Tuesday, October 7, 2014

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Halloween Science: Optical Illusions!

I have a couple Halloween science posts for you this week, and I think you will love them!  The best part is that if Halloween is not really your thing, you can easily adjust these science activities to fall or any other theme!  We're starting with a Halloween Science Optical Illusion!

Our kids took a class all about optical illusions at our local science museum a few weeks ago, and had a ton of fun making their own little optical illusions.  I gave it a Halloween twist, and am happy to share this little trick with you!

Did you know that "optical illusion" means "light trick?"

You can see my preschoolers spinning a paper "top" with a jack-o-lantern on one side and a candle on the other.  The candle and the jack-o-lantern appear to be in the same place at the same time...especially when their arms hold still as they spin!

A short video will help you see it:


Of course, it's a little tricky when someone young is spinning it, but you get the idea.

The kids enjoyed making these SO much that they have been creating new combinations all week!  You can make them too--they're super easy and loads of fun!

To make your own Halloween Science Optical Illusions, you will need these

Simple Supplies:

* a pencil
* two index cards
* crayons and markers
* tape

Easy How To:

1.  Draw your pictures on the index cards.

2.  Tape one index card to a pencil.

3.  Tape the other index card to the pencil and first index card so both pictures are showing.

3.  To make the optical illusion, put the pencil between your hands and spin it!

Ta da!  Your own optical illusion!

How does this work?  It is a type of cognitive illusion.  Your brain has a tendency to create whole images out of perceived parts.  So, you see two separate pictures, but they are in the same place and so close to the same time that your brain adds them together to create one image with both pictures in it. 

Do you like optical illusions?  Have you tried this one?  I'd love to know!

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Emma @ P is for Preschooler said...

I used to love optical illusions (okay, still do! lol) and I can't wait to show my daughter this one!