Theme Week – Gravity and Spacetime

An earth made of construction paper is pasted on a wall. Four red arrows point towards the earth, each with part of the sentence Gravity and Spacetime Week. A picture of Albert Einstein with his tongue out overlaps part of the earth. They are all based on a dark red wall.

There was a lot to unpack when looking at space and the kinder kid was intrigued by gravity, so that became the theme for the following week.

The info below is split up into the following categories:

  • Activities to do as a family (experiments, outdoor activities, etc.)
  • Independent activities that the kids can do during quiet time
  • Books &┬áVideos

Week 3: Gravity and Spacetime

Family Activities

Tensegrity Structure

There’s no mystery where our children got their love for LEGO. Their dad built a cool tensegrity structure out of LEGO to kick off our learning about gravity. Very cool. Not cool? The only photo we have is on a super dusty surface where it was built in hiding.

Gravity Water Cup Drop

Next we did the Gravity Water Cup From from the Science Guys. We did it over the bath tub and the kids loved it.

Gravity Visualized

While the content of this one was way over the kids’ heads, it was fun and they liked taking part. We built this visualization of gravity based on this video, using a hula hoop, ikea drinking glasses, some stretchy fabric, and clothes pegs.

A black piece of fabric is stretched over a hula hoop and held on by clothes pegs. It sits atop a ring of ikea glasses on top of a table.

Given our rather crude setup, the visualizations worked pretty well and gave way to cool discussions around gravitational slingshots.

A golden delicious apple sits in the middle of a black piece of fabric stretched across a hula hoop. A hand is seen holding a small metal bocce ball a few inches away from the apple.

Pendulum Gravity Experiment

Using the free app Phyphox, we created a pendulum with a phone inside a toilet paper roll under our kitchen table and determined the acceleration due to gravity. A little sophisticated for the littles, but they love recording numbers, making hypotheses, and seeing what happens. The video explanation for the experiment can be found here.

Quiet Activities

I am becoming less picky about these with time. I don’t love the worksheets but the kids like having something to work on at the start of quiet time.

Space Matching

A collection of space mazes

Solar System Word Search

Space Colouring Pages

A collection of fun space-related worksheets

Space subtraction

Books & Videos

We rewatched Bill Nye’s Gravity Episode (S1E6) – the kids love this one

Pete the Cat: Out of This World by James Dean (read aloud because we can’t go to the library)

The Magic School Bus Gains Weight (S4E8) – available on Netflix

Inspiration found from The Cosmic Perspective (Third Edition)

Next week: Prehistoric Creatures!

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