I tried this experiment in the past when I taught science for kids in grade 2, but it was just as much fun for my kindergarten kids today. It is a great hands-on experiment for kids to learn about liquids and solids. It helps young kids gain an understanding that not all liquids are the same and that they behave differently. We looked at the colour, movement and even how the liquid coated the sides. For the solids students looked at colours, movement and even what happened when they shook the container.
Everyone stated out with a collection of jars at their tables. They made predictions as to what they thought the liquid or solid was that was in the jar. Once they had predicted, they then got magnifying glasses to look closer. After all of the jars had been inspected, I passed out finger lights. Students then shone the light through the liquid or solid and checked if it went through or if it was ‘trapped’ by the substance. I introduced the idea of transparent, translucent and opaque.
Everyone was mesmerized by the finger lights. They were excited to try them and experiment with them. They were definitely the highlight of the activity.
Everyone tested if the light went through by holding their hand on the opposite side of the jar. If the light appeared on their hand they knew that the material was either transparent (let all light through aka. clear) or translucent (let some light through). If no light shone onto their hand, they knew that the material was opaque (no light is let through).
The activity worked well as a great way to learn in a hands-on way. I took the last 5 minutes of the period to listen to everyone’s guesses for what was in the containers, and then told them what the substance was.
(A- pop, B-honey, C- water, D- oil, E- white paint, F – gravel, G- cereal, H- peppercorn, I- coarse salt, J- flour, K- sparkles)