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Magic Painting


Clear plastic cup for each child
Tempera paintbrush for each child
Pitcher of water
Large cement area
Sunny day


1. Tell the children you are going to show them how to "magic paint."
2. Take the children out to a cement area in the sun.
3. Using water and a tempera paintbrush, paint your name on the cement.
4. Wait for a few minutes and watch as the letters disappear like magic.
5. Give each child a cup half-filled with water and a tempera brush and let them "magic paint" their name and other letters of the alphabet on the cement.
6. Ask the children if they know what happened to the water; why did it disappear?

Hint: Keep a pitcher full of water close by for refills; towels are handy for water spilled on clothes.

More to do

More science: Discuss the water cycle with the children and talk about evaporation. Do the following experiment. Write each child's name on her cup. Draw a line about three-quarters of the way up on each child's plastic cup with a permanent marker. Fill each cup to the line. Put some of the cups in a sunny spot in the classroom and some in a closet. Each day, check and see how much water has evaporated from each cup. Compare how much water evaporates in the sun and in the closet. The children can dictate stories about what happened to the water in their cups.
Book: The GIANT Encyclopedia of Science Activities for Children 3 to 6
Topic: Water
Content: Literacy
Area: Cognitive
Age: 4 Years Old
Interaction: Small Group

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