This is the second instalment to the easy water experiment post I wrote last month. We can’t get enough science in our house at the moment and the kids are constantly dressing up and playing the mad scientist role. They have gone through litres of vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, my food colourings are all mixed together and my patio area is a mess! I keep telling myself that it is all in the name of learning. I now want to share the experiments and maybe turn your outdoor area into a science lab also.
Experiment 1 – Magic Milk Marbling
This experiment kept us entertained for a VERY long time and produced some amazing colours and patterns. It was so much better than I had anticipated and with a few ingredients that we already had around the house, we could create an explosion of colours and an experiment that the kids loved.
All you need:
- Shallow bowl
- Food colouring
- Eye dropper
- Liquid dishwashing detergent
- Pour enough milk into a bowl to cover the bottom and it is about ½ cm deep.
- Using the eye dropper, place a few droplets of different colours into the milk in various places. It is important to keep the bowl of milk very still so the colours don’t mix into the milk
- Once you are happy with your droplets of colour, add a few drops of dishwashing detergent and watch the magic happen. You can see the colours start to mix and swirl as if they have a life of their own. We loved it and kept adding and changing the patterns.
The dishwashing liquid floats on top of the milk and spreads over the surface. As it spreads, it grabs the food colouring. Soap is a “degreaser” so the molecules in it are attacking the fat in the milk, causing the swirling of the colours. Where the colours meet, they combine and form new colours. Very cool!
Experiment 2 – Blowing up a Balloon
My kids do the vinegar and bicarb reaction all the time in their science games but this time we tried to use the reaction to make something happen. The kids didn’t realise a gas was produced until the balloon started to inflate and boy, were they surprised!
All you need:
- An empty bottle
- Bicarbonate of soda
- Funnel or a piece of paper
- Pour the vinegar into the bottle so it is about 1/3 full.
- This is the tricky part. You need to fill the balloon with bicarb. You can use a funnel if you have one but we didn’t so we just improvised and made our own with a piece of paper rolled up with a point at the end. Place the funnel into the balloon and scoop in some bicarb. You may need to jiggle the funnel around and tap it so all the bicarb falls into the balloon.
- Once the balloon is full, place the neck of the balloon over the opening of the bottle. Leave the balloon droop to one side so the bicarb doesn’t fall in.
- Once the opening is sealed by the balloon, have a child tilt the balloon up so all the bicarb falls into the vinegar. The reaction causes the mixture to froth and in turn, produces a gas that can blow up a balloon.