Friday, May 9, 2014

R for Rough

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

R for Rough

Science Notebook Page (Click the picture to print).

We started out by reading Smooth and Rough.  We talked about how rough means to have a bumpy or uneven surface.  We felt tables, carpet, toys, etc. to talk about whether they felt smooth or rough.

Rough and Smooth Comparison
I also gave him some play dough and some bead foam.  First he looked at the two and made a prediction about felt rough and which felt smooth.  Then I let him play.  He quickly decided he didn't like the foam dough because it was too messy!

Rough Racing

Smooth and textured craft foam
toy car
ramp (we used Magnatiles to make one)
masking tape

First we looked at all the crafting foam and talked about which one was smooth and which were rougher.  We then set up our ramp as in the picture above, placing one type of foam at the end.  It was important that the ramp not be too steep, because we want the car to stop before the end of the foam.  I had Xander set the car at the top of the ramp and let go!

In order to make it easier for him to understand, I just put a piece of masking tape where the car stopped and wrote the color of the foam on it.  For an older kid, you could have them measure how far each one went from the bottom of the ramp and make a table to compare.

Then we tested all the other types of foam.  I had him predict whether or not he thought the car would go farther than it did on the smooth one.

Our final results!  Then we talked about whether a rougher surface caused a car to stop quickly or slowly.  With older kids you could talk about how the roughness is related to friction.

Extra Play
After we had tested all the tile, I asked Xander whether the wood was rough or smooth.  Leaving the tape in place, I asked him to predict whether or not the car would go farther than it did on the smooth foam if we tested it on the wood.  Then, of course, he tested it out!  For more fun, we increased the angle of the ramp and built a Magnatile "tunnel" for him to shoot the car through.

Check out my Alphabet in Simple Science Pinterest Board for more ideas!

Tot SchoolA Mom With a Lesson Plan


  1. Great ideas here! I really like how you incorporated the toy car for learning about these things - my son loves his little cars and would enjoy doing something like this. Pinned :)

    1. Thank you! I try to make lessons fun and interesting. Sometimes they work better than others. :)

  2. Just want to say that you're an amazing mother.

    1. Aw, thank you for the kind words. I'm not perfect, but I try!


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