Exploring Density with Preschoolers

Lately, we have learned about color mixing using different mediums.  I thought that mixing blue water and red water would be a great way to introduce the concept that two liquids with the same densities mix together.  We combined the two cups and it showed us how the two different cups were not combined and mixed together.  I posed the question, do you think that all liquids mixed together like this?  We had to investigate....

Recently we learned about color mixing using different mediums. I thought that mixing blue water and red water would be a great way to introduce the concept that two liquids with the same densities mix together. We combined the two cups and it showed us how the two different cups were not combined and mixed together. I posed the question, do you think that all liquids mixed together like this? We had to investigate….

After our introduction, I gathered the needed materials for our density experiment.  I used honey, corn syrup, canola oil, dish soap, baby oil, and rubbing alcohol. We were making a six level density experiment.

After our introduction, I gathered the needed materials for our density experiment. I used honey, corn syrup, canola oil, dish soap, baby oil, and rubbing alcohol. We were making a six level density experiment.  Steve Spangler has a seven-column density experiment here.  He has the different densities listed on his site.

I started pouring the different materials starting with the most dense, the honey.  The kids put their heads down low so they could observe the different densities.  Each time I added another layer, the children predicted what would happen.  Would it be like the blue and red water and mix together?  This allowed the introduction to the concept of density.

I started pouring the different materials starting with the most dense, the honey. The kids put their heads down low so they could observe the different densities. Each time I added another layer, the children predicted what would happen. Would it be like the blue and red water and mix together? This allowed the introduction to the concept of density.

After our observation of the six-layer density cup, the children made their own two-layer density jar.  We used recycled clear plastic containers, funnels, food coloring, water, and oil.  The kids chose the colors that they wanted, poured the oil and water and watched them separate.  We talked about why they separated and which was more dense.

After our observation of the six-layer density cup, the children made their own two-layer density jar. We used recycled clear plastic containers, funnels, food coloring, water, and oil. The kids chose the colors that they wanted, poured the oil and water and watched them separate. We talked about why they separated and which was more dense.

We added alka-seltzer to the bottles and watched as the more dense water rose up only to be separated again.  The kids love this!!  I wanted the kids to take this home, but I didn't want any of the bottles to open in their backpacks or anyone to try to take a drink.  Therefore, when we were finished with the experiment, I hot-glue gunned the tops on each bottle.  I made sure that all of the Oxygen had escaped each bottle before I put the top on it.

We added alka-seltzer to the bottles and watched as the more dense water rose up only to be separated again. The kids love this!! I wanted the kids to take this home, but I didn’t want any of the bottles to open in their backpacks or anyone to try to take a drink. Therefore, when we were finished with the experiment, I hot-glue gunned the tops on each bottle. I made sure that all of the Oxygen had escaped each bottle before I put the top on it.

Of course to make it more fun, I gave the children the option to add glitter to their bottles before closing them.  After the glue dried, the kids took the bottles home.  Although they were no longer able to open them, they could still shake them and watch the oil and water separate.

Of course to make it more fun, I gave the children the option to add glitter to their bottles before closing them. After the glue dried, the kids took the bottles home. Although they were no longer able to open them, they could still shake them and watch the oil and water separate.

When we were finished, we completed our journal entries and the kids took their bottles home.  I always love when the children can take home a souvenir of their learning!!

Enjoy!!

~Miss Jenny

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