New Years Science for Kids: Balloon Blow Up

This year I thought it would be fun to have a little bubbly glittery science for the kids to ring in the New Year.  This is a classic experiment with a bit of New Year sparkle to make it more festive.

Here’s what you need: a small water bottle, vinegar, baking soda, a balloon, a sharpie marker, and glitter (optional but hey it makes it fun!)

Here’s what you do:

  • Blow up the balloon slightly and make a ‘2017’ in sharpie marker
  • Place about 2 tablespoons of baking soda in the balloon
  • Pour 1/2 cup of vinegar into the small water bottle
  • Add a bit of glitter
  • Stretch the balloon over the water bottle opening (don’t shake the baking soda in just yet!)

Now when it’s time you can have the kids countdown before pouring the baking soda out of the balloon and watch their very own 2017 New Years balloon blow up!

What’s the science? Baking soda is the base sodium bicarbonate and when mixed with vinegar creates carbon dioxide. The balloon fills up with carbon dioxide until the reaction is complete.

I hope you and your family have a Happy New Year!!!  I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for us all!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments Tags: , , , ,
Unique Gift Idea: An easy terrarium science ornament 

I have unintentionally started a new tradition at our house by making science related ornaments for the past three years. The kids have enjoyed making Borax crystal ornaments because they have an ‘overnight’ transformation that is really quite amazing. See our past ornaments here and here.

This year I was looking for an easy unique gift to give to science loving teachers, family, and friends. I ran across these mini terrarium bulbs and some Christmas-y succulents and voila! we have our easy science ornament for this year!

Here’s what you need:

  • These mini terrarium ornaments found here
  • small succulents
  • cactus, palm, & citrus potting mix
  • glass vase filler
  • small squirt bottle for watering
  • twine or ribbon

Here’s what you do:

  • Place a few glass vase fillers at bottom of ornament
  • Fill ornament with potting soil enough for succulents roots
  • Place succulent in potting soil
  • Add stones around the succulent for decoration
  • Spray with water once a day or as indicated by the succulent’s instructions
  • Add twine or ribbon to top of ornament

The best part of making terrariums is that they can be enjoyed long after Christmas is over. And my favorite part of this terrarium project was Allie said, “I can’t believe we made that!”

We hope you have a very Merry Christmas this year and enjoy this science ornament all year long!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments Tags: , ,
Science Stocking Stuffers Under $10

stocking-stuffersstarI usually wait until the last minute to buy stocking stuffers for the kids because I never know what to put in there. I want their stockings to be a cool extension of their already cool Santa gifts instead of filled to the brim with chocolate kisses and candy canes.

Somehow this year I’ve stumbled across a TON of science stocking stuffers each under $10!  I still can’t believe how many things I found at Dollar General, Target’s Dollar Spot, and Hobby Lobby!  Many of them can also be found on Amazon.

Dollar General

Science Kits – This was an amazing find by a friend of mine in Houston. It includes 4 separate experiments (grow your own crystal tree, make water gel beads, grow snow, and make purple/pink crystals) each for only $1! Wow… you can’t beat that!  Check out Dollar General or watch for a restock on Amazon here.

Growing Crystals – Here’s another amazing find for growing crystal deposits on a rock. Again $1 people…. you can’t beat that for a science stocking stuffer! You can also find it here.

Tornado Tubes – I love tornado tubes especially after parties when I have half opened flat bottles of Dr. Pepper in my pantry. Pour out the pop, screw on these tornado tubes, add water, and a bit of dish soap and you’ve got hours of entertainment. You can also find it here.

Target Dollar Spot

Excavation Kit – Aren’t these excavation kits cute?! They include dinosaur, seashell, and pyramid excavation kits. Allie already pinched one and said she wanted the pyramid because it had jewels in it!  Here is a similar one if Target runs out.

Grow your Own Dino – Leave it up to Steve Spangler to make another amazing science doo-hickey. This one contains 3 separate experiments with growing a dinosaur, disappearing water, and absorbent baby diapers…

Hobby Lobby

Energy Stick – If you’ve ever been to one of my book signings I usually bring one of these energy sticks. Kids love them and its a great way to teach about circuits and teamwork. Another amazing toy from Steve Spangler!  Also found here.

energy

Lemon Clock – I’ve been wanting to try out a lemon clock with the kids for a while but didn’t want to pay for it. Then I saw this at Hobby Lobby and thought heck why not! You can also find it here.

Bug locket – Is it just me or wouldn’t this be so fun to have a real live bug necklace? I think your kiddos will love opening this on Christmas day! Find it here.

bug-locket
Mentos Geyser Tube – We are big fans of celebrating birthday’s with Mentos geysers. You can check out all the fun we had here and trust me… its pretty amazing to watch. Also find here.mentos

MaKit & BaKit – Not your traditional science toy but I LOVED these as a kid. You can have all sorts of discussions from the temperature at which plastic melts to how light is effected when passing through different colors.  You can also find here.

makeitbakeit

Start early on stockings and don’t forget to give the gift of science this year!

Categories: gift guides Tags: , ,
Thanksgiving Turkey Bombs

turkeybomb

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!

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