Messy, gooey and gross things make excellent science activities for the school aged child.
When it comes to science activities, try to think of the hows and whys of the topic. Remember that science to a child is all about the world around them and discovering how things work. This will usually provide sufficient direction to find the ten things to do for science.
In a world filled with technology that they use but can't understand how to re-create, it is important to provide things that they can re-create. Think of OLD technology - before computers, DVD's, etc. Try to re-create some of Thomas Edison's experiments, for example. Experiments where they can succeed in creating an object to make something happen from nothing is an important developmental tool for the tech savvy youngster.
This is also where those messy, gooey, gross things come into play. School age children love to get “grossed out” by the world around them and if the science center is an opportunity to get messy and explore an idea, there will be no trouble in finding sufficient ideas to keep them busy.
Try allowing them to create silly putty with Elmer's Glue and liquid starch as a science experiment rather than you providing the finished product. Making butter or ice cream in the science center as opposed to a whole class project is another winner. Including some sensory or tactile extremes will engage the school-ager in science too. Paint making with corn syrup and food coloring is a bit messy,(and fun) and can then be moved to the art center for an extension of learning.
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