Saturday, December 3, 2016

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Christmas Supplies STEM Investigation: Tape Fingerprints

You've been wrapping presents. You have tape everywhere. Your kids want something fun to do. Grab the tape. It's time for a little fingerprint STEM investigation!

There are actually LOTS of ways to "capture" fingerprints! The method I'm sharing today works great for all ages...young preschoolers included! Check out how well it made this fingerprint:

And while we had loads of fun investigating our fingerprints today with tape we bought for wrapping presents (lol!), it occurred to me that you could actually do this STEM investigation any time of the long as you have lots of tape sitting around. (This is me warning you...your kiddos will want to do this over and over and over. With every finger. More than once. But they will love it. And now you are warned!)

Simple Supplies: 

* scotch tape
* #2 pencil (this is important...#3 is much harder to work with!)
* white paper (you could use wrapping paper if you wanted...)
* optional: magnifying glass

Easy How To:

1- Rub the pencil on the paper until you have a nice black spot.

2- Roll your finger in the graphite.

3- Carefully press a piece of tape onto your blackened finger.

4- Carefully stick the tape to a white sheet of paper so you can examine your fingerprint!

Once your kiddos know one way to make fingerprints, they will want to explore their own fingers and prints in amazing detail. This is wonderful! This kind of investigation is at the heart of STEM. As my children tested their own fingerprints, here are some of the things they discovered:

1- Each person has unique fingerprints.

2- Each finger on each hand has unique fingerprints.  (The kids had fun comparing their own fingers, each others' fingers, and famous people's fingerprints like Walt Disney and Malcom X!)

3- There are three main patterns in the prints. (You can learn more about arches, loops, and whorls here.)

4- Fingerprints are made by wrinkles in the skin.

5- When you take a long bath your fingerprints will look a little different. (Fingerprints actually come from folds in your skin during months of growing in utero!)

6- The kids also talked about designing different ways to "capture" and store fingerprints, but they were detailed enough that they deserve a post of their own.  :)

7- Each time you take fingerprints, you should make a new "pile" of graphite...using one "drawing" twice or drawing in the same spot twice doesn't work as well as drawing a new pile of graphite every time.

You could also extend this into a lab where you provide a "mystery" fingerprint and your kids need to figure out who left it...perhaps you "caught" a cookie thief fingerprint!

This week I've been joining up with Sarah at Little Bins for Little Hands and sharing STEM activities you can do with Christmas supplies like wrapping paper, cookie cutters, and tape!

Click HERE to see our BIG collection of *easy* STEM ideas you can do with Christmas supplies!!

Have you seen HEEP? It is a preschool homeschool curriculum! Learn more here!

Happy Educating,

I may share at any of these parties!

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