Welcome to my first lesson of the day post. I’ve started with something cool and engaging for the children.
Also, I know it’s called lesson of the day but as I’m still working, this would not be sustainable for me so I’m shooting for 2 lessons/activities on the blog each week as well as some of my usual style/beauty content.
The Super Skittles Experiment
This is suitable for all children, however the questions you ask will differentiate the experiment, which I’ll elude to later on.
You will need:
- Bag of Skittles
- Jug of warm water
Set up the Skittle in a circle around the rim of the plate. There is no need to order by colour. By just doing them randomly, you’ll see a much nicer result, visually.
Before you continue:
Ask your children what they think will happen when the water and the Skittles mix. For slightly older children, you might ask what will happen and why? You could ask whether the temperature of water would make a difference. I’ve obviously stated to use warm water but you could use boiled or cold and see if anything different happened.
After you’ve put the Skittles in the circle, pour the water onto the plate. I just poured from a corner and the skittles shouldn’t move too much. After a while, the colouring should start to move into a rainbow formation.
How to differentiate this for children of different ages and stages:
- Younger children: Simply ask them what they think will happen and asking them to describe what they observe. They’ll love the rainbow formation!
- Older children: They can also predict what will happen but ask them why? Is there a chemical process happening? Could you change any of the variables (types of skittles/temp of water) to expect different results. Again, asking them to describe what they observe using scientific language will make this more age appropriate.
- Use a stopwatch to time how long the reaction takes – linking it to maths and time.
- Make repeating patterns with the skittles to create a bespoke pattern when you add the water.
- Experiment with making different shapes such as a love heart. I don’t know if it actually works but I’d love to find out!
What children are actually learning:
The scientific learning here is all about dissolving. Skittles are coated in a shell of food colouring and sugar, which dissolves when the warm water mixed with it.
You might have noticed that the colours don’t initially mix together. This is due to water stratification – the colouring used, when mixed with the water, have different densities. This means, unless you mix them, they would initially stay seperated.
I hope this has been useful in some way and I’d love to hear from anyone who does this with their children. Feel free to tweet me anytime to show me what you’ve been up to!