I love that moment when your child has no idea that something super cool is about to happen, but you do and you stand back waiting for the reaction. After seeing several YouTube videos featuring this experiment, I had to add it to our preschool. This lesson is so much fun that my friend's kids wanted to join in with the fun.
The principle I decided to highlight with this soap bar is the scientific method. The scientific method is one of those things that can be detailed or simplified to the preschool level.
I told my little girl and her friends that we were going to pretend to be scientists and as scientists we were going to do an experiment. I explained in an experiment we have to follow 5 steps.
1. Watch and ask a question. I handed her the regular soap bar and we wondered what would happen to it if we put it in the microwave.
2. Create a hypothesis. Or in simpler terms, you say what you think is going to happen with the experiment. In our case, the kids decided the soap would get really warm.
3. Test the hypothesis. We stuck the bar of soap (needs to be Ivory brand), on a large dinner plate and stuck it in the microwave for 2 minutes.
At about the 20 second mark, the bar begins to change and we could clearly see that the hypothesis was quite accurate.
All of the kids, ages 3 to 10, thought it was a great experiment. It did make the microwave smell soapy for a little while, but that seemed to wear off soon.