Unit 10.1 Science and math experiences

Pocket Garden:

You need: paper towels, zip lock sandwich bags, alfalfa seeds, and water.

Dampen paper towel, fold and put into zip lock bag. Sprinkle seeds onto towel. Close bag and put into your pocket. (The warmth and darkness will promote seed growth).

Colour Mixing:

You need: ziplock sandwich bags, clear corn syrup and food colouring

Pour 1/2 cup of clear corn syrup into a zip lock bag. Drop a few drops of food coloring for each primary colour into three different areas of the bag. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible to make the bag lay flat. Use fingers to mix the colours together. Guess what colours will be created.


You need: cornstarch, dish to put it and water into, and water

Put about one half cup of cornstarch into dish. Very slowly, add water and stir it together. At first it will be quite lumpy, but soon it will be runny. Stop adding water. Now try to pick it up in your fingers. It will feel solid, but then it drips off your fingers into the bowl.

Making butter:

You need: small carton of whipping cream, a jar with a tight seal, and a marble.

Leave the whipping cream out of the fridge for one hour before you do this experiment. Pour the cream into the jar with the marble and tighten the lid well. Start shaking the jar very quickly. It should take less than 15 minutes to whip the cream. (The liquid left over is buttermilk.)


You need: Joy dishwashing liquid, straws, coat hangers, bubble blowers (your imagination will help you find other objects).

Mix one part Joy with seven parts of cool water. Glycerin, which you can buy at the drug store, makes the bubbles stronger, but you don’t need it. Experiment with the various objects to blow bubbles.

Measure Rain Drops:

You need: a flat pan, flour and a sieve

Cover the bottom of a flat pan with flour. Set the pan outside in the rain for just a few minutes and then quickly bring the pan inside.
Strain or sift the flour. The raindrops will cause lumps in the flour (the bigger the lumps, the larger the raindrops). The water molecules bond tightly together as they hit the pan. The flour lightly coats the bonded molecules of water and increases their visibility. How many rain drops did you catch?

How Much Does It Hold?

When children use different sizes and shapes of containers in the water table, they automatically begin using one container to fill up another, try to pour all the water in a big container into a smaller one, and so on. This is math learning.


Make some graphs to record measurements that interest the children. For example:

  • Show the heights of everyone compared with their “wingspan.”
  • Show the length of each person’s foot compared with the distance from the wrist to the inside of their elbow.


Look for patterns in nature. Help children notice numbers, shapes, and sizes.
Look for leaves that have 3 parts, or 1, or more. Make a collection of leaves of different shapes. Sort the leaves in many ways—by shape, by size, by colour, or in any way you see.
Count the legs of the creatures you see: 0 legs, 2 legs, 4 legs, 6 legs, 8 legs, 100 legs, 1,000 legs.

Pick a shape to look for wherever you go for the whole day. Find that shape, wherever it is. For example, if you are looking for circles, notice clock faces, wheels, headlights; if you are looking for rectangles, notice windows and doors, signs, and so on.

Look for shapes that are three dimensional, such as cylinders (tin cans) and spheres (oranges).


Make collections of leaves or pictures or coins or rocks or whatever the children are interested in. Help them figure out a way to organize the collection and display it so others can see it. Give your child lots of time to talk about his collection. Listen.