Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Experiments for Boys

Spring break is here and Hunter is off school for the next two weeks.  It has been around -24C in the mornings, but warming up to a beautiful -5C by the afternoons.  Normally, we would be outside most of the day but Cavan has strep throat and I am still battling a sinus infection, so we have been stuck in the house quite a bit.  To make sure we all don't go crazy, I have been finding some creative things for us to do!

The boys and I have been keeping busy with some pretty fun experiments and activities that I thought I would share.  I would like to try something different each day over spring break and that should prove pretty easy with inspiration like this book my dear friend Lana sent to us:
The perfect book for my house:  The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science
 Everything so far that we have done has been simple and has taken very little prep or clean up.  The activities have been short since the boys have pretty short attention spans.  I also make sure the the boys are the ones doing most of the work.  Of course it means a bit more of a mess to clean up in the end, but it is worth it.  I get the boys to make predictions as to what will happen or talk about how we could change something if we tried the experiment again.  We have all been watching past seasons of "MythBusters" throughout the winter, so they are big into wanting to do things that blow up or involve fire.  It should prove to be an interesting couple of weeks of experiments!

A sheet of baking soda and syringes filled with food-coloured vinegar.  Squirt and watch the fizz!

hmmm... I wonder if food colouring will stain my curtains...
Making goo out of dishsoap and cornstarch.

This was a bit of a fail, but the boys enjoyed squishing it all around!
Cavan and I made fire starters!  He loaded up egg cartons with dryer lint.  These are the easiest firestarters to make and use.  Just break off one egg holder at a time, stick under kindling, and light with a match.
Mama got to stir the melting parafin wax on the stove.
I would pass Cavan a small ladle of hot melted wax and he would pour it over the lint-lined egg cartons.  Remember to put wax paper down on your counter top before doing this activity!  Or else you will be scrapping wax off for hours.
Re-planting Cacti!
Messy, fun, and a good way to start talking about spring!

Fort building is always a good activity when a kid is sick!
Pillows, toys, fruit, goldfish crackers and a treat of getting to use the ipad!  Perfect fort.
A candle experiment!  We burned one candle in water and one without.  They check back repeatedly to see what the difference would be between the two.  When I asked them to predict what would happen they said the candle in water would be put out by the water, but the other candle would light our house on fire! 
It is hard to see here, but the water had formed a convex meniscus (I think it would be called that in this instance?) up to that lip of wax.  It looked so neat!  All of the candle was under water except for the very centre.
Comparison photo of the two candles.
Tonight we made bath paints with their shampoo, food colouring, corn starch and water.
The bath paint seemed a bit watery, but it was still a big hit.  No one was stained, but the water was a nasty brown by the end.  Plus they were both so soapy, I had to throw them into the shower for a rinse off.
I will do another update next week with all of the other activities and experiments we try!


Anonymous said...

Watch out! It's a slippery slope into attending science fairs!

Fawn said...

Love these ideas!!! It took me quite a while to wrap my head around a "convex meniscus". LOL!