Friday, May 2, 2014

Q for Quicksand

See what we did for other letters in the Alphabet in Simple Science.

Q is for Quicksand
Science Notebook Page (Click the picture to print).

We started out by reading The Quicksand Book by Tomie dePaola.  What talked about what quicksand is and what people should do if they find themselves near it.

Cornstarch Quicksand

1 Box Cornstarch
1-2 cups of water
A small toy or two (we used these dinos)
A lot of patience (it's going to make a big mess)

On to the fun part!  I made some cornstarch quicksand for Xander to play in.  I started by dumping about half the cornstarch in a bowl and adding about half a cup of water.  Then I kept adding cornstarch and water until it was all mixed together.  It's pretty tough to mix, but lots of fun to play in when it is.  I think we ended up using just a little less than two cups of water.

For a while I just let Xander play.  I asked him how it felt and what he noticed.  I had him just set his hands on the quicksand to see what happened, and then try running his fingers quickly on the top.  We set some toy dinos in to see what happened.  I showed him what happened if you wiggle the dino really fast while setting it in.  I had Xander hit the quicksand to see how it kept his hand from going in.  I had him let his hands sink all the way to the bottom of the bowl, then "grab" the mixture quickly to pick up the entire bowl.  He played in it for almost an hour, which of course, is a lifetime in three-year-old time.  In fact, the evening after we had played in the quicksand, he asked if we could do it again.

For the most part we did not get into all the science beyond solids and liquids.  For a good explanation, check out Steve Spangler Science.

Mixing it up

Feeling it gently, then running his fingers over the top
 Hitting the quicksand
Digging for dinos
Letting his hands sink, then "grabbing" the quicksand to lift the bowl.
Here's a video of him playing in it.

Check out my Alphabet in Simple Science Pinterest Board for more ideas!
Tot SchoolA Mom With a Lesson Plan

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