As summer draws to a close, I want to share with you our favorite summer science project from Mother Goose Time.
The experiment is simple and inexpensive.
More importantly, the kids enjoy it and learn the importance of protecting their skin with sunscreen.
- dark paper (dark cardstock worked best)
- sunscreen (we used Coopertone Water Babies 50 SPF and babyorganics puremineral sunscreen stick 50 SPF)
Why is it important to wear sunscreen?
- We discussed what happens to our skin when it burns and how painful this can be.
- We also briefly talked about how skin damaged by the sun is more prone to developing cancer.
- We have a family history of skin cancer.
Give each child a little drop of sunscreen on his hands and invite children to explore, the look, feel, and smell of it.
Fold each paper in half, then invite children to make designs or a hand print on one side.
Set the papers in the sun and invite children to predict what might happen.
Check on the papers later in the day.
Share discoveries and discuss why it’s important to protect our skin from the sun’s rays.
Dark cardstock paper worked much better than dark colored construction paper.
Use paper weights.
I strongly suggest using rocks to weigh down the papers when you place them outside. We started our experiment with a race to collect the papers as they blew across the backyard!
All is not lost if it rains.
We also had a small rainstorm before collecting our papers. Good news! All is not lost if this happens. It was a great opportunity to show the kids that the sunscreen was water repellent; the water droplets were easily visible. Once the paper dried and you could still see the protection given by the sunscreen to the paper.
- Instead of hand prints the kids may choose to make designs, like our smiley face
- Next year we are going to record and predict the outcomes when using sunscreens of different strengths (SPF 8, 15, 30, etc.)