Color Changing Volcano
This was his favorite experiment from 3 til very recently. It is really great for little kids who are
still exploring what color mixing will do, not to mention it makes a big mess so how can you go wrong :)
- Put water and baking soda in one container, add baking soda until no more will mix in with the water.
- Put white vinegar into another container
- Add different primary colors to each container. I've done it before with lots of test tubes so that he had lots to test.
- Depending on age/ability of your child, give them the test tubes and let them pour into an empty container or simply have them observe as you pour things together.
- To mix it up: They can measure out different amounts of the vinegar/baking soda. What ratio gets the best explosion? 50/50, more vinegar, more baking soda? What happens when you mix all 3 primary colors? Can you get different shades of purple/orange/green by adding different amounts of red/yellow/blue?
Pineapple Enzyme ExplorationPineapple, like all living things, is full of enzymes. Enzymes catalyze the reactions inside a cell, they make things go faster and cost less energy! Because enzymes do things, you can actually see the results of their work.
- You need fresh pineapple, canned pineapple and 3 premade Jell-O cups.
- Cut the fresh pineapple into small cubes.
- Open the 3 Jell-O cups, leave one with out any pineapple (control). Add the freshly cut pineapple to another cup and to the last cup add the canned pineapple. Observe the Jell-O.
- This takes a while, after about an hour you can see a difference but after several hours it becomes very apparent. A good time to do this is before school, then when they get home the kids can rush to see the results.
- Another variation is to make Jell-O and put 1/3 in the fridge without pineapple, 1/3 with fresh pineapple and 1/3 with canned pineapple and see which ones solidify.
- To make this into more of an experimental setting versus a demonstration setting: ditch the canned pineapple and let the kids treat the fresh pineapple with various things to see what will de-activate the enzymes. Some examples: Microwave at various lengths, freeze it, treat it with chemicals, like bleach (base) or vinegar (acid) that change the pH.
Goop or BallThis does require Borax, which is a laundry booster/cleaner and can usually be found in the stores though it may take some searching. Borax is the only part of this that you probably do not already have laying around the house.
- Gather the materials: Glue (we use cheap white school glue), Saturated Borax (put warm water into a bottle and add Borax until it refuses to dissolve, that's saturated), Water, Plastic bowl, Stir stick, graduated cylinder/measuring cups, and if you want your goop to be colored, food coloring.
- Measure out equal parts glue and water and stir together (we do 50ml).
- Add food coloring and stir, if you want colored goop.
- Add Borax solution (30% of combined glue/water mixture, we use 30ml). Stir and you should immediately notice the chemical change occurring.
- Play with your goop! It should be sticky and stretchy
- To make a bouncy ball, you need to add less water to the glue mixture so that it becomes thicker. This is messy, but fun, you have to pick up the mixture and work it in your hands to become the ball shape.
- Have the kids experiment with different proportions of water/glue/borax to see how the changes impact the reaction.
What Keeps me the Warmest?
- Boil water (ADULTS) and measure the temperature.
- Pour water into the jars and close lids if there are any (ADULTS).
- Put clothing articles over the jars. For his K science project, we did his coat, his hat, a sweatshirt, and nothing (control).
- Wait a specified amount of time.
- Measure the new temperature in each jar and compare it to the first (adults should monitor this as the water inside the jars will still be hot). Which stayed the warmest and thus had the best insulation?
- This is a really versatile experiment because you can test a lot of things, from packing material to clothing. You could run a time course, take the temperature every X minutes for Y time.