TORNADO IN A JAR
mayonnaise jar or a canning jar
clear liquid soap
Fill the jar about three-quarters full of water.
Put a teaspoon of the liquid soap into the jar.
Also, add a teaspoon of vinegar into the jar.
Tighten the lid and shake the jar to mix up the ingredients.
Now, swirl the jar in a circular motion.
The liquid will form a small tornado.
*If you want to get creative, you can also use food coloring to make
the tornado have a color and glitter (or even Monopoly houses) to
The swirling motion you give the bottle forms a vortex and is an
easy way to create your own tornado.
MAKE LIGHTNING IN YOUR
Wint-O-Green or Pep-O-Mint lifesavers
Go to a really dark room and stand in front of the mirror. Wait a
few minutes until your eyes get accustomed to the darkness.
Put a Wint-O-Green or a Pep-O-Mint lifesaver in your mouth.
While keeping your mouth open, break the lifesaver up with your
teeth and look for sparks. If you do it right, you should see bluish
flashes of light.
Why does this happen? When you break the lifesaver apart, you’re
breaking apart sugars inside the candy. The sugars release little
electrical charges in the air. These charges attract the oppositely
charged nitrogen in the air. When the two meet, they react in a tiny
spark that you can see.
MAKE A RAINBOW
glass of water
sheet of white paper
Fill the glass all the way to the top with water.
Put the glass of water on a table so that it is half on the table and
half off of the table. Be careful that the glass doesn't fall.
Then, make sure that the sun can shine through the glass of water.
After you do that, place the white sheet of paper on the floor.
Adjust the piece of white paper and the glass of water until a
rainbow forms on the paper.
Why does this happen? Light is made up of a lot of colors.
Specifically, the colors are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo
and violet. When light passes through the water, it is broken up into
the colors seen in a rainbow.
MAKE A THERMOMETER
clear, plastic bottle (11oz. water bottle works)
clear plastic drinking straw
Fill about 1/4 of the bottle full with equal parts of water and
Add a few drops of food coloring.
Put the straw in the bottle, but don't let it touch the bottom.
Use the modeling clay to seal the neck of the bottle, so the straw
stays in place. (Make sure the straw does not touch the bottom of
Hold your hands on the bottom of the bottle and watch the mixture
move up through the straw.
Why does this happen? Just like any thermometer, the mixture
expanded when it was warmed. This made the mixture no longer fit
in the bottom of the bottle. As the alcohol expanded the colored
mixture moved up through the straw. If they bottle were to get
extremely hot, the mixture would have come up through the top of
*All weather activities were found on weatherwizkids.com*
Map the Solar System!
Young children are often fascinated with learning about the sun, the planets,
and space science in general. First graders can usually recite the names of
the planets and their order and distance from the sun. However, it can often
be quite difficult for kids to get a picture in their minds of what that
distance looks like because they’re only just learning the basics of
measurement and size.
So get your whole family involved in this project that uses toilet paper
squares to map the solar system. Your child will be refining his counting and
measurement skills—and you’ll all have some good clean fun.
You Will Need:
Construction paper or blank paper
Large piece of paper (poster or half poster size)
Toilet paper (several rolls)
What to Do:
Setup: Use the construction paper and markers to make a sign for each
planet and the sun. (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus,
Neptune, and Sun) Use a large piece of paper to make a table that shows the
name of each planet and how far it is (in toilet paper squares) from the sun,
using the following scale: Planet Name and Distance from the sun (in toilet
1. Tape the sign that says “Sun” to the floor.
2. Start at the sun and unroll the toilet paper. Make sure you have lots
of room! You can do this all around your house or you can even do this
3. Count up to the fourth square of toilet paper and tape the sign that
says Mercury next to the fourth square of toilet paper. Keep going
until you’ve taped each planet sign in the correct spot. Have your child
count along with you as you go. (Note: This solar system model may not
be confined to just one room in your home.)
4. Once your project is finished, ask your child to identify the planet
that is closest to the sun and the planet that is farthest away from
the sun. You can ask her any other questions about the planets and the
sun as well.
Other Things to Discuss:
Planets that are closest to the sun are hotter than planets that are farther
away from the sun. Using this fact ask your child to make predictions about
the temperature of various planets based on their distance from the sun.
You can also talk to your child about how the planets orbit around the sun at
Making Measurements: How Big is
Measurement is a key topic in math and science and teachers work hard to
ensure it makes sense for kids. Here's an activity that can help your child
get a grip on measurement and discover different ways of measuring one
thing. In this activity, your child will use a variety of non-standard
measurements to figure the length, width, capacity, and volume of his hand!
You Will Need:
Paper clips or a tape measure
1 piece of graph paper per person
Two small bowls
Lima or red beans
1 glass jar with a wide mouth
Permanent marker or masking tape
Blank paper for recording
Pencil or markers
What to Do:
1. Ask your child if he can think of a reason why it might be important to
know one’s hand size. Your child may mention that it is important to
know the size of your hand when purchasing gloves or mittens.
2. Show your child the measurement tools you’ve assembled and tell him
that he is going to measure his hand in 4 different ways. Place a
heading on the recording sheet: “My Hand Size”. Divide the recording
sheet into 4 sections and label them as listed: length, area, capacity,
3. Measuring length: Use the paper clips to make a paper clip chain or
use the tape measure to measure the length of your child’s right hand.
Start at the wrist and end at the tip of the longest finger. Count the
number of paper clips or inches if using the measuring tape. Record
the information on the recording sheet.
4. Measuring Area: Use the graph paper for this portion of the activity.
Help your child place his right hand on the sheet of graph paper with
the palm down and his fingers closed. Trace around his closed hand
with a pencil or marker. Help your child count the number of squares
his hand covers. Discuss a method for counting the partial squares.
For example, if most of a square is covered does it count as one? Or
can you combine 2 half squares to make one whole square? Record the
information on the recording sheet.
5. Measuring Capacity: Fill one small bowl with beans. Tell your child to
pick up a handful of beans and see how many he can hold in his right
hand without dropping any. Have your child empty the beans into the
empty bowl and count them to find out his hand's capacity, or how
many beans he can hold in his right hand. Record the information on
the recording sheet.
6. Measuring Volume: Place some water in the glass jar and mark the
water line with a piece of masking tape or a permanent marker. Tell
your child to use his right hand to make a fist. Submerge his fist into
the water up to his wrist and record the new water line with masking
tape. The amount of water between the two lines is a measure of the
volume of your child’s fist. Try pouring this amount into a measuring
cup to see the volume of your child’s fist in fluid ounces. Record the
information on the recording sheet.
7. Encourage your child to use a piece of paper to reflect on the activity
by writing down his observations after making the four measurements
of his hand.
For a challenge activity, have your child measure his left hand and make
comparisons. Are the measurements the same for both hands? You can also
encourage your child to help another family member make the same four
measurements. Compare the results to his results. Did a family member with
a larger hand have a smaller or bigger hand size capacity than your first
*Math activities are found at education.com*