This is a simple science experiment plus STEM. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. Making STEM fun helps build a solid foundation for children to understand key concepts later on. Encourage curiosity, experimenting, observing, problem solving, building and creating.
We started with the most basic of experiments (and also something most people have readily available at home) the soda and vinegar experiment. There are tons of ways of using these ingredients. For today I decided to do volcanoes with my almost three year old. She found it fascinating, of course, and kept asking to do it over and over again.
I think at this stage, it’s important that you talk about what’s going on but also that you ask questions that will then raise even better questions from your children.
In the early stages of experimenting you might find your child doing mainly observations (especially younger children and also some experiments require adult supervision anyway) and that’s not a bad thing. They learn a lot through observation itself too. Do encourage them to try and get their hands dirty too sometimes or give them a chance to pour, prod, scoop etc
For this volcano, we used a plastic cup, placed it on a plastic plate and covered it with foil to create the mountain. I then got Jana to scoop the soda into the cup and finally pour the coloured vinegar into it. She loved pouring the entire cup straight in because she realised that’s when she’d get the most aggressive reaction out of it.
You can also test to see if it works better this way or if u add the vinegar to the cup and add the soda on top – talk about it, question it.
Another way we played with a volcano was by making a set, adding some toys, cars and playing out what was happening. We used a small necked bottle to get a volcano like eruption and covered it completely in foil.