Mondays, around here, are always a bit slow to get going. Wednesdays and Thursdays we have play dates and houseguests. Fridays we like to take it easy after a long week. Tuesdays are just right, these days, for projects, and are quickly becoming our official "project day."
This week it was finally cold enough to do one of the many outdoor projects I've had in mind for these winter months that are typically very, very cold here but have not been at all typical so far this year. We chose a project from Crafting Connections, a new(ish) magazine and Web site I am excited to have been recently introduced to: a simple experiment observing three jars of water with different add-ins to see whether one freezes first (or last) compared with the others.
We started our experiment in the kitchen, where Julia filled three mason jars about halfway full of water.
In one jar, we left the water as it came out of the tap.
To the second jar, Asher added a few big scoops of sea salt.
I added a bit of red (Julia's choice) and blue (Asher's choice) food coloring to the last jar.
Then Asher and Julia took turns sprinkling glitter into the water.
Julia predicted the water with the food coloring and glitter would freeze first; the plain water, second; and the salt water last.
After twenty minutes we went back outside to look at the water in the jars. In all three jars the water was very, very cold, but it was all still water. So we went back inside and set the timer to remind us to look again in another twenty minutes.
When we checked the jars again, Julia was excited to find a crust of ice on top of the plain water and the colored water, but not on the salt water.
We decided to let the jars go for an hour before checking them again (and Asher fell asleep, so he never did get to see what happened, but Julia filled him in on what he'd missed when he woke up).
"It's all ice!" she said, poking her finger in the jar with the plain water and finding it frozen almost solid. The colored water was likewise almost entirely ice, and the salt water was very, very cold...water.
"Hmmm..." she said. "I wonder why that is...?"
(It is possible that I use that phrase a bit too often. Ahem.)
Crafting Connections is a magazine, available in both print and digital editions, intended to inspire grown-ups and little ones to connect, explore, and learn through the creative process. Each issue features nature-inspired crafts, projects, recipes, photos, poems, and reading suggestions designed for children ages 2 to 5. The companion Web site offers bonus projects, recipes, reviews, child-development articles, and other inspiring ideas from Andrea and Danielle, the two incredibly creative mamas behind the magazine.
I cannot say enough good things about this magazine: the photos are engaging and beautiful; the projects are creative and interesting and fun (and, truly, simple enough for my preschoolers to handle). My subscription began with Issue 2: Winter, and I already can't wait to see what the spring issue has in store for us...