Explorify at home: Forces
This collection of activities about forces is ideal to do at home with your little explorers. Enjoy a good afternoon of science each week!
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 forces. To make something move you need a force. We have three videos to explore forces this week.
For children aged 5-7
First, watch this video: Explore movement in a new way by thinking about how we move. Dance requires lots of different movements, from pushes and pulls to twists and turns, as well as moments of stillness when our bodies are balanced. What can your children see in this video, 'Born to dance'? (Click the arrows on the right end of the play bar right to make it full screen.)
Hands-on activity: Put on some music and make up some new dance moves!
Watch more at BBC Bitesize Daily on: changing the shape of materials, and friction.
Watch this video: Press play to see how sparkling water (or soda) can make raisins dance! At first, the raisins sink because they are more dense than the water but once some bubbles (of carbon dioxide gas that provides the fizz) attach to the raisins, they float upwards, sinking again when the bubbles are released. (Click the arrows on the right end of the play bar right to make it full screen.)
Hands-on activity: Have a go yourself – outside if you can as you might get a bit wet! Experiment with tightening and loosening the cap to see what happens to the raisins. You could also use chocolate chips, sultanas or currants too.
Watch more at BBC Bitesize Daily on: magnetic forces, and how to build helicopters .
Watch this video together: We can’t see forces but we can see the effects of different forces, and sometimes these can seem quite magical. Have a look at this video featuring a water trick and try it out yourself – you might want to do this outside or at least over a sink! (Click the arrows on the right end of the play bar right to make it full screen.)
Learn about air pressure: Air around us pushes in all directions – this is called air pressure. The air pushing up against the card is preventing the weight of the water from pushing the card down. Try this yourself with a little amount of water in the glass first. What is the largest amount of water you can put in the glass?
Watch more at BBC Bitesize Daily on: friction, and how planes fly.
That's all for this week!
We hope your little scientists have enjoyed exploring forces 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 that adults should supervise practical activities, make sure that children use appropriate materials and tools, and wash hands after handling any food items.
Take it further:
- Visit STEM Learning, to explore their support for parents and carers with home learning.
- Watch the BBC Bitesize Daily science programmes. 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!
‘Born to dance': all clips via Shutterstock; Music: Staccato by Vibe Tracks via YouTube Audio Library CC0
‘Dancing raisins': Wellcome Trust
‘Water trick': Wellcome Trust