Guest Post by Shelisa of Think Magnet Kids
It’s never too early to use the Scientific Method with your kids, well debatable with your 6 month old. ;) I’ve seen a variety of “scientific method” terms and lists through Googling. Use what feels right to you and remember, this isn’t NASA, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Snow Days are a very playful day and valuable teachable moment! Keep a collection of snow books handy in the winter. Measure the snow. Make snow ice cream. Get the child involved in watching the weather map online or on your phone. They may be inspired to give their own forecast (get your video cameras ready) or write their own snow story. They may ask a question about snow that you can research or experiment with or they may want to build a replica of Antarctica!
While the kids love to go outside to play in the snow, I also like to bring some in for a closer look.
The snow didn’t last long in our toasty house. Thank you fireplace. It led to a logical question, “Mom, how do we make the snow stay longer on the pan?” Insert blasting, dramatic, Think Magnet Trumpets!!! “Well, dear daughter, that is a great question to use the Scientifc Method on!” (I didn’t really say it like that)
ASK A QUESTION: Which will collect more snow? A pan at room temperature or a frozen pan?
RESEARCH What do we already know about snow?: See if you can figure out if it was stated by the 6, 5, or 4 year old. “It snows when the temperature is 32 degrees or colder. It’s white. It sticks. Don’t eat it if its yellow or dirty. It melts when it gets too hot” Bonus points if you write these down together as you brainstorm. On this day, I did not.
HYPOTHESIS Our best guess at our question: The frozen pan will collect more snow.
EXPERIMENT Test your hypothesis! We didn’t get in to variables, and thankfully it was still snowing nicely when we were ready for this part.
COLLECT DATA This is exactly why you should have clipboards handy…and maybe lab coats and goggles. My 6 year old decided to time it and make notes. She was really into timing things. Add a stopwatch to your shopping list sometime.
ANALYZE the Data We talked about how the snow stuck immediately to the frozen pan, but melted on the warm pan. But, as time went on, that gap closed…according to the 6 year old by about 8 snowflakes! ;) Sooo, we need to work on estimating;) We compared our experiment to what happens to our city streets when it snows. And, had we been overachievers, we could have illustrated this connection by adding rock salt on top and watched what happens. But, I was ready for a hot cuppa tea and a minute to myself at this point.
And, don’t forget to play. Little pans of snow make great little snowmen with chocolate chip flake eyes;) Happy Snow Days!
Shelisa is brand new to the blogosphere where she has joined her love for writing with her teacher-mom perspective. Thinkmagnetkids.com is about laughing and learning through teachable moments and enriching our children’s education in meaningful ways while having family fun. Her kids are currently 7, 6 & 5 years old and attend public school, then on evenings and weekends they strive to be purposeful in play and projects.