Thursday, July 31, 2014

Simply STE(A)M Storytime: Bubble Science

For my second STEAM storytime, I chose bubbles as my theme. It was so much fun! I wrote about my color science storytime here. Here's what we did this time:


Opening: "Open Shut Them"

Fiction Picture Book: Big Red Tub by Julia Jarmen. - This cute picture book follows a boy in the tub who
finds himself with some unusual company. I had the kids say, "Splash! Splash! Splash!" with me and pat their knees to make it more interactive.

Song/Rhyme: "Five Elephants in the Bathtub" (flannel)

One elephant in the bathtub going for a swim (hold up one finger)
Knock, knock (clap hands)
Splash, splash (pat knees)
Come on in!

Continue with 2, 3, and 4 elephants


Five elephants in the bathtub going for a swim (hold up five fingers)
Knock, knock (clap hands)
Splash, splash (pat knees)
They all fell in!

Non-Fiction Book: Bubbles Float, Bubbles Pop by Mark Weakland - This non-fiction picture book describes the properties of bubbles and their uses in nature in a nicely simple, but informative way. It's perfect for the preschool crowd.

Song/Rhyme: "This is the Way"

This is the way we wash our hands (rub hands together)
Wash our hands, wash our hands
This is the way we wash our hands
So early in the morning!

Continue with...brush our teeth, wash hair, wash face, etc...ask the kids for suggestions!

Hands-On Activities:

Then it was time for the hands-on part of the program. At this storytime, I had four different activities for the kids and caregivers to experience together. For each station, I had a sign with short directions on how to do each activity along with some questions/talking points for the adults to ask the kids as they were completing each one.

Again, I got some of the ideas and talking points from Science Is Simple by Peggy Ashbrook.

Station #1: Air Bubbles

You Will Need:

  • Straws
  • Clear cups filled with just a little bit of water

First the kids blew through the straw onto their hand to see what it felt like and to talk about what they were feeling (air). Then they could gently blow into the cup of water to make bubbles. The idea was that they would connect that bubble are really made out of air and not water.

Station #2: Dancing Raisins

You Will Need:
  • Club soda
  • Clear cups
  • Raisins

For this activity, I had the parents pour a little bit of club soda into a cup. Then the kids could drop a couple of raisins in and observe what happened. The idea was that the bubbles from the club soda would start to gather on the raisins and make them float to the top. Then as the bubble popped, the raisins would sink back down to the bottom and start over again, making them appear to "dance". This one took a minute of observation before the raisins began to move, so I cautioned the families to be patient with this one.

I got the idea for this experiment from Super Simple Things to Do With Bubbles by Kelly Doudna.

Station #3: Can You Make a Square Bubble?

You Will Need:
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Bubble solution

For this activity, I wanted the kids to observe the concept that a bubble will most always be a sphere shape. I had them take a pipe cleaner and make a square shaped bubble wand. Then, the kids could dip it into the solution and blow. The families would talk about the shape of the bubble coming out of the square wand and why it's a sphere and not a cube/square. One caveat: I did not cover the tables for this activity not realizing that spilled bubble solution is very difficult to clean up!

Station #4: Bubble Wrap Painting

You Will Need:
  • Washable paint
  • Wedge sponge brushes
  • Cardstock
  • Bubble wrap
  • Smocks (optional)
  • Wet wipes (not so optional)

This was a fun and easy art activity that produced some cool results. The kids could paint on the bubble wrap then take a piece of cardstock and press it to the wrap to make a print. I had a drying station where kids could pick their creations up later if they didn't want to take home a wet painting. I got the idea here.

Again, I had a table of both fiction and non-fiction bubble books to take home, a "What is STEAM" handout, and a take-home sheet of more bubble terms/experiments (found here).

For more STEAM program ideas, check out these links:

Preschool STEM Prezi from Jen Thomas
Simply STEM Wiki
School Library Journal's STEAM Pinterest Board
The Show Me Librarian - All Things STEAM

Did I miss any ideas/resources/etc.? Leave them in the comments!

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