Category Archives: Water Activities

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:

The Thirsty Crow Story (in Marathi)

We love the fact that today many publishers are working actively towards promoting children’s books in regional languages. At The Story Palce, we are keenly working at incorporating Hindi and Marathi books (Tulika and Pratham Books) in our storytelling sessions, and building lesson plans around them.

As part of our research, I picked up a Marathi story today, and tried it out with big A. Since we live in Mumbai, Maharashtra, she has been exposed to a fair share of Marathi through the house help at home. The help has been speaking Marathi to my daughter since three years now, so big A has a good understanding of the language and can speak Marathi well (better than me).

This morning’s story was “The Thirsty Crow” in Marathi, a story that we have all heard as children. I read the story slowly, explaining each part as I read it. The illustrations in the book were very simple and helped a great deal in understanding the sequence of events in the story.

After the story was over, I asked her, if it was really possible to bring up water in a pot by putting stones in it. She just shrugged her shoulders. It made me think, that as a child I too had heard this story, but I never ever thought of finding out if the pebble thing worked. So, here was a chance to satisfy my curiosity and my daughter’s too.

We went to the kitchen, and filled little water in a glass. I told her to pretend that she was a crow, and to try drinking the water by putting her mouth in the glass. Since the water level was low, she couldn’t reach the water. So, we decided to do what the crow did. We collected some stones and put them in the glass. Slowly, slowly, the water rose up in the glass, and eventually it reached the top. The little pretend crow could drink it and satisfy her thirst!

I explained that the stones occupied space at the bottom of the glass, and pushed the water up. Later, we discussed what we (humans) would do in such a situation, one option was to lift the glass with our hands and drink water, and the other was to use a straw and suck up the water. 

Who ever thought that a simple story could be so so so much fun!

If you have read children’s stories in regional languages, then do share your recommendation list with us. 

Water Cycle – Making Rain

My 5 year old has just begun her Senior KG term. Since it’s the rainy season, the concepts being covered in her class are about water and rain. On Monday she came home singing a cute water cycle song with actions and expressions :).

Cloud in a jar_1

I love the water cycle song, because the lyrics explain very simply how the sun heats the water in the sea, then the water vapor rises high and forms big dark clouds, the clouds go bang bang bang and  pitter patter down comes the rain. She sings the song all day long without being conscious that she has learnt about an important science concept.

Last night she asked me how rain is made. I explained to her the concept verbally, but her blank expressions made me realize that very little of what I said registered in her head. Listening to words is a very abstract process for her, because she still hasn’t developed the capability to visualize what is being said. Children at this age learn best by observing, doing and exploring. So my next step was to find an activity to show her how rain is formed.

From my search, I shortlisted these posts.

We tried the Cloud in a Jar experiment and were happy with the results. Here are the pictures.

A raindrop Cloud in a jar_2

And to wind up the experiment, I had the children make a water cycle – this allowed them to reflect on the concept and articulate their understanding through a drawing.

Water cycle

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