Fizzing Leprechaun Pots

Baking soda and Vinegar are my two most favorite science experiment ingredients! They are inexpensive, always in the pantry and there are just SO many fizzy, colorful things to do with them.  Here’s my latest version, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day but would also be so much fun as a witches’ brew at Halloween

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Food coloring (I love my liquid watercolors)
  • Candy Kettles (any party store has them seasonally)
  • Bin/tray for the mess
  • Glitter (I used gold and green for St. Patty’s Day)
  • Teats, gold coins, etc… to hide in the pots (not necessary)
  • Droppers
  • Cups for the vinegar

To set up:

I placed a few pots in the bin.  I placed one treasure (plastic gold coins) at the bottom and added 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda on top. I sprinkled a little glitter on top of baking soda because glitter is sparkly and so much fun!IMG_1148

Pour vinegar (Leprechaun Potion or Witch’s Potion) into small cups.  I used 6 different colors to create a rainbow.

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To play: 

I gave a small bin with a few pots inside to each of the tiny tots in my class.  I supplied them with a large dropper (more like a turkey baster-perfect for toddlers!)  And then the magic began!

IMG_1150They added their favorite colors to the pots and watched them bubble and fizz!  So easy!  So fun!  So colorful!

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That’s IT!  See, you can do this at home too!  And the little ones love it!  Adapt it for Halloween by placing plastic eyeballs, spooky fingers, creepy spiders, etc… for a spooky witches’ brew!  Or use plastic easter egg halves like I did with my Fizzing Easter Eggs experiment.  Or place some baking soda in a hollowed out mini pumpkin and make Pumpkin Volcanoes or into apples for Apple Volcanoes!  So many options!

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For more St. Patrick’s Day and Leprechaun Science, please visit:

Science Behind the Activity:

This is a twist on the classic baking soda and vinegar experiment.  Baking soda is a base and vinegar is an acid.  When combined, they release carbon dioxide gas (the bubbles).  The fizzing and bubbles are just way too much fun for the kiddos!

Here’s where I got my fizzy idea from: http://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/st-patricks-day-fizzing-pots-science-experiment-color-mixing-activity/

 

 

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Fireworks in a Jar

New Year’s Eve  is coming up and here’s an easy colorful way to get your holiday started with some science!  Just 3 ingredients from your pantry.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • water
  • oil (we used vegetable oil)
  • food coloring
  • clear empty glass jar (we needed two because each of my older boys had to have their own)
  • clear small glass bowl
  • fork

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First we filled the empty jar with water. We filled 2 jars because my older sons MUST have their own jars.

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In the small bowl, we added about 1/3 cup of vegetable oil.  The actual amount doesn’t really matter.

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Add a few drops of food coloring to the oil.  We added a few drops of each color.

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Notice that the food coloring doesn’t mix or dissolve but remains in droplets in the oil.  Use a fork to mix the droplets with the oil.  The color will not dissolve but the droplets will break into smaller droplets which is what you want.

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Now the fun part!  Pour the oil into the jar with water.

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The oil will float at the top because oil and water do not mix and oil is less dense than water.

Be patient.  In less than a minute, you should see the colors drip from the oil and into the water, looking like fireworks in the water.

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The different colors will mix and form new ones.  It really is so fascinating to watch!

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Even our littlest superhero came over to see what the fuss was all about.  He promptly shook the jar as toddlers usually do 🙂  Good thing I took pictures before he got to experimenting!

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The Science behind the Activity:

Oil and water are known to be immiscible, meaning they do not mix or dissolve into each other.  Chemically this is because water is polar and oil is nonpolar.  Food coloring dissolves readily in water but does not dissolve in oil.  When the oil is poured into the water, the oil will float on top of the water for 2 reasons: 1. because water and oil don’t mix and 2. because oil is less dense than water.  As the drops of food coloring fall to the bottom of the oil layer, they meet the water and immediately mix and dissolve, creating the pretty swirls.

For more details and to see where I got this idea from visit this link:  http://www.exploratorium.edu/blogs/spectrum/fireworks-bottle

 

 

Dissolving Peeps Experiment

What to do with all those Peeps your kids got form the Easter Bunny?  My oldest superhero came up with this fantastic idea on his own!  He wanted to know what liquids a Peep would dissolve in.  You can set this experiment up in just a few minutes with a few common items from your fridge and pantry and of course, ALL those Peeps!

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • Peeps (we used 5 to test 5 different liquids)
  • 5 common household liquids (we used: water, apple juice, milk, vinegar and ginger ale)
  • 5 glasses
  • Observation sheet (optional)

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We set up the experiment by filling each glass with a different liquid.  My oldest superhero wrote labels for each of the glasses.

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I had the superheroes make a prediction of what they thought would happen when the Peep was placed into each of the different liquids.

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They placed the Peeps into the liquids and we left them overnight.  (The Peep in the milk was placed in the fridge)

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After 2 days, this is what we observed:

IMG_1398The Peep in the water looked a bit bloated.  The water turned blue from the clue colored sugar on the Peep.  The bottom of the Peep turned white where it was submerged in the water.  It did not dissolve in the water.

The Peep in the milk looked much like the one in the water.  The milk took on a slight yellow color from the sugar.  The Peep did not dissolve in the milk.

The Peep in the apple juice also did not dissolve.  The apple juice turned to a brownish green color form the sugar on the Peep.  It also began to grow mold as you can see from the photo I took looking up from the bottom of the jar.

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Looking from the bottom of the jar with apple juice

The Peep in the vinegar bubbled a bit and was pretty bloated and also colored the water yellow.  Even the vinegar could not dissolve the Peep.

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Lastly, we checked the Peep in the ginger ale soda.  It was also bloated with a bit of bubbling.  It also turned the liquid a funky brownish green color but what was interesting was the dark brown line where the Peep began to grow mold.

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Here’s a view of the mold that grew on the bottom of the Peep.  But even soda could not dissolve this Peep.

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Moral of the activity: Peeps are indestructible.  Kind of makes you wonder why we bother to eat them?

Science Behind the Activity:

This experiment was fantastic for a number of reasons.  First my eldest superhero came up with the idea on his own and selected the liquids he wanted to test.  Second, the boys made predictions and recorded them on his observation sheet which is great to get their awesome brain juices bubbling in there!  Lastly, the boys observed the changes over time (requires patience on their part).  This is a great example of using the scientific method without specifically teaching the scientific method.  And as a bonus, we got a chance to discuss several interesting phenomena:

  • Why some liquids grew mold and others didn’t
  • Why the liquids changed colors
  • What might have happened if we had left the milk at room temperature?
  • What other liquids we can try next time?
  • What connection the inability to dissolve a Peep might have to do with how unhealthy it is to eat.

Extension:

This could also be done with a variety of different substances or just plain marshmallows.  Upon doing some research on the internet, it appears that liquid laundry detergent might be an interesting liquid to try.

Here’s where I got my idea from: http://www.momto2poshlildivas.com/2012/03/dissolving-peeps-experiment.html

Check out my other science activity using Peeps: Peeps Sailboats

Fizzing Easter Eggs

The tiny tots in my class LOVE baking soda and vinegar experiments and I’ve posted several different variations of them.  Here’s my latest version, just in time for Easter.  So grab an extra pack of eggs at the dollar store and set up this fun experiment in a few minutes!

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • Baking Soda (Bunny Powder!)
  • Vinegar (Bunny Juice!)
  • Food coloring (I love my liquid watercolors)
  • Plastic Easter eggs (I have amassed a large collection over the years)
  • Muffin Pan or styrofoam egg carton (cardboard will leak and make a mess)
  • Glitter (because sparkles are FUN)
  • Droppers (I use the ones I get from the pharmacy with my kids’ medications)
  • Cups for the vinegarIMG_1244

To set up:

I placed a dozen halves of plastic easter eggs in my muffin tin.  (You can also use a styrofoam egg container but don’t use the cardboard ones.  Once the vinegar gets added, you will have a leaky mess)I placed about 1/2 tsp of baking soda into each egg and sprinkled some glitter on top.  You could also add some foam bunnies or beads or anything else for some extra fun!

Pour vinegar (Bunny Juice) into small cups.  I used 6 different colors to create a rainbow.  Kids love choosing different colors.

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To play: 

I placed a muffin tin with the eggs in front of each of the tiny tots in my class.  The colored vinegar was ready for them to play with droppers.  The tots already know what to do with the droppers at this point 🙂

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They added their favorite colors to the eggs and watched them bubble and fizz!  So easy!  So fun!  So colorful!

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That’s IT!  See, you can do this at home too!  And the little ones love it!  Adapt it for any seasonal occasion as I did with my Fizzing Leprechaun Pots for St. Patrick’s Day, Fizzing Christmas Trees or as Pumpkin Volcanoes for Halloween.

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 Science Behind the Activity:

This is a twist on the classic baking soda and vinegar experiment.  Baking soda is a base and vinegar is an acid.  When combined, they release carbon dioxide gas (the bubbles).  The fizzing and bubbles are just way too much fun for the kiddos!

Here’s where I got my fizzy idea from: http://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/fizzy-eggs-easter-baking-soda-science-experiment/

Magic Leprechaun Rocks

Lucky the Leprechaun is always up to some sort of mischief and this year he left some magical rocks!  Part of the fun was looking for the rocks and part of the fun was trying to break open the rocks with the “Magical Leprechaun Potion”!  Just 2 simple kitchen ingredients and some gold coins/rocks are all you need!

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • Baking Soda
  • Water
  • Measuring cup
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Tray for drying the rocks
  • Gold coins (I got mine from the dollar store)
  • Vinegar
  • Green food coloring (optional – but colors make everything more fun!!)

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To make the magic rocks:

Combine 2 cups of baking soda and 1/2 cup of water (add some color to the water if you want colored rocks) in a large bowl.  Mix together well with your hands.  It will be crumbly.

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Using your hands, make a rock shape with the mixture.  If it’s too dry, it won’t stay together, if it’s too watery, it will melt into a sloppy puddle.  Hide your coin inside the rock.IMG_1109

Let them dry overnight.  I placed mine on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  They will be delicate when wet.IMG_1111 The next morning, the rocks were hard.  Be careful, they break easily (You can also freeze them overnight to keep them from breaking as easily).  Note: this recipe will yield about 10 rocks.

To play: 

That naughty Leprechaun left the rocks in our backyard for the boys to find.

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The boys were excited to hunt for the Leprechaun rocks! The boys grabbed one rock each and were very eager to break them open.

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This was the first casualty.

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The next rock was placed in a plastic bin.  I gave them both some droppers and some green Leprechaun Potion (Vinegar with some green food coloring) to pour over the rocks.

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Bubbles and fizzing!!!  They LOVED it!!

Aha!  I see something shiny inside!

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Such an easy and simple little experiment to set up with a St. Patrick’s Day twist.  The variations on this are endless: dinosaur eggs with dinosaurs hidden inside, Easter eggs with a little prize inside, etc…

For more Leprechaun Science Fun, try the following:

Science Behind the Activity:

This is a twist on the classic baking soda and vinegar experiment.  Baking soda is a base and vinegar is an acid.  When combined, they release carbon dioxide gas (the bubbles).  The fizzing and bubbles are just way too much fun for the kiddos!

Here’s where I got my fizzy idea from: giftofcuriosity.com

Extension:

With the broken rock, we added the crumbly powder to a small “pot of gold” that I had out for my Fizzing Leprechaun Pots activity.

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The boys used the leftover magic potion to create a bubbly green potion in the pot.

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How did your Magic rocks turn out?  Any tricks to make them more durable?  Let me know in the comments!