At Home Science on a Cold Day
It sure is cold in Chicago with -20 degree temperatures outside. Since we are all trapped inside, we thought it would be helpful to share three at home science ideas which will keep your kids off the screens, interested, and learning.
Fort Building - Project #1
A fort can be a special place to read a book, play games, share stories with friends, or keep us warm in this cold weather. The cool thing is this project is filled with hidden science (stability, measurement, design trade offs, cross bracing) and most importantly fun.
Build a fort, you can do it! Take some of your blankets, old amazon boxes, nearby furniture, and a cool lantern to create a space that is warm cozy and insulated from the freezing weather outside. It is also a magical place for imagination, creativity, and a place your kids can call their own.
This is a great way to challenge your kids with questions and encourage them to create. Can you make an entrance into your fort without all of the cold seeping in? How can you use your imagination to think about house design - do you want a secret storage area, skylight, retractable roof, windows, different rooms, a living room with a couch and book holder.
P.S. - if you want full instructions on how to create a fort, check out our Nov 2017 blog past
Melt the Cold Snow - Project #2
Have you ever wondered what was in the back of the big snowplows that drive down the snow covered streets? The trucks are full of salt and sand to not only help give grip to the road so cars don’t slip and slide, but also to help melt the snow (by lowering the freezing temperature of water). Test it out at home by scooping up some of the cold snow outside in a cup or bowl. Add small pinches of salt at a time to see what happens to the snow? Does it stay cold and solid? Does it melt? What other kitchen items can you melt the snow with? Should we put ketchup on our streets?
Snowballs are cool, so is playdoh - Project #3
How about designing your own playdoh? This is a great hands on experiment that won’t mess up the house too much.
If I bring snow in from outside, it would be too cold to play with and melt. There is something we all can create which is fun to play with that is kind of like snow. Try making a simple dough batter out of Flour, Salt, water and a little oil. Experiment with the different ratios of flour and water to find the perfect dough. Can you make a snowman that doesn’t melt?