Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Salt and Glue Science

I saw this fun science experiment on Pinterest and knew it would be a great one for Erik. Fine motor skills have always been one of his weakest areas, so anything I can do to challenge him in that area is awesome. 
I took some note cards and used white school glue to write the letter A on them. Then, I covered these in salt and (because I didn't actually read the instructions before doing this) left them to dry overnight. The next morning I mixed some food coloring in some water and turned Erik loose with a medicine dropper. 
 The idea is that the child is supposed to be able to watch as the salt absorbs the liquid, so they get to observe absorption and color mixing, all while working out their little fingers. I don't know if it's because I let the glue dry first, but it seemed like all it took was one good squirt of colored water and each letter was completely colored. Adding more liquid just made a puddle on the card. All the fun was over WAY to quickly for Erik, who was enjoying the eye dropper, so we decided to recreate this activity and extend the fine motor practice/fun.
 Set up was easy, just dump some baking soda in a pan, and mix some food coloring into some vinegar. Turn your kid loose and go read a book. Or stay and play because it really is fun!
At first, Erik just kept squirting the vinegar in the same place, which actually created a fun effect. It took a few minutes before he branched out into the rest of the soda, but when he did he really went for it! 
As with everything we do, he tried to turn it into finger painting, but that ended up getting too much soda in the vinegar, which neutralized the acid and we lost the ability to make bubbles. Oh well, we still had fun!
I think both the ideas are ones we'll try again. I want to see what the salt/glue activity does when you actually follow the directions, and Erik would think I was the best mom in the world if I turned him loose with the baking soda and vinegar again!

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