Sunday, 12 April 2015

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Montessori Activity: Water Magic


Age: From 5 years old

Objective(s):
1. To cultivate an interest in Science.
2. To demonstrate and teach about air pressure.

Materials:
1. 1 container with water (can be plastic or glass)
2. 1 card
3. 1 tray

Directions:
1. Fill the container with water.
2. Cover it with a card.
3. Slowly turn the container up-side-down, while holding the container and the card covering it.
4. Ask your child what he thinks would happen if he lets go of holding the card in place. Ask, would the water spill out?
5. Gently let go of the card.
6. You will see that the water does not spill out.

Additional Information: 
As our Little FECS grows, life is getting less fun as learning the Chinese character spelling sucks out a great chunk of our time weekly. It was boring. He didn't like it. We no longer do those fun activities that I once did with him. He requested for the old days. We are feeling nostalgic. Thus we went back to "Montessori-on-a-Potty," a style of activities that I did with him when he was 2.5 years old, this time without the potty. This activity was initiated by our Little FECS. He went to the cabinet to pick out the Science experiment box.

Our Little FECS tried this for the first time on 8 April 2015 (6Y30D). He was very excited. When I asked him what he thought would happen if I let go of the card. He said that water would gush out.

I demonstrated to him, and he was amazed that the water did not gush out. It was water magic. He tried it himself the first few times, but water gush out, because he did not do it gently and slowly.

I did not quite explain why this is so, although I knew it had something to do with pressure. So I researched the internet for a clear explanation. Next time, I will explain that water does not spill out because the pressure of the air molecules pushing up on the card is greater than the weight of the water pushing down. But how does the water stay in the jar when the card is removed? The answer is surface tension.

This activity could be done on children 5 years old, but I feel that for our Little FECS, it is more suitable for him now at 6 years old.

Tips:
To increase excitement and make it more fun, try turning the container and letting go of the card over his head :-)

References:
http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments/floating-water-mystery

http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistrymagic/tp/Water-Tricks.01.htm

1. Fill the container with water.
2. Cover it with a card.
3. Slowly turn the container up-side-down, while holding the container and the card covering it.
4. Ask your child what he thinks would happen if he lets go of holding the card in place. Ask, would the water spill out?

5. Gently let go of the card.
6. You will see that the water does not spill out.

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