Tuesday, June 14, 2016

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Crazy Cool Giraffe Science Experiment

Do you know what color giraffe skin is? Today we're using a capillary action science experiment to make our own giraffe skins in this fun giraffe science experiment project! (Read on...I'll tell you the color in a moment! AND I have a few more fun giraffe facts at the end! Anyway, go on and make a guess before you see the answer!)

Fun Spot Giraffe Fact:  There are four different giraffe species:  the Masai Giraffe, the Rothschild Giraffe, the Somali Giraffe, and the Nigerian Giraffe.  Each has its own unique spot pattern.  Even more unique, every single individual giraffe has a different spot design.  Just like fingerprints on people and stripes on a zebra, spots on a giraffe are unique in every individual!

Giraffe skin is mostly grey. (Were you right?) It's also really tough and thick.  The coat is a shade of tan with brown spots or patches.  Male giraffes actually get darker as they get older!

To make our "giraffe skin" we're going to use capillary action and watercolor paints!  Capillary action is the ability of a liquid to flow in narrow spaces.  In this case, colored water will be flowing between ridges on a paper towel.  This is the same concept in the "walking water" experiment (note to self: post about walking water!) and the ability of water to travel up tall tree trunks through narrow xylem. Water tends to stick to itself because each water molecule has slight positive and negative ends which attract other water molecules with oppositely charged ends.  The positive end of one water molecule sticks to the positive end of another molecule, and pretty soon a whole chain of water molecules has slid along a narrow passage of paper towel or tree!

For this giraffe science experiment, you will need a paper towel, paintbrush, and watercolor paints.  Optionally, you could also use liquid watercolors instead of paint.

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To make your "giraffe skin" (and watch capillary action), dip the paintbrush in paint (I started with a giraffe-y color like orange or red), then dot it on the paper towel.  Immediately you will see the colored water start to spread out! Crazy! Actually it's super cool--the colored paint lets you actually watch the water move through the paper towel. Capillary action in action! Repeat this, adding more colors until you get the "giraffe skin" you want!

Naturally, we also had some blue and purple giraffes!

Do you have any favorite giraffe science activities?  I'd love to see them!!  Feel free to share in the comments, send me an email, or even link it up in the linky below!

I also thought I'd share a few fun giraffe facts with you:

Fun Giraffe Facts:

1- Giraffes give birth standing up and baby giraffes fall six feet when they're born!
2- Male and female giraffes have horns (called ossicones)!
3- Each giraffe has its own unique spot pattern, just like each human has its own unique fingerprints!
4- Giraffes only sleep for two hours a day, and usually for less than five minutes at a time!
5- Giraffes have an excellent sense of smell, hearing, and vision!
6- Giraffes can be 18 feet tall and weigh up to 3900 pounds!
7- A group of giraffes is called a tower!
8- Giraffes are an endangered species.

I am sharing this as part of the World Giraffe Day Blog Hop!  When I thought about giraffe projects for preschool, I knew I wanted something with science in it. I started brainstorming experiments with different giraffe fun facts, and when I thought of this...I knew it would be perfect! My kids have had SO much fun making their own "giraffe skins," in all colors!

We are joining other bloggers to bring more great giraffe-themed science experiments and activities, fun for preschool and older kids too!

Happy Educating,

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Helen @ Witty Hoots said...

Thanks for joining in with the World Giraffe Day Quirky Blog Hop. What a brilliant and simple science experiment - we love this!