Explorify at home: Changing materials
This collection of activities about changing materials is ideal to do at home with your little explorers. Enjoy a good afternoon of science each week!
Cookies, made from materials
Explorify at home is a special series of science activities for parents and carers of primary school children who are now learning at home. We define activities by age and curriculum topics in Explorify, but these collections are also suitable to do all together as a family of mixed aged children. Or if your little scientist just wants to explore further, pick something from the other age sections for inspiration! Teachers can find out about our full (free!) classroom resource at the bottom of this page.
Parents, read on!
This collection is all about changing materials. Everything is made of stuff – scientists call that stuff material – and we can use it in different ways in our everyday lives. We can make new materials that are useful to us.
For children aged 5-7
Hands-on activity: Bubbles are fun at any age. You can make a bubble mixture yourself by mixing 50 ml washing up liquid and 300 ml water together – but be careful to do this very gently to avoid making the mixture bubbly at the start. Let the mixture rest before you use it to make bubbles. Then the fun can begin trying out different things as bubble wands: cookie cutters, large paper clips, sieves, a colander etc. How big a bubble can you make? What colours can you see in the bubbles? How long do they last before bursting?
Watch more on materials and bubbles on BBC Bitesize Daily.
First, take a close-up look: Cooking and baking are the most likely ways that children will experience making new materials. If you are able to cook together and look at how the ingredients change when cooking, that will be really helpful. Changes to ingredients when baking cakes or cookies in the oven are permanent changes, as this clip shows. Making ice cubes is not a permanent change as ice cubes melt to return water again.
Hands-on activity: For a healthy recipe, follow the instructions to make fruitburst muffins like in this recipe (we haven't tried it yet - let us know how you get on!).
Watch more about mixing things or the water cycle (for age 7-9); freezing things or irreversible change (for age 9-11) on BBC Bitesize Daily.
That's all for this week!
We hope your little scientists have enjoyed exploring changing materials this week. We'd love to know how you got on. You can follow us on Twitter or Facebook or email us if you have any feedback on this collection.
Please note children should be supervised while doing any practical activities, including cooking, and should was their hands before and afterwards.
Take it further:
- Visit STEM Learning, to explore their support for parents and carers with home learning.
- Watch the BBC Bitesize Daily programmes on Habitats which are now available (from 20th May 2020), linked above under your child's age. Previous programmes including versions for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland can be found on the iPlayer.
- Browse our other collections – there's are more added each week!
Are you a primary school teacher who has yet to sign up to Explorify?
If you are a teacher who hasn't discovered Explorify before, you can sign up and explore the whole website with over 400 free activities. (It's free, as it's funded by charitable foundation Wellcome Trust. Our mission is to help you enhance your science teaching and get your pupils thinking like scientists!) We provide background science, to help you field questions from your pupils and ideas to take our curriculum-linked activities further. Something to get your teeth into for when you're back in the classroom!
Image credits: Alexas_Fotos via Pixabay, Steve Cukrov via Shutterstock; Video credit: Beachfront B-Roll (CC BY 3.0)