Who doesn’t stop and stare when they see a rainbow? And what kid doesn’t want to do science when the results burst into a colorful rainbow pattern? I hope you enjoy this colorful roundup on this first day of spring!
We hope you don’t eat so much turkey for Thanksgiving that you “pop”! But if you do and are looking for ways to keep tired kiddos happy then whip up a few of these turkey-bombs and they will be laughing and learning science. We discovered how fun these were for Halloween here and I think you’ll love them too with a turkey twist.
Here’s what you need: Ziploc bag, markers, water, food coloring, and 3 Alka-Seltzer tablets
Here’s what you do:
Make the cutest turkey possible on the Ziploc Bag
Fill the bag about 1/4 full of water
Hold 3 Alka Seltzer tablets in the top empty corner of the bag
Seal bag without dropping tablets in
Then let go of the Alka Seltzer and shake the bag allowing the Alka Seltzer and water to mix
Hold your I-phone steady because you’ll even be surprised when it pops!
Check this out…
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. The bag blows up because the carbon dioxide is trapped inside.
Have a great Thanksgiving visiting family and entertaining with a bit of fun science!
If you are looking for a simple fall nature experiment you’ve got to try this one! We always have amazing pine cones that cover our yard. This spring, during a random flooding event, we ended up painting pine cones to pass the long day of no school. Aren’t they pretty? But….notice anything strange about them?
They are all closed! They had been soaking in a torrential rain downpour for days when the picture was taken. This realization reminded me of the pine cone experiment that I had seen here. So we decided to conduct our own experiment to see how long our pine cones would take to close.
How to do it?
Choose a few open dry pine cones
Fill a jar or vase with water and place pine cones inside (don’t worry if they aren’t fully submersed)
Guess how long they will take to close up
While we were waiting we decided to find the seeds in a third pine cone. Can you spot them? After about 10 minutes we went back in to check on our pine cones and lo and behold they had closed up!
Before After 10 minutes
What’s the science?
Pine cones are hygroscopic which means they soak up water from their surrounding environment (like humid air or rainwater). The cells located at the bottom of the cone’s scales absorb water and that pressure is enough to move the rest of the scale forward. This amazing feature of the cone helps the seed come out when it is dry and warm and stay protected within the cone when it is wet or humid. Who knew pine cones could be so interesting!?
I hope you enjoy this simple experiment and discover all the fun science you can do out in nature!
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.
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.
Can you think of other experiments in a bottle? I’d love to add your suggestions to the list!
Hi! My name is Tracy. I’m a mom and engineer who loves to help you inspire your girls to be curious and confident about science with simple easy activities and experiments. Together let’s raise empowered girls with science!
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!)