Science Friday: Tie-Dye Easter Eggs

This experiment comes just in time for Easter weekend courtesy of Ms. Tevin. The results are colorful and bright, and we know your kids will love it! If you have eggs, food coloring, and vinegar, then you are ready to go. Let’s hop right into it!

Tie-Dye Easter Eggs

Materials
  1. Hard-boiled eggs
  2. Food coloring
  3. Paper towels
  4. Spray bottle
  5. Vinegar
  6. Twist-ties or rubber band
Instructions
  1. Carefully wrap hard-boiled eggs in paper towels and secure them tightly with twist ties or a rubber band.
  1. Drop food coloring onto the towel-wrapped egg, mixing and adding different colors. You may add more or less coloring to create different effects. This is a great time to experiment with color mixing!
  1. When finished adding the colors you like, take your spray bottle filled with vinegar and spray egg until completely wet.
  1. Here is the hard part…. WAIT for 4-6 hours until the paper towel is completely dry.
  2. After the paper towel is dry, peel it away from the egg and see the amazing results!
The Science Behind It

Think of foods you’ve tasted like lemons, limes, or pickles. Do they taste sour? YES! Those things taste sour because of the acid in them. If you tasted the vinegar, you would taste that it is also sour because it’s acidic. The acid in vinegar helps the food coloring to “stick” to the egg and color it. We hope you enjoy and have fun with this experiment!

Happy Easter from PALZ!

Planting a Garden

Have you ever seen a play-based learning activity and thought “That looks fun. Too bad my kiddo is too –little/big/studying something else–” ? Here’s a friendly reminder to get that thought out of your head! With a little creativity, most activities can be scaled up or down as needed. This activity is fun for all ages, uses very common kitchen materials, and no green thumb is required – unless you accidentally paint yours! Check out this fun activity inspired by Mrs. Myra from the 2-year old class.

Plant a Number Line

Materials
  1. Popsicle sticks
  2. Cupcake liners OR coffee filters
  3. An empty paper towel tube (Toilet paper tubes work as well. You just might need more!)
  4. Markers OR paint
  5. Scissors OR a sharp knife
  6. Glue
Instructions
  1. Paint your popsicle sticks green. These are your stems.
  2. Paint your cupcake liners any color you want! These are your flowers.
  1. Count how many flowers you have. This is the number of holes you will need to poke in your paper towel tube so your flower stems (popsicle sticks) can stand up straight. Label each hole with a number.
  2. Number your flowers.
  1. Glue one flower to one popsicle stick. You’ve created a flower!
  2. Place each numbered flower in its corresponding hole.
Variations
  1. Label each hole and flower with shapes or letters instead of numbers.
  2. Spell out your child’s name.
  3. Label each hole with tally marks (||). Label each flower with the Arabic numeral (2). Have your child match the correct numeral to the correct number of tallies.
  4. Label each hole and flower with simple sight words (who, the, we, I, were, me, be, etc.)
Why We Love This

This activity ecnompasses all that is great is about play-based learning. It’s a craft, a recognition/matching game, and a fine motor activity. For younger ones with shorter attention spans, feel free to do the craft part one day and the game part the next. It’s also very customizable so you can add or decrease difficulty as needed.

Science Friday: How to Scavenger Hunt Like a Pro

Learning at home doesn’t mean being stuck inside. In fact, let’s get outside a bit today! I think we should go on an outdoor scavenger hunt. Scavenger hunts exercise both brain and body, teach teamwork, and help little ones use their observational skills. Together, you can identify colors, shapes, textures. and the number of objects. All you need for an outdoor scavenger hunt is a yard and a list of items to look for. You can shorten or lengthen the list as needed. Let’s get hunting!

Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

Materials
  1. a bag for collecting items
  2. scavenger hunt list (see below or make your own!)
Items to Collect
  1. 5 leaves that look different
  2. A stick that is longer than your hand
  3. A rock with spots on it
  4. A flower
  5. A smooth rock
  6. 10 blades of grass
  7. Something you love to play with
  8. A piece of trash you can recycle
  9. Something that is brown
  10. Something that is heavy
  11. Something that is light
  12. Something that needs sun to live
  13. An item smaller than your thumb
  14. Something that starts with “M” (or any letter you choose!)
  15. Something that smells good
The Science Behind It

Observation is essential in science! Before you can begin to hypothesize about how or why things work, you have to observe them. Exploring the outdoors provides your child with the opportunity to observe and notice things they might otherwise overlook. Happy hunting!

Science Friday: How to Turn Milk Into Plastic

We love science time here at PALZ! Science teaches us to observe the world around us, ask questions, and come to conclusions about how the universe works. Take a look at this fun science project from Ms. Katie. When doing a project with your child, be sure to ask questions like “what do you think will happen?” and “why do you think that happened?” Observe textures (wet, dry, slimy, hard), count items (1 cup, 2 tablespoons), and name motions (stir, mix, knead, squeeze). Above all, have fun and don’t be afraid to get a little messy!

How to Turn Milk Into Plastic

Materials
  1. Milk
  2. Vinegar
  3. Cookie Cutters
  4. 1 cup measuring cup
  5. A tablespoon
  6. Strainer
  7. Paper towels
  8. Food coloring (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pour 1 cup of milk into a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Heat up the milk for about 1 minute and a half (making sure the milk is hot but NOT boiling.)
  3. Remove from microwave and add 4 tablespoons of vinegar.
  4. Begin stirring. The milk will begin to clump up, but keep stirring for about a minute.
  5. Pour the milk through the strainer and push down to get all the liquid out. The solids should remain in the strainer.
  6. Transfer the solids to paper towels and continue to squeeze out any remaining liquid. The more liquid you are able to remove, the sturdier your plastic will be so get those little hands squeezing!
  7. If you are adding food coloring, now is the time to knead it in.
  8. Mold your plastic using your hands or cookie cutters. Once shaped, it typically takes about two days to completely dry.
The Science Behind It

Milk is made up of proteins. These proteins are called caseins (kay-seens). When you remove the caseins from the milk, they clump together to form a plastic and can be used to make a variety of things including buttons or beads.

Math is Fun!

One of the things we love about play-based learning is that we don’t use worksheets. It’s not that worksheets don’t have their usefulness in some contexts. It’s that play-based learning provides activities that promote higher-thinking instead of simple rote memorization. These activities take a concept (like addition) and turn it into a hands-on game. The goal isn’t simply to write down the correct answer — it’s to understand the reason we came to the correct answer. Plus who doesn’t love to play games? We sure do! Check out this fun math game from Ms. Katie and Ms. Tevin’s class.

Add the Objects Game

Materials
  1. Construction paper & pen
  2. Small countable objects (we used foam hearts)
  3. Number cards
Instructions
  1. Draw three circles on your paper: 2 smaller circles at the top and 1 larger circle at the bottom.
  2. Draw one line from each of the smaller circles to the bigger circle at the bottom to connect them.
  1. Choose two number cards – one for each of the smaller circles. Have your child count out the correct number of objects to match the cards and place them in the circles. We used small foam hearts but you can use any objects you have handy. Beans, cotton balls, or goldfish crackers would all work well.

    *Alternatively, you can place the objects in the circle first and then have your child count them. Then they sort through the number cards and pick the correct card to match the number of objects in each circle.
  2. Have your child move the objects from the two smaller circles to the larger circle. Now count them again!
Why We Love This

This is a great interactive activity that works on the skills of counting one-to-one and simple addition. Using the number cards also promotes number recognition. You can modify it for younger children by using fewer objects or up the difficulty for older children by working in reverse (subtraction). After adding to the big circle, simply choose another number card and take away that number of objects from the larger circle.