As a veteran daycare owner and provider, I have developed and created many science crafts for my children. Science has always’ intrigued me, and I love learning interesting facts about animals, especially underwater creatures. Here is a simple, yet fun hands-on project concerning the propulsion of a jellyfish that your children will love.
A visual guide about the jellyfish for children:
1. Jellyfish are 95 percent water and can range from 3 centimeters to over 2 meters.
Compare this size to a dime versus how tall a fridge is. Children are amazed by the sizes of species, if they can visually comprehend it.
2. Jellyfish have a bell-shaped body, which helps them to contract and relax while moving in the water.
If you have an umbrella, have the child open and close it. This will help them understand how this elegant creature glides in the water.
Now for craft time.
Blue construction paper
White or off-white yarn
With a large blue poster board or blue construction paper, sketch a jellyfish. With a dark blue marker or glitter pen, outline your drawing. Tip: For creative effects, use shiny blue and white sequins.
With regular school glue, create lots of wavy long tentacles. Be sure to cut your thread or ribbon immediately, laying it on top of the glue. Tip: When the thread or ribbon has bonded with the glue, you are ready for the next step.
Open up the inside of the sandwich bag and pour some glue in it. Then cut small amounts of thread and drop it in the bag. Once sealed, maneuver the thread around. Tip: The size of the jellyfish is dependent on how many bags you would like to make.
After the bags with the strings are done drying, cut them and glue them in a circular form inside of the bell like body of the jellyfish. Tip: Don’t damper your little one’s creativity. If your child would like to use other art supplies or if you don’t have the materials above, be sure to supplement. The whole point of a craft project is to have fun while learning.
Now that you are done – and you and your child’s creation is finished drying – with a marker of your choice write down some facts about the propulsion of the jellyfish. Tip: For younger children, be sure to simplify the facts.
Here are a few:
Fact One: A jellyfish creates a doughnut-shaped vortex, like a smoke ring to propel themselves.
Fact Two: The momentum of the rings creates an opposite reaction, forcing the jellyfish forward.
Fact Three: The jellyfish is similar to a jet, but with pulses of energy.
Though it might sound simple, the act of forming a vortex ring has been difficult for scientist to model. Researchers are actually studying the propulsion system in order to build more efficient underwater vehicles.
One last thought…
Do you have an old umbrella? Let your child decorate it. You can punch holes around the umbrella and tie lengthy strings to it. Your child will have a blast outside propelling his or her own jellyfish, and will be sure to keep them entertained – even if it is just a few minutes.
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