Since we had Israel in our geography hop, we learned a bit about one of the most unique places on Planet Earth – The Dead Sea. I told Smarty how I went swimming there and how it felt – that the water is very salty and it tries to push you to the surface. The book Colors of Israel also described color black as the color of the mud from the Dead Sea. There are other interesting things about the Dead Sea. This photo is not mine – we looked at some Dead Sea images on the computer.
Salt and mud were obvious choices for our science experiment. For salt we did the well known “floating egg” experiment that I’ve seen on several blogs for Easter. Smarty correctly predicted that the egg will sink in clear water. She was very excited that it floated when we added about 5 TBS of salt to water. We also confirmed that cork floated in clear and salt water, and we couldn’t make her smurf float at all even though we added 3 extra spoons. This experiment was perfect to discuss not only the Dead Sea, but also the fact that it’s easier for people to swim in salt water of the oceans than in fresh water of the lakes. Smarty said that she wants to show this experiment to papa (he wasn’t home when we did it) and was able to explain to him what happened and draw a conclusion that salt makes things float. I didn’t go into density discussions with her, I think her conclusion is good enough for a three year old.
For mud portion of the Dead Sea science Smarty was introduced to mud pie making. She was a bit slow to start (she is not a big fan of getting messy), but once she got into it she played for about an hour trying to add just the right amount of water to her mud pies. It’s not easy – too much and you get just dirty water, and too little and your mud pie is crumbling. Smarty commented that it’s almost like real baking. She also really got into decorating her mud pies. We will try mud bricks some time soon too – they will work quite well for some geography locations I have in mind.
For more science for young kids, visit Science Sunday at Adventures in Mommydom.