Catch a wave in a bottle 

We had an amazing beach trip to Perdido Key, FL a few weeks ago.  Allie and Avery enjoyed the sand but Andrew was not so happy with the sand OR the waves. He preferred to go to the nearby pool and swim.  At one point he asked us how he could turn off the waves and get rid of the sand!

Needless to say I thought he would appreciate this experiment by keeping the waves IN a bottle.

Here’s what you need:

  • empty bottle (these are nice since they are only $1 at Target)
  • vegetable oil
  • water
  • sea creatures  (I used these…)

Here’s how to make your wave in a bottle:

  • fill the bottle halfway with water
  • put a few drops of blue food coloring in water
  • place sea creatures in bottle
  • fill the bottle the rest of the way with vegetable oil
  • take super glue or a hot glue gun and seal off the lid (to prevent oily messes!)

What’s the science? This is a lesson on density and what liquids will float on top of each other. Like salad dressing, the vegetable oil floats on top of the water. Its fun to see where the sea creatures end up floating. Ours always tend to stay right at the water/oil interface.

Andrew thought this was pretty amazing to watch a wave this way…. Thanks to seeing “Finding Dory” early this summer he wanted to know where his favorite creature Hank the Octopus was!

I thought you’d like to see a few pictures from our Florida trip…

We stayed up late to catch sand crabs one night… Allie caught them with her bare hands! Andrew enjoyed checking them out in the bucket!

When the littles were napping, we stayed inside and played games. Allie loved playing Periodic Table Battle ship. Guess who was wining? You can find the instructions here.

And of course Miss Avery thoroughly enjoyed the white sand of Florida. It was a sensory experience at is finest!

This was a great experiment to remember the summer days… We hope you have an amazing start back to school.

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, he loves science too!, Summer Bucket List Tags:
5 Science in a Bottle Experiments


It’s safe to say I will never look at an empty 2L bottle the same way again. Now that I’ve had the pleasure of doing several science demonstrations, I’ve learned that there are at least 5 amazing experiments you can keep mostly contained to a 2L bottle.

The best thing though is watching the kids come back to see the experiment over and over again. You can see their little gears spinning each time they observe it with new guesses and theories.

Note: I’ve rated these experiments from 0 to 10 (0 being the least messy and 10 being the most messy) so you can choose the level of clean up afterwards. (You can thank me later!)

Tornado in a Bottle (Messy rating = 0)

This one is just mesmerizing. Kids and adults alike will stop and try it out. You can make it even more fun by adding glitter and a few sponge animals to recreate the movie Twister. I’ve also found that it calms down kiddos so they are ready for a nap… score 1 for Mom! Check it out here.

Bottle Diver Experiment  (Messy rating = 2)

I’ve been wanting to try this experiment (also called Cartesian Diver) for a long time but was majorly nervous that it wouldn’t work. Then I found Danielle’s site with amazing step by step instructions here. It turns out this is amazingly simple and it is fascinating to watch!

(The messy rating is a 2 because if the diver’s “tank” gets flooded then you have to fish him out of the bottle by dumping all the water out and filling the bottle back up.)

Blowing up a Balloon with Yeast (Messy rating = 3)

This is a classic experiment you’ve got to try if you are into making homemade bread. It helped answer Allie’s question abut why bread can be so fluffy. Check it out here.

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Groovy Lava Lamps (Messy rating = 5)

The messy rating is going up but all you need for this one is a water bottle, water, vegetable oil, and Alka Seltzer tablets. The messy rating is a 5 because I have anxious kiddos who like to toss lots of Alka Seltzer tablets in already bubbling bottle of oily water. I’d advise doing the experiment over a pie plate to catch the oily water. Check out our lava lamp here.

A Mentos Geyser (Messy rating = 10… I think you can imagine why!)

Technically this does not start with an empty bottle but it will become empty in less than 15 seconds after this explosive experiment. I suggest you do it outside around a sprinkler or a pool for easy cleanup. Trust me, you will become an instant science celebrity to your kids! Check out Andrew’s birthday Mentos geyser here.

rockCan you think of other experiments in a bottle? I’d love to add your suggestions to the list!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, he loves science too!, Science Shows, Summer Bucket List Tags: , , , , ,
Watermelon Oobleck: A new twist on a classic experiment

Nothing says summer like eating watermelon and nothing says kid’s science like playing in oobleck. Perhaps because it gives kids permission to get completely and totally messy in the name of science.

Oobleck is a non-newtonian fluid which means that it can be a liquid and a solid.  You can pour it and you can ball it up.  It’s sticky and it’s smooth. Adding watermelon to the mix turns this into an amazing sensory activity which was recommended here.

The recipe for oobleck calls for 2 parts cornstarch and 1 part water. We just substituted the water for watermelon juice.  We scooped out the watermelon for our afternoon snack and ate it before we got started then used the rind as the container to play in.

Be warned that the more you play in a watermelon the juicier it becomes. (Yes I know that’s the best technical explanation I’ve got!) Add more cornstarch if the oobleck becomes too watery.

Why not have a new twist on a classic experiment for the summer? Have fun!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, Summer Bucket List Tags: , , , , ,

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The sun here in Texas is brutal. It feels like 109 °F outside and it makes you just want to stay indoors all day long. If you don’t believe me then maybe you’ll believe my phone. Wow.. it’s a scorcher.

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When I saw this experiment, I thought it would be perfect to harness the power of the sun to make one of my kid’s FAVORITE snacks!

It is true, sometimes I have to entice my kids to do science with food, but even I was impressed by making s’mores with solar energy. (And yes, I sampled more than one of the results myself!)

Here’s what you need:

  • A pizza box (I recommend one with a full lid. We used a DiGiorno box and we had to modify the oven quite a bit)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Cling wrap
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Elmers glue
  • Tape

Here’s a video on how to make the oven. We kept ours super simple and didn’t worry about making it air-tight (since, well come on, we probably didn’t need an oven to make s’mores outside in this heat!)

Assembling the s’mores was the most fun!  We could barely wait an hour and honestly it only took 20 minutes for the chocolate to melt and the marshmallows to get nice and gooey!

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What happens:

This is an example of the greenhouse effect. The cling wrap lets the sunlight in but traps the heat inside making a perfect oven for a yummy chocolate-y treat!

I bet you and your kids can’t wait to eat this! Try and eat only one!

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