Tag Archives: Science

We’re going on a bug hunt 🐞

In the garden we are taking part in the 30 day wildlife experiences. The children chose day 23 which was a bug hunt, we searched for our favourite mini beasts.

We worked as a team, flipping over logs, checking under stones, looking through flowers, soil and the grass.

“I found a ladybug”     “Look there’s a worm”

There are so many benefits of going on a bug hunt;

Learn about insects
Observational skills
Social skills
Exercise and fresh air
Encourages children to explore

After searching for our mini beasts, we decided to make our very own butterfly feeding table. We gathered all the materials needed and got started. The children showed brilliant fine manipulative skills when cutting and gluing.

Once it was all glued down and ready to go we filled up the jam jar lids with sugar water and looked for the best place to put our table.

Now we wait for the butterfly’s to come visit our garden.

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.

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?



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!

Frozen gardens

It’s science week at Cart Mill and we have been discussing the properties of water and the effect of the cold. We found out during our visit from Williamwood that water is a liquid and that it can move about in a container.

We gathered some containers and used scissors to cut up some foliage to add before we poured the water in, then off to the freezer we went.

The next day we were surprised by the appearance of the water “it’s gone hard” “it’s cold” The water had changed from a liquid – something that can move about in the container, to a solid – something that doesn’t move in the container. When the temperature of the water becomes very cold (below freezing) it turns to ice.

The children decided to add colour to the water, so, very carefully we used droppers to add some dye “it’s getting  darker”


The children wondered what would happen if we added more water to our ice. We added another layer of foliage and coloured water on top of our ice. The water sat like a different layer on top of the ice, it was very strange, the water moved but the ice didn’t! We all wondered what would happen if we put the container back in the freezer so off to the kitchen we went with our containers. What will happen? Watch this space…

Water Xylophone

This week is Science Week and we will be exploring science themed experiences throughout all the different areas in each of the playrooms.

Today in our music area we made a water xylophone using some glass jars and food colouring.

We were developing our fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination as we used a pipette to pour the food colouring in to the jar after which, we added some water.

Once the children had added the water, they lined up all the jars and noticed that each jar had a different volume of water.

”that one is filled right to the top”

”the red one has just a little bit”

We used a beater on the jars to listen to the sounds it made.

”The blue one sounds really low and the red one sounds really high”

I asked if the children knew what made the sounds but they were unsure.

After searching the internet we learned that when we use the beater to tap the jar it causes sound waves which are vibrations that travel through the water to make the sound. When there is less water the pitch is higher.

We listened to the different pitches as we played our own music, we are going to collect some more jars to add lots of different sounds.

Magic Beanstalk

Today in our garden we had lots of fun making our very own magic bean stalk!

After reading the story indoors, the children were super excited and wanted to make their own beanstalk. So we did some research to find all the materials that we needed.

We placed a handful of cotton balls into our individual jars, sprayed them with water to dampen them and then, just like Jack we threw our magic beans into the jars. Now we all have to be patient and wait and watch, checking on them every day to see if they start to grow. Do you think they will grow to the sky?

“It’s going to grow so big”

“It’s going to be just like Jack’s beanstalk”

“I can take this home to show mum”

This exciting experience allows the children to observe the changes in plant growth over time and helps them develop knowledge of seasons and life cycles.

Magic Magnets

Today in the discovery room we looked at magnets and how they work.

We decided to select different items we found around our playroom and investigated to see if they were magnetic using a selection of different sized magnets.

We used our mathematical skills to discover that magnets can pull together objects or push them away. We also found that although we had two of the same item, only one was magnetic. This is because objects that look the same are not always made of the same material.

We recorded our findings on a chart. It showed us what items were magnetic and those that were non-magnetic. We discovered that magnetic things were made of metal but items that were made of wood or plastic were not magnetic, unless they had a little bit of metal in them!

We loved listening to each other making our predictions whether something was magnetic or not, everybody made sure they were taking turns when choosing what items to test. We loved guessing the material!

Why don’t you have a look around the house and guess what materials are magnetic or not!