Science Fun for All – Speedy Liquids!!

What you will need:

  • A range of different runny liquids (safe to use e.g. food items like oil, syrup, ketchup and washing up liquid)
  • Tray or chopping board
  • Something to time with
  • Something to prop the tray or board with

What is viscosity?

Liquids have different properties. One of these properties is its viscosity. Viscosity is a measure of how easily a liquid will flow. Less viscous or thin liquids, like water, flow easily. More viscous liquids are thicker and do not flow so easily.

In this enquiry, children race liquids down a slope to find out how runny or viscous they are.

What to do:

  • Find three or four liquids to test (make sure these are safe e.g. food items and washing up liquid)
  • Ask your child or children to think about how to race them and what things to keep the same to make sure that the only thing that is being changed is the type of liquid (e.g. amount of liquid used, where to start from)
  • Think about whether to time how long it takes for them to get to the bottom or whether to start them at the same time and identify the 1st, 2nd and 3rd
  • Encourage your child or children to make a prediction and ask them to say why they think this
  • Test the liquids
  • Encourage your child or children to record results and talk about what they found out

Sharing findings

Children can be creative in how they share their learning. For example, they could draw a cartoon strip like the one below. The image below shows ketchup on the left and oil on the right.

Send me photos of your experiments. I would love to see what you found out.

Mrs Parmar