They Meet, But They Don’t Mix

I just love it when I can find hands-on lessons/activities for my children that are fun, but even more so when I can relate those lessons with knowledge from the Quran. So I’m very excited to share this Quranic gem with you because afterwards, you and your children can enjoy experimenting together!

Today’s gem is from Surah Al-Furqaan, verse 53:

And it is He who has released the two seas, one fresh and sweet and one salty and bitter, and He placed between them a barrier and prohibiting partition.” (Al-Furqaan: 53)

Subhanallah, what a wonderful miracle.

So, two points that we’ll look at today, based on the above verse, are the following:

  • Allah has created fresh and salty water
  • Allah has created a barrier between the two types of water

We can start by first helping our children understand the difference between fresh and salty water. Obviously, the easiest way to introduce them to this concept is by letting them find out how water taste with and without salt :). Then you can tell your children that this is the difference between water in the rivers, lakes and streams (fresh) and water in the ocean (seawater).

Explain to your children that the salt content (also known as “salinity”) differs from one ocean to another. In some places, the water is more salty than in other places.

As a side activity, if you have a globe, you can also ask your children to point out the different oceans around the world. (You can let them write down the ocean names too. My son always likes to write down these things in a list and the good thing about it is that it helps him memorize things too, alhamdulillah.)

In the above verse, Allah also says that the two types of water don’t mix. Marine experts call this boundary “halocline”. This phenomenon normally occurs where freshwater and sea water meet.

(Note: The details might be a bit difficult for young children to understand, but for the benefit of parents, here’s a fascinating article from Discover magazine that tells about this phenomenon: http://discovermagazine.com/2014/julyaug/16-cave-man )

The reason for this separation is due to the different density of fresh water and seawater. I know the word “density” might sound a bit complicated to explain to young children, so to make it easier to understand you can say that things that are more dense are heavier. Don’t worry, after some hands-on activities, this will be more clear to them, inshaAllah.

Now, here are two very exciting, fun experiments that you can do with your junior scientists to demonstrate this concept!

  1. The “Suspended Egg” Experiment 
  2. Salt Water-Fresh Water Experiment by Kiwi Crate

Have fun exploring!

Image Credit: luanarodriquez (Morguefile.com)

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