Leaf Science Experiment for Preschoolers
Preschoolers are naturally curious and love hands-on activities that allow them to explore the world around them. With fall approaching, it's the perfect time to engage your little ones in a science experiment that will not only teach them about leaves but also introduce them to the wonders of chemical reactions in an easy to understand way. Teach your preschoolers about the science behind leaves changing colors while engaging in a hands-on science experiment!
In this tutorial, we'll guide you through a simple and captivating leaf color-changing experiment using rubbing alcohol that your preschooler will absolutely adore.
You will need:
Using a KWL Chart is an effective way to support learning during experiments.
-Ask them what they already know about fall and leaves.
-Ask them what types of things they hope to learn from this experience.
-Afterwards write down what you learned during the process.
You can start this journey by reading a fall book, we have some great suggestions in this blog post Fall Books for Preschoolers.
After you've had a discussion and read a few books, head outside for a leaf hunt to gather your leaves for the science experiment.
Encourage your preschooler to grab leaves of different colors.
Begin by filling each container with rubbing alcohol, you will need a jar for each color leaf that you were able to find on your fall nature hunt.
You can rip your leaves into little pieces or add a few into each container. When you use rubbing alcohol on leaves, it serves as a solvent that breaks down the leaves and dissolves the pigments inside the leaves.
You will slowly start to see the color of the rubbing alcohol change. As this process starts to begin ask your preschooler what they notice is happening.
This process can be observed in experiments like leaf chromatography, where the colors within the leaves are separated and displayed on a surface like a paper towel or a coffee filter which is happening here.
As you do this experiment you can explain that in the summertime, leaves are like little factories. They use a special green color called "chlorophyll" and when it begins to get colder they take a break from making food so their green begins to fade away!
Watch what happens to the paper towels after they've sat inside of the leaf and rubbing alcohol mixture for a few hours. The amount of rubbing alcohol that you use will also determine how fast and bright your colors will show on the paper towel.
The science behind leaves changing colors might be a little hard for preschoolers to understand but with this science experiment they will begin to understand the process!
This leaf color changing experiment is one of those science experiments that can be done in so many different ways by adjusting your materials. We hope that your preschoolers thought this was fascinating and have a better understanding of what happens during the fall!
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