Preschool Soap Cloud Science Experiment
This Soap Cloud experiment is a great activity to compliment your Clouds, Wind, and Rain Theme, or even Spring Cleaning theme! This experiment can also be used for sensory play once it's over, which makes it even cooler!
Science experiments are a fun and hands-on way for preschoolers to learn. And one of the most fantastic things about science experiments is that they can be done with some simple ingredients we have around the house or classroom.
Start by gathering all materials and supplies
Before you begin the experiment introduce your preschoolers to the scientific method and the steps a scientist would take before the experiment. And, ask your preschoolers what they think will happen to the bar of soap. Will it explode? Will it melt? Let them discuss the what and the why of those predictions.
Ask your preschoolers if they have done similar experiments before. It will give you a better idea on why they are making certain hypothesis. Science experiments are not only fun but a great tool to spark curiosity and critical thinking skills.
*Teacher tip: Science experiments are a great time to use charts to record answers and predictions. Write down their predictions so that once the experiment is over you can revisit to see if the predictions were accurate.
For the first part of the experiment place the ivory soap into a bowl of water to verify if it will float or not. Before starting ask your students what they think will happen.
Then break the soap bar in half and talk to your preschoolers about the inside. Is it airy or solid? What do they notice about the inside of the soap. What does it feel like? Engage all senses during the observation part of the experiment.
*Teacher Tip: Ivory soap is much lighter than other brands of soaps. Have students compare Ivory to other soaps.
Record comparisons and observations.
*Teacher Tip: This is another great opportunity to use a chart or individual records. I love using a chart because we are able to hang it up in the classroom to revisit.
For this next experiment, you will cut the soap into four pieces and place them on a dinner plate.
Have your preschoolers predict what will happen to the soap. Record those answers and then compare the results to the predictions made by your preschoolers.
Cook in microwave for 1 minute and watch what happens to the soap. You can open the microwave at about 30 seconds to show preschoolers the changes occurring in the soap.
Start the microwave and finish the 30 seconds. Talk to your preschoolers about what is happening. What will happen for the next 30 seconds? What will the soap look like? Will it smell differently? Does the texture change? What does it look like?
Remove the soap from the microwave. Allow enough time to cool before letting preschoolers touch to feel the different textures.
The science behind what is happening to the soap: Ivory soap expands because it is full of tiny air pockets. Ivory soap is much lighter than other bars of soaps. As you begin to microwave the soap, it softens, causing the water molecules inside the hair to heat up, which causes the expansion.
After letting your preschoolers touch the soap, note their experiences and revisit the predictions. Were they correct? What do your preschoolers notice about the soap? Ask them about the textures, the smell, and does it even look like soap anymore? And, then feel free to put the soap into the sensory table to continue letting your preschoolers explore and enjoy!
Extend the learning: You can extend this experiment by doing the same thing to another brand of soap to compare the outcomes. Then compare and contrast the experiments.
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