Category Archives: Water Play

Fun with Water & Science

The rains don’t seem to want to leave our city, and rainy days means the kids stay at home. The challenge for most parent’s then becomes figuring out ways to keep the little ones occupied in meaningful activities. Since rain is all about water, I decided to do some water activities with the kids.

I organized water in containers and first did the dissolving activity with them followed by the sinking and floating activity. Big A participated actively, while little A watched. Before doing the activity, I told her Big A that was a scientist, and she had to think like a scientist, that is, she had to observe, analyze, predict results and then check/verify prediction.

We began with soluble and non-soluble items. Each time I asked her to pick the item and feel it with her hands, I asked her to describe how it felt – was it smooth, was it grainy, did it feel heavy or light. Then, I asked her to predict if it would mix into the water or stay at the bottom. Every time her prediction came right, she was thrilled.

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Next, we did the sinking and floating activity. We followed the same inquiry-based learning method. She concluded that  heavy items sink and light items float; and was super surprised when the bottle with paint bottle floated while the hair clip sank.

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It was an hour and a half well spent, and by the time we were done, the rains stopped, so both of them put on their shoes and went down to play.

Glitter Jar

Do you like snow globes? I love them, and always have one sitting on my desk. When my mind goes in the idle state, then I tend to play with the globe. Shaking it vigorously, and watching the snow bits settle down bit by bit, has a calming effect.

Now, snow globes aren’t easy to find in India; and are often expensive. So I found an alternate version of it called the “glitter jar”. It’s super simple to make, with stuff that’s quite easily available at home and it is super fun!

Glitter Jar Recipe:

  • Clear plastic jar
  • A tiny toy (optional)
  • Super glue
  • Water
  • Glitter powder
  • Glycerin
  • Sealing tape

First open the bottle and stick the tiny toy to the inside base of the bottle lid. Next, fill 3/4 of the bottle with water. Sprinkle few pinches of glitter powder in the water, and then add 2-3 drops of glycerin. The toy should be stuck firmly by now, so close the lid of the bottle tightly. Shake the bottle to check if the glitter settles slowly. If not, then add a few more drops of glycerin and recheck the result. Once you’re happy with the flow of glitter, seal the lid with a tape; this is so that it does not open by mistake when kids play with it.

And then, enjoy hours of calming moments with your very own glitter jar!

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I used glass jars when I did the activity with A & A; but one of the jar’s slipped from little A’s hands and broke the very next day. So I made new one’s with plastic bottles and they are still around the house.

If your children are older, then you could make this into a science activity. Have them fill the jar with water, sprinkle glitter, close the jar and shake it. Ask them to observe how the glitter settles in the water. The glitter will settle down quickly. Next, ask them to feel glycerin on their fingertips and describe it – is it light like water or does it feel thick or heavy? Ask them to pour a few drops in the glitter water, and then ask them to seal the jar and shake it and observe the effect.

Discuss why the glitter takes longer to settle when glycerin is put in the water.

Check out the following sites for scientific concepts that can be taught using glitter jars:

Bubble Fun

Don’t you love weekends – the entire family can wake up late and enjoy a nice hearty breakfast and then laze around the house, read a book or read every news article in the newspaper, or NOT…because the children are at home on weekends, and are constantly seeking your attention.

I love my weekend mornings and look forward to them, but I also know that if I want to enjoy my morning peacefully, then I have to ensure that the children are kept busy and have some fun thing to do on their own, that doesn’t require my intervention.

So, I invented Bubble Fun. I found the bubble mixture recipe on a website and made the solution in a tub. We placed the tub near the window. I made the bubble blowers with plastic bottles. Just cut the bottom of the bottle with a knife or you can use dip bangles in the solution and blow bubbles through them.

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The kids LOVED it…and spent a good part of the morning playing with bubbles, while I sat on the side, read a book and enjoyed my morning cup of tea.

Bubble Mixture Recipe:

  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 cup dish-washing liquid
  • 1 tbsp. glycerin (optional – if you add this, the bubbles are likely to bounce)

Mix all the ingredients in a tub or bucket and enjoy your weekend morning 🙂

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