April 26, 2012

2 Cool science experiments to do with your kids

April 26, 2012

I have this boy. He is kind of a genius, for a 5 year old. I’m way biased because I’m his mom but he really is a smarty. His latest venture is anything involving Science. Earth science is his fave. He is fascinated by volcanoes, caves, rocks, earthquakes. . .

We took a trip to Carlsbad Caverns in November and he was in absolute heaven. He ogled at the massive cave formations and spouted off random cave facts to anyone who would listen. Even I was like “Whoa! Where did you learn all this stuff!” 

I’m a proud mom.

When we have free time at home between school, meals, games, and homework, we love to do science experiments!

Here were a couple of our favorites we have done:

Experiment #1: Oobleck

A lesson in states of matter and surface tension.

-1 part cornstarch

-1.5 to 2 parts water

Mix these ingredients together.  Add more water or cornstarch to get the desired consistency. You can also add a few drops of food coloring if you want. Ours started out really wet and drippy and it made a huge mess but our boys had a BLAST getting dirty. Wait, only one boy got dirty. Ry didn’t want his hands to get messy so he dipped in one finger and then washed his hands and didn’t want anything else to do with the oobleck.

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We talked about how the oobleck went from liquid to solid and back to liquid. We also experimented with the surface tension by punching it! It’s a great stress reliever.

I finally had to drag Simon away from the oobleck once he was covered in the stuff and it was getting dry and crumbly. It is so fun and since it is just corn starch and water it is completely non-toxic and safe. And it sure helps that it is easy to clean out of kids clothes. Simon was COVERED in this stuff. We even had to wash it out of his hair! He played for over an hour before I had to clean him up and send him off to bed.

And if you are up for even more fun with oobleck, you can make it dance!! Seriously! We don’t have a subwoofer to try it out but check out this cool video:

 

Science is so weird, and amazing!

 

Experiment #2: The Naked Egg

Our next experiment was learning about chemical reactions. My hubby cleaned his sister’s pool floor with acid and Simon was so interested in how it worked and why the acid made bubbles and bad smells. So I thought this experiment was perfect to answer some of his questions.

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This experiment is: How to remove an eggshell without cracking it.

-1 egg

-white vinegar

-small glass cup or jar

Place the egg in the jar and cover it with vinegar. Ask your child what they see happening when you put the egg in the vinegar.

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Bubbles! The acidic vinegar is reacting with the eggshell.

I’ll let him tell you all about it.

Here’s what’s happening: The acetic acid in the vinegar breaks down the solid calcium carbonate that make up the egg’s shell. When the calcium carbonate breaks down the calcium ions are now free and the carbonate goes into making carbon dioxide, which are those little bubbles that you see all over the egg.

Let the egg sit in water for 24 hours and then carefully remove the egg and replace the old vinegar with fresh new vinegar. Let it sit for another day or 2 and then you can carefully rinse of the egg. Be gentle. Once you have all of the shell off it will look a little something like this:

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If you hold it up to the light you can see the yolk inside. Pretty cool, right?

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I wish I had photos of all of the fun experiments we do together. I have a budding scientist on my hands!

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