Being ‘urban’ has it’s benefits, and yet one of the big drawbacks can mean that you and the kids spend more time in stores, watching screens or commuting than breathing fresh air without a care in the world. The family and I participated in ‘Take Me Outside’ on September 20th, where we were asked to spend an hour outdoors together.
What will happen when you mix a liquid with a solid? Hmmmm. Not only will this little non-Newtonian fluid experiment to teach a bunch of scientific principles, but it will keep the kids busy for hours and clean up is easy if you can throw them and your utensils in the shower!
12 oz Corn starch
Food Colouring (optional)
1. Place cornstarch in cakepan.
2. Add a few drops of water and food colouring to cornstarch until the mixture is very goopy.
3. Pick up the liquid and let it run through your fingers, and then bang it so that it feels solid.
Like quicksand, you have created a ‘non-Newtonian fluid’ that is both a liquid and a solid at the same time!
It’s that time of year when cherry blossoms pop out and science fair projects are top-of-mind. You might be travelling for March Break and getting questions about volcanic sand or downloading the latest star-gazing app to search for Orion’s belt. (My husband insists that Orion’s jock strap is also part of the constellation, so I’ve taken to handling the kids’ science education myself).
I’ve always believed that education should happen through entertainment. Setting aside time to ‘study’ science isn’t nearly as fun as incorporating a few lessons into daily activities like baking monkey bread or using vinegar and lemons to scrub the bathtub.
Here is our recipe for non-Newtonian fluid (otherwise know as Magic Mud) and a fun oozing Volcano. But life is busy, and not everyone can go outside with their kids dressed in PJ’s to do messy science experiments.
This month we’ve been coasting on the science stream with a bit of help from Netflix. (See what I did there? Steam..Ha!) Education is not only about entertainment, but balance, and once you’ve done the hands-on activities, handing your kids a tablet with an equally entertaining educational show can solidify concepts and give you a bit of a break.
In our household we are Netflix fanatics, and I’m not even sure why we have cable. This month I was able to tear myself away from Covert Affairs and House of Cards to stream a few science shows with my boys. In school one is learning about states of matter and the other has been studying astronomy. So I pretty much feel like a rockstar mom for letting them stream Cosmos and Deadliest Volcanoes: Nova from the sofa.
Streaming Science for Little Kids:
1. The Magic School Bus Gains Weight
2. Fetch! with Ruff
3. Animal Mechanicals, Balloon Volcano Island
4. Sid the Science Kid
Streaming Science for Big Kids:
1. Nova: Hunting the Elements
3. Deadliest Volcanoes: Nova
4. Let Your Mind Wonder
So whenever you need a wee break from teaching your kids about science, Netflix is a great supplement while you clean up the volcano lava and magic mud. Enjoy!
Disclosure: I am part of the Netflix #StreamTeam and as always all opinions and anecdotes are my own.