Monday, December 14, 2009

Dec12_BalloonOur weekends are generally busy, and December weekends are even busier. In addition, Anna was a little cranky after being cooped up inside for a few days due to  a bad weather. She went on Saturday to a birthday party for her classmate and brought back a helium-filled balloon. We talked a lot about why this balloon floats to the ceiling while her other balloons don’t do that. I tried to explain that this balloon has a special gas inside that is lighter than air. This causes balloon to lift up. Anna asked an interesting question – whether the hot air balloons also have this special gas. I tried to explain to her that no, it’s because they have hot air that is lighter than cold air, but it was difficult for her to understand, since I was not willing to get down to molecules and density lecture. Instead we entertained ourselves tying different items to the string of our balloon and seeing if it can lift them. We tried about 5 different things before we found something that would fly – a 2x2 lego block. The block made the balloon float in mid-air to Anna’s great delight. She played for good 30 minutes with it and learned a thing or two about lifting power in process.

Check out other science experiments at Science Sunday.

7 comments:

Ticia said...

How fun! I like this idea for a simple science experiment.
Oh, and I fixed your link for you, so it's working now on the Linkie.
And as soon as my stupid video uploads my reading post is going up. It would have gone up last night if the silly video would've uploaded. This is my second try at this. I hope it works......

Debbie said...

I love this idea! I have always loved watching children's excitement over balloons. We will have to try this in the near future. Thank you for sharing.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

It's also fun to use multiple balloons, and see how many it takes to lift Polly Pocket off the floor :)

Our Little Family said...

What a great learning experience for her! In the classroom, we would call those, "teachable moments" and it were those moments that seemed to always stick with the students the most.

We've had some bad weather down here, too (although today is beautifully sunny!).

Susana said...

Oh this is really cool Natalie! Thanks for the idea!

MaryAnne said...

What a great way to learn some science!

MoziEsmé said...

Sounds like a fun physics and chemistry lesson combined!