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Molecules, the Building Blocks of the World - For Preschoolers! - Mother Goose Time

The discussion questions that start all of the activities can be difficult for us.  Getting a reasonable answer out of my son can be a bit like pulling teeth.  Apparently it is REALLY hard to think of something small when you are three years old.  The only answer he wanted to give me was "a turtle".  Not because it is small, but because there is one on his shirt.  Eventually, with a LOT of prompting, he said that a seed is very small.  This was just to lead into the fact that molecules are EVEN SMALLER than that.  This could have been a very bad omen for the day, but thankfully it wasn't!

The first thing we did was Atom Sort.  *Side Note: Little Guy thought I said Adam, and asked me if it was like Adam and Eve.  I said no, and tried to enunciate better. ut at least in my "accent" atom and Adam do sound very, very similar.*  The pipe cleaner was a molecule, and the beads were atoms.  He sorted out all of the red ones, then strung some on the "molecule". 

After he had done fairly well at that we sorted out another color and he made an AB pattern with the two colors.  He did SOOO well after I helped him with the first few and he understood what he was supposed to be doing.  I never really thought about teaching patterns, it seemed like useless knowledge until I realized that in a few years it will REALLY help him with understanding math!  My foster daughters seem to struggle a lot with recognizing patterns in math, like counting by twos, multiplying, etc.  I am hoping that by building a solid knowledge of patterns now, it will make life easier for him (and me) in the years to come.
Our storybook this month is about famous scientists, and for our Chemistry Lab week, our scientist was Alfred Nobel, creator of dynamite and the Nobel Peace Prize.  Little Guy was SUPPOSED to draw an idea of how he can show love for people, and earn a Nobel Peace Prize sticker.  I told him some ways we show love, and then gave him the paper and crayons. 

He proceeded to scribble around, being really impressed with his ability to draw a REALLY BIG CIRCLE, and pretending he was drawing him and I hugging, but I am pretty sure he wasn't.  He told me it was my turn to draw, so I drew a (horrible) picture of him and I hugging since that was what he SAID he was going to draw. 

After seeing my picture, he actually started drawing people, which I don't think he has done before.  He drew two legs (although he said they were pajamas when I asked him) and two eyes and a smile above them.  He drew LOTS Of people.

Then he decided it would be appropriate to draw Cyclops.  Because nothing says love like a mythical beast.  No, he wasn't being lazy and just forgetting an eye, my son is quite interested in Cyclops after watching Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters a few months ago. 

Our last activity in our Chemistry Lab was Molecule Model.  I started by talking about how he and I are the same, and how we are different.  *Another side note: My son has GORGEOUS bright blue eyes.  Lately he has taken to saying he wishes he had brown eyes (presumably because everyone else in the family has brown eyes).  It just goes to show, no matter how genetically blessed you are, you still want what you can't have.*  This connects to molecules, but we didn't really get that far, because once the cornstarch noodles are in view, you only have just so long before you have to start using them or suffer the pain of being asked if you are making a caterpillar 1000 times.  Before Mother Goose Time I had never heard of cornstarch noodles, but they are pretty fun!  All you have to do is get them a little damp and they stick together, however you want to connect them.

Little Guy really likes them.  The first time he used them was to make a caterpillar, so that is how he associates them now.  He was supposed to make 2-3 atom molecules, but it required A LOT of encouragement to accomplish that.  After I walked away to clean something up, his 4-5 molecules somehow combined into one giant molecule model...

This week has been so much fun, I can't wait to see what fun things are in store for us next week.

Mother Goose Time is provided to us for free in exchange for sharing our experiences.  We are so appreciative of this opportunity, and love to share.  All opinions are my own (or my son's!)


  1. I remember when Lachlan tried to draw his first person. Drawing circles is awesome too. He is learning so much! I love what you said about patterns. I knew they were important for math but didn't connect the skip counting. We are all about that right now.


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