Self-invented preschooler science project

I witnessed an interesting disconnect in my 5 year old boy the other day. A disconnect in terms of his expectation regarding a result of a little science experiment he invented.

After his bath, he made some very specific requests:

Mommy, I need some cups. And some ice and water. And I need a squeeze of lemon.

We found some little paper cups, and he requested two (plus two for his toddler sister, of course).

Then I asked him what kind of lemon he needs: lemon slices, or lemon juice from the container? He wanted lemon he can squeeze.

So we got out a cutting board, and I sliced off some round lemon slices.

No mommy, I need to squeeze them!

Oops. My bad. I cut out some squeezable slices of lemon.

Then he wanted to know if he could have some cold water and ice.

I asked:

What exactly are you planning on doing?

He said he wanted to know what would happen if he squeezed lemon into cold water, and what it would taste like.

(This is where the disconnect first started).

I asked:

What do you need the ice for?

He said:

I need to make ice.

I said:

How do you make ice?

He said:

I don’t need ice, I need to pour the cold water into the cups and leave it in the freezer to make it turn into ice.

(I was relieved he remembered that from toddlerhood, but I didn’t want to start preaching to him since he had this whole thing planned out in his head!)

I said:

Where does the lemon come in?

He said:

I want to squeeze some lemon juice into the water. Maybe drop some lemon slices in the water. Then tomorrow we can see what it looks like, and what it tastes like.

Hm. What it tastes like? It perplexed me that with all this lemon cutting and lemon squeezing he was still asking what it would taste like. So I asked him:

What do you think it will taste like?

His answer made me smile:

I don’t know mom! I can’t wait to find out!

Well, that is what science is all about, isn’t it.

* * *


Other things we did with ice cubes.


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