Monday, May 13, 2013

Hands-On Toddler Activity #23: Rainy Day Volcanos

We had another rainy spring day. I was looking forward to bringing the boys outside to splash in puddles, but as soon as we got outside I heard the thunder. Probably shouldn’t encourage my kids to play outdoors during a thunderstorm, so we headed in to do some projects. I took a look through my kitchen cupboards and found a couple half empty (or half full depending on how you look at it) boxes of baking soda. Let’s make a volcano!

I wasn’t quite sure that Jack even knew what a volcano was, so we watched a couple of quick videos online to give him an idea. We did this project a couple different ways. First we used a glass. I put baking soda in it, Jack added a couple drops of food coloring, then he poured in the vinegar and watched his “volcano” erupt. Side note: I realized that Jack also does not know the meaning of the word “couple”. It is amazing how many teachable moments happen throughout the day. I was not intending for him to learn that word today but when I said “add a couple drops of food coloring” and he put in about twenty, I realized that “a couple” was not yet part of his vocabulary. That or he was just ignoring me and wanted a REALLY colorful lava flow. Both are possibilities!

Next, we took a glass dish and poured some baking soda directly into the bottom. Jack added a couple drops of food coloring here and there. Still not quite grasping the meaning of “a couple” or still ignoring mom. Then he used a dropper to add vinegar to make tiny volcanoes. Droppers are very fun tools for toddlers. I’ve started saving them from the bottles of baby vitamins. They can be great tools for science projects, art projects, bath time, and so much more.

The baking soda and vinegar volcano is such a classic school project. I know Jack will do this many more times. The great thing about these kinds of projects is that the kids love the hands-on aspect and they of course love anything that is messy. So even though he does not quite grasp what a volcano is just yet, he learned some new words, he practiced following directions (a major struggle right now), he had some motor skills exercise, and he had fun for sure. 

To view the entire list of hands-on toddler activities, click here

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