Little scientists at work with Lab-in-a-Bag! (Part II)

So what are we exploring with the next test tube from Lab-in-a-Bag? We are going to grow squishy jelly crystals and tiny tiny polymer dinosaur.

We started with growing of the tiny polymer dinosaur, as it will be going to take some time for it to grow without any human intervention. As instructed by the manual, we just need to submerged the dino into the water and wait for it to grow.

While waiting, we moved on to the next test tube which is the growing of crystals. The kids were excited. As I read out the instructions on the manual, they rushed off to find the things that are required for the experiment and displayed it nicely on the table. (If only they are this excited when it comes to helping me with the housework….)

As you can see from the above picture, there were 3 different coloured tablets (yellow, red and blue) and we are to separate them into 3 different containers filled with water. Good chance to teach the younger one on colours too!
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While waiting for the tablet to dissolve, we poured the crystals out and the kids started touching and feeling it (sensory play here). The crystals were pretty hard and the kids said that it looked like salt.

Once, the tablet is fully dissolved, we can start pouring in the crystals and have it soaked in water. The kids saw how fast they absorbed the water! In just a few minutes they have a huge bowl of icy looking crystals, only thing is they’re not cold!
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The kids wanted the crystals to grow further. Hence, we left it overnight for it to grow on its own.
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When the kids woke up the following day, they rushed off to see their crystals and dinosaur. They were truly amazed at how it has turned out. The crystals have became bigger, softer and more jelly like after absorbing all the water. At the same time, I also explained to them how these polymers, also known as Hydrogels, perform very important functions in our everyday life. They’re used in everything from baby diapers to environmental cleanup materials! But I think for now they relate it better to baby diapers though.

As for the dinosaur, it has grown out of the little pot that we had left it in.

We did a drawing before and after of the dinosaur. Look at how much it has grown!

We had a little sensory play with the jelly crystals. It was really squishy and soft. On top of its touch and feel, look at how colourful the crystals are! It’s so bright and colourful. We love its colours! Oh not forgetting, these superabsorbent crystals are a great way to teach kids about color and light! Isn’t it fun and educational??

Kids’ imagination kicked in and they decided to set up a cafe cooking all these colourful jelly crystals as their soft toy meals. This little panda was the lucky customer that they chose to cook for. They hope after it eat up all these colourful crystals, it will turned into a colourful panda instead of just black and white. Panda looked abit worried here….Hahahaa….

Happy eating little panda! I’ll wait and see if you turned out colourful after this….

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