcanoes on our promethean board. We were amazed at how the lava could  shoot out the top and then flow all the way down to the bottom.

“It looks like a fire river”

“Wow! It explodes like fireworks!”

We learned some fascinating facts during our learning.

We now know that volcanoes can be active,dormant or extinct.

The liquid inside a volcano is called magma but when the volcano erupts the liquid becomes lava.

🔥🔥🔥🔥Lava is very , very hot!🔥🔥🔥🔥

We thought it would be a great idea to make our very own erupting volcano. We used chose some art materials such as paper, paint and glue to create our volcano and even added some dinosaurs to make them run from the lava!

Now it was time for us to become Super Scientists!👩‍🔬🧑🏽‍🔬
We put on our safety goggles and gloves and some children thought it would be safer to put on some pretend ‘lava boots’ so our feet wouldn’t burn!

We listened carefully to our instructions as we had to measure out our science ingredients- 5 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon of easing up liquid
1 cup of vinegar
Some red food colouring ( to show the lava is hot!)


We added the washing up liquid to the  bicarbonate of soda and added the colouring then gave them a good mix together.
Now  for the fun part! We sat back when it was time to add our vinegar and watched our volcano erupt!


Why don’t you look out some lava boots and goggles and become a super scientist? A fun and easy experiment you can try at home!

🌋   🌋  🌋   🌋   🌋   🌋





The water cycle 🌦

This morning the children have enjoyed revisiting the ice gardens that they made last week. They could see the different layers within the ice and noticed that the ice was starting to melt in the sun.
“The sun is hot today.”
”The ice is melting!”
We discussed the different properties of water and this led to a discussion about where water comes from. I explained to the children that all the water on our planet continuously moves in a cycle. The sun dries up the rain and sends the vapour up to the sky where the cold air turns it in to clouds. Then once the clouds are full the water comes back to earth as rain.
We then created our own rain clouds.

We used shaving foam to represent the clouds then dropped food colouring on top to represent the rain. This is a great visual for the children to see the cloud filling up before it starts to rain. The children then  experimented with adding more drops and also used different colours to see what would happen.

“It’s raining!”
“It looks like an explosion!”

“I mixed them together and now it looks like coffee.”
”Look, the orange is falling!”

The children had a great time taking part in our science experiment to learn about the water cycle. I’m sure we will be repeating this experience again in the near future.
Why don’t you try this with your budding scientists at home and share your experience on our twitter page @cartmillcentre

Ready, Steady, Go!

Today in the Discovery room the children have been building ramps to see which car would go the fastest and win the race.

To explore this further, we decided to build a variety of different heights and level of ramps. We gathered together some of our planks of wood and different materials we could use to test and explore different types of forces.

The children took turns and predicted what ramp would be the fastest. We found the higher the ramp was, the faster the car would travel.

“high one is the best ,it’s the fastest”
”It is speedy”

”Watch mine zoom”

We added bubble wrap to one ramp to see how it affected the speed of the cars travelling down them.

We found that adding the bubble wrap this would make our cars slower and not travel so far.

”This makes it go too slow”

”Look how far mine went”

”My one is the fastest now”

To investigate time and distance further, we used a stop watch to time our cars travelling and a tape measure to see how far they could go.

Why not explore this at home! You could try using balls or pebbles to investigate force, distance and time.


Milk and Germ Science Experiment

It’s Friday, what better way to end the week with a science experiment. Well, it is British Science Week!

Today in the Discovery Room, in our technology area, we have decided to do a milk food colouring experiment on the light table. For this experiment  we gathered everything we needed-a bowl, milk, food colouring, fairy liquid and some cotton swabs.

We poured enough milk in a bowl to cover the surface with the depth of about a 1/4 inch. We then added a few drops of different food colouring in the centre of the bowl of milk quite close to each other.

Next for the fun bit ! We dipped the cotton swabs in a small amount of fairy liquid and then dipped it in the colours one at a time for around 10/15 seconds.
We were careful to move each swap onto one colour at a time, without disturbing the milk.
We were amazed to see how the colours swirled and changed in the milk especially when we placed the cotton swab on to the different colours .

Wow look at the burst of colours!

“ It’s like fireworks ”  “ It’s moving “

”It turned into a new colour” “ It has waves in it”

”The milk has changed colour “   “It looks like dynamite”

We developed our science skills by investigating the effects of adding substance together which cause a reaction.

Because we had so much fun, we decided to do a Germ Experiment.
We added a good coating of glitter into a bowl of water (if you don’t have glitter you can use pepper instead ). Whilst we did this, we discussed how the glitter represented the germs. We then dipped our fingertips into the water and watched how the glitter stuck to our finger, this showed us how germs stick to our hands if we don’t wash them with soap. The children then dipped their clean finger into soapy water before dipping it back into the bowl. The children were amazed to see how the glitter/germs spread  across the water avoiding their soapy finger.

“ Germs stuck to our finger”  “Germs don’t like soap”

We concluded that if we use soap to wash our hands, we can avoid germs. This experiment also developed our well-being skill by learning how to keep clean and healthy.

It was fun and enjoyable to create these  memorable science experiences for the children, so why not continue British science week at home over the weekend and perhaps send us some photographs of you budding scientists!