Thursday, July 8, 2014

Make a Vocano with your Kid!

This is one of those activites you'll enjoy doing with your kid. It's fun, cheap, and safe!

What it is: take simple baking soda and combine it with vinegar to make a cool exploding chemical reaction. The banking soda mix will explode from the top of the funnel. It's messy so beware!

Ages:  For all the ages


  • Baking Soda but not baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • A container to hold everything and avoid a big mess!
  • Paper towels or something to wipe up


  • put the baking soda into the container.
  • toss in some of the vinegar
  • Then Watch as the reaction takes place!
The explaination

Basically the baking soda acts as the base while the vinagar acts as the acid. Combing the two and they form carbonic acid, which is unstable and breaks apart into seperate water and carbon dioxide. This makes the exploding liquid! For more realistic effects, put some red or orange food die in the mixture so the liquid looks like lava!

Want more fun things to do with your kids?

Check these sites out which have other fun activities:

Science Experiments for SINGLE MOMS and Kids

Kids Fun Stuff


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Exploring Pulleys...

Here is another chance to engage the natural curiosity of your Kid Scientist. 

Ages: Big Kid scientists will be able to describe the action of pulleys better as well as how they operate as a Simple Machine but Little Kids will also be able to explore at their own level.

Materials:  Pulleys, string or yarn, container & weights (the Science Mommy used a paper cup and rocks), a spring scale if you have one

Purpose: This exploration is designed to introduce Kid Scientists to Simple Machines.  Simple machines use mechanical energy to make work easier. Big Kid scientists may want to do some research on simple machines to learn more about the energy transfer within simple machines (look in the Kid Science Links).  There are three basic types of pulley systems.  The Science Mommy will introduce each one, the Kid Scientists can take their explorations as far as their questions will take them.

  • A spring scale will help determine if the pulley system reduces the amount of effort required to lift the load.  All of these pulley systems can also be explored without a spring scale.
  • Create a load.  The Science Mommy attached yarn to a paper cup and filled the cup with rocks.

    A fixed pulley is located above the load.  String is attached to the load and threaded through the pulley.  Pulling on the string uses the pulley to help lift the load up to the pulley.

  • A moveable pulley  is located on the load.  String is attached above the load, threaded through the pulley and pulled upwards to life the load. 

  • A block and tackle  or combination pulley system uses both a fixed pulley and a moveable pulley.  The string can either be anchored above the load or attached to the load.  Then it's threaded through the pullies. 

Questions to Explore:
How does one pulley work?
Does the size of the pulley matter?
Does the length of the string affect the pulley system?
What is the best way to use a pulley?
What is the most efficient pulley system?
Are there any disadvantages to using a pulley?
Where can you find examples of pulley systems in the "real world"?

Share what you learn with the Science Mommy!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Kid Scientists Reading...

Chloe, is a Kid Scientist who recently got her own copy of Albino Animals by Kelly Milner Halls. 

You can read what the Science Mommy had to say about this book, here.

What great books are you reading?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Layered 4th of July Drinks...

Use density to create a festive 4th of July drink!

Ages: This is best for the Big Kids to create, but everyone will enjoy the drinks.

- Clear plastic cups
- small liquid measuring cup
- Red juice - cranberry works well.  Don't use a light or diet version.
- Clear soda such as Sprite or 7Up
- Light Blue Gatorade

  • This may take Kid Scientists some practice first, so have some extra materials on hand. 
  • Begin by pouring 1/3 c of the red juice into a clear plastic cup.
  • Make sure the cup is sitting on a level surface.  Carefully and slowly pour 1/3 c soda on top of the red juice.  Pour the soda down the side of the cup, very slowly.  (It's much easier to pour slowly if the soda is measured into a small measuring cup)
  • Repeat the previous steps with the blue gatorade.
  • The three liquids should form separate layers in the cup.
  • It bears repeating...this takes a careful hand and a bit of practice. 
The Science Mommy looked all over for her pictures of this project and they have vanished!  Please send me yours and I will share them.

Exploring Magnets...

This is another exploration that will engage Kid Scientists natural sense of curiosity and inquiry.

Ages: This is better for Big Kid Scientists

Materials:  a variety of magnets

  • Share the magnets with your Kid Scientist
  • Ask her what questions she has about magnets and how she can discover the answers
  • You could also suggest some questions such as - What kinds of items are attracted to magnets?  What happens when two magnets are put together?  How many objects can one magnet hold?  Do all the magnets hold the same number of objects? 
  • You may download this Observation Guide to help your Kid Scientist hold her thinking and remember her observations. 
What did your Kid Scientist discover about magnets?

Monday, June 28, 2010


Ages: This is designed for Little Kid Scientists, but there's nothing stopping the Big Kids from getting in on the fun

Materials:  Shells, rocks, leaves...any group of items that are similar with identifiable differences

This activity is designed to introduce Little Kid Scientists to the idea of physical properties.  Physical properties of matter can be observed or measured without changing what is being observed or measured.  They include appearance, color, texture, odor, density and others.  Later Kid Scientists will learn to distinguish between Physical Properties and Chemical Properties or use Physical Properties to identify something unknown.  For now, this activity will start Kid Scientists thinking about ways to describe shells (or rocks, or leaves or flowers...)


  • Share the collection with your Kid Scientist, looking at each item. 

  • Ask questions about what you're observing...How does that feel?  What color is this?  Is this bigger or is this one?

  • After you've observed all the shells in the jar, ask your Kid Scientist to put them into groups.  "How many groups of shells can you make?"  or "Can you sort the shells into different groups?"

  • Allow your Kid Scientist to sort the shells all by himself.  Be supportive, and ask questions but allow him to do the thinking.

  • Once the shells are sorted, ask him to describe each group.  "How did you decide which shells went into each group?"

  • You can help your Kid Scientist with new vocabulary by labeling the groups if he doesn't.  "Oh, all these are small shells" or "So this is the group of shiny shells"

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Science Adventures...

The Science Mommy and her family were recently in Seattle and had a chance to visit the Boeing Museum of Flight.  You know how important curiousity is to the Science Mommy and visiting a great museum can certainly inspire scientific curiosity.
One of our first stops was the flight simulator.  This is one of the best simulators I have ever ridden, it was absolutely responsive.  Connar took the pilots seat and we enjoyed barrel rolls, somersaults and other flight patterns.  Flying the simulator required the use of two controls simultaneously and while not a real flight, Connar definitely learned something about the complexity of flying an airplane.
There were several opportunities to get into cockpits and explore the instruments.  Aiden was full of questions about how things worked.
The Science Mommy loved the displays.  Connar and I spent a long time looking at this one to understand how flight evolved in the animal kingdom. 

Musuems are excellent places to explore new ideas, ask questions and feed Kid Science curiousity.  Which great museums have you visited?