Aidan loves experiments. He makes them up a couple of times a week. Sometimes, it's just a bucket of water in the yard, with a concoction of leaves, dirt, and grass he's collected, that he says will catch bugs or lizards. He's also taken leftover dough from a baking project, stuff it into an empty cardboard tube, close the ends with tape, sprinkle it with flour and water, then ask to spray my husbands expensive "camouflage" on it, so that he could take it into the laundry room to see if it would glow in the dark! It took me a few minutes to figure out what camouflage was when I realized he'd forgotten the name cologne!
We checked out a book from our local library with simple preschool science exploration ideas in it, which is where we found our experiment! A boy who loves to eat a handful of marshmallows for dessert, and has known since the age of eighteen months that camping will lead to roasting marshmallows over the fire, did not hesitate to take this project on! The marshmallow experiment was extremely simple and really got Aidan thinking, because the outcome was not what he expected. Unexpected outcomes are my favorite, for the simple reason that it creates more of a discussion with him.
We gathered the following items...
- One large marshmallow
- One straw
- A bowl
- Aluminum foil
- Saran wrap
We covered the bowl in aluminum foil, then inserted the straw into the marshmallow. The straw was placed inside the bowl so the ends touched both sides, leaving the marshmallow suspended in the air. We had to trim the straw so the marshmallow was lower than the top of the bowl. The whole bowl was covered in saran wrap and the extra was tied in a knot on the underside of the bowl. The object of the experiment was to see if the sun could cook the marshmallow.