We have occasional rain, but most days are sunny, cloudy or windy. When our kids spill a little water on their clothing, they often ask, “will it go away?” We have discussed evaporation, but I wanted them to see it in action. Since this week’s theme for Playful Preschool is weather, it was the perfect opportunity to revisit how water gets into the clouds and is later released as rain. We talked about the three states of water: solid, liquid and gas. I had them take turns standing on a chair to watch our experiment (with reminders about safety and not touching the stove).
Simple Evaporation Experiment:
You will need:
- 1/4 cup of water
- Food coloring (several drops)
- Paper coffee filter
- Metal mesh strainer that can be used on the stove
- Pan that works with the metal strainer
Add several drops of food coloring to the water. Pour the water into the pan. Place the strainer into the pan above the water. Place the coffee filter inside the strainer. Turn the stove on to medium or medium/low. Allow the water to come to a boil and have your preschoolers watch as the water from the pan changes from a liquid into vapor as the colored water evaporates causing the coffee filter to change color. Xayden was especially fascinated that ice melts into water and boiling water becomes a gas. The next time they spill water on their clothes, or they see puddles outside, I will remind them of our simple experiment so that they make the connection.
*Tip: You must use a strainer that fits tightly on the pot. Otherwise, it will not work. I tried to repeat this with a different strainer, the steam escaped out the sides due to the poor fit. I did it again with the original strainer and it worked again.
Have you tried weather experiments with your children or students? I imagine in places where there are more dramatic seasonal changes, children identify with a variety of weather conditions (which leaves room for many meaningful experiments). If you are seeking ideas in this theme, make sure you read the posts from the rest of the Playful Preschool Team.
Playful Preschool Weather Themed Learning Activities:
Let’s Make Rain: A Pre-Writing Activity by The Educators’ Spin On It
How Hard has it Rained? A Preschool Science Investigation by Rainy Day Mumm