Since we’re focusing on cold weather and the letter T, it made sense to play around with temperature today, including making our own thermometer.  We reviewed different ways we measuring things and then talked about how temperature was how hot or cold something is.  The girls were quick to talk P1010847about when we’ve taken their temperature so of course we broke out the thermometer and took our temperature.

Next we felt the difference in the temperature with damp washcloths.  One, I had put in the freezer earlier in the morning to be nice and cold.  The other I heated in the microwave for 30 seconds (be sure to test it yourself first).  The girls loved feeling the difference and I loved that at the end of the day after Zoe picked up the previously warm washcloth and said “This had a high temperature but now it is a low temperature.”

Making Your Own Thermometer

This was so easy but it did take a little tinkering because I kept making it harder than it needed to be.  It seemed to work best when I used a smaller water bottle.

Supplies: clear, plastic bottle; water; rubbing alcohol; food coloring; straw; modeling clay;

  1. Fill about a quarter of the bottle with equal parts water and rubbing alcohol.  I found it worked best when I didn’t mix them up much.
  2. Add a few drops of food coloring (so that you will be able to see the temperature rise).
  3. Put the straw in the bottle but make sure that it does not touch the bottom of the bottle.
  4. Use the modeling clay to seal the neck of the bottle.  You want it to hold the straw in place and to create an airtight seal.

P1010848In order to see the temperature rise, I heated up another damp washcloth and placed the bottle on top of it.  That warmed it up and caused the mixture to rise up the straw.  According to Mia it was “totally awesome!”


  1. How cool is that! I had no idea you could make something like that. The girls are starting to get into cause and effect reactions. They would love this!

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