Extended Science Experiments

There are times that a science experiment takes several days to get the full effect.  This should be introduced to the children as a group; circle time works best for this.

When you introduce it, make sure they understand that they are going to have to check back in several times to see what happens.  I always give them all journals to draw and write (or dictate to the teachers) their observations.

I’ll give you an example of how this works:

I bring a mason jar, egg (raw or boiled, but I like raw best for this experiment), and a bottle of vinegar to circle.  I tell the children, “I read something really interesting the other day.  I read that if you put an egg in vinegar, something amazing happens.  Remember we used vinegar before?  What did we use vinegar for before?  What happened?”

After we talk a bit about what happened in previous experiments with vinegar, I then ask, “What do you think will happen when we put this egg in vinegar?”

Write down their theories and then make a show of putting the egg gently in the jar and pouring vinegar over it.  Have them touch it and explain how it feels and everything.

Then, put it on the science table so they can go back and explore it and have the science journals available to write in as wanted.  The next day at circle, read everyone’s journals with their observations before bringing out the jar.  Make some more observations before you put it back on the table.

It’s important that the children know that they can look AND touch, but they must touch gently. 

Projects that they have to revisit really get the thinking going in the brains. 

What long term science project have you done?

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