I answered the questions for the previous post in the comment section of that post to keep it together.
One of the misconceptions around us is that science is for “older” kids. That it is somethings Kids “have” to learn in school. But from own experiences I can say emphatically that preschool children enjoy science if presented the right way just as much as older kids. A couple of weeks ago, I gave a science show in local International playschool (IEEC in Pynniki, Tampere) to 5 and 6 yr old children. The 6yr olds of that school do science experiments on occasion like menthos and coke etc so the children are already familiar with how fun science can be.
I gave the show for the occasion of Halloween and so we had lot of fun halloweeny experiments. I took some dry ice and we had lots of fun with it including making some magic potion for all the witches and wizards that came. We made a lot of mess by pouring a bit of dish washing liquid into a tall jar with warm water and dry ice. It produced so many big bubbles and each kid got to burst a few bubbles which releases the smoke (carbon dioxide). Ofcourse we made some screaming balloons too including one gaint one.
I also took some ‘ghost balls’ that are just a few millimeters wide when dry but soak them in water and they are big marble size balls. They earn the name “ghost balls” because when you place them in water, you cannot spot them. Their refractive index is the same as of water so they just “disappear”. Later the director of the school Shawn told me that they got the parents to put their hands into the ‘water’ and get amazing expressions when they find those ghost balls (well, can’t let the children have all the fun right).
For the 6 yr olds, we also made some slime just using some borax and white glue. Put some food color and it became a colorful gooey mess. The number of ‘eeewwws’ and ‘yuuucks’ I heard followed by asking if they can touch it or do it for themselves was enough indication they found it fascinating and fun. Their teacher Liliana did promise that if they behave well enough, they might get to do it very soon.
But for me the best part came right after the show when a 6yr old girl walked up to me and said “When I grow up, I am going to be a scientist’ with a glow on her face and twinkle in her eyes. I can’t think of a better way of ending a science show than that….