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From last week's activities on forces we hope that your child has gained an understanding that forces make things move and that a push, pull and twist are sources of forces.  Today we'd like your child to build on this knowledge and investigate how far water can travel when using the force of a push.  For this activity your child will ideally need a syringe (medicine syringe is fine) and/or a water gun. If you don't have access to either of these you may be able to use a squeezy bottle such a ketchup or shampoo bottle.  This activity can be done at a sink, in the bath or out in the garden.


Ask your child to practise sucking up the water into the syringe and squeezing the water out. Talk together about what your child thinks is enabling them to move the water out of the syringe - the ideal answer being a push force. Throughout this activity we would use lots of descriptive language- force, push, pull, suck, shoot, etc.  


Next, ask your child to use their super power strength to see how far they can shoot the water using the syringe. If doing the activity in the garden, ask them if they can think of a way to measure the distance using a non-standard measure e.g. duplo bricks, straight lengths of train track, felt pens etc. remembering that they need to be the same size unit to make it fair. 


Encourage your child to see if they can beat how far they were able to shoot the water. Then ask what they had to do in order to shoot the water further? We would aim for children to identify that they need to push harder to create a bigger force.


Remember to upload a photo to Purple Mash to show us how you got on! 


Need a stepping stone?

If they find using the syringes challenging then you can support your child to use the syringe, helping them feel the different amount of force used by having your hand cradle theirs. Once you have modelled this together then encourage your child to do it independently and complete the activity above. You can support your child by asking more closed questions such as "did you use a push or a pull?" if they are finding it tricky to explain what they are doing/finding out. 


Need a further challenge?

If you have the resources, try experimenting with different sized syringes and apparatus such as squeezy bottles.  What do they notice? Do small or larger syringes shoot water the furthest?  Can they explain why? The answer being that the larger volume of water, the bigger the force. 

You could even try using a water gun in the garden and have a competition with a parent or sibling to shoot water the furthest!  


Science can be fun!