Make Color Disappear with Science 

Do you need a few ideas on how to combine teaching science and teaching religion for Vacation Bible School? Have you volunteered to teach a religion class and need a bit of inspiration?  I recently gave a presentation to my church mom’s group on how to enhance a children’s bible study using science. You should have seen all of us moms trying out experiments and telling Bible stories. It was a lot of fun. You should also check out this amazing book here for more inspiration.

This one is my absolute favorite and it is so simple to do. All you need are things that you already have in your kitchen.  It is making color disappear to teach that Jesus washes away our sins AND I’m going to let you in on a little trick to give it a great wow factor!

Here’s what you need: 2 clear cups (one labeled “sin” and one labeled with a cross), food coloring, bleach, baking soda, and water

How you do it: 

  • Fill one glass about 3/4 full of water
  • Stir in 1 tsp of baking soda
  • Add food coloring
  • Next pour about 1/4 cup of bleach in the colored water

Check this out:

What is the science?

The oxygen molecules in water (H20) will combine with the oxygen molecules in the bleach (NaClO) causing the food coloring to neutralize and disappear. The trick is by adding baking soda this chemical reaction occurs more quickly making it a perfect demonstration for a group of kids (and moms!)

What is the Bible Lesson?

This is an easy and impressive way to demonstrate 1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light as He is the light then we have fellowship with one another and the blood of his son Jesus cleanses us from all sin.”

I have just loved sharing these science bible activities with you. I think you could turn practically any experiment into a great lesson about our Creator. Enjoy this one! Its so much fun!

Categories: 5 minute experiments Tags: , ,
Cotton Ball Science

Are you planning a Vacation Bible School this summer? Have you ever wanted to combine teaching science with teaching religion with your kids?  Then you must check out this book of science activities that illustrate Bible lessons!

I found this gem when I was preparing to give a talk to my church’s moms group. The topic is how to teach your kids about science and God’s creation. And of course I had to plan a talk to include a hands-on experiment!  I think this cotton ball experiment will be perfect to do with a large crowd (and inexpensive!)

So of course I tested it out with my kids and they LOVED it! The object is to see how many cotton balls you can place in a glass of water without it overflowing. The bible verse the book pairs with it is “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20)

Check this out. I just love how her expression changes from skeptical to magical.

What is the science?

Cotton is made of a plant fiber called cellulose. Cellulose under a microscope would look like tiny tubes filled with air. A cotton ball is made up of many tubes of cellulose. A cotton ball itself has a volume that is mostly empty space filled with air. So when you place the cotton ball in the glass it will mostly absorb the water instead of displacing it. Who knew a cotton ball is basically an air ball?

Q: How many cotton balls you can place in a glass of water without it overflowing?

A: We had to stop at 30 because I ran out of cotton balls. How many can you do?

What is the Bible lesson?

The cotton ball is surprising in it’s properties just as God capacity to love us is beyond our imagination.

I hope you enjoy sharing God’s creation with your little scientists!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, 5 minute experiments, lovely conversations Tags: , , ,
Science Music to my Ears 

Several years ago I thought it was so cute when Allie asked to get my husband bells for his birthday. Of course this turned out to be more of a present for her than for him.

Since then we’ve had two more kiddos and the bells have been stashed around the house because it turns out that noise exponentially increases the more kids you have. I’m sure there is a mathematical equation to prove this but I digress..

This afternoon the kids found one of the bells and began bickering over who was going to drive mom crazy with a bell solo. I figured it was the perfect time for a science experiment together while I put the bell away from reaching distance. Little did I know how much the kids would enjoy this experiment making music together.

What you need: 

  • Several glasses
  • Tap water
  • Metal spoon
  • Food coloring (I got the idea to color the water from this post… it really is genius.)
  • Optional: These trays will mitigate messes

How you do it:

  • Fill the water glasses with different levels of water
  • Add food coloring for fun
  • Gently tap the glasses
  • Discuss how the different water level changes the sound

 

Beautiful isn’t it? I think they were surprised too! We ended up taking the bells down and tried matching the bell note to the water glass. Now that was fun.

What’s the science? 

Sound occurs due to vibration. When you tap a spoon on glass, the glass vibrates at a certain frequency.  The lower the water level, the higher vibration frequency causing a high tone. The higher the water level, the lower the tone.

So thanks to science, what could have turned out to be a loud-bell-ringing-sibling-argument instead turned out to be a beautiful science symphony.

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, 5 minute experiments Tags: ,
The Classic Skittles Experiment 

Is it just me or is it now in style to get back to the classics… classic fashion, classic books, class acts? What makes something classic anyways? For kid’s science I have found that classic experiments are predictable, easy to set up, have a wow factor, and produce a ‘stick-ability’ in the minds of the beholders.

So for Science Friday at Andrew’s preschool I knew this would be a perfect activity to do alongside learning about rainbows. How many preschoolers can say that they know what a rainbow tastes like? Hint: They think it tastes like sugar and honestly I’d like to think if I could taste a real rainbow it would taste a lot like sugar too!

Here’s what you need:

  • Skittles – you can often find a small box of them for $1
  • White paper plates
  • Water

When I am doing science with kids I always look for way to make it easy to clean up. This is probably the #1 reason I don’t do science at home every single day is because I don’t want to make a mess.  But if all I need to do is fold up a paper plate when it is done then I’m all about it.

Here’s how you do it: 

  • Arrange 10 skittles around the small paper plate in a rainbow pattern
  • Pour water in the plate until all the Skittles are touching water
  • That’s it… classic.

What’s the science?

For 3 year olds, we talked about what colors are in a rainbow, what pattern we should make for a rainbow, and guessed about why Skittles dissolve in water.

For older kids, you can ask them to guess if the Skittles will dissolve faster in warm water or hypothesize on why the colors don’t initially mix together. The Skittles will dissolve faster the warmer the water because the warm water molecules are farther apart and able to fit the sugar molecules more quickly to form the solution.   Here is an interesting article about why the colors don’t mix together in M&Ms similar to Skittles. (Sounds like another experiment in the making!)

After Science Friday I had one happy guy. I mean really…candy and science is a classic winning combination every. single. time.

Here’s a fast motion video but the effect will take a few minutes for the colors to join up in the center of the plate.  Enjoy!

Categories: lovely conversations Tags: , , ,