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Inspiring your little scientists: experiments for every age group

We all know our special little ones are creative little geniuses. They’re always experimenting with something so we’ve found some pretty mind-blowing and hands-on science experiments that you can do on your weekly visit with them. Best of all, they all use things you probably have lying around at home.

We feel these super-easy science activities are a great way to spend quality time together where the little ones are exposed to a wide variety of scientific concepts.

Rainbow milk experiment (Ages 4–16)
Learn about surface tension with this fun experiment. This is possibly the easiest and most beautiful science experiment out there!

Elephants toothpaste (Ages 4–16)
What happens when you mix peroxide, food colouring, water, dish soap and yeast and wait for two minutes? You get elephants toothpaste!

DIY lava lamps (Ages 4-9)
Talk about a groovy project! This fun science experiment is sure to impress – make a lava lamp by pouring vegetable oil into water, then sprinkling salt on it to make the blob of oil move.

Instant cloud science experiment (Ages 7-16)
Learn how to make a cloud in a bottle, instantly! If you’ve ever wondered how real clouds work, try this experiment.

Use lemon juice to make invisible ink (Ages 5-16)
Who doesn’t like to pretend like they’re a secret agent? Write secret messages to your friends and try to get them to decode them. The trick? Holding it close to any source of heat – like a candle or incandescent light bulb.

Mixing primary colours to make secondary colours (Ages 2-7)
This is a super fun way to show the kids how primary colours mix to form secondary colours. Because water and oil don’t mix, the kids can see how the primary colours separate back after they’ve been mixed around. For this fun project, we use water which is coloured by regular food colouring and baby oil which is coloured by oil-based food colouring.

Crystal rock candy on string
Making rock candy means the little ones can actually see the shape of tiny little sugar crystals on a magnified scale. Giving them lots of time to grow means they’ll form much bigger! you can eat these pretty little things once they done or you can keep them. What a yummy and beautiful experiment!

Electromagnetic train (Ages 9–16)
We had no idea that electricity and magnetism were so closely linked! You can build your very own miniature electromagnetic train by experimenting with the two materials.

Forced perspective photos (Ages 5-8)
Thought you could never stand on top of The Big Banana or ride The Big Cassowary? Well, you can make anything look possible with forced perspective photos!

Sink or float? (Ages 2-7)
Gather some of the kids favourite toys, plus things from around the house and garden and have the kids guess whether they object will float or sink.

Egg heads (Ages 2-9)
How cute are these eggheads? Plant grass seeds in an empty eggshell and watch their hair grow! You should see sprouts in a few days that you can style any way you want.

Pyjama Angels; how you help kids in foster care

There’s talk of guardian angels that watch over and protect us during the difficult times in our lives. They aren’t seen or heard but we trust they exist. Pyjama Angels are much like guardians, but they’re definitely seen, heard and appreciated.

 

Qualities of Pyjama Angels

 

Empathetic: Children in care have experienced little kindness or compassion in their short lives. As a Pyjama Angel, it’s your job to be empathetic and understanding. You’re one of few positive presences in your charge’s life who can make a difference. Simply showing up with a smile does wonders.

 

Patient: Kids in care have lower literacy skills. It’s common for them not to feel confident in reading or writing, and they might shut down when it gets difficult. Pyjama Angels don’t force children to read or berate them when they make a mistake. They’re patient and guide their mentee right.

 

Generous: Pyjama Angels are generous with their time. One hour a week might not seem like much, but it makes a world of difference in the long run.

 

Encouraging: Each step forward, no matter how small, is a success. One day you’re encouraging your charge to read along with you. A year later they could be reading books on their own accord, not just because it’s their ‘Angel visit day’.

 

Unfortunately, children in foster care have missed out on their right to a stable, happy family home and a decent start to their education. 92% of young children in care, around 7 years old, have below-average reading skills. 35% of foster children commit crimes and are sentenced to juvenile detention. As a Pyjama Angel, you have the opportunity to stop your charge from becoming one of those statistics. One encouraging statistic is that 84% of children mentored by Angels have a brighter, more positive mood since starting the Love of Learning Program.

A Pyjama Angel helps kids in care by simply showing up. They make reading enjoyable. Education is fun again thanks to games. The children in the program are more likely to read, complete homework and have a more positive outlook on life because their mentor comes once a week. One hour is small. But it makes a big difference.