Monday, August 31, 2015

Four fun science experiments for your little scientist

Has the summer turned your kids brains to mush? There is nothing like a little "science" to get their little minds turning again. (And JUST in time for school! Yay!)

My kids LOVE science experiments. And they love making a big ole mess even more. We have done many a science "project" around this house and they ALWAYS end a ginormous mess. Thankfully, I have found a way for them to have some science fun and keep the clean-up to a minimum. Score!

So, if you have a blossoming scientist in your house, here are some quick and easy experiments that will satisfy their ever-growing curiosity. (Or at least give you a FEW minutes of peace. Hey, we gotta take what we can get as parents.)

1. The Lava Lamp
What you need:
Water bottle
Vegetable oil
Food coloring
Effervescent tablet (Denture cleaner)

Remove the label from the water bottle. Pour out 1/4 of the water. Add a couple drops of food coloring to the remaining water in the bottle. Mix well. Fill the bottle the rest of the way up with vegetable oil (leave a small space at the top of the bottle) Drop an effervescent tablet into the bottle and cap tightly. Watch the colored bubbles float around just like a lava lamp! For even more fun, shine a flashlight through the bottom of the water bottle.

2. Ice Fishing
What you need:
Small plastic container
Ice cubes
Table salt

Fill the container 2/3 full with water. Add a couple ice cubes. Sprinkle some salt on top of the ice cubes and then lay the ice on top of the salted ice cubes. Wait about a minute, then lift the string to see how many ice cubes you caught. Try it again without the salt. How many do you catch both ways?

3. Green Penny
What you need:
Small petri dish with lid (or a shallow container works just as well)
Paper towel

Fold a paper towel a few times so that it fits into the bottom of the petri dish. Pour in enough vinegar to soak the paper towel. Put the penny on the paper towel and cover the container. Take a look at the penny every few hours to see what happens. (Keep the penny in the dish for an entire day for best results.) Try the experiment with other coins and see what happens. Are the results the same?

4. Morphing Straw
What you need:
Clear plastic jar
Drinking Straws
Cooking oil

Fill the jar 1/2 full with oil. Put the straw into the jar until it touches the bottom and push it to one side of the jar. Bring the jar up to eye level and turn the jar slowly. Watch the straw. How does its appearance change as the jar turns? Can you make part of the straw dissapear? Try the experiment again using water instead of oil. Do you get the same results?

**These experiments are brought to you courtesy of Netflix who provided my daughters with a very cool (and Top Secret) experiment kit in exchange for this post.

If you want more fun, check out the new original Netflix series Project MC2, where smart is the new cool. My girls really love this show and yours probably will too! Here is a sneak peak:

Here are a few more shows that will get their little minds back into gear for the school year!

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Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
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How the State Got Their Shapes
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Odd Squad

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Reading Rainbow
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Magic School Bus
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The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!
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