We recently watched a video about how glow sticks work. Here it is:
It really spurred her to think about "experiments", so Sunday afternoon after church, while my husband and I watched the Kansas City Chiefs lose (as usual), mija played scientist in the kitchen.
She had started mixing things together to see what happened. She used things like left-over 7UP, coffee, soap ("foam" soap & liquid), etc. Since she was so interested, I introduced her to what happens when you mix vinegar and baking soda.
Now, it would have been very easy for me to turn this into an "official" science lesson. I didn't, however, because I didn't want to squelch her natural, spontaneous learning.
What I did do was to introduce some correct terms and scientific method as she experimented. I mentioned words like "observation", "data", "record results", and "hypothesis". As she checked in throughout the afternoon, I asked her "What do you think will happen if...?" or "Why do you think it did...?"
Well, by the time she was done, I was out of baking soda and vinegar and my stove top looked like this:
She did help clean up before she went outside, and she did it without complaining! Another plus!
All this to say, sometimes we need to be careful not to turn every "teachable" moment into a "school lesson".