Simple Fall Experiments: Apple Volcano and Dancing Appleseeds

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I wanted to do a simple fall experiment with my three year old so I grabbed an apple, an Alka-Seltzer (from our Dollar Store Science kit), and a cup of water.  We found that you could do 2 experiments with 1 apple!

Experiment #1:  Apple Volcano

  • Cut a lid in your apple and a small hole about 2-3 inches deep
  • Fill the hole with water
  • Drop broken up pieces of Alka-Seltzer
  • Put lid back on top of apple
  • Watch your very own Apple Volcano!

What’s the science:  Alka-Seltzer is made of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and citric acid.  When you toss it into water the tablet dissolves and mixes the acid and base together and releases carbon dioxide.  This is a similar reaction to  mixing baking soda and vinegar (your typical volcano reaction).

Experiment #2: Dancing Appleseeds

  • When you’ve had all you can take of watching your apple bubble over, take the seeds out of your Apple Volcano
  • Toss them in a glass of water
  • Then toss in small pieces of Alka-Seltzer

What’s the science: The carbon dioxide bubbles attached to the appleseeds creating little “life-jackets”.  These little bubble “life-jackets” make the seeds more buoyant until they came to the surface and popped. Then the seeds would sink back to the bottom.

(Note: We chunked the apple after our experiments. It didn’t look edible but I thought I should at least mention it!)

When you give your three year old kid the power to make things bubble over and fizz then you will have one happy three year old!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, 5 minute experiments Tags: ,
DIY Science Kit for Girls

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How many of us have bought a doctor’s kit for our daughter? Why not her own scientist kit? Perhaps we thought it would be too expensive and would be a waste if she didn’t like it.

Wouldn’t it be a powerful message to make her very own science kit?  One that she can use to create, invent, dream, and experiment?

You can make your own kit for under $20 at the dollar store and to-date we’ve done at least 5 experiments with it.

Set her up with her own corner to explore (with some adult supervision) and she can create her own unique experiments.

Giving her this freedom to explore is key to helping her love science.

Here are the 5 experiments with instructions and items to include in your kit.  You can also enter you email –> here <–to receive a free printable with 9 experiments that she will love adding to her kit.

Candy Catapults (here)

    • Rubber bands
    • Plastic spoon

Magic Science Bag  (here)

    • pencils
    • Ziploc bag gallon

Amazing Magic Milk (here)

    • Dawn dish soap
    • Food coloring
    • Cotton swabs
    • Milk – supply your own

Groovy Lava Lamp (here)

    • Alka seltzer
    • Vegetable oil
    • Water bottle – supply your own

Happy Oobleck (here)

  • Cornstarch
  • Water

Science equipment:

  • magnifying glass
  • calculator
  • composition book (to record all your observations)

What other experiments did your daughter invent?  Leave a message below in the comments or tag me on Facebook with a picture from her experiments.

I hope she will feel empowered, confident, and ready to take on the world with science!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, gift guides, STEM Tags: , , ,
Easy Magic Slider Notes 

magic slider pic

My kids and I love magic slider cards but the YouTube tutorials I found looked pretty labor intensive.  Allie wanted me to make her one but I knew I did not have the patience for a complicated craft. So for her first day of first grade I decided to surprise her with an easy-to-make magic slider note in her lunchbox.  She was so excited and your kids will love them too!

Here’s what you need:

  • cardstock
  • free lunchbox note printable here
  • sandwich size Ziploc bag
  • black permanent marker
  • clear tape
  • Post it pulls
  • scissors

Here’s how:

  1. Cut out printables along with a blank piece of cardstock (to place on top)
  2. Tape the printed note on the back and place in Ziploc bag
  3. Place blank card on top of printed note
  4. Cut Ziploc bag around note and tape one side to make a pocket
  5. Place Post-It Pull on back side of blank note
  6. Trace outline of image with permanent marker on plastic
  7. Voila! EASY magic slider card for a surprise lunch note!

How to video:

What’s the science? Magic slider is a type of optical illusion. Put these together with your child and see if they can figure out how to do it without the instructions. It will inspire their curiosity which of course is what science is all about!

I hope you love these cards and they put a little magic into their school year!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, 5 minute experiments, gift guides, he loves science too!, how to videos, lovely conversations Tags: , ,
6 Amazing STEM Apps for Girls

STEM Apps

I’ll admit, I was a complete newbie when it came to finding educational apps for my kids. Honestly, I’m still overwhelmed with all the options out there. So, over the past year I decided to try out 6 apps with the hopes of building my daughter’s STEM skills. So far, these are her favorites (and mine too!)

SCIENCE:

humanbody The Human Body – This is an interactive model of the human body and by far the COOLEST app I’ve ever seen. She can see what happens to the nervous system when a bee stings, watch the circulatory system pump blood, and yes, watch a digestive system in all its glory.

crazygears Crazy Gears – This is a game using gears, magnets, engines, and chain reactions to lift doors to the next level.  I never mind when the kids ask for help because we end up talking through the solution together.

TECHNOLOGY:

daisy Daisy the Dinosaur – If you want to introduce basic computer programming to your kids this one if amazing. The object of the game is to do “drag and drop” coding to make Daisy the Dino jump, turn, shrink, and spin. I found that it’s also a great conversation starter about how apps are made possible through programming!

ENGINEERING:

water Where’s My Water – This is by far her FAVORITE app. The object of the game is to get trapped water to Swampy the Alligator’s bathtub. The levels increase in difficulty by combining obstacles of acid, algae, and steam. It’s all about problem solving and imagining how fluids will flow.

shaun Shaun the Sheep – If you are familiar with the TV show Shaun the Sheep (and we are huge fans around here) then she’ll love helping Shaun get his lamb friends out of all sorts of scrapes. It’s another problem solving app that I even catch Allie’s dad playing too!

MATH:

mathfish  Hungry Fish – Learn addition and subtraction by combining bubbles and feeding a fish with numbers. I’ve found it increases her math speed, helps with number recognition, and is a great alternative to flashcards!

There you have it, our favorite STEM apps. I’d love to hear what your favorite apps are too! Leave a message in the comments below!

Categories: he loves science too!, lovely conversations, STEM Tags: