As this has been an epic year of snow, what better way to try to take control of it then to put it in a jar. Wouldn’t it be great if it was that easy?
In our playgroup, we took inspiration from the snowy weather for our next science experiment, a snowstorm in a jar. The idea came from Growing a Jeweled Rose, a beautiful blog with lots of great activities.
I had parents telling me I was daring to try this out. To actively fill jars of baby oil, set on the side. Fill a big pitcher with warm water mixed with white paint. And invite the children to play with it all by dropping little pieces of generic efferdent in it. But the first, “wow” from Mini-ion #1 and the “this is cool!” by another girl. And the sleuth-like obtainment of more and more tabs of efferdent, made me realize, this was a keeper.
As you can see, I prepared by filling small mason jars, 3/4 of the way filled with baby oil (that was an awkward purchase at the dollar store – 8 bottles of baby oil). When each child was ready, myself or their parent grabbed them a jar, topped it off from the pitcher of warm water/white paint and give it a few seconds to settle.
When the jar was ready, the child had an efferdent (generic from the dollar store) tab broken up and dropped it into the jar and watched the results. Some wanted to immediately drop more and more tabs in, which was fun because they were able to make it foam so much it fizzed over! Others were content to watch the bubbles build up and snow, and as soon as it started to lessen in intensity, they immediately wanted the storm to build back up again. There was jar mixing, jar swishing and jars spilling, but nothing a roll of paper towels couldn’t handle. As we ended the time period, I pulled out the remaining materials and the children that were interested had a chance to create their own snowstorm havoc with all of the remaining efferdent tabs.
Was it messy? There has been messier (in the two weeks so far). But it wasn’t neat. However, I think in the chaos of messy is where real learning and real interest in the world around them starts to inspire. And in watching how the children interact with each new provocation starts to inspire me to get more “wows!” and “this is so cool!” and not worry about the mess that we’ll clean up once we’ve blown their mind.