Learning the colors is one of the many skills that preschool-aged children are working on from a very early age. However, one of the skills that tend to fall to the wayside is the importance of experimentation. Experimenting is a fundamental skill that will translate into the classroom in the subject of science. Combining these two essential skills (learning the rainbow and experimentation) with a toddler’s preferred method of learning creates the ultimate learning experience. This rainbow experiment involves a sensory bin and allows your preschool-aged child to experiment with science and understanding the rainbow all at once.
The Experiment: Rainbow Water Beads
If you have never done a sensory bin with your toddler you should stop what you are doing right now to put one together. Toddlers love to experiment with sensory bins. They get to feel the various textures that you include in your bin and they get to experiment with scooping, dumping, measuring, and so much more in the process. Young kids love sensory bins and the experience of a sensory bin teaches them so many great skills.
For this experiment, you will need:
- An Empty Bin, Tub, or Bowl
- Rainbow Colored Water Beads
- Various Tools for Your Sensory Bin
Begin by placing the dry water beads in the bottom of your sensory bin. Allowing the preschooler(s) to see the water beads before they are hydrated is part of the learning experience of this science activity. Let the preschoolers feel the beads and really examine them before adding the water.
Allow the preschooler to pour some water into the bin and ask them what they think will happen. As the water is absorbed by the water beads, your preschooler will be able to wonder about where the water is going and how the beads are growing. Now, ask your preschooler to reach in and touch the beads again.
This stark difference in texture will likely draw a lot of curiosity from your preschool-aged child. Allow the child to experiment with the water beads. Provide them with plenty of tools to manipulate the beads. Scoopers, measuring cups, a magnifying glass, cups from your cabinets. Give them whatever tools you have at your exposure.
To make this an even more complicated experiment, pull out several plastic cups to sort the beads. Set the cups up in order of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, Violet. Have the preschooler sort the beads into the correct color cup. For added difficulty, give the child tweezers to use to pick up the bead.
Providing a preschool-aged child with learning experiences is extremely important, but it is actually also quite simple. This rainbow experiment is actually pretty easy to accomplish, but along the way the preschooler is allowed to develop so many of the essential skills that they are working to master daily. From fine motor skills, to understanding basic science concepts, to strengthening color awareness, this activity has all of the bases covered