This is an Understanding the World activity that I guarantee you and your children will LOVE!
All you need is some laminating pouches, an iron, an ironing board, some A4 paper and a few random objects.
Now, most of you will have spent many a happy hour slaving over (and probably jamming) your laminator making various labels and resources. Well, today you are going to give the laminator a rest and seal your pouches by hand using an iron.
The reason that we want to seal them by hand is that we are going to try and trap something exciting in the middle of the pouch for the children to observe and poke.
I know this is the time of year when lots of you will be hatching eggs in your settings, so today I am starting my laminator science adventure by trapping a raw egg…
I have got together my laminating pouches, my eggs, a cup to crack my egg into, some A4 paper and my iron and ironing board. You can also use hair straighteners instead of an iron!
Before you crack your egg you have to make a ‘pocket’ for it to drop into. If you just cracked an egg in the middle of a laminating pouch and tried to iron around it there would be disastrous consequences – trust me!
First things first, put up your ironing board and plug in your iron. If it is a steam iron turn the steam feature off. I found the best temperature setting to use was ‘wool’. Anything hotter caused the pouches to shrivel a bit, even under the paper.
Find out where the open end of your pouch is. This is the last bit that you are going to iron.
Put 3 or 4 sheets of A4 paper over one side of the pouch. Let the paper cover about 4cm (ish) of the pouch. You are going to iron over the paper ONLY allowing it to seal a strip down the side of the pouch.
Repeat this on 3 sides, leaving a gap on the fourth side for you drop your egg (or whatever you fancy) in.
Crack your egg into a cup. If you are really brave you can crack it straight into your pouch.
I have found that there is less chance of the yolk splitting if you crack it into a cup first and then let it ‘slide’ down the inside of the pouch!
Now that you have got your egg, you need to seal the final side of the pouch.
WARNING: If you lie the pouch flat on your ironing board then you will find that lots of egg will run out of the open end – no one wants an eggy ironing board!
The secret is to let your pouch hang off the edge of the ironing board. That way gravity keeps the egg exactly where it should be…
and you can seal the remaining side of your pouch. Once I had done this, I went around them all again with the A4 paper and the iron – just in case!
You have now got yourself a raw egg trapped in a see through pouch!
Of course the fun doesn’t stop with raw eggs. I tried…
a fried egg…
slices of orange…
slices of tomato…
and some tea leaves.
Anything that is a bit more solid is much easier to seal as you can just open the pouch lay your chosen item/s on flat and then iron round it. For the tea leaves, I followed the same process and the raw egg.
The possibilities really are endless for the sort of thing that you could seal in these pouches. You could hang them at a window or on a washing line to let the children have a really good look at them.
If you use food, because you have trapped some air in your pouch along with the food, it will still begin to go mouldy. That in itself would be a fascinating, and safe, process to watch knowing that little fingers weren’t tempted to touch your putrefying experiment.
Once my pouches were complete, I had to road test them and who better to give them a seal of approval than my Niece, Mabel, who is now nearly three and a half.
First the egg…
then the tomatoes…
then the tea leaves
and finally the oranges…
There was SO much to look at and talk about. Mabel asked if she could keep them when it was time for me to go home – so they definitely got the thumbs up from her.
This one is certainly worth having a go at and the sort of activity that you can visit again and again. There would be nothing to stop you doing the ironing with the children present as long as you had carried out a risk assessment first. If you are using food, then always check for children with allergies before you start!
Now – go and dig out some laminating pouches and a box of eggs!