The idea for this marshmallow science experiment came right from the kids. One of my favorite parts of being able to teach my little ones at home is that we can follow our interests and change our plans in an instant.
During our five senses activity the kids were so intrigued by how marshmallows felt when they got them wet. One of them said, “Can we put juice on them?”
So I asked, “What do you think will happen if we do?” And so began this little science experiment…
First we checked the pantry and the fridge to pick out a couple of liquids to use. We decided to use cold water, hot (warm) water, cranberry juice, Sprite, and vinegar. Other than the hot water, any liquids would have worked. We just grabbed what we had on-hand.
Then we got some cups, marshmallows, and stirrers.
The kids counted out six marshmallows for each cup. I loved to see them do this part. They were both using a different strategy to keep track of how many they counted, and when one of them lost track they stopped to describe how they were keeping track. It was great to hear them explain their math thinking.
It is helpful to note that we didn’t sort the marshmallows by color for this activity. This is something that the kids noticed later on, and it led to yet another science investigation that I will share soon.
When we added a different liquid to each cup it didn’t take long for the kids to notice something different was happening to the marshmallows in the cup with hot water.
Then we spent some time stirring the different cups to observe what was happening. It was interesting for me to watch how each child approached the activity. Lovey chattered away about every step she made and every new thing she observed. Big Buddy was intensely focused, and he observed silently. When I would ask him about what he was seeing he would say, “Not yet.” He watched for a very long time before describing his observations in detail.
Lovey also wanted to see if the marshmallows felt the same as the ones from our original five senses activity.
When she did so, she accidentally flipped the orange marshmallow from the cup with cold water into the cup with hot water. It took us a few seconds to get it out and return it back to the right cup. After it was back in the cold water cup, Lovey noticed something had happened. It was smaller than all of the others, and it stayed that way.
This is how our cups looked at the end of our experiment. It was a fun way to explore liquids and how things dissolve.
In the next post of this series I will share one of the marshmallow sensory activities we did. Even the baby enjoyed participating in that one!
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More Math and Science Activities with Fizz, Pop, Bang!
Fizz, Pop, Bang! Playful Science and Math Activities is designed to bring hands-on fun to math and science play. It’s full of engaging and powerful learning opportunities in math and science, shared through ideas that incorporate art, play, sensory learning and discovery, for a whole-brain approach.
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