To mark British Science Week and Norwich Mumbler Women’s Month we have a guest blog from Dr Lucy Catto, a research scientist, mum, STEM Ambassador and owner of Mini Professors Norwich.
Science is all around us! This is our motto at Mini Professors (preschool science classes) because we can’t escape the fact that science affects us all every day, from our mobile phones, the buildings we live in and the cars we drive.
Children are natural scientists. As a parent, I feel it is my job to encourage my children to ask questions about the world around them (even though the constant “why?” can sometimes get a little wearing!) and to find out the answers through exploration and experimentation. Children love to experiment and it can make a huge difference to their learning and development.
Here are some experiments for you to enjoy at home with your little one this Science Week:
A classic volcanic eruption is always popular in our classes and it introduces children to simple chemical reactions.
You’ll need an empty plastic bottle half filled with vinegar and a splash of red food colouring, and a pot of bicarbonate of soda and a spoon.
Stand the bottle in a tray or bowl to contain the mess and tip a large spoonful of bicarbonate of soda into the bottle. Stand back and marvel at your erupting volcano.
You can make sand volcanos at the beach or in your sand pit or even make mud volcanos and bury the bottle in a mound of mud before you set it off!
Clean up your pennies!
Grab some tarnished 2p coins from your purse. A chemical reaction between the copper coin and the air made them dull and brown but we can use another chemical reaction to make them look shiny and new!
Get your little one to put 1 teaspoon of salt into a small pot (an old yoghurt pot or small plastic cup is ideal).
Pour in just enough vinegar to cover the salt and get them to give it a stir.
Hold the edge of the coin and dip half of the coin into the salt and vinegar mix (portion of chips anyone?!).
Slowly count to 15 and remove the coin. The coin should now be a shiny copper colour! If you don’t have any vinegar, try lemon juice instead!
At Mini Professors we never dumb down scientific words when talking to them. Toddler’s brains are like sponges and if they can say Tyrannosaurus Rex they can handle pretty much any word we throw at them!
Every week we cover a new and exciting topic including Space, Dinosaurs, Electricity, Chemical Reactions and much more. Each lesson is packed full of experiments, singing, videos, stories and lots of fun.
We run weekly classes in Cringleford and Old Catton and monthly Saturday and holiday specials at Eaton Park. We have also just launched our fantastic new schools programme for EY and KS1.
Mini Professors is part of the same family as Baby sensory and Toddler Sense – trusted programmes which are research and evidence based and most importantly fun for you and your child!