These past few weeks my little preschool class has been talking about all sorts of weather changes and outdoor things (such as rocks and bugs). Both of these topics has spurred a little creativity in trying to teach the kiddos about boring cloud formations and how rocks are formed. As one may have figured out (if you spend anytime with kids) these topics bring on more groans and eye rolling than anything else. So it was up to me to bring on the science experiments…..but what to do?????
For the rain clouds I came up with an idea to show the kids how the rain might look like if we could bottle a cloud. I got small glass cups with wide tops and filled them halfway with water. Then I put shaving cream on the top of the water and lastly several drops of blue food coloring. It took a few minutes for the bigger cloud (aka big drop of shaving cream) to look like a productive rain storm but eventually it worked like a charm. Also as the kids were waiting for the big finish on this experiment they had blue paper, small cups of water, and a straw which was used for making raindrops on the paper. They loved making big drops and waving the straw around the paper to look like streaks.
Please note that if you use a small drop of shaving cream then don’t over do the blue food coloring. As you can see that was what I did and the small cup looks more like a wash out than a nice rainstorm.
For the rock week I stumbled across a website about making your own rocks… (http://www.fantasticfunandlearning.com/books-about-rocks-for-young-kids.html)
Because I am less of “following directions” and more of a “let me do it” kind of teacher I did my own size estimations which still turned out pretty good. I gave each child a small cup with 4 pebbles and two spoonfuls of sand (I used sandbox sand which worked really well). First step was to put the 4 pebbles in the bottom of the cup and pour glue over all the pebbles. It was better to completely cover the pebbles so the bottom of the rock looked firm. Then the children put the sand on top of the pebbles/ glue and then I poured a second helping of glue on top of the sand. Again making sure to cover the whole thing of sand. I put the cups in a sunny place for two days then I cut off the cup and placed them on paper to dry the rest of the way. It will take about a week for this to be finished but the kiddos loved checking the progress of their rocks everyday.When they completely dry out I will cut the glue edges off and let them take their rock creations home. Also while we were doing this activity I had the kids listen to a song about different types of rocks. It was a very neat way to try and introduce how the rocks were formed… eerrrr minus the glue of course:)