I wrote last week about how fortunate I feel to live in an area with a strong home education group. There are a few of us all doing our own things but also coming together to share ideas and enthuse our children.
A few weeks back a friend had asked if there was interest in setting up a science type group. I’m a bit of a magpie and like collecting things so, of course, jumped at the prospect of a new group!
I must admit that I noted the date in the diary and kept thinking I’d get to it with the children in due course. Inevitably time ran away from me a bit and I felt very underprepared in the week leading up to the inaugural Science Saturday.
As it was, the children were covering the senses in their Sassafras work so I thought I’d do something around that. It was fresh in their mind as well as being something that would, hopefully, work with a larger group.
We talked about the five different senses and how our demonstration would focus on three; taste, smell and sight. I wanted to show the children how those three work together. We had prepared a tub with chopped up orange and a tub with chopped up strawberries. With their eyes closed, I asked 5/6 volunteers to smell the tubs and then tell us what was in there. This was aimed at demonstrating that they didn’t need to see the fruit to know exactly what it was. I also asked them to think about what was going on in their mouth – was the smell of the fresh fruit making them salivate?
Next up we demonstrated sight – I showed the children a box of chopped up sugary sweets – things like sugar covered belts and cola bottles. Many of the children recognised that, just by seeing those sweets, their mouths started watering and already they anticipated how they would taste just by the look of them.
Finally, I had two lots of swiss rolls cakes – some chocolate flavour and some raspberry and vanilla flavour. With their eyes closed and noses pinched each child had a piece then, had to stand on one side of the room, depending on which they thought they had been given. A few of them got it wrong – which of course demonstrates that sight and smell form a big part of taste.
I think the children enjoyed it – and we certainly enjoyed other demonstrations of telephones, electrical circuits, volcanos, inflating balloons and looking at the density of different liquids. All in all a fun way to spend the morning and something that enthused my three to try new things at home.
Our next Science Saturday is planned for July, and I think we might do the same again and see where we are up to in Sassafras and base our experiment on that