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Play Ideas For National Science And Engineering Week Continued

Earlier this week we published some ideas to help you join in with National Science and Engineering Week. But we had so many ideas to spare, there was enough for a whole new post.

1) Colour Bingo Make up some bingo style cards with different colours on. For younger children this can be the simple colours of the rainbow but for older children you may want to explore different shades and tones with the help of DIY paint charts. Take a nature walk, or hunt around your back garden to find objects that match to the colours on the card. Talk about why those objects are the colour they are, and how it helps them survive and thrive outdoors.

2) Sink Or Float Fill a large tray or water table with water, and put a selection of objects in a bucket. True science is about making predictions then testing them. Ask the children to make a list of the objects they would like to test, and write against each object whether they think it will sink or swim. Add interest to the activity by changing the state of an object and retesting it. For example what happens to the plastic bottle if you add water to it, will it sink or float? How much can you fill it before it no longer floats?

3) Filtering Teach the concept of filtration with some kitchen paper and mud pies. Set up a mud pie making station. When you've finished splashing about in the mud, mix up some very muddy water. To make your homemade filter you will need to cut the top off a soda bottle, and line it with kitchen paper. Pour the muddy water into the filter and collect the run off in a clean bowl. The water that passes through will be much cleaner than the water than the water that went in. Pass the same water through the filter a few times to see how clean you can get it.

4) Insulation For this experiment you will need a handful of frozen ice pops, and sheets of different materials, such as fabric, silver foil, kitchen roll and greaseproof paper. Take your ice pops out of the freezer and wrap each one in a different insulation material, leaving one ice pop uncovered. Leave all the ice pops in the same place either outside or on your kitchen worktop. At five minute intervals have your children give the ice pops a gentle push to estimate how frozen or melted they are. Record their findings on a results table. When the last ice pop has melted you can use the results table to determine which was the best insulator.

5) Magnetism For this activity you will need mud or sand, some metallic objects and a strong magnet. Bury a variety of treasures in a thin layer of sand, then arm the children with a magnet. Then ask them to figure out what was special about the objects that the magnet pulled out compared to the treasures that got left behind.

For more play inspiration, check the Wicken Toys blog.

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