Summer is HERE!! With summer comes one of our absolute favorite holidays - the Fourth of July! Carnivals, cookouts, and fireworks are often fun ways to celebrate. As we talk about all the time here at My Pre-K Box, what better way to learn than through play! Today we are sharing a great way to incorporate science and play by creating fireworks in a jar. This simple summer science activity uses a few kitchen supplies that you probably already have on hand!
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The Importance of STEM-Based Activities
STEM has become such a buzzword recently that we wanted to break down what it actually means and why these types of acitivites are important for your preschooler (or a child of any age really!) STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These types of activities build crucial skills and aid in developmental milestones. One of the most important parts about STEM-based activities are they provide "hands-on, minds-on" lessons, meaning instead of just reading about how things work or why things are the way they are, your child is able to explore and learn about these things through real life expirements and applications. Critical thinking and creativity are two important skills that are built through STEM-based activities.
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Fireworks in a Jar
Do your kids LOVE fireworks? What kid doesn't?! This science experiment brings the magic and excitement of fireworks into your own backyard (or kitchen!) without the noise! Science experiments are a great way for children to ask questions and explore. The question this activity is exploring is: What happens when oil and water mix?
- Warm water
- Liquid food coloring (4 colors)
- Vegetable oil
- Large mason jar
- Small glass jar or bowl
How to Make Fireworks in a Jar
Step 1 Fill a large mason jar 3/4 way full with warm water.
Step 2 In a small glass bowl, add 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil and 4 drops of each color food coloring.
Step 3 Use a spoon or fork to slowly mix around the drops of food coloring to break them up into tinier droplets.
Step 4 Slowly and carefully pour the food coloring and oil mixture on top of the water.
Step 5 Watch the jar to see what happens.
Step 6 Discuss what is going on in the jar!! (Read on to find out why water and oil don't mix!)
Do Oil and Water Mix?
As you saw in this experiment, oil and water don't mix! Why? Liquid density! Liquids can have different weights, or densities, because of their molecular structure. Water is made up of a different amount of molecules and is heavier than oil, causing it to sink.
The food coloring dissolves in the water but not the oil. This is how the drops and oil remain separated in the container and when you pour the container of oil and colored droplets into the jar of oil, the colored drops begin to sink because they are also heavier than the oil. Once the colored droplets reach the water in the jar, they start to dissolve in the water. This is what makes the fireworks in a jar!
We just live to see your preschoolers learning through play! Won't you please take photos and videos of this delightful preschool science experiment and share your photos of Fireworks in a Jar with us on Facebook and Instagram?!
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