Explore and Discover with Pirate ShipsWe had fun exploring pirate ships and learning parts of a ship. These early preschool science experiments are priceless! I love watching little ones discover the world for the first time! This post contains many activities: building with cups, painting paper towels, sensory play with colored water, sink or float and melting ice activities - not intended for a great end product, only exploration and discovery.
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Building with plastic cupsCups are great building blocks. I almost forgot how engaging they are for Camilla. I pulled them out for this activity; and she started building with them happily. This turned out to be a constructing activity on a whole new level (she is 33 months now).
Pirate Ship: creating and learning parts of a shipWe've built our ships from colored ice. It allowed to draw interest and hold attention to the "scientific" matters at hand: learning about what can sink or float and observing ice melting. I offered drinking straws for masts. To hold a straw perfectly vertical until the water freezes, I made circles from card stock paper with the hole for the straw in the middle.
The paper circles are all the preparation required for these activities.
Preschool color activities and sensory play combinedTo take care of the messy aspect of our coloring, I put a paper towel into the tray. So simple and effective! Just why I didn't think of it before?
Camilla always loves playing with water. She colored the water with her tempera paints using a brush. She figured out she can mix more paint to get the color more intense, but I suggested how to mix colors. This simple activity calls for so much creativity!
Making sails for our ships. Initially we planned to color the paper towels with a brush and eye droppers, but this time it turned into great open ended sensory playing. She spilled colored waters from cups into the towel and mixed it more with hands. Then she occasionally added more fresh paint with the brush.
It takes all the courage to paint with colors this way, LOL. In the picture below, both hands are busy painting the last paper towel.
Sink or float. Melting ice.Here are our beautiful, but short-lived ships - ready for action!
Sink or float experimentUsually Camilla is not much into observations. After all, she is a toddler for another 2 months. I was happy this time because it worked! She paused to observe and think! :)
The poor ships were floating, but out of balance with the heavy wet paper towel sails. She took the sails off and looked at the paper first - it is an interesting texture, and the colors stayed on. With the colored ice on a stick, she could see the process of melting clearly. I didn't even have to point it out - that's what she got interested in next.
In the picture below, I am not sure what she tried to test: if the ship can fly? Or if it sinks when thrown from the height?
When all the ice melted, she discovered one more ship left (still in the plastic cup). That one last piece of ice had the most of her attention! She was surprised to find it didn't melt much at all. She looked at it, touched it, and smelled it - from different angles. Then she put it into the water and observed it melting fast, LOL.
Observing different things floating or sinking has become fun after these activities - any chance she gets she is into it. So I thought I'd share our inspiration.
You can find more of our pirates' activities here:
There was an old pirate who swallowed a fish
Treasure Hunt. Maps for Kids.
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