It’s that time of year again! Winter and the holidays offer all sorts of great opportunities for science discovery. Everything from acids and bases to preventing the common cold offer teachable moments that tie to the season.
First, we take a simple acid/base test (from the Quirkles book Andy Acid) and give it a holiday spin by turning this activity into the holiday “naughty or nice” test. Some goldenrod paper, a birthday candle to write the “secret” message, and some lemon or cabbage juice are the core ingredients needed to reveal the outcome.
True goldenrod paper is made from a dye which is an acid-base indicator. This paper turns bright red in bases such as ammonia or baking soda and returns to bright yellow in acids such as vinegar or lemon juice. Watch our video as Ms. Terri discovers she has a little “improving” to do before the holidays. Make sure the “naughty” paper is assigned to you, or you might have one very upset child! Then make sure to reinforce the actual science concept of acids and bases to make a fun activity a learning activity, too.
Want another winter science activity that is not holiday themed? Here’s a sneak preview from one of our new Fuddlebrook books entitled Snot, Sniffles, and Sneezes. As you can probably tell, this story examines the human body, germs, and the common cold. During this time of year,as colds run rampant, reinforce how germs spread (and the importance of good hygiene) by trying what we call “Liza’s Glittery Germs Activity.” Put some lotion on your hands and rub them together. Then put a pinch of glitter into the palm of one of your hands. Rub hands together again. Shake hands with the children. Soon some glitter will be on everyone and anything they touch! This represents how we pass germs from one to another.
But that’s not all. To illustrate the importance of good hand washing, try using a paper towel to get the glitter off. Not much luck? Now wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You should see a BIG difference. So there you have it. It doesn’t take a lot. Some very simple ingredients can make for really fun and enlightening science!
We can’t wait to introduce all 26 Fuddlebrook stories to you in early 2016. They should serve as the perfect complement to our Quirkles science series (now in the 4th reprint thanks to you). We think you’ll find stories and activities in both series that make science the most fun part of a gray wintery day!