Friday, September 6, 2013

A for Absorb

We began our Alphabet in Simple Science Last week!
A for Absorb

Experiment Ideas
Absorption Sensory Play
The inspiration for this activity came from 1+1+1=1.

Big bowls, water, sponges, squeeze bottles, spray bottle, twisty droppers, cups, a towel (to dry the wet toddler)

Really couldn't be easier.  I put a whole bunch of sponges (dollar store pack and some alphabet sponges) in a big bowl.  I gave him another big bowl of water and  filled the squeeze bottles and spray bottle with water.  Then I let him play experiment.

Goodness he had a blast and has even asked to use his sponges multiple times since!  I think he played for over an hour the first day.
Decided to try spraying water down the umbrella hole in the table.
 Seeing if his hair would absorb the water...
 Sure did!

The Conversation:
I explained that absorb meant to soak up water and told him that sponges can absorb water.  As he played I asked him what the water and sponges felt like, what the water sounded like when he squeezed it out the sponge, what it looked like (colored, clear?), what it smelled like, and what it tasted like.  I also made suggestions like "what happens if you squeeze the sponge before you put it in the water?"  Him deciding to put his head and shirt in the water lead to great conversations about whether or not those absorbed the water.  

When he was all done, I dried him off with a towel.  We talked about how the water kind of sat on top of his skin, but the towel would absorb it to help dry him off.

Who knows if he understood the concept fully, but at least he learned that science can be fun!

Does it Absorb?
Disposable shot glasses, various absorbent and non absorbent materials, water, food coloring.

Place a small amount of colored water in each of the shot glasses.  Dip various materials in to see if they absorb the water.

We tested a paper napkin, an alphabet sponge, a bib, a straw, a candle, a paper towel tube, a porcupine ball, a cotton ball, a plastic spoon, and a wash cloth

 Testing his fingers...
 The Conversation:
We talked about what absorb meant again.  I had him make a prediction before testing each item in the water.  Afterwards I asked him whether or not it absorbed.  He usually answered correctly!  When something absorbed all the water from the little cup, I asked him where it went.

For older kids you could add to this a few ways.  You could use different types of liquids to see if some absorb different than others.  You could also use multiples of the same items with different amounts of water and bring in the concept of saturation point.

Traveling Water
Two transparent cups, water, food coloring, paper towel.

Place colored water in one cup.  Fold the paper towel over several times.  Place the paper towel with one end in each cup.  Wait... quite a while.

The Conversation:
Xander was not as interested in this experiment, so we did not talk much about it.  We talked about how the paper towel was absorbing more and more water, which you could see as the water line moved up.  We also talked about how when there was no place else to go, the water started filling the other cup.

You could use three cups and two paper towels.  You could put one color in each end cup and have both paper towels dipped into the middle cup.  Eventually the colors would mix, creating a new color.

For more absorption ideas check out my Alphabet in Simple Science Pinterest Board

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