Here’s yet another neat guide from the American Chemical Society’s Celebrating Chemistry e-publication… this one on how chemistry can be used to create toys!
From the introduction:
Do you think children who lived a thousand years ago had toys? Believe it or not, they did! Their toys were very simple compared to the toys that you play with every day. Their toys were mostly handmade from things that were found in nature, like animal bones, stones, wood, or clay. The ancient Greeks and Romans played with rattles and dolls made from clay. They also played with wooden tops, barrel hoops, and horses carved from wood. The Egyptians played with marbles made from stone. Kites flown in Asia were once made with wood and cloth. Can you imagine playing with a stone yo-yo? Children in Greece and Egypt did.
Thanks to discoveries by inventors, scientists and engineers, toys today are made from stronger and safer types of materials. Although many toys are still made with wood, metals and plastics, there are strict rules on how they can be used in toys. Before you start playing with any new toys, be sure you and your adult partner read all the directions and instructions carefully. Chemistry plays an important part in the inventing and making of toys.
In this issue of Celebrating Chemistry, you will learn more about the chemistry of toys and make a few toys from items that may be found in your home. Read the articles about the materials and the chemistry used to make toys. After you have finished reading and doing the activities, ask your teacher or family members about the toys they played with as children. Share your knowledge of the chemistry in toys.
Celebrating Chemistry is designed to engage and educate children (Grades 4th – 6th) in the basic principles of chemistry, and is full of interesting information, activities and hands-on experiments for your homeschool use.
To download this pdf, right click here and “save link” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key and click the link and save to your mac.