Mr. Toddler has been loving water play lately. He’s so ready for summer, pools, the beach, and more, but our weather is far from summer-y. Instead, we are stuck indoors due to high winds and massive amounts of rain.
Because of his love of water, I wanted to create a simple hands on activity that would give Mr. Toddler an opportunity to play, learn, and well, distract him from the fact that we can’t go outside.
I added a twist of science to our water play. Here’s what we did:
First, I gathered an ice cube tray, some sequins, and a cup of water. Mr. Toddler was so excited for the sequins and started very neatly sorting them my colour into the ice cube tray.
Do you see the sequins on the table? I did that on accident when opening the package. Mr. Toddler loves tidiness and was not impressed. ‘Uh oh mama, a mess! Uh oh!’ I had to clean it up before he would continue.
Then, he poured the water over the sequins and we popped the tray into the freezer.
Mr. Toddler was just as excited to see what had happened to his sequins when I pulled the ice cube tray out the next day.
It was time to carry on with our experiment. I created a very simple set up for the activity, using a wooden table and chair set that he has.
The set up
Mr. Toddler was so excited to see this set up! I put together a very simple presentation – a larger bowl, a smaller one with the ice cubes, a jar with water, a jar with vinegar, a small beaker with baking soda, and a spoon.
I explained what each item on the table was and then I sat back. He could choose what to do next.
First, he poured the ice into the larger bowl, and sat back to think he would add next.
He went for the baking soda.
And then both of the liquids. He was so intrigued with this step. The fizzing was absolutely mystifying for him! He wasn’t sure what to do with it – whether he should touch it, stir it, or just watch. At first, he just sat back, but then wanted to feel it and started poking the liquid.
Eventually, he grabbed a different spoon from a kitchen cabinet (accessible to him) and started spooning the ice back into the smaller bowl.
Mr. Toddler spent approximately 45 minutes with this activity. It was so easy to prepare and only used household items. We use baking soda and vinegar to clean so they are always in the pantry!
There was also so much learning that happened with this simple work. Mr. Toddler not only got an introduction to chemical reactions at two and a half years old, but he also learned about different states of matter!
The ice melted and went from solid to liquid. He loved watching the process and asked what was happening. I got to introduce new vocabulary as I explained that the ice was melting and getting smaller.
Vocabulary we worked on
This experiment was such an easy and fun way to add some science to our day! The sequins in the ice (representing gold coins to go along with our Saint Patrick’s Day theme on the shelves right now) added such a fun element, too! Mr. Toddler was so excited to see the ice ‘releasing’ the sequins and how they were floating in the water!
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