Science Experiment Staycation!

After multiple snow days full of “togetherness” at home, I’m looking to fill February Vacation week with local day trips, crafts and activities to keep the kiddos busy and minimize cabin fever.  We’ll be outside as much as possible, but in case of bad weather, I’ve got a few fun science experiments up my sleeve that all three of my crew will enjoy! 


Oobleck – The Cornstarch and Water Experiment
from Science Bob

oobleck

This is a super easy science activity that will keep kids busy and happy for quite a while!  It is on the messier side, so roll up your sleeves and get ready to play!

Materials:

  • Cornstarch
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • A large bowl
  1. This is easy. Pour the cornstarch into the bowl. Don’t rush to add water – take time to feel the cornstarch. Cornstarch does not feel like any other powder. It has a texture 1that can be compared to that of whipped cream. The grains of cornstarch are so small that they will fill into grooves of your fingerprints and make the prints stand out.
  2. After you’ve taken-in the feel of the powder, it is time to add water. (You should add the food coloring to your water before adding it to the powder.) There are no exact formulas regarding how much water to add, but it will end up being about 1/2 cup (120 ml) of water per cup (235 ml) of cornstarch. The secret is to add the water slowly and mix as you add it. Don’t be shy here – dig in with your hands and really mix it up. This is usually when you notice that this is not your average liquid. Add enough water so that the mixture slowly flows on its own when mixed. The best test is to reach in and grab a handful of the mixture and see if you can roll it into a ball between your hands – if you stop rolling it and it “melts” between your fingers – success!

Read more about this activity at www.sciencebob.com.


Grow Your Own Salt Crystals
from Science Kids

Grow your own salt crystalsMaterials:

  • A jar
  • Water
  • About half a cup of salt
  • A spoon for stirring
  • String
  • Scissors
  • 2 toothpicks

Instructions:

  1. Fill the jar with water.
  2. Add about half a cup of salt to the water.
  3. Mix the solution together with a spoon.
  4. Cut a piece of string with scissors and tie each end to a toothpick.
  5. Place the string over the top of the jar so that the string dangles into the middle of the solution and the toothpicks hang over the edge.
  6. Don’t forget to clean up when you’ve finished.

Leave the experiment and wait for salt crystals to form along the string. They are an excellent example of cubic crystals and you can do further research with them by examining them under a microscope.

Read more about this experiment at www.sciencekids.co


Seven Layer Density Column
from Steve Spangler Science

7 density layer column

Materials

  1. Measure 8 ounces of each type of liquid into the 9 ounce portion cups. You may want to color each of the liquids to make a more dramatic effect in your column. Light Karo syrup is easier to color than dark syrup. The only liquids that you may not be able to color are the vegetable oil and the honey.
  2. Start your column by pouring the honey into the cylinder. Now, you will pour each liquid SLOWLY into the container, one at a time. It is very important to pour the liquids slowly and into the center of the cylinder. Make sure that the liquids do not touch the sides of the cylinder while you are pouring. It’s okay if the liquids mix a little as you are pouring. The layers will always even themselves out because of the varying densities. Make sure you pour the liquids in the following order:
    • Honey
    • Karo syrup
    • Dish soap
    • Water
    • Vegetable oil
    • Rubbing alcohol
    • Lamp oil
  3. As you pour, the liquids will layer on top of one another. After you pour in the liquids you will have a seven-layer science experiment – a science burrito!

Read more about this experiment at www.stevespanglerscience.com.


Need other ideas for February Vacation?  Check out our previous posts: