Becoming a scientist with these five fun pretend play ideas!
1 \ Local Meteorologist. Let your little crew give a daily weather report, just like if they were on the local news! Tape a map to the wall and have them dress up to look sharp. Then ask them to look at the "camera" (we use our phone) and point to the map giving an account of what the weather that day will look like. They'll love pretending while learning about the weather, environment, and geography!
2 \ Make Your Food Dance! Start by choosing your dancing food. You will need light food items like corn, grapes, raisins, or dried beans. To get this food dancing you will need a clear cup, baking soda, and vinegar. Start by filling up the cup 1/2 way with water, then dissolve about 1tbs of baking soda per 1 cup of water in your cup. Drop your food items in the cup then fill the rest of the cup with vinegar, white vinegar is best. The chemical reaction between the vinegar and the dissolved baking soda will create bubbles that get your food dancing!
3 \ Play Ice Cream Parlor. Set up an ice cream shop with all the toppings. Then make your own ice cream! You will need a gallon Ziplock, two sandwich Ziplock’s, 1/2 cup whole milk (mixed with half and half to add creaminess), 1 tablespoon white sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, ice, and 1/3 cup rock salt (you can use regular salt in a pinch but rock salt helps freeze faster). Start with milk, vanilla, and sugar in a sandwich bag, you can add chocolate syrup for chocolate ice cream. Push the air out of the zip lock and seal, double bag to avoid spills. Shake and squish this bag to mix ingredients. Next fill the gallon zip lock 1/2 way with ice and add the rock salt. The last step is the fun part! Put the sandwich bag inside the gallon bag, seal TIGHT, and shake to freeze. It will take about 10 minutes to freeze, wrap a towel around the bag to keep little hands from freezing. Now the best part, eating your creation! Let your kids put their ice cream into a bowl and play ice cream parlor by adding their own custom toppings.
4 \ Volcano Eruption! You will need an empty water bottle, a funnel, baking soda, vinegar and any supplies your kids would like to build their village; like LEGO pieces for structures, trees, soil, or rocks. Start by filling the water bottle about 1/2 way with baking soda using the funnel. Next find a place outside to burry the bottle, leaving the open mouth piece exposed. Once you’ve built the volcano your littles can create their scenery around the base. Lastly it’s time for the eruption! Use the funnel to pour 1-2 cups of vinegar in the top of the water bottle and stand back to watch the explosion. For an extra fun twist use food dye to color the vinegar and create colored lava! (*Note, this requires full adult supervision!)
5 \ Make Invisible Ink. There are so many fun ways to play with invisible ink! The chemistry is also interesting to learn about. For this experiment you will need a lemon, or other acid like vinegar or orange juice, water, paper, a paintbrush, and a heat source like a lamp, hair dryer or flashlight. Start with the acid base in a bowl, then add a few drops of water and stir with paintbrush. Use the paintbrush to write or draw an invisible note on the paper, then put over your heat source to reveal your hidden message! The heat breaks down the chemical bonds in your acid, releasing the carbon turning your message black or brown. Try different acid bases to see the difference in color your message has! (*Note, this requires full adult supervision, especially for heat!)