We love to play with vinegar and baking soda at our house . We explored it with squirt guns, at a play date and even pretending to be mad scientists. This time we made potions but really we just made a really awesome fun mess! We made these after school this week and already my 2 year old has asked to make so many I am out of vinegar and baking soda. Kids love to pretend and mixing imagination with scientific inquiry is a great way to get them interested in asking questions and testing their theories out. We pretended we were making love potions but not the way that maybe a teenager would think about it. Instead we were making potions to make everyone feel loved, not to fall in love with us and even that fell by the wayside . Bottom line, have fun and make sure you have towels ready!
- Gather your materials. You will need some baking soda, vinegar and then we added food color and food flavoring ( strawberry and cherry) . You will want clear containers, spoons, and whatever you need to protect your house from food color.
- Set out the ingredients and let them explore. While they started I talked about how some people think that potions and spells will make people fall in love and they both thought that was crazy talk! We pretended we were making people feel love but soon they just got into making a potion and the love bit was lost. This is fine the goal wasn’t to teach about love potions so much as simply explore.
- My son saw the baking soda and immediately got excited about the prospect of a fizzy overflowing potion. Only he couldn’t remember what made it bubble and discovered it was not the cherry flavoring.
- My daughter followed her brother’s lead and absolutely adored every minute.
- Once they figured out it was the vinegar they made potions over and over. In all different color combinations and with as much excitement every time. It soon turned into making predictions about if it would overflow or not.
A science experiment for kids should be fun and I don’t think my son could have had more fun than he did with this mash up of two classic summer activities. He is all about squirt guns and backing soda volcanoes are a constant favorite here. Using your child’s interests to make learning fun is such a fun way to make your child eager to learn. If squirt guns are not welcome in your play then you can use eye droppers, turkey basters and even bath toys instead. Make sure after the activity you wash the squirt guns carefully to get all the vinegar out so there are no accidental squirts at someone later.
- Gather your materials. You will need a pan ( ignore the mini muffin tin, that was our first attempt and well obviously it didn’t work. It was too hard for a 5 year old to get a good aim on such small targets), baking soda, vinegar , food coloring, a large measuring cup or bowl , protective eye wear and squirt guns.
- Start by adding food coloring in random dots to your pan.
- Cover with baking soda.
- Fill your squirt guns with vinegar. The easiest way to do this is to submerge the squirt guns in a bowl or large measuring cup full of vinegar.
- Get ready – go outside! Make sure the protective eye wear is on . Ask your child to make a prediction about what will happen.
- Shoot !
- He loved the colored bubbles – he had no clue there was food coloring under the baking soda.
- He stepped closer to get the harder to aim at areas.
- It was super fun to see all the colors emerge and even mix together .
- After the guns were empty his sister was invited out to do some pouring too.
We’ve been having fun with recycled materials and a few days ago when I heard my son say ” I’m bored!” I replied with ” Want to throw some eggs off the porch? ” He’s 5 so of course he said yes! I told him there was one rule we had to make a escape pod and try to protect the egg from cracking.
- Gather your materials. We rummaged through our recycle bin, my art closet and playroom. This is what we decided we might use. Immediately there was talk of a parachute. When I found a treat box it was quickly tagged as a possible parachute. We also used bubble wrap, an egg carton, some tape, cotton balls, party streamers and yarn. Use what you have that’s the whole idea, to use what you have to make something useful to protect the egg .
- First he lined the carton ( that we cut in half) with cotton balls and bubble wrap and added strips of party streamers.
- Then we poked holes in the treat box to make a parachute and threaded yarn through.
- Tied it on to the carton.
- Added the egg. Closed it up and used a little tape too.
- Then we trekked out to the porch and …. wait wait first we made predictions. My son predicted it would be OK. I thought it would be smashed. Then he dropped it .
- It didn’t crack!
- ” Let’s do it ’til it cracks!” OK!
- 2nd time it hit the flower box … as soon as it did my son said ” I bet that made it crack!”
- He was right. I asked him to explain why it would make it crack but the ground wouldn’t. He explained it simply but logically. ” The parachute didn’t have time to help yet and it hit hard.”
This wasn’t a planned activity but it was a blast. It would be so fun in a class to keep throwing them until only one survives!
Making science fun and exciting for kids when they are young lays the foundation for the years ahead. Have a blast with this simple science experiment , it was a huge hit with my son and one of his buddies at a play date we had yesterday. I told the boys that we had a mystery to solve which powder would make the biggest eruption? That was all two 5 year old boys needed to hear.
- Gather your materials. You will need some small containers , something for your little scientists to pour the vinegar out of ( ours were little food containers used for dip), cookie sheets to keep your kitchen from becoming a mess, a and some paper and marker to make numbers. Then you will also need some baking powder, baking soda , cornstarch and vinegar. I made a little chart but we didn’t use it , they were too excited and that excitement was my goal so we just asked questions and made predictions verbally.
- Start by pouring the vinegar into a smaller container. This made it much easier to refill the cups between pours.
- Fill the containers with the powder and place in order on the trays.
- Call the kids.Have them check out the powders however they want and decide which will make the biggest eruption.
- Pour ! #1 was baking powder which has baking soda in it so it bubbled over ( more than I expected ) but it didn’t erupt.
- #2 was cornstarch and both boys declared it a “Dud” .
- #3 was the grand finale and it didn’t disappoint.
- After the experiment was over they played and poured until there were no more bubbles to be had. They were chattering so quickly to each other about droids and potions and giggling it was hard to catch what they were pretending it all was, but it was clear they were having a ball. After the play date was over my son asked to do more science at play dates. I am more than willing!
Who said science can’t be yummy? Let your kids explore their senses with this blind taste and smell test using ice cream. Ice cream gets turned into a science experiment with this simple and oh so yummy experiment. Teaching about the five senses has always been one of my favorite themes and I guarantee your kids will love this science lesson too. I have also done this with plain yogurt and natural food flavoring if ice cream isn’t an option. You can use a blindfold if your child will tolerate it, my son doesn’t like them and a simple ” If you peak the activity is over.” was enough to keep his eyes glued shut during the experiment.
- Gather your materials. You will need multiple flavors of ice cream, a sheet of paper, markers, peel off labels, cups to conceal the ice cream containers and one or more spoons. These tiny single serve Hagen-Daz were perfect for this and the left overs weren’t too plentiful.
- Number your cups.
- Make a basic graph, you could make it on the computer and print it out but there is no need for perfection, just fun and learning.
- Write the flavor on the chart and cover with labels. Your child will peel these off after all the tests and predictions are recorded.
- Place the ice cream in the cups with the correct number. Can you tell I had a little pre taste test taste of some ? Can you blame me?
- Invite your child to begin the test. Explain why you want them to have their eyes closed, not just because you want to keep it a secret from them, but because when you aren’t using one sense the others work harder.
- Smell the first and make a prediction. My son inherited my accurate sniffer, he was like ” That is mango , I know it!”
- Repeat. I was fascinated by his ability to recognize smell and taste as well as his honest aversion to peanut butter. Seriously who doesn’t love peanut butter? My kid.
- Fill your graph in as you go.
- After all the tests – peel and reveal! He loved this part almost as much as tasting them. He was shocked that #2 was caramel not vanilla!
- Choose your favorite to have as an after experiment snack! Chocolate won out at our house.
Great 5 Senses Book!
Look, Listen, Taste, Touch, and Smell: Learning About Your Five Sensesby Pamela Hill Nettleton is a really great find. The book doesn’t separate the senses, instead the author explains all the ways the senses work in specific situations. My son was intrigued by the ideas of smores and kept telling me “I want to smell and taste some smores Mommy, please!” I liked how it explained the connection between the areas of our bodies we associated with the senses ( mouth, eyes, nose, skin and ears) and the brain. The author succeeds in making it accessible for young kids but not boring for older ones. Good Find!!