Exploring Ice and Salt with Preschoolers

With all of the freezing weather that we have had lately, I thought it was time to discuss water in its solid state-ice!  We began by discussing the difference between water in it’s liquid state and in its solid state.  The night before, I filled one paper cup, per child, with water and stuck it in the freezer.

I passed out the cups to each child and we made observations using our senses.  We talked about how solid it was, how cold it felt, and how parts of the ice chunk were turning into water.

I passed out the cups to each child and we made observations using our senses. We talked about how solid it was, how cold it felt, and how parts of the ice chunk were turning into water.

We talked about how slippery ice is and what could happen if you were to step on ice.  Next, we talked about how important it is to melt ice so people and cars may get to their destinations safely.  But how??  How can we melt ice when it is cold outside?  This was our question for the day…

I gave each child a container to put their ice chunk in so the mess could be easier to clean at the end.  I also gave each child a per of gloves, an eyedropper (because it is more fun when color is added!), a cup of salt, and cups of colored water.

I gave each child a container to put their ice chunk in so the mess could be easier to clean at the end. I also gave each child a per of gloves, an eyedropper (because it is more fun when color is added!), a cup of salt, and cups of colored water.

The kids got right to work!  They watched as their ice was quickly melted by the salt.

The kids got right to work! They watched as their ice was quickly melted by the salt.

You can't really tell in the pictures, but the combination of salt and colored water made these river-looking panels down the sides of the ice.  The kids had a blast sending different colors down the rivers.

You can’t really tell in the pictures, but the combination of salt and colored water made these river-looking panels down the sides of the ice. The kids had a blast sending different colors down the rivers.

The scientists were determined to melt their entire ice chunk!

The scientists were determined to melt their entire ice chunk!

It can be difficult to hold the attention span of preschoolers on one topic for forty-five minutes.  However, this activity did!!!  I actually had to stop the scientists so we would have time to record their observations in their journals.  I highly recommend doing this experiment.  I was thinking that next time, I may put something in the ice that the kids need to get to, such as a plastic toy.

Enjoy!

~Miss Jenny

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22 Farm Books For Preschoolers

We started with a large number of books on farm animals.  See the complete list here.  We read Stuck in The Mud by .  It is a really fun book for this age.  It features different animals that live on a farm.  It has repetition and animals sounds.  The kids really seemed to love it!  I highly recommend it for a farm unit with preschoolers or just for a fun read.

Recently, we explored the theme of farming and farm animals (see post here).  I had a bunch of books available for my kids and parents.  I wanted to share that list with you in case you are thinking about doing this theme in your class or with your children at home….

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Preschool Theme: Bugs and Other Creepy Crawlers

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Although there is snow in our forecast, supposedly Spring has started, so this week I went with the theme of bugs and creepy crawlers.  I added some early geometry centers into the mix.  I also had a sensory center and an adorable (if I do say so myself) craft.  However, first we started with our circle time…

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Homemade Bookends

In one of my grad classes, my professor told us about how she feels it is important to have a set of hardcover books or special books that are kept in a special place that kids are not able to reach.  I thought that it was a bit weird at the time, because I thought that it was important to have all books where kids can grab and explore them at any time.  However, after having kids, I agree with my professor.

Here are my reasons for wanting to keep a set of books away from the reach of my kids:

  • I am devastated every time I find a ripped or misplaced book cover.  Kids at my kids age, two and three, have a hard time truly treating hard cover books the way that they deserve to be treated
  • It adds a sense of mystery to the books.  It makes them more special and adds a sense of respect to them.
  • It helps kids to judge books.  It helps them to know some are worth more than others

With all this being said, I decided on a spot in my daughter room where the “special books can be stored where she won’t be able to reach them, but she will be able to see them.  I was going to put them on the top of her dresser.  The only thing that I needed was book-ends to help them stand up.  We got right to work….

I found several different book-ends that were more expensive than what I wanted to pay.  I also want my daughter to have a sense of ownership in what she has in her room.  So we headed over to Jo-Ann Fabrics.  I found these little wooden birdhouses that were one buck each!!

I bought two of them.  I knew that the birdhouses were not going to be heavy enough, so I found some small rocks that would fit in the hole of the birdhouse at the dollar store. Here is what we did…

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