Peeps Sailboats

How many Peeps did your kids (or maybe, you?) inhale over Easter?  Don’t eat them all!  Set up a little water science activity with some of the Peeps! Your dentist will thank me for this!  Just some simple supplies from around the house is all you need to keep your littles one sugar-free, occupied and sticky.

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • Peeps
  • Bin of water
  • Scissors
  • Different materials for sails (We used: felt, foam, construction paper and cardstock)
  • Toothpicks
  • Tape

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Cut out triangle shaped sails out of the different materials.  My older superheroes were able to do this on their own, but for the tots in my class, I cut them ahead of time.

Attach a sail to the toothpick with the tape.

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Place the sail into a Peep and repeat with the different materials. IMG_1315 We ended up with 4 Peeps sailboats, each with a different type of sail.IMG_1317

Now it’s time to test the different sails by placing them in the water.  We used small bins, but it would be fun to do in a water table or a small plastic wading pool.

They started blowing on the sails to see how they move

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Some tipped over, others moved quickly, and one barely moved.

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They raced with each other.

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Eventually, they started playing with them and ended up all sticky!IMG_1327

We also noticed that the combination of blue and yellow Peeps in the water turned it green!

The science behind the activity:

There is plenty of room for experimentation with this activity

  • Which of the materials make the best sails?
  • Which spot is the best place to insert the sail?  Do some spots make the boat tip over easier than others?
  • How does the wind affect the movement of the boat?
  • Why do the Peeps float?
  • Might different shapes of sails affect the movement of the boat?
  • Try different types of Peeps (Bunnies vs. Chicks)  How do the different shapes of the Peeps affect their movement and the placement of the sails?

In a larger container of water, races are fun and a discussion of which boats floated the farthest or fastest involves plenty of critical thinking.

For more details and to see where I got my Peep-y idea from, please visit:  http://www.kidsplaybox.com/science-for-kids-easter-science-with-peeps-boats/

Check out my other science activity using Peeps: Dissolving Peeps Experiment

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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