Pendulums are a great way to teach children about centrifugal force, without getting into the actual science of how it works. Their curiosity will be piqued when they are able to see the path their pendulum takes as it eventually comes to rest. Often times children see that suspended items return to a resting position (as with swings), now we have created a way to illustrate this so that they can understand.
*Warning* This project will make your home/Care Center smell like a bar of soap. Please use common sense when executing this project.
Place a piece of waxed paper in your microwave, then place the bar of soap on top of the parchment. This really doesn't make a mess, so don’t worry. We started out with one minute, which gave us a good result. Had we known better, we would have stopped at one minute, but we decided to spring for two minutes and got burnt soap. As an FYI; Burnt soap makes a lot of soap smelling smoke...
**As a bonus sensory exorcise, we let the children play with their expanded soap n the sink. They really enjoyed feeling the different textures of the soap, and watching it melt away.
Directions: Fill cups/jars half-full of water. Add 5-8 drops of food coloring to each cup/jar. Cut the bottom of the celery to make each stalk the same height (use the stalks with some leaves on them). Place celery into cup/jars. Observe the changes several times over a 24-48 hour period.
The science: When you water the soil of your plants, how does the water travel from the soil into the plant and out to the leaves? Tiny tubes (xylem) draw the water up from the roots like a straw. It works by a capillary action. The water molecules suck up inside the tiny tubes and move up and out to the leaves as if someone was sucking on the end of the tubes. The suction actually occurs as a result of water in the leaves evaporating very slowly.
Lava Lamp Experiment
Tornado in a Glass