Author Topic: Science for toddlers  (Read 1850 times)

Science for toddlers
« on: 15 October, 2021, 08:20:47 am »
Here's a topic some might find interesting, if only from the perspective of observing masochists at work.

Young grandson-Ham (just 3) has a semi obsession with watching YouTube Kids and other videos. Now, this is likely quite common but feels to me a bit of a shame. My idea is to make videos with him, creating a "Let's Do Science" channel, actively engaging with something instead of passively receiving. I'd make the content available publicly, there's an amusing and very small chance that it could become popular, I wouldn't object obviously (Check out Vlad and Nikki or Mr-effing-Blippi for subscribers if you want to see how far that can go) but it isn't my motivation.

The trouble is that, at that age, everything is a wonder and the idea of asking questions isn't quite there. I'm on the lookout for topics that will form the basis of a short, engaging investigation. Things like floating and sinking (and, blowing up a balloon etc), chemical reactions - lemon and copper, vinegar and bicarb etc - counting creepy crawlies legs.

Any thoughts out there?

T42

  • Hat needs a wash
Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #1 on: 15 October, 2021, 09:03:40 am »
3 is a bit young, but at some point in the near future a pocket microscope might be an idea.

Back when T42 jr. was 3 I tried to give him an idea of geography.  I drew a plan of our flat and labelled the rooms, pointing out his room, our room, the kitchen etc.  This went over pretty well, so I drew a rough map of our neighbourhood, putting in the roads and shops and various other places that he knew.  This too seemed to get across, so I then got out the Michelin road atlas and pointed out our town, the local station, and Paris where I went to work every day.  This was greeted by further sounds of comprehension, so I got out the big atlas and pointed out France, England where MrsT's mum & dad lived, and Norn Iron where my folks lived.  Nods and um-hums from Junior, so I turned to a map of Europe and explained a bit more.

"Oh yes," quoth he, putting a finger on Cyprus.  "And there's a duck in the river."
But they never got to Carcassonne.

Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #2 on: 15 October, 2021, 10:18:42 am »


"Oh yes," quoth he, putting a finger on Cyprus.  "And there's a duck in the river."

 ;D

Yes, this is the age when you can easily sometimes mistake that the little darlin's belong to the human race.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #3 on: 15 October, 2021, 11:27:54 am »
When I was about that age, we had a globe, which my parents used to explain that we were currently *here* (points to West Africa) but we'll be going home on an aeroplane to *here* (points to small angry island off the coast of Europe).  I was more interested in Fiji, on account of it being surrounded by ocean a long way for anywhere, even more so when they told me its name.


Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #4 on: 15 October, 2021, 11:51:27 am »
My SiL/BiL live not to far from here, and every so often they come over to visit; their kids like to see their cousins.

On a recent trip over, the kids asked their parents "Will Uncle Ron drink too much wine and start Explaining Things?"
"Oh, I expect so!" came the reply.
"Yay!"

Later on, I discovered that the kids had cooked up a plan to create a YouTube channel called "Uncle Ron Explains".
This involved setting me up in a chair with a large glass of wine to hand as they streamed it to YT on their phone, where they would invite members of the public to Submit Questions.

The answers would become increasingly animated as the evening progressed.
(A recent one ( not streamed!) involved me demonstrating the gait of a Mountain Hare running away from you, and how the prints left in the snow appear to be the wrong way round.)



Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #5 on: 15 October, 2021, 12:04:08 pm »
Can I humbly suggest that the Hams acquire this publication - https://www.worldofbooks.com/en-gb/books/leonard-de-vries/book-of-experiments/9780719503122?gclid=CjwKCAjwzaSLBhBJEiwAJSRokjmd93Zzr0Tuy6inyAy52lfQE4CmOhqzV711Y2-pWNfFFi8Uq6uOzxoCtJ4QAvD_BwE

It got me excited about science as small one. Lot and lots of really simple experiments (though I suspect you are probably unable to acquire half the chemicals listed in the chemical experiments any more).
Rust never sleeps

Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #6 on: 15 October, 2021, 01:31:00 pm »
I found the book here https://www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgupta/bookofexpts.pdf - nice collection of bits, but not currently age appropriate. Which in turn led me to poke around Arvind Gupta's site eg https://www.arvindguptatoys.com/toys.html - a lot of 404's but a lot of content, too

Bookmark dropped.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #7 on: 15 October, 2021, 01:32:49 pm »
My SiL/BiL live not to far from here, and every so often they come over to visit; their kids like to see their cousins.

On a recent trip over, the kids asked their parents "Will Uncle Ron drink too much wine and start Explaining Things?"
"Oh, I expect so!" came the reply.
"Yay!"

Later on, I discovered that the kids had cooked up a plan to create a YouTube channel called "Uncle Ron Explains".
This involved setting me up in a chair with a large glass of wine to hand as they streamed it to YT on their phone, where they would invite members of the public to Submit Questions.

*subscribe*

Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #8 on: 15 October, 2021, 01:42:46 pm »
I found the book here https://www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgupta/bookofexpts.pdf - nice collection of bits, but not currently age appropriate. Which in turn led me to poke around Arvind Gupta's site eg https://www.arvindguptatoys.com/toys.html - a lot of 404's but a lot of content, too

Bookmark dropped.

That is great - and well-timed for half term coming up!
Thanks for flagging

Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #9 on: 15 October, 2021, 02:25:37 pm »
I found the book here https://www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgupta/bookofexpts.pdf - nice collection of bits, but not currently age appropriate. Which in turn led me to poke around Arvind Gupta's site eg https://www.arvindguptatoys.com/toys.html - a lot of 404's but a lot of content, too

Bookmark dropped.
Neat !

I even went to the bother of getting Books 2 and 3 a few years ago.  Haven't found the time to dig into them yet.
Rust never sleeps

Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #10 on: 15 October, 2021, 02:48:22 pm »
Deserves to be in the div thread - just completed the first session "stuff that floats", went well, except that I hadn't put a new battery in my mic  :(

Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #11 on: 15 October, 2021, 02:49:00 pm »
Tim Hunkin, whom I used to work with [/shamelessnamedropper], has published a book called 'Almost everything there is to know'.
It is a useful source for loads of simple experiments.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #12 on: 15 October, 2021, 03:19:47 pm »
'How do clothes dry' evaporation for beginners, with minimal equipment and minimal hazard.
You can use wet socks from the washing machine, weigh them, put them on a rack, line, radiator, in a plastic bag, scrunched up, spread out, by a fan and time to dryness for each, note cool feel of damp clothes, weigh when dry, so figure out water weight lost.

Hamlet can then put this to practical use...

Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #13 on: 15 October, 2021, 09:03:06 pm »
Tim Hunkin, whom I used to work with [/shamelessnamedropper], has published a book called 'Almost everything there is to know'.
It is a useful source for loads of simple experiments.

Ah, yes, that's where I first learned about the effective use of cats in warfare...

Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #14 on: 19 October, 2021, 12:45:41 pm »
Well, the first attempt - seeing what floats and sinks - was a resounding hit with the littl'un - the video needs a lot more work, it was very hastily cobbled together.

The next session I think can be "chemicals". Or, aka, mixing stuff together.

Flour and water into paste is an obvious one
Bicarb and vinegar for the lols
Yeast and sugar in a bottle with a balloon over it
Cleaning copper with lemon
Cleaning limescale out the kettle

Any other domestic things to suggest? colour changing stuff?


Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #15 on: 19 October, 2021, 12:50:24 pm »
You can make a battery from copper and a lemon, can you not?

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #16 on: 19 October, 2021, 01:01:43 pm »
You can make a battery from copper and a lemon, can you not?

Electrosity is Shirley the subject of another video...

Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #17 on: 19 October, 2021, 01:08:33 pm »
That's one for later.  At 3, grasp on reality is tenuous at best. This sort of stuff legitimises making a mess and introduces science terms

Basil

  • Um....err......oh bugger!
  • Help me!
Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #18 on: 19 October, 2021, 01:18:34 pm »
Many years ago, the free gift in the corn flakes packet was a little plastic submarine.  You put a small dab of baking powder into it and then placed it into a clear glass bottle.
If you screwed the top down firmly, the sub would descend, if you released the cap it would rise again . Or was it the other way around?
Anyway, it kept my brother and I thoroughly entertained for nearly 5 minutes.
Admission.  I'm actually not that fussed about cake.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #19 on: 19 October, 2021, 01:45:58 pm »
For colour-changing stuff, use the anthocyanins in red cabbage or blackcurrant.

Cooked, diluted juice will act like litmus.

Just about all cleaning stuffs are alkaline, as is bicarb.

Anything sour is acidic.

These thing STAIN! Make sure you're wearing old clothes or aprons!

Cudzoziemiec

  • Моя планета голубая, я люблю тебя и обнимаю
Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #20 on: 19 October, 2021, 01:49:05 pm »
The difference between smoke, mist, and dust in the air might be worth exploring at some point. It's something I remember being puzzling for smalls.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #21 on: 19 October, 2021, 02:01:42 pm »
Static electricity - balloons and woolen jumpers, sparks, hair standing on end.

fruitcake

  • some kind of fruitcake
    • Bailey
Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #22 on: 19 October, 2021, 02:16:12 pm »
Ah, yes, that's where I first learned about the effective use of cats in warfare...
Go on...

Tim Hall

  • Victoria is my queen
Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #23 on: 19 October, 2021, 02:28:16 pm »
Many years ago, the free gift in the corn flakes packet was a little plastic submarine.  You put a small dab of baking powder into it and then placed it into a clear glass bottle.
If you screwed the top down firmly, the sub would descend, if you released the cap it would rise again . Or was it the other way around?
Anyway, it kept my brother and I thoroughly entertained for nearly 5 minutes.
Cartesian diver. (Cogito ergo sink or swim)
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Re: Science for toddlers
« Reply #24 on: 19 October, 2021, 02:44:02 pm »
Many years ago, the free gift in the corn flakes packet was a little plastic submarine.  You put a small dab of baking powder into it and then placed it into a clear glass bottle.
If you screwed the top down firmly, the sub would descend, if you released the cap it would rise again . Or was it the other way around?
Anyway, it kept my brother and I thoroughly entertained for nearly 5 minutes.
Cartesian diver. (Cogito ergo sink or swim)
No. 89 in the link upthread - https://www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgupta/bookofexpts.pdf
Rust never sleeps