It has been an unusually cold winter season as most of you know. I’m proud to say along with our snow from the “North Pole” that we have Texas snow with a (bit of mud and grass in it) in our freezer.
I’ll admit I struggled with science I could do with the kids when it was so cold outside because, well, we rarely see snow! But I always love turning to one of my favorite scientists Janice VanCleave for inspiration. Here is a simple chemistry experiment you can do either on a cold winter day or in your kitchen to create a tiny genie in a bottle!
What you need: glass bottle, quarter, water
What you do:
Put an empty glass bottle (without a cap) in the freezer for at least 10 minutes
Remove the glass bottle and place a wet quarter over the opening so there are no spaces which traps air in the bottle
Observe what the quarter does if you leave it alone. Observe what the quarter does if you place your hands around the neck of the bottle
Don’t blink … the tiny genie is quick! Check it out and make sure the sound is on.
What’s the science: Of course this is not a tiny genie… it’s science! But what a fun trick to play on our kids or friends! We can touch the bottle and know it’s cold but the air inside the bottle is the same temperature. The quarter over the opening traps this cold air inside the bottle and when the air warms up it expands and wants to escape. We thought our genie sounded like he was burping! The genie is really just the air returning to the temperature of it’s surroundings!
Our elf just raided my science supplies and came up with some fun easy experiments to show the kids during Christmas! I hope it inspires your elf too!
Elf in Slime
As it turns out, elves can’t resist playing with slime! Our elf found our slime stash from Halloween and decorated the container with a cute elf belt! Here is a great slime recipe here.
A fizzy Christmas countdown
Elves are just as excited as we are to help the kids countdown to Christmas. She left a balloon filled with baking soda and a bottle of vinegar so when the kids come downstairs in the morning they can blow up the balloon to see the magical message appear! Here’s how our elf prepared this experiment!
Elfish States of Matter
Elves know that Texas kids don’t get to see much snow. So ours brought some from the North Pole! The only trick is we have to keep it frozen! What a great lesson on states of matter!
Imagine all of the science and engineering that goes on in Santa’s workshop. On this day our elf taught us that jingle bells are made of metal which a magnet is attracted to. One of my favorite things my kids said this day was, “Wow, I didn’t know jingle bells would stick to magnets!” It gave us a reason to explore what else magnets can stick to!
Elf 3D Model
Elves must have a lot of spatial skills to build all of the toys for Santa. Here is our elf showing us how to build 3D shapes with marshmallows and toothpicks! After we found our elf we promptly started trying to build the same structure shown here.
We have loved having our elf show us so many neat science experiments this Christmas! We hope your elf will bring a little easy science to show your kiddos too! It really is the most wonderful time of the year!
This female scientists is featured in one of my favorites book series, Gutsy Girls by Amy Sullivan. I just love how the book makes Dr. Jennifer Wiseman so relatable to our girls who may also love rocks, exploring outdoors, animals, and outer space.
Jennifer went on to pursue her love of science by discovering a comet and teaching children how awesome our God is by studying the wonders of His universe. The best part is she shows us that it’s okay to love science AND God! What a great role model for our girls!
I highly recommend this Gutsy Girls book for your science loving girl’s library. You can buy it here.
The book illustrations are amazing – so much that it inspired our rock painting craft! Check out our favorite page featuring a beautiful picture of outerspace. I just love how Allie is soaking up this picture.
What you need: rocks, black acrylic paint, Gelly Roll pens found here
How you do it:
Clean and dry the rocks
Paint with acrylic black paint and let it dry
Use pens to create the art that inspires you!
Whats the science:
One of the five natural sciences is earth science. Exploring and finding rocks are such a great way to explore our earth and ask questions about how the rocks were made, what they are made of, and how they got their shape. My daughter likes nothing more than to smash rocks (with eye protection) to see what it looks like inside. No doubt she’s looking for crystals or geodes!
Enjoy learning about this female scientist and doing a sweet rock painting craft with your gutsy girl!
Do you have this same problem? I take my kids to the toy store to select a gift for their friend’s birthday and they end up wanting the same thing? When I explain that it is not their birthday and they can put it on their Christmas list, drama ensues.
These days I tend to sneak to Target to do birthday gift shopping when the kids are at school to avoid the in-store battle. (Truth be told I remember doing the same thing to my mom… payback is.. well you know.)
So next time you need a birthday gift idea avoid the in-store drama and head to the dollar store for a unique and easy birthday gift that is under $20! Throw in book one of the Halley Harper series and you’ve got a great birthday gift for your child’s next birthday party they attend!
The dollar store supply list can be found at She Loves Science here along with a FREE PRINTABLE! You can find the Halley Harper book on Amazon here.
I hope this helps you avoid in-store drama with buying birthday gifts and more importantly I hope it gives you an easy idea for all the upcoming birthdays this year!
Science camp is all about learning the laws of motion but someone wants to put the brakes on Camp Eureka for good. Can 9 year old science whiz Halley Harper find the culprit by using her knack of turning ordinary into the extraordinary? Will she find out who is sabotaging the experiments before anyone else gets hurt and camp closes forever?
Do you want your daughter to say she loves science? My book is your guide that will get you excited to share science with her. It is not your ordinary science book because it will get you thinking, laughing, and pulling out your baking soda and vinegar just for the fun it. This book is here to cheer you on while you try science with your daughter. (Click book image to find it on Amazon!)