Monday, June 18, 2012

Aluminum Foil + Water = Science Lesson

If your kids enjoy being outside, like playing with water, and are curious to ask questions and investigate answers, this is for you. 
Grab a roll of aluminum foil, roll it across the yard, and gently form it into a shallow canal. Your kids will learn after a time or two (or ten!) that punching the foil into the grass results in ripping the foil and starting all over again. Slow and easy builds the foil canal.
When the foil canal is ready, lay a hose nozzle at the top, and turn the water lightly on. Have your kids find lightweight objects they think will float down the canal. It's a scavenger hunt for them, really, because they don't know what will and won't work and need to use their creative juices.
My boys gathered a variety of balls, leaves, wood chips, plastic army men, cardboard tubes, matchbox cars, Lincoln Logs, Legos, and even Frito chips. Anything was fair game!
Explore with different water pressures to see how that changes the current of the canal and how that impacts what will float through.
It will be interesting to see what roles your kids take on. In mere minutes, Grady assumed the role Canal Engineer, while Micah was happy to act as the Supply Locator. And Annalyse, like always, she's the Do What My Brothers Tell Me So That I Can Be In The Middle Of Whatever They Are Doing person. An important job, she'll have you know.
We created a foil canal on the grass and on the driveway. I think my Dollar Tree aluminum foil wasn't up to par and it didn't seem to work well on the rough cement. Maybe you'll have better luck and will discover how surface texture impacts water current. All we discovered was that a rough surface meant ripped-all-over foil.
Not only did my kids have fun playing in water, and not only did they learn a thing or two, but the neighbors dog enjoyed a cool drink and the mailman was intrigued long enough to pause and watch. Don't let anyone tell you being a mom is boring. And definitely don't let anyone tell you that homeschooling is boring.


  1. What a neat idea! We will have to give it a try soon, Jack saw this & was very intrigued! He also thinks you have a very humorous writing style!

  2. This is one of those ideas I have seen on various sites and think is so cool (didn't they do it at the end of a Curious George episode, too?). Unfortunately, not made for city living (at least the yardless/hoseless type). Maybe a trip to the GPs for this one?

    And I love Annalyse's dress!

  3. Fun times. I can actually hear your personality oozing through this post. I agree with Jack! :-)

  4. What a FUN idea! A perfect project for a warm summer day!

  5. Hi Sarah, your blog really touches me, have been reading it for a while... Just wanted you to know about a website i started It's a place for Bible study guides.. I also put a forum in that can be viewed from a mobile device.. I couldn't find where to contact you privately so I'm commenting, hope that is okay. :) God Bless! Jenn.