Little Bang Discovery Club

science at home

Do you have a little scientist at home? Burwood Library brings you Little Bang Discovery Club, a hands-on science discovery program- now available at home online, anytime!

Little-Bang-Discovery-Logo.jpg

Suitable for kids aged 3-5 years, there are four sessions to watch with your child, each covering a different fun-filled topic. Then use items from around the house to have a go at the activities together.

Getting started

Before starting, we recommend putting together your own Discovery Box, containing the listed or similar items, which you will use during each session. There will also be a list of additional items specific to each session.

In your discovery box you will need:

  • 1x large box or bag to put everything in
  • 1x ruler and/or tape measure
  • 2x timer or mobile phone with a timer or a clock with a second hand
  • 2x plastic cups
  • 2x big rubber bands
  • Approx. 4m of string
  • 1x chopstick or a big spoon
  • 1x notebook or paper
  • 2x pencil
  • 1x magnet or fridge magnet
  • 1x coat hanger. Metal or child size
  • 1x take away box or a lunch box sized container 

SESSION 1: Collecting and Classifying

Being a junior discoverer takes some special skills. In this first session you will learn how to sort and match objects from around the home.

You will need:

  • Approx. 6 pairs of socks, hats, t shirts
  • Approx. 10 small toys e.g. Matchbox cars, small animals, Duplo Lego bricks

 

SESSION 2: Measuring

In this session we will learn all about weighing and measuring – one of the first and most important skills of early discoverers. Learn how to balance unevenly weighted objects so you can make your own mobile at home.

You will need:

  • Your discovery box
  • Small items from around the house such as cutlery, toys, coins, pieces of fruit
  • 7 pieces of string approx. 30cm long
  • Coat hanger, chopsticks, pencils, pop sticks, and then 7 small toys 

 

SESSION 3: Experimenting

Today we will ask lots of questions and design our own experiments to find the answers. We put our measuring, observation and recording skills to the test. We will prepare you to undertake your own experiment at home for next week’s science fair.

You will need:

Your Discovery Box

To make an inclined slope: 1× tray or lid of a large box or piece of cardboard or a small whiteboard with one end resting on a box or something similar.

Two or more small wheeled toys e.g. cars

Joys of Attraction: Magnet or fridge magnet from Discovery Box

Musical Coat Hanger: Metal coat hanger and 2 pieces of string approx. 45 cm long. Pencil, pen or teaspoon

Sink and Salt: 3 strips of Blu tack or plasticine, 3 cups with tap water, spoon, (newspaper, towel)

Sink and Float: 1× hard-boiled egg or a grape, 1× plastic bowl, 1× spoon, 2× cups with tap water (can use those in the Discovery Box) and 1/4 cup salt (newspaper, towel)

 

SESSION 4: Science Fair

In our final session the children will hold their very own science fair, with what they have discovered in their own experiments.

You will need:

Your Discovery Box

Magnifying with a Glass of Water: 1× Glass (made of glass) half-filled with water, newspaper or magazine picture

Kissing Balloons: 2× inflated balloons and 2× 30 cm lengths of string

Raw or Boiled?: 1× boiled and 1× raw egg (with the children not knowing which is which), bowl, cup with tap water, spoon, (newspaper, towel)

 

Did you enjoy Little Bang Discovery Club? Well great news, because there is also Little Bang Discovery Plus!

Little Bang Discovery Plus is the second discovery science experience for children aged between 4 and 5 years old and/or early primary who, together with their accompanying adults, have completed the first Little Bang Discovery Club

Getting started

Before starting, we recommend putting together your own Discovery Plus Box, containing the listed or similar items, which you will use during each session. There will also be a list of additional items specific to each session.

Discovery Plus box equipment list:

  • 1× large box or bag to put everything in
  • 1× packet of Blu Tack, or a couple of strips
  • 1× eraser
  • 1× exercise book or notepad to use as a Discovery Diary
  • 1× measuring cup with gradations (250ml or larger)
  • 1× pencil
  • 1× pipette or eye dropper or straw
  • 1× ruler and / or 1× tape measure
  • Sticky dots or marker
  • 1× Syringe (5 mL and / or 10mL) or medicine bottle syringe
  • 1× timer or timer on mobile phone or kitchen timer or clock with a second hand

SESSION 1: How to think like a scientist

In this first session, we revisit the scientific principles learnt in the Little Bang Discovery Club. We explore how to make investigations fair by working out what one thing to change while keeping everything else the same.

You will need:

  • Masking tape
  • Newspaper and / or a towel for spills
  • 2× cups / glasses
  • approx. 300 ml water
  • 1× tablespoon measure (equivalent to 2 dessertspoons)
  • 1× popstick or plastic knife or spoon to level and stir with
  • 2× tablespoons salt
  • 1× items such as a bouncy ball, marble, stone or pebble, cork, pumice (available in the Bath Accessories section of the supermarket), grape

SESSION 2: Lovely light and equipment in science

We use light day and night. Do some investigations to explore more about the way light works. Like scientists, we will describe the equipment we are using in our experiments.

You will need:

  • Discovery Plus Box
  • 1× torch or mobile phone torch or lamp
  • approx. 30 cm aluminum foil
  • 1× metal dessertspoon
  • Card or cardboard from a packet
  • Scissors and sticky tape
  • For the extension activities:
  • Make a peep-hole box: a cardboard box with a lid, for example a shoe box and a toy

SESSION 3: Wonderful water and measuring accurately

Water makes life on Earth possible so we look in depth at all the things water does for us. Scientists also need to measure accurately, so we practise these skills.

You will need:

  • Discovery Plus Box
  • 6× cups or glasses
  • Water – 900 ml
  • A spoonful of substances found around the house such as Nesquick, Milo, sand, sugar, a polystyrene piece, a wheat pellet, instant coffee
  • 6× teaspoons
  • 6× popsticks or plastic knives or spoons to level and stir with
  • For the extension activities:
  • Weighing at home: kitchen scales, items from home
  • Tornado in a bottle: 2 plastic bottles of the same size, food colour (optional), washer (optional), waterproof tape e.g. electrical tape or first aid tape, or sticky tape or masking tape

SESSION 4: Our precious planet and investigation steps

Today we learn what makes our planet so special. Acting scientifically means doing things in a careful and step-by-step (methodical) way. This allows us to be more confident in finding out how things work.

You will need:

  • Discovery Plus Box
  • 1× mandarin or orange (and clean hands)
  • 5× sheets of newspaper
  • 1× cylinder e.g. a jar
  • 5× paperclips
  • Sticky tape
  • Seeds such as carrot or alfalfa or rocket
  • Potting mix or soil
  • Gloves (e.g. disposable) for each participant (if using potting mix)
  • Masks for each participant (if using potting mix)
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • Spoon
  • Water

SESSION 5: Physical change and making close observations

Experiments often result in changes. We explore different types of physical changes and learn about solids, liquids and gases. We will practise making observations and being curious about why things change.

You will need:

  • Discovery Plus Box
  • 4× teddy bears or other soft toys
  • 3× fold back clips or rubber bands
  • Kitchen scales
  • 2× cups
  • Water
  • 4 + 1× ice cubes
  • Masking tape
  • 1× can of strong smelling aerosol eg air freshener or 1× bottle of strong smelling liquid eg disinfectant
  • 1× birthday candle or other candle (small enough for a child to hold)
  • 1× hand towel

    For the extension activities:
  • Ice-cream in a bag:

  • 1× hand towel or newspaper sheets
  • 1× container eg a lunchbox
  • 2× ziplock sandwich bags
  • 1× tablespoon sugar
  • 1× teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup full cream milk
  • Approx. 20× ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup salt

Icebergs for your bath

  • Container
  • small plastic toys
  • water
  • food colour

    Water painting:

  • 1× paint brush,
  • water,
  • driveway or path or paved area

SESSION 6: Always there air, and recording results

Although we don’t often notice it, we use air every second. During today’s investigations we do some air-mazing experiments. We will practise recording our results in different ways.

You will need:

  • Discovery Plus Box
  • 1× sheet of paper about A5 size
  • 1× ziplock bag per person
  • 1× straw per person
  • 1× cup or glass
  • 1× shot glass or egg cup and tea towel to dry it
  • 1× balloon
  • 1× balloon closure or peg
  • 2 m string
  • Sticky tape

For the extension activities:

Does the size of the sail make a difference?

  • Toy car,
  • card,
  • pop stick or similar item,
  • sticky tape

Which object is easiest to blow?

  • 1 x Straw
  • items such as paper, feather, leaf, plastic cup, water bottle, toy, book

How far away can you blow out a birthday candle?

  • Adult who lights the candle,
  • plate,
  • Blu Tack,
  • birthday candle,
  • ruler or tape measure

 

SESSION 7: Chemical change and visually representing results

Experiments can also result in chemical changes where compounds can combine to make something new. We will visually represent our experiments using a group graph.

You will need:

  • Discovery Plus Box
  • 5× cups or glasses
  • 300 ml water
  • 2× Hydralyte or Berocca tablets
  • Paper towel
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 4× teaspoons bicarb soda
  • 1× empty water bottle
  • 1× balloon
  • 1× funnel
  • 1× skewer
  • 1× balloon closure or peg

For the extension activities:

Other Hydralyte / Berocca experiments

  • Additional tablets and test conditions you devise e.g. breaking the tablet in half, using warm water, using iced water

Writing with Invisible Ink

  • lemon juice
  • water
  • cotton bud
  • paper
  • hair dryer

Baking without Baking Powder

 Make one cake with all the ingredients and then make the second cake omitting the Baking Powder.

Chocolate cake

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, sieve together 3/4 cup plain four with 2 level tablespoons cocoa and 1.5 level teaspoons baking powder.
  • To this add 60 g softened butter, 1/3 cup castor sugar, I beaten egg and 1/4 cup milk.
  • Beat together on a slow speed until combined and then on high for 1 minute and the colour lightens.
  • Place in a round lined and greased 18 cm diameter and 3.5 cm deep baking pan.
  • Bake at 180 degrees for 25 minutes.

Chocolate icing for 2 cakes

  • In a bowl sieve together 2 cups soft icing mixture and 3 level tablespoons cocoa.
  • Add 2 tablespoons softened butter and 2 tablespoons milk.
  • Beat until icing forms, add a drop more milk if required.

SESSION 8: Our beautiful bodies and looking for patterns

Our bodies are amazing sense machines. Learn about some lesser known senses and look for patterns in our experimental results that help support our theories.

You will need:

  • Discovery Plus Box
  • 5× opaque cups
  • 5× rubber bands
  • 5× pieces of paper or aluminium foil and a pencil to punch holes
  • 5× smelly items e.g. fragrant flowers such as lavender or jasmine, onion or garlic, herbs such as mint,
  • soap, grass, coffee, tuna, lemon, gum leaves
  • Masking tape, marker

Extension Activity

Looking for Patterns:

Time how long you are active on a weekday and a weekend day, e.g. 15 mins walking to the library, 30 mins playing in the backyard. Is there a pattern for the different days?