Easy Experiments to Introduce Magnetism to Kids

In this experiment, you can make kids learn about the items that get attracted to magnets. It is the best physics experiment for small kids.

Magnets are amazing things for kids to create interest in science. You can do wonders with magnets. They also play a very critical role in wide areas of practical scientific applications.

On last Sunday, we were discussing about possible other experiments to do at home. At first, the magnet experiment caught Prithika’s attention. She wanted to do it and I thought I can teach her about magnetism and magnetic force.  This is nothing but just using a magnet to check which items at home gets attracted to it.

Suitable For
Kids from age 3 to 9 can try this. Different aged kids will infer different information per their age. Therefore try this with preschoolkindergarten, and primary school kids. I did this with my elder daughter 8 years old and younger one 6 years.

Things required

  • Magnet – We used a big ring magnet and a stick magnet. You can use the same size or a bigger one.
  • Items for testing magnetism. These included metals, plastic, wood, chalk, vessels, nails, keys, etc.
  • Paper/Notebook
  • Water & Oil
  • Glass Jar
  • Bowls

Magnetic Experiments

1. Classification of Materials

Classifying Magnetic vs Non Magnetic Materials

We spread across the following items in a mat and asked my daughter to start testing them for attraction with a magnet.

  • Keys
  • Plastic playing coins
  • Screws
  • Few Pennies
  • Safety Pins
  • Paper Pins
  • Mouse Ball (yeah the old one)
  • Blue stones
  • Seeds
  • Few more items that we could find from scraps.

Then she started the experiment. She checked with the magnet and segregated things that were attracted by the magnet in one side and not attracted in another side.

Oh, I missed it. She actually first wrote the list of items which she thought will get attracted and the others. Then tested whether her understanding is correct.

After sorting the items upon checking with the magnet she checked her list and understood that metals get attracted to a magnet. However, wood, plastic, and chalk do not.

She listed key, fork in the attracted to list. But in reality, it was not so, they landed in the not attracted to list. When she curiously asked me I explained to her that metals that contain iron will get attracted and not others. I told her about silver and gold metals and they do not get attracted to a magnet. 

She also played by keeping the magnet above the “attracted place” and felt glad that all items stuck to the magnet. I now explained to her about magnetism. The items got attracted are not magnetic items but they got attracted due to their property that was pulled by the magnetic force.

We were amazed to see Blue stone gravels stuck to magnet and we learned that some of the stones have ingrained materials that are attracted to magnets.

Now, it’s time to learn spellings. She verified with me about the names of the items which she did not know and spelled them phonetically. Best way to learn the spelling of many new words. I was glad.

She listed key, fork in the attracted to list. But in reality, it was not so, they landed in the not attracted to list. When she curiously asked me I explained to her that metals that contain iron will get attracted and not others. I told her about silver and gold metals and they do not get attracted to a magnet. 

2. Measuring Strength of Magnet

It was time for us to take the next step in the experiment. After classifying the things, I wanted my daughter to learn about the strength of the magnet.

Not all magnets have equal magnetic strength. It varies based on the size, shape and of course on the materials in which the magnet is made.

How can we simply showcase strength of the magnet? We took a simple approach. I asked my daughter to keep attaching coins to the magnet but not directly. Each of the next coin would be attached to the previous coin and we tested how much can the magnet hold.

Our Bar magnet was able to hold 2 to 3 coins while our ring magnet could hold more than 4. We even tested with couple of screws and bolts.

We didn’t have a Gauss Meter to measure the strength but this experiment was good enough to prove that each magnet has difference in their magnetic strength.

3. Separating Iron Fillings from Sand

Prithika was impressed after seeing the blustones sticking to the magnet and asked us how does a stone stick to a magnet?

I thought it would be fun to make her understand by separating iron filings from sand. Though I wasn’t sure how much iron fillings I would be able to separate, we thought it is worth to test it.

I gave my daughter a big ring magnet and asked her to play with in the sand and observe. She did all possible things with magnet and sand. Initially she dragged the magnet across the sand and started pouring sand on top of the magnet. Finally, when she was done with her play. I showed her the small particles that was stuck to the magnet.

We finally found enough iron fillings from the sand. I asked Prithika to carefully separate them out and store them in a bowl.

It took her about 10 minutes to save the iron fillings in the bowl. Now I showed her that even sand has iron fillings. Similarly some of the rocks have high iron or metal content which can work as magnetic material and gets attracted by magnet.

I am sure , she understood the lesson through this fun activity.

To make things even more fun, we poured the separated iron fillings into a plastic box and I started circling the magnet underneath the box. The particles started dancing in line with the magnet’ movement. Both my daughters were jumped on joy seeing this. I let them play for a while before starting our next experiment.

4. Magnetic Property Under Liquids

Tisha asked me on whether she can play with magnet in water? That’s when I thought why don’t we teach how magnets work under liquids.

I took a plastic container and filled water. I asked Prithika to pour the iron fillings in the water. Now I asked her to use the magnet to move the iron fillings across the container. She was happy to see the iron fillings stuck to the surface of the container where the magnet was placed. She tried to drag the magnet across the container and saw the iron fillings followed her.

Similarly, we tried this with paper clips in the water. They also followed the magnets.

This helped my kids to understand magnets do work under water.

Science Behind Magnets
The magnet produces a magnetic field and that will attract things that contain magnetic property. For instance, iron or any metal that contains iron is pulled by the magnetic force. Fridge magnets are the classic example which gets stuck to the refrigerator door as they are made of steel. Two magnets will get either attracted or repelled based on the poles. Like poles repel and unlike poles attract each other.

Check for more physics activities on physics activities for kids.

Few best ones for your reference

Word of Caution
Make use of big magnets so that there is no choking hazard of children swallowing it. Apart from that, even magnet can get attracted inside the gut leading to severe health problems. Ensure kids safety and then provide them with magnets. Also, closely monitor them to avoid any accidents.  
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Respiration in Plants – Live Proof

respiration in plants science activity

Do Plants Breathe? Do a simple science experiment with your kids to show respiration in plants. 

respiration in plants science activity

On a winter Sunday afternoon, my daughters and I were taking a stroll in our garden, enjoying the sun. Always ready to pounce on opportunities to make my girls learn something new or be curious about something, I keep myself armed with some questions, interesting trivia or experiment ideas.

That day we were looking at our plants and I was showing them how different each one is. My younger one plucked a Hibiscus flower, and the conscientious older one was upset about Tisha picking flowers! Agreeing that it was wrong to pick flowers, I said, however, “Lets put this flower to good use and do an experiment with it!  Let me pluck few leaves as well!” This is how we embarked on learning about whether plants breathe.

The Question – Do Plants Breathe?

(The answer – Yes, they ‘respire’ through pores on their surface of leaves, petals, etc., and called stomata).

Both the girls knew, in their own ways, that plants are living things. So I remarked to them, “If they are alive, they also probably breathe!” The older one immediately piped in, “Teacher told us that we breathe in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide when we breathe out. The teacher also said that we get oxygen from plants, so we should save them.” The younger one got interested but could not catch on with what the older one said. So all three of us did a couple of deep-breathing exercises right then! (Remember – You need to keep kids interested and engaged and hence try different things, especially if there are two or more age-groups involved).

Now we had established that breathing (we did not venture into ‘respiration vs. breathing’) involved taking in some ‘air’ and then giving out some ‘air’.

I had to now show my children that plants too did this, not through any nose, but through their surface. 

See How Can You Change Color of a Flower

The Experiment – How we Explored the Question in detailed steps

So this is what we did.

Respiration in plants things we need

I requested Pritika to bring a glass bowl from inside the house, reminding her to be careful with the glass. (Although any bowl would do, glass makes it easier to observe things).

I pour water in the bowl and asked the younger one to place leaves in the bowl. I had told her to be careful and not crumple the leaves and place it in the water gently and keeping it horizontal. I pushed it down slightly so that the leaves were submerged in the water.

drop leaves in water respiration of plants science experiments

We then had to leave it alone, without disturbing it, for about an hour. They were both inquisitive and impatient about what was going to happen and kept keeping a watch over the bowl. I was happy – they were gaining some observation skills and building their patience. I did not answer any of their questions because next I wanted them to make more observations and try to infer things themselves.

dip leaves in water respiration activity

In less than an hour, I could see what we were meant to – bubbles on the surface of the submerged leaves, and some bubbles rising to the surface of the water. I did not point this out and waited, hoping they would notice the change themselves. They did! They both saw the bubble as they started rising to the water surface and asked if that was what was supposed to happen. Excited myself, I said, “What could the presence of bubbles mean? If that answers our question about plants breathing, then yes, this is what the experiment was about, otherwise, we have to wait for some other change.”

first bubble proof respiration plants

After a while, I did have to give them a clue – “What are inside bubbles?” “Air!” jumped the older one; grasping the answer at once after that and then she explained it to the younger one. Our day was made and we ended with several more questions? – Will the same thing happen with flowers? Will it happen with all plants? Will it happen with fruits? Will it happen at night as well (this from the older one because the teacher had told them that plants give oxygen during the day)?

appearance of more bubbles respiration in plants

So we repeated the experiment with flowers this time.

flowers breathing experiment dip in water

We could see air bubbles coming out of flowers as well as a proof of respiration.

flowers respiration breathing experiment bubbles in flowers

Science Behind how plants breathe

The petals that were submerged, were still ‘breathing’. When they released the air (breathed out), little bubbles formed on the surface, because the plant was in another medium, water (Is this not a clever way of ‘seeing’ air?!). Since air is lighter than water, the bubbles also rose to the surface of the bowl.

Let me explain a few scientific words related to this context respiration in plants

  • Cellular respiration in plants – respiration in which carbon dioxide is absent is called cellular respiration. Cells respire in this situation.
  • Photosynthesis – the process through which leaves make food on their own is called photosynthesis. The plant uses sunlight, carbon dioxide, water, and minerals to prepare food.
  • Stomata – pores which allow the plant to respire. Through stomata only the leaves are able to take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen.
  • Diffusion – in plants the food prepared by leaves is distributed to all parts of the plant through diffusion where single-cell carries the food to all parts of the plant body.

respiration of plants plants can breath experiment

Word of Caution

Carrying out any experiment with kids needs caution. This experiment is no different. However, let me list the few areas where you need to focus on.

Use a glass bowl for more visibility. But you need to be very careful to let kids deal with them as they may cause damage if they fall down.

Next, with plants, you need to select the right plant that will not cause any toxicity for kids. Not all plants are good hence exercise caution. Don’t let kids pick plants from the garden on their own.

Suitable For

Four-year old pre-school children are exposed to very basic ideas about living and non-living things. Some of them may be taught things like – ‘plants also have life’, ‘plants are helpful for us’, ‘you should not harm plants and flowers’, ‘they “feel pain” too’ etc. It is easier for them to relate to other humans and animals, and even birds. Plants are similar to us in some ways! is too hard a concept for them to grasp. On top of that, they then build their own notions – we breathe through our noses, animals also have noses and breathe through those, plants don’t have noses.

Leave alone four-year-olds, even older children at least up to the age of eight, may not even think of the question of whether plants breathe. Eight-year-old children, i.e. those probably in class 3, would have studied a bit more about differences between living and non-living things, but even they do not really explore this question or become curious about how they breathe if they don’t have noses.

Girls are more inclined towards playing with flowers and plants, hence this activity was thoroughly enjoyed by them. This, however, is a function of how we bring up our children and what they see around them! No stereotype here. Hence, it can be equally interesting and productive with boys.

Final thoughts

I am glad to let you know all these details and now it’s time for you to put this in action with your kids. Feel free to share your comments and also let us know if we missed any details related to this experiment.

We will come back with another experiment soon!

Candle Under Glass Experiment

We did this cool candle and glass experiment last week. The experiment teaches of role of oxygen in fire and its presence in the air. This one takes less than 5 minutes to complete it.

Candle Glass Fire Experiment
Suitable For
Kids who are less than 5 can only understand that oxygen is required for a candle to burn and when we close with the glass tumbler oxygen goes off and hence the candle.

5 – 6-year-old kids can experiment this by noting time and they can learn how much oxygen is required to burn the candle. They can learn about smoke and wax.

8+-year-old kids can learn chemical equations, balancing them and the detailed science behind the candle and glass experiment.

How to do this candle and glass experiment

The simplest experiment to do but has a big science behind it. Don’t panic this science is easy for even kids to understand. Let us first do this experiment and study the science behind it.

Materials required for carrying out the experiment

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Arrangement

Place the candle on the plate. Keep the matchbox and glass tumbler ready.

close glass on top candle

Action

Light the candle and leave it for some time and then close the candle with a glass tumbler so that you can see through the light.

flame size reduces in seconds light and candle experiment

Result

After a few seconds, you can see the flame comes down slowly and eventually goes off. You can try opening the glass when the flame is low to see how it picks up oxygen again and the flame goes higher.

You can also see a small sediment of moisture in the inner walls of the glass. That is a proof that fire releases H2O.

flame goes off candle glass experiment

Variations

Yes, the experiment is over. Now, try these and share your experience with us.

  • Now you can do this using a stopwatch and check the time taken for the light to go off after closing the candle with glass.
  • Use the candle of different size and check the timing.
  • Also, use bigger and smaller glass to check the timing.

Do this experiment with kids and allow them to make the observations.

Science Behind Candle Glass Experiment
Assume candle as a miniature version of a chemical factory. So much of chemical equations are involved in that small matter. The candle is made up of wax and the wick draws fuel called oxygen from air and burns when lighted with a matchbox. When the glass tumbler is kept on the candle the oxygen in the surrounding goes off in a while and then the candlelight also follows.

Therefore oxygen is required for the candle to burn for a long time.

Detailed science with terminologies

Hydrocarbons present in the wax are converted to carbon dioxide and steam and this chemical process is called combustion. The oxygen gets pulled at the bottom and the wick draws the fuel. This will provide heat at the top and that makes air hot to rise up. This is how a candle burns. The steam part gives the blue color to the fire. The unburned carbon deposit makes the walls nearby black. Better oxygen means brighter the flame. Match stick is required to ignite and that produces the activation energy to start the entire burning process.

The chemical equation for your reference

Methane (hydrocarbon) + Oxygen –> Carbon dioxide and Water

CH4 + 2 O2 –> CO2 + 2 H2O

Check scienceline for more science facts.  Also, read candles.org explanation to master the science behind candle and science experiments.

FAQs

What happens when you put a candle in a jar?

When the candle is placed in the jar it limits the flow of oxygen and hence the candle flame goes off.

What will happen if a burning candle is covered with a glass jar?

Oxygen is the fuel for wax and makes the wick burn. When the candle is closed with the glass jar the oxygen supply is stopped. Initially, the candle burns by making use of the oxygen within the glass and slowly when there is no oxygen the flame goes off.

Which candle goes out first?

The candle that is the shortest will go out first. It is because the CO2 is denser than air so it will settle down at the bottom eventually putting off the fire.

Can I use any glass jar for candles?

Glass is also prone to crack and break due to heat. Check out for heat resistant glassware and use them for this experiment.

Where does candle wax go when you burn a candle?

When the candle is lighted the heat of the flame will melt the wax first near the wick that is on the top. Thus the wax will melt and that liquid wax gets drawn up again by the wick due to capillary action. The flame’s heat vaporizes the wax in the liquid state and that will initiate the hydrocarbon break down process. The hydrocarbon breaks down further into molecules of carbon and hydrogen.

Do Candles burn oxygen?

Combustion is the chemical reaction happening in the candle burning process. Wax is derived from petroleum and is a carbon chemical and it reacts with the oxygen present in the air. This process creates CO2 which is a colorless gas.

Does burning a candle clean the air?

Yes and no. Yes if it is pure beeswax. No, if it is not a pure wax. Candles made of pure beeswax will produce no smoke and cleanses the air around. It does this by releasing negative ions in the air. Such released negative ions bind with the toxins and remove them eventually from air. Also, natural pure beeswax burns slowly, when compared to paraffin candles and hence they last for long time.

Why a burning candle does gets extinguished when covered with jar? (Or)
Why does a candle stop burning when covered with a glass tumbler?

Candle burning requires oxygen and that is present in the air naturally. When we close the candle with jar, then oxygen flow is limited and once all the oxygen present is exhausted the candle gets extinguished.

candle under glass fire experiment
Word of Caution
I request parents, teachers or elders to supervise kids while they do this experiment as it involves fire. Irrespective of the age of the kids it is good to monitor them. Tell them not to touch the burnt candle as they will be hot too. Instruct them to deal with the glass tumbler and not break to poke in their legs.

Overall, stay around and explain to them to have fun.

In addition, please note that Candles are AC’s enemies. Yes, teach this to kids.
AC room lacks oxygen and hence burning candles will not get oxidized completely leading to forming carbon monoxide. It is dangerous to health which leads to serious complication including death. Beware!

What inspired me to do this experiment?

Let me share my experience in how did I arrive at doing this experiment? During one summer we had a massive power failure. My little ones had never been used to such a situation ever. But this time the situation was tough and they had to spend the whole night without power. That is when I lit a candle for light while we had dinner.

As usual, my curious elder daughter asked me how does a candle burn. Why does it not require electricity as lights and fan do? How come it gives brightness as an electric bulb does. She bombarded me with questions I was like feeling glad that she thinks all these things. At the same time, my naughty little younger one as usual in her style started doing fun things. She blew the candle and sang “happy birthday”. 

We finished dinner and suddenly my little one using her empty glass covered the candle. In a few minutes the candle went off. I lighted the candle and told her not to play with fire. Again in few mins when I was away she did the same job to check if the light goes off.  It did go off and my elder one was puzzled to know why it happened.

Her question was when there is more air candle goes off that’s exactly what happens when we blew the candle. But here the contradiction happens and when the candle is closed it should not go off as airflow is cut. Then why it happens. I told her that there is a science behind that action.

Now, we started doing this experiment to explain the concept to the kids.

Disclaimer : This post contains affiliate links from Amazon. An affiliate link means that when you purchase using the link provided in this page, I would get a small referral fees WITHOUT any extra cost to you. I highly appreciate your understanding and support.

Can You Make a Crystal Candy Cane? (Christmas Science Project)

Crystal Candycane Experiment

Make this festive season more fun and affordable with our simple, easy and fun-filled crystal candy canes science experiment. Crystal Candy Canes!! Yes, which science is more fun than crystal science for kids! Agreed!?

Earlier, my kids enjoyed making Borax Crystal Flowers, so I wanted to extend the activity a bit more.   

Crystal Candycane Experiment

Making crystal candy canes at home is easier than you might think. We are approaching Christmas and I know that Christmas decors are expensive during festive season. Why don’t you try or make your own crystal candy canes at home. As I told you, you can use crystal candy canes for decorating the Christmas tree during Christmas. Crystal candy canes also make an awesome crystal ornament. Sounds interesting right!!

Make your own Crystal Candy Canes at Home

Your kids will love this fun science Christmas STEM activity and they won’t even realize that they are learning some science. It is that easy and fun for kids. Let us list out the supplies we require for the activity.

what we need

Suitable For
Young kids in the age of 5-6 years may not understand the simple science behind it but still they enjoy the amazing results. Kids above 7 years are perfect for better understanding this activity.

Preparations
Add and mix borax to boiling water

1) Take two glass cups and be sure to keep them clean and neat. Any other chemicals in the glass can possibly flop your activity.

2) Find some private space to keep the set up safe and secure overnight or 12 hours.

3) Keep in mind that you always use boiling water for the experiment. Cold water cannot give you successful results.

4) Be careful while using borax since it is not safe to touch frequently. Ask your kids to wear safety gloves and glasses to avoid unnecessary risks.

Instructions to grow Crystal Candy Canes

Growing crystal candy canes at home is a great way to combine easy science experiments for kids along with a lot of Christmas fun. Kids can easily arrange the set up and gather the supplies in no time. We used pipe cleaners to grow crystal candy canes because we can bend pipe cleaners into any shape and easy to mould. Let us dig in…

Step-1 Make candy canes
join two pipe cleaner

  • My two girls are happy to twist the pipe cleaners into candy canes. Take two pipe cleaners of red and white colors (red and white suits well for the Christmas season) and ask your kids to fold them in half and twist into candy canes shape. We also tried the blue and white combination.
  • Tie a length of fish wire or string to the free end of the candy canes. Make sure you take the enough length of fish wore or string in order to immerse the candy cane completely into the glass jar and not touching the bottom. It is suggested to tie the free end of the fish wire to a pencil or craft stick so that we can rest our candy cane safely on the top of the jar.
  • Making Candycanes

Step-2 Preparing the suspension

  • This is the step that require extra care along with your attention as we are going to deal with the stove and hot things. Lit the stove on and boil the water. Pour off the boiling hot water in to the glass cup almost up to the top.
  • Now add a spoonful of borax powder into the glass jar and stir the boiling water until all the borax has dissolved. Continue stirring every time you add a spoonful of borax.
  • Three table spoons of borax for one cup of hot water is the ideal measurement for making a good borax suspension.

Step-3 Dropping the candy canes
candycane in borax water

  • Now my super girls dropped the candy canes into the glass jars carefully. It is very important to keep in mind that the candy canes or pipe cleaners do not touch the sides or bottom of the glass jar.

Step-4 Let it settle

  • Here you need little patience to see the wonderful crystals formation on the candy canes. Let the borax suspension sit or settle for 12 hours or overnight. If your kids can wait, then leave the set up for 3-4 days to see how big the crystals can be formed.
  • After about 12-24 hours or overnight, you can see amazing crystals formation on the candy canes. You can remove the candy canes from the jar once the crystal formation is finished.
  • Place the crystal candy canes on the dry towels and let dry completely. You can even wash the crystal candy canes under cold water. Now the crystal candy canes are ready in your hand to hang up for decorations.

Candycanes Experiment For Kids

Fun Science Fact

When the borax is mixed with enough amount of hot water, there forms a suspension called super saturated borax suspension. Here the borax acts as a solute and the water as solvent. Usually, any solute molecule gets dissolved in the solvent molecule due to the attraction between the solute and water ions.

Temperature plays an important role during the solute molecules dissolving in the solvent. Hot water holds more solute molecules than the cold water. There is a simple logic here. Let me explain you in detail.

Under right conditions of high heat water molecules repel each other and move farther apart providing more space for the borax molecules to dissolve. When the water gets cool, the water molecules move closer again and provides very less space for the borax molecules to dissolve. The extra borax molecules that cannot be dissolved in the cold water starts getting attached to the pipe cleaners or candy canes in the form of crystals. Also the separated borax molecules from the water gets settle down at the bottom of the glass jar. Kids can observe what’s going on in the jar clearly through the transparent sides.

If you want to clean the borax crystals formed at the bottom of the jar, just pour some hot water in the jar and re dissolve the extra borax and then pour it off in the sink.

Tip

You can grow large size of the crystals by following only two things:

1) A structure or armature on which the crystals are allowed to grow

2) Controlling the cooling rate of the supersaturated solution (crystal growing solution)
Crystal Candy Canes For Christmas

Wrapping up

I was so happy to see our homemade and beautiful crystal candy canes on our homemade Christmas tree. My kids loved to see sparkling crystals especially during nights as they reflect little lights from the tree. It was so beautiful to watch. The finished beautiful crystals make a great holiday ornament.

I suggest and encourage you all to try this activity with your kids. Ask your kids to try with different shapes. If your children are interested, ask them to observe the changes happening during and after the activity what has changed a day before and a day after. Try anything into adventure and start creating, crafting, and learning together! Happy experiment!! 

Disclaimer : This post contains affiliate links from Amazon. An affiliate link means that when you purchase using the link provided in this page, I would get a small referral fees WITHOUT any extra cost to you. I highly appreciate your understanding and support.

Glowing Water Beads Experiment for Kids

Glowing-WatBeads Experiment For Kids

If I am not wrong all the kids out there are much familiar with the water beads. How about glowing water beads!? I think they are not familiar with the glowing water beads. In fact, kids will be wondered knowing that water beads can glow. You all might have caught the topic which we are going to experiment. Good 🙂

Glowing-WatBeads Experiment  For Kids

Suitable For
Glowing water beads experiment is as simple as playing with regular water beads. Also gives so much fun for all ages of children including adults. This glowing chemistry experiment can be so much fun. It can be used for imaginative and sensory play. This is the perfect sensory activity for  3-4 year olds and 5-6 year olds. 
 

After our successful glow in the dark ice cubes activity, we were left with 2 more cans of tonic water. I thought why not expand the glow science activity to water beads. 

I am excited to show and couldn’t wait to see my girl’s reaction to a glowing pool of water beads. Are you feeling the same!? Then why not follow our post to know the complete procedure in order to give your kids a cool learning experience with glowing water beads activity.

Glowing Water Beads Experiment

Water beads (main ingredient of today’s activity) are the water filled marbles or round shaped squishy or bouncy ball like materials. They are tiny water absorbing polymers sometimes called as crystal soil or water balls. We love playing with water beads in a variety of ways. If you are not aware of water beads, just go to any store and get it. They are most commonly used for keeping plants hydrated as they are filled with water. Here is the one simple glowing science activity that keeps your kids busy in the vacation and also perfect for making a cool impression this Halloween. Are you ready to blow the kids mind with this amazing sensory material, glowing water beads!? Let us get into the topic…

Things required to glow water beads

We require a very few ingredients as usual to make this super simple and fun glow in the dark experiment. What is that magical ingredient for today’s activity!? Do you think ‘Tonic Water’!? Yes, as you all expected tonic water is the magic ingredient that makes water beads glow.

I have left over tonic water when we used for our glowing ice cubes activity. So I thought why not try few more activities to amaze our kids. Then I decided to glow water beads in the dark using the same concept. And I can’t tell you how much my kids loved it to watch glowing water beads. Super cool, right!? All you need is:

  • Tonic water (Be sure tonic water bottle is labelled with quinine. It does not matter if it is listed with very less quantity of quinine)
  • Water beads (Buy non-toxic and fertilizer free water balls)
  • Glass cups
  • Black light
  • Dark room (sounds funny right!! I know this is not an ingredient but this counts under things we need to perform the activity)

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Things We Need for glowing beads

Here I would like to share few moments happened with my little ones. My girls always love to stare at these super cool flashlights. Actually, we have fixed one room with black lights that we often use. If you do not have black light fixtures, do buy a UV light torch which is easily available in the stores. Even UV light torches do work greatly.

How to glow water beads

1) Take three neat and clear glass cups and arrange them in a row. My younger one raised a thoughtful question i.e. why glass cups and why not other any other cups? The answer is: as the glass cups are transparent, there is an easy access for the kids to observe the progress going on during the experiment. The reason might be simple but it helps kids to improve their sensory skills.

pour water to glass go science girls

2) Half fill the glass cups with the tonic water. (Keep in mind that there is enough space for water beads to bulge).  

adding water beats to water

3) I asked my younger one to drop few non-toxic water beads in the glass cups filled with tonic water. Do not put too many water beads in a single glass cup since it becomes tight for the water beads to accommodate. 

Add tonic water and water beats into the cup

We used three different types of water beads i.e. transparent, yellow colour and multicolour water beads in three glass cups separately. Choosing the water beads is my elder daughter’s choice. She love playing with colours. 🙂

4) Let it settle for an hour or more until the water beads take nice round shape and stop absorbing water.

Observations: Here you can show your kids what is the difference between the regular and tonic water beads. Tonic water beads are slightly smaller and sticky than the regular ones. The main culprit for the stickiness is the sugar content in tonic water. If your kids feels fussy to touch the sticky ones, you can use diet tonic water to serve the purpose.

Shinning Water Beads Experiment

5) Once the water beads are ready in the glass cups, just drain the excess tonic water if any from the glass cup.

Water beads Experiment

Shining water beads

6) Turn off the lights and make the room dark. And turn on your black light on to the water beads.

Glowing Water Beads Experiment For Kids

Science Behind Glowing Water Beads

Do you remember ‘I stressed on quinine compound while listing the supplies required for the activity’. This is where quinine’s role is coming into picture.

Tonic water does not shine or glow under normal light but what happens when it is exposed to UV light. Generally tonic water tastes bitter because of the presence of a chemical compound called ‘Quinine’. Quinine is a highly fluorescent compound. When the UV black light (invisible) falls on the tonic water, the phosphorous in the quinine compound absorbs the invisible light and reflects back the light energy which is visible to human eye. That is the reason tonic water glows when the black light is flashed through it.

In our experiment, the tonic water absorbed water beads glow when they are exposed to invisible UV black light because of the fluorescent compound, quinine (that shines under black light).

My kids are amazed seeing the water beads start glowing under the black UV light.  So what are you waiting for? Introduce your kids these simple glowing science experiments in a fun and hands on way. Never ever worry about how far they understand the concept or science behind it but encourage them or let them be amazed and surprised to the science with fun and wonder. Slowly they will understand the concept behind the glowing.  

Please Note ...

The water balls that we used are non-toxic and are safe for kids to touch and play. But beware, these water balls are not edible. If your kids swallow the beads, they could expand in the stomach and can cause blockages – resulting in choking hazard. So the experiment should be done with care.

The black light torch that we used is a low powered long wave UV torch. That means they are safe. But do not expose the black light to eyes directly.

Parents are suggested to put your complete attention on your kids while performing this activity. Click here for more information.

Making Glowing Water Beads

Making Glowing Water Beads With Tonic Water

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Science Behind Making Butter

DIY Homemade butter - Edible Science for Kids

Hello friends and especially to all the super mom’s out there!!!

Today we have come up with another simple and easy science experiment but this time not only science we can call it as ‘Edible Science Experiment’. Yes!! Today I am going to post “How to make Homemade Butter”. Try this activity with your kids. It’s really fun and will fascinate all ages of children.

DIY Homemade butter - Edible Science for Kids

What tastes better than a homemade butter!!? Whether you spread it on a bread or roll it on a roti for dinner, taste of butter by our hands is always top the line. Show this old fashioned fun activity for kids and they will really enjoy churning your own butter at home. Children of any age can understand and more than watching kids enjoy doing this activity.

Homemade butter is made in a variety of different ways and today we are going to learn or make homemade butter using basic household supplies. Let us see what they are!!

Making Homemade Butter

One traditional and classic butter making process is by using a bit of muscle. Hahaha!! Confused!? Yes, we are going to make butter in a jar by shaking it using your muscle strength. It is so simple, fun and easily accessible activity for kids and also improves your child’s motor skills.

Who is it for
This is a cool science activity that is suitable for primary school kids (5-6 year olds) or kindergarteners (3-4 year olds). But that shouldn’t stop you if you have older kids. It is an Yummy activity that can be done by kids of all ages.

Things you need to make tasty Butter

Things We Need for making butter

  • One cup of heavy and fresh whipping cream
  • Clean and tight sealed glass jar with lid. Baby food jars (that have lid) work best if you are preferring to do with the small batches. Whereas a canning jar with a lid, seal and ring works great for larger batches. A different size glass jars could be used for the purpose but the amount of fresh whipping cream should be adjusted accordingly.
  • A clean glass bowl
  • A strainer

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Preparation

  • Take one cup of fresh cream into a cup or glass bowl. Let it settle to the room temperature (suggested to leave it for five hours in the bowl).
  • Make sure all the glass containers we are going to in the activity are clean and clear.

Steps to Making Butter from Fresh Cream

1) Once the fresh cream is settled for five hours, pour it directly into a clean glass jar. Put the lid on the jar and screw it on tightly.

pour fresh cream to the bottle

2) For the next step, you may want to get a helping hand ready for shaking the jar. My daughters helped me while shaking and they both took turns to shake it. This is the only step where we need to put little efforts to take out butter. It will take several minutes of vigorous shaking to make butter from the cream! Shake it until the sloshing sound stops.

close and shake the bottle to get butter

3) After few minutes, the fresh cream will thicken and the sloshing sound stops too.

4) About the half way through, you may stop shaking and open the lid to show your kids what’s happening inside the jar.

Make your own butter

5) The fresh in the jar has just turned into a whipped cream. My younger couldn’t control herself from tasting it.

6) Place the lid back on and keep shaking until the sloshing sound stops again. This sloshing sound is because of the butter milk separating from the butter.

7) Almost we are done, shake the jar for few more minutes and take the lid off. You can see the solid mass inside the jar which is nothing but our yummy and tasty homemade butter.

8) Pour off the butter milk out of the jar using a strainer into an empty cup.

making butter experiment for kids

9) Here we go!! The most awaited homemade light and fluffy butter is ready to slather on your toast, bread etc. Flavour your butter with a pinch of salt and chopped herbs to make your toast tastier.

OBSERVATIONS

Before you start shaking, note down the time or put your stop watch on to take note on how long does it take to make butter out of fresh cream.

Now we jump into our second easy way of making butter at home as I already promised you in the beginning that I will tell you the three different methods.

Using Hand Beater

Were your hands paining? Let’s make the activity little more simpler.   We are going to replace our bottle movement with a beater. 

Procedure

Step-1

Do the preparation same as we did in the first method of making homemade butter. (Bringing the fresh cream to room temparature).

pour cream to the bowl

Step-2

Take a cup of fresh cream into the jar and beat it with your hands. That is the reason I said ‘you need to invest your energy to make tasty homemade butter. 🙂

beat the cream to get butter

Beat the butter using beater until the liquid separates out and a solid mass is formed. The solid mass is nothing but our yummy butter. Nothing can beat the taste of homemade butter in this world.

Separating butter from milk

This recipe is for unsalted butter. If you want salted butter, you can add required salt to the fresh cream itself before you start beating it.

filter buttermilk from butter

Separate the butter from the glass jar and knead it for some time so that you can save the butter from getting rancid.

Now it’s time for our third method – Let’s use motorized beater. 

This method saves your energy while making homemade butter. Hahaha!! Yes, in this recipe you can use electronic beater to whip the cream.

    Procedure

    1) Pour a cup of fresh cream into a clean and clear glass jar and start beating it. This time you can beat the cream using electronic beater.

    2) Beat the cream until the sloshing sound made by the separating liquid stops.

    Making Butter Kitchen Science For Kids

    3) After sometime you can see butter separating from the butter milk in the glass bowl.

    4) Take out our fluffy butter from glass bowl into a cup and keep it under cold water in order to remove excess water from the butter.

    How to make delicious homemade butter buttermilk edible food science activity for kids

    Now our fresh homemade butter is ready to consume. It is very easy to make and saves your money than buying expensive butter from the stores.

    How long can you store the homemade butter?

    You can store homemade butter for 3-5 days at certain room temperature and 7-10 days if refrigerated. Make sure to store it with the lid on. The liquid that is formed while making butter is also can be stored in the fridge for 5-8 days.

    TIP: If you want to speed up the churning process, add some marbles to your glass jar before beating the cream. This works as an agitator and help churn the butter a bit faster.

    I suggest you to give a try to this activity which helps your young kids to watch and taste the wonderful final product.

    Making butter and buttermilk from cream

    Science Facts Behind Butter Making

    What is the science behind making butter?

    When shaking the fresh cream, the fat molecules in the cream get shaken out of position and clump together. Eventually, after enough agitation, the fat molecules that are clumped so much forms butter. During this process, the fat molecules gets separated from the liquid in the cream, and this liquid is called buttermilk and can be removed.

    Why does shaking cream make butter?

    Cream is nothing but the milk fat, a complex mixture of lipids gets stabilized by its own fat molecules. When the cream is stirred up, the fat molecules all together forms a clump leaving the water molecules since fat hates water. 

    Does heavy cream turn to butter?

    Yes, heavy cream absolutely turn into butter. When the cream is agitated, the fat molecules get shaken out of position and clump together forming butter.

    Can you turn half and half into butter?

    Unfortunately, half and half won’t work as a substitute since it contains very less content of fat to whip. 

    How much cream does it take to make a pound of butter?

    We will get about half as much butter as the amount of cream used (when shaking). For example: One quart (32 ounces) of Heavy Cream will yield 1 pound (16 ounces) butter plus about 2 cups buttermilk.

    Can you turn butter into cream?

    Yes, the butter can be turned into cream. Butter should be melted and mixed with the butter milk again to make cream. We can also turn butter into cream by mixing butter with whole milk. 

    What is the difference between butter and whipped cream?

    Both cream and butter are dairy products (means they are derived from the cow’s milk) and closely related. Cream is high source of butter fat where as butter is a semi solid form of cream. However, butter is higher in fat than cream.  

    Is making butter a chemical change?

    Yes, the cream goes through a physical change when it is churned into butter. The fat molecules clumped together while stirring or shaking causing the liquid (water molecules) to be squeezed out of the solid mass (butter). This physical change is absolutely reversible. The butter can be melted and mixed with buttermilk to make cream again.


    If you enjoyed this butter activity, you could try our whole set of activities in our edible science page

    Some of our recent edible science projects:

    Interested more in our Science Activities, Subscribe to our Newsletter! I promise you to send best science experiments that you can try at your home. 

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    How To Make Tasty ButterMaking-Homemade Butter with Kids

    Refraction of Light : Play & Learn Activity for Kids

    Today we are going to learn about some simple physics by doing simple and easy science activity i.e. Refraction of light.

    This activity is so quick and I really wondering how I missed this experiment this long to explain or show my kids and make them Wowww!! This is one among the 10 min STEAM activity. This activity is perfect for 5-7 years old kids (since they are in budding stage to understand physics), however all the kids can understand the science behind light refraction. Children under 5 years may not understand the science but they will enjoy the experiment results. The best part is, it is an experiment which is listed under experiments done with items available at home

    Concepts Discussed
    Refraction of light, different mediums

    Who is it for

    As mentioned it is suitable for all kids. However, 5-7 year-old kids can understand the science behind this. These children will know light and can relate to refraction. Smaller ones will enjoy but may not understand the details and the concept.

    In the beginning, my daughters were like scratching their heads and saying “what Mamma!! What are you going to do only with a glass of water”? “We don’t find much ingredients except water which is boring!!” There is a reason why kids were disappointed seeing the ingredients because this experiment or activity is so quick and best part is that it does not need much ingredients. In addition, this activity doesn’t need much set up as well since we can set it up within minutes.

    But after seeing the magic that light does in water, my kids were amazed. Let us see what made them surprised in this activity.

    Playing with refraction of light - fun science for kids

    What is refraction of light?

    When light travels from one transparent medium (air) to another transparent medium (water), the speed of the light slows down and when it hits water it changes its direction slightly. This change in the direction of light is known as refraction of light. In a simple language, light refraction is bending of light. This looks simple and easy but it is unusual.

    Supplies Needed

    • A piece of paper
    • Marker
    • A glass or jar
    • Graphic designed papers. You can download the graphic designs from the net and take printouts. (optional)

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    Experiment  Steps : Refraction of Light

    Step-1

    Firstly, ask your kids to fill the glass jar carefully with the clean and clear water. Here I tried to fool my kids saying that I have given them a magical liquid to fill. My younger one (5 year old) is almost in my trap but not my elder one (7 years old). She laughed at me and said ‘hey! Don’t fool me mom, it is just water’! Lollll…

    Step-2

    Get a piece of paper and ask your kid to draw an arrow. Let the kids draw the arrow in any direction (any direction of arrow works out) and hold it vertically.

    Step-3

    Now place the water filled jar in front of the paper (exactly focusing) just before the arrow. Adjust the glass jar between the glass and the arrow on the paper until the image (arrow) can be seen clearly through the glass.

    Step-4

    Ask your kids to come in front of the glass jar and see what happens. Here ask them a few questions like ‘what did they observe’, is there any direction changes’, if the answer is yes (from kids), then ask for any clues or reasons to explain why it happened.

    (You can have a debate session by gathering your kid’s friends as well. Having debate sessions improve their communication skills, speaking skills in public as well as builds confidence).

    Coming to our activity, in step 4 you can watch the arrow appearing in reverse direction through the glass jar. This is just amazing and pretty surprising right!!

    Now, my younger daughter took a paper and showed her drawing skills as well by drawing a small cat to check again through the water. J She is totally in wow mood seeing her cat in reverse direction through the water.

     Playing with refraction of light - a fun STEAM (or STEM + Art) activity for kids

    In this way, you can ask your kids to observe the light refraction concept through a glass of water by trying different graphic design papers. We have tried some graphic zebra lines, round shaped dots, and some curved lines to observe the light refraction.
    Refraction Of Light Science Experiment

    Learning Refraction Go Science Girls

    What to explore

    • Try different glasses and jars of different shapes
    • Repeat the experiments using different distances between the graphics and the glass jar
    • Also try the experiment using different liquids like oil, juice etc.

    Observations

    • You can observe some aberrations or blurriness when you see through the glass. This is due to the imperfections in the glass production.
    • Things look like a little funny and different when you see through a glass.

    Learning Refraction

    What is the secret behind this activity?

    Refraction Experiment for kids

    The secret that made the experiment work is “Refraction”. As I already told you, refraction is bending of light as it passes from one medium to another medium. Ex: Air to Water or Water to Air.

    In our experiment, the light wave traveled from the image (arrow) into the water crossing the glass cup and finally traveled out of the glass cup and again into the air and reached our eyes. Here, water acts as a magnifying glass which makes light more concentrated towards the focal point (near to the center). When the light ray goes beyond this focal point (to come out of the glass jar in order to reach our eyes) the image looks reversed. That means, the light on the left direction is now changes to right direction.

    Hope you all too understand the experiment. Have a try with your kids!! 

    effects of refraction

    Science Facts Behind Refraction

    Here are some concepts that you can teach to your kids.. 

    How is refraction demonstrated in light?

    Refraction is manifested as bending of light as it passes from one transparent medium to another. Here, the light wave or ray passes from air to glass and back to air before it reaches our eye lens. The bending is caused due to differences in density between the two mediums. When the light passes from more dense medium to less dense medium, the light refracts in reverse direction and vice versa.

    Why does an arrow change direction behind a glass of water?

    When the arrow (behind the glass) is observed at a particular distance, it looks like it is reversed itself. Actually what happens is when light travels from one medium to another, it is proved that it can bend or refract. During the experiment, the light initially traveled from the air, through the glass, through the water and comes out to reach our eyes crossing again the same mediums. Anytime that light passes from one medium, or material, into another, it refracts. while crossing the medium the light ray goes beyond the focal point (near to the center) which causes the arrow change its direction.

    What is the science behind refraction?

    The transmission of light between any two transparent media results in a change in both the speed and wavelength of the wave. The light wave speeds up or slows down and transforms into a wave with a larger or a shorter wavelength along with change in direction when it passes through the boundary of two media.

    What causes refraction?

    The difference in the density of transparent medium that light passes through causes refraction. 

    Why does light bend during refraction?

    Bending of light occurs during refraction because of change in the speed of light wave while crossing the medium.

    What is wave refraction?

    In oceanography, the wave refraction is manifested as bending of waves while propagating through different depths.

    What are some natural examples of refraction?

    Forming of rainbow when the bending of sun ray’s as they enter rain drops, prism, sunset, etc are some natural examples of refraction.

    What are the effects of refraction?

    The effects of light refraction are responsible for a variety of familiar phenomena, such as:
    1) A straight pencil when dipped in the half filled glass jar always looks bending in the water due to refraction effect.
    2) When a coin is dropped in the glass of water, it looks it has raised in its length just because of refraction effect.
    3) swimming pool looks shallower than the reality as the light coming from the bottom of the pool bends when it comes out at the surface due to refraction of light.

    Why is refraction important?

    Without refraction of light, we could not see any fine details happening or present around us or in the environment since your corneas and lenses enable this, via refraction.

    Which way is she looking Playing with light refraction for kids - a fun STEAM (or STEM + Art) activity
    Effects of refraction of light through a glass of water

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    play and learn refraction

    Playing with refraction of light a fun STEAM (or STEM + Art) activity for kids

    Refraction Of Light

    Density Science for Kids : Create Fireworks in Water & Oil

    learn how rain clouds form Go science girls

    We decided to make fireworks at home. Did you hear it right? Yes, you did. At home DIY explosives. But do not panic as they are as safe to make and can be played by little ones. In addition, you could teach density science to kids.

    Does that sound exciting? 

    We decided to make two difference density science experiments to teach my daughters. Believe me, you will become a kid when you see the results. You will start loving to do this quite often. We did not buy any expensive things but used only the items available at home. The best part – you can do both these experiments in less than ten minutes. 

    Let’s start with the first one. 

    Shaving Cream, Water and Food Coloring Experiment

    Clouds are always sound interesting and mysterious too for kids especially pre-schoolers. Today let’s clear the question marks on our kid’s faces when they see clouds and rain with our density science experiment.

    learn how rain clouds form Go science girls

    This is a super fun and simple experiment to explain kids about the clouds formation and rain. Just fascinate our kids by bringing clouds and rain to our home since we cannot bring the real clouds though. Do not worry about the things we need to do this experiment. It sounds complex but it is very easy to do using a few commonly found ingredients in our home.

    My children are eagerly waiting to watch the experiment instead of listening about it to be frank!! 🙂 Let’s begin our activity on density.

    What all you need to create shaving cream rain clouds?

    [*Product links are affiliate links. Your support is highly appreciated]Things We Need Go Science Girls

    Instructions on How to create fireworks 

    Step-1 :  Begin this activity by simply asking your child to fill the glass container we have taken. Make sure not to fill it completely and ask to leave some space (about an inch from the rim).

    pour water to the glass Go Science Girls

    Step-2 : Now the exciting part to the kids is adding shaving cream 🙂 .  But,  kids need to be very careful while adding shaving cream on top of the water filled glass cup. Make sure not to add more shaving cream or do not make it thick since it takes very long time for the rain to fall. Also, waiting is the boring thing for kids while doing the experiment. So, do not make it too high.

    Here, the water in the glass cup represents atmosphere and the shaving cream is the cloud.

    Add shaving foam Go Science Girls

    Step-3 : Ask your kid to drop few drops of food colour to the foam already added to the water in the glass cup. Here, you can use a syringe or eye dropper to drop the food colour closer to the edge of the glass cup so that it falls quickly.

    Add colour on the foam

    Step-4 : Here comes the most awaited step to our kids. My two little girls made their eyes big to watch the effect it is going to give 🙂

    We need to wait for few minutes to see such a beautiful and exciting rain like effect because it depends on the size and thickness of the cloud.

    learn rain clouds form

    Ask your kids to observe carefully!! The weight of the food colour or dye slowly starts to push the foam or cloud and falls down through the water creating a pretty and cool rain like effect. It doesn’t resemble the droplets like real rain but it gives something more like streaks of rain falling. BeautifulJ

    At this point, you can take advantage and start discussion with your kids on colours and colour mixing. This helps to develop motor skills in your kids.

     Tisha and Pritika loved trying this experiment with different colours and glass cups. They enjoyed watching streams of different food colouring fall like droplets through the foam and then swirl around the water. They also have some great questions but found it lovely experience. J

    Science is always exciting, wonderful and fun for curious children and my children are not less to fall under that category to keep on trying different, simple and easy science experiments. That doubled my energy to explain them the same concept using different ingredients found in our home. This helps our children to become good at thinking and observing.

    Science experiment for kids

    Science Behind Shaving Cream Rain Clouds

    Encourage your kids to ask questions and discuss with them about the experiment. The following questions might help. 

    How do you make rain clouds with shaving cream?

    Fill the glass cup (about three quarters full) with water. Use generous amount of the shaving foam to create a cloud on top of the water. Let the foam settle a bit. Now drop food colouring into the ‘cloud’.  As your cloud fills up, the food colouring drops will fall down into the water creating a streak of colours giving rain-like effect.

    How do you make a cloud in a jar?

    You can use the shaving cream or foam to create clouds in the glass jar. Just pump the right amount of shaving cream on top of the water in a glass jar.  

    What makes rain fall?

    You can tell your kids that the water is like the air, and the shaving cream represents the clouds. As soon as the clouds get saturated with water, they produce rainfall.

    What does the water inside the jar represent?

    Water inside the jar represents the air or atmosphere. 

    What does the flowing food color in the jar represent?

    The flowing food colour in the jar represents the streaks of colours giving rain like effect.

    Do Fireworks cause rain?

    Yes, fireworks could change the weather and make it rain. As the fireworks explode, they produce smoke in the air containing high amounts of sulphur and dioxin. Large concentrations of sulphur and dioxin are thought to cause rain.

    Why do clouds stick together?

    Clouds are  tiny droplets of water that have condensed from water vapor in areas where the conditions (temperature, air pressure and humidity) are exactly right. As the water vapor rises up in the sky, the air gets cooler. The cooler air causes the water droplets to start to stick to things like bits of dust, ice or sea salt. This is how the clouds stay together.

    The main motto that encouraged me to do another experiment is “my younger daughter asked me, Mamma! Can you make it happen differently?” So, I decided to make them understand clearly in a different way using different ingredients. Let us get started without late.

    Oil, Water and Food Coloring Experiment for Kids

    This is not only a hands-on experiment but it would also be a thoughtful science lesson for your kids.

    oil and water experiment Go Science Girls

    Materials we need

    We only require a few ingredients to set up the density science experiment to learn more about density of various substances.

    • Oil
    • Water
    • Food Colour
    • Plastic cups
    • Glass cups
    • Napkin
    • Fork

    Things We Need Go Science Girls

    Procedure to follow

    This activity is also pretty good to watch for kids. It teaches them more about the density concept and creates a ‘WOW’ factor for them.

    Step 1

    Start by pouring a little amount of oil into a plastic cup until it reaches to one inch length from the bottom line of the cup. Then ask your kid to add a few drops of food colour (any colour of your choice) to the oil in the plastic cup. Mix it nicely using a fork.

    Add food colour to oil Go Science Girls

    Step 2

    Now ask again to fill the glass cup with water leaving some space (around one inch) from the top edge of the glass cup.

    Add colour added  oil  in to the water

    Step 3

    Let your kid to add the oil and food colour mixture to the water in glass cup. At this point, ask the children to observe carefully “what’s happening when we add oil mixture to the water?”

    Oil and water does not mix up and the food colour drops gradually falls into the water pushing through the oil layer. Here, explain the kids clearly about ‘how density takes its role to push the food colour drops into the water?’

    The amazing part for the kids is that a few minutes later after adding the food colour drops and oil mixture to the water, the food colour drops starts pushing into the water and forming a same gorgeous rain like effect like we observe in the above experiment. Great, isn’t it!? 🙂

    My little ones also observed that the water and oil is not mixed up and they both separated forming a layer. You can explain kids the simple science behind this.

    In between you can ask your kids to predict the changes that are going to happen during the experiment. You can also ask them to record the changes by drawing on a paper like what they see and observe while performing experiment.

    Yes, I hope you all also agree that this is another such a beautiful experiment to explain density concept to the kids. I really encourage you all to try the above explained two experiments with your own children. Hope it’s going to be a great visual demonstration for you all too!! 🙂

    However, just a note that we got struck several times as we did it quickly to understand that it went down before the fun began. Also, food color was more and hence it descended quickly. Finally, we got the trick of adding the solution slowly and allowed it to float on the top. The food color was suspending on the top of the oil.

    Let the kids watch, observe and have fun the way ‘firework’ works!!!

    Lets Kids Learn Density

    Science Facts Behind The Fireworks
     

    Density is the science behind this activity. It is the measure of the weight or mass of an item by measuring the space it occupies (volume).

    Water does not mix with oil as the molecules in the water get attracted within and not with oil molecules. Also, oil is not as dense as water thus causing oil float on the top and makes two individual layers.

    Food colors are another watery substance and hence do not mix up with oil in spite of stirring well.  But you can see the food color becoming small droplets and temporarily float in the oil. Again it is dense when compared to the oil and later on, slowly fall into the water.

    Here is some Q&A section that can help with your discussion. 

    What happens when you add oil to water and food coloring?

    The molecules of water do not mix with the molecules of oil when you add oil to water. Even if you try to shake up the liquids, the oil breaks up into small little drops, but they still separate. Also, food coloring only mixes with water and never mix with the oil. When you add the water into the bottle of oil, the water sinks to the bottom and the oil floats to the top. Oil floats on the surface because water is heavier than oil. Scientists say that the water is more dense than the oil.

    Will food coloring mix with oil and water?

    Since the food color is water-based, it will only dissolve in the water but not in the oil. It remains as small droplets when food colour is mixed with the oil.

    Why does food coloring mix with water and not oil?

    Food Colour is a water-based drop which is more dense than oil. when the right gravity forces are formed the food colour falls down into the lower layer of the water. 

    Does food coloring dissolve in oil?

    No, food colour do not like to mix with the molecules of oil.

    How do you color oil with food coloring?

    Many food coloring sources are water-based, which will not mix well with any kind of oil. This means colorless oils must be combined with oil-based food coloring in order to create myriad colors.

    How will you separate oil and water from their mixture?

    One way is to add some amount of salt to the mixture, which will absorb water from oil by which the white crystals will turn blue, meaning that the salt has absorbed water. The salt will not dissolve in oil.

    How long does it take for water and oil to separate?

    It takes time for the oil to separate from water. Depending on the difference in density between oil and water, the temperature, the size of the oil droplets in the mixture and the type of oil, the separation may take from minutes to days.

    Oil and food coloring on top of water

    Oil And Water Experiment With Food Colouring

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    Density science experiment with shaving cream and water

    Build Your Own 3D Structure : STEM Challenge for Kids

    3D Structure Stem Challenge

    As a parent, I need to think in every possible aspect to enhance my kid’s thinking ability and especially on how to improve their STEM future. So, this time I have picked ‘Building 3d structures and shapes’ to teach my children through a couple of hands-on activities. Check this to see how we did a catapult last week. 

    As we all know, kids show much interest on visual part rather than listening to something as lecture. So, I want my little ones to learn the dimensions of 3d structures by performing some simple and fun activities that involve both kin-aesthetic and visual elements which takes major role to make learning last lifetime.

    3D Structure Stem Challenge

    In the below mentioned activity, children will get to know and learn about simple and easy instructions to make 3d shapes in a fun way using commonly used materials nothing but kids beloved play dough and few sticks. Also, this activity keeps children engaged and active in their free study time. It may even challenging to build and understanding the concept of making and identifying the faces, edges, and corners of different 3d solid shapes.

    I made up my mind to choose one as per my elder daughter Pritika’s interest. She is 5+ years old and did not want to disappoint her by choosing any difficult task. My younger one, Tisha started clapping while arranging things required for the activity on the table. 🙂

    Before we start teaching our kids about 3d shapes, make sure your kids are familiar with the 2d shapes as well. If not give them a brief explanation or visual orientation on 2d shapes which helps to better understand the 3d shapes easily (check Jamie’s abacus page for handmade crafts for kids). 

    Suitable For

    This STEM challenge is good to go for young kids around 5-6 years old. There are others to different age group. Try out different 3D structures like Pyramid or Trapezium for older kids, to challenge them even better. This can help your child develop critical thinking. For example, they can construct a 3D structure with weight bearing capacity. Or a taller structure etc. Explore building the 3D structure with different objects as well.

    Materials required to make 3d Shapes Stem Structures

    Generally, people wonder how to explain 3d structures to kids without leaving any confusion in their minds. But our simple materials that are available in everyone’s home made it simple to perform this activity of teaching 3d structures to kids in a very fun way. Let us see what they are!

    • Play Dough (You can use different colours and shades of dough to make the activity colourful and interesting)
    • Sticks (Different sized Sticks are used to make different dimensions of 3d shapes)

    What!! Surprised!? Yes, absolutely, that’s it…..we need only a couple of things to execute this super fun activity.

    [*Product links are affiliate links. Your support is highly appreciated]Thinks We Need

    What are the steps required to keep the things ready before starting doing 3d shapes

    Step-1:

    Firstly, I asked my elder daughter to spread a big white sheet on the working table. Why white!!? Since we are using different colours, the white background helps the kids to have a clear vision and also to observe the shapes and dimensions made of a variety of colours without any confusion.

    Step-2:

    Ask again your kids to do small balls out of their favourite coloured play dough and keep it aside. If the play dough gets dry, you can tell your kids to wet their hands with the water to keep its moisture maintained. 
    Make dough in to small pieces

    Step-3:

    Now let the kids cut the long sticks into different sizes and lengths. Make sure to keep a few sticks of same size.
    3d pyramid go science girls
    making 3d square pyramid

    Square based pyramid 3d structure

    How to do the 3d shapes

    Now, we have everything ready to do 3d shapes. Here, you can ask your kids to name some of the 3d shapes they know. You can show them different types of 3d shapes to give them an idea prior to begin the activity. Without the knowledge of 3d shapes, it is waste of your and your child’s time to do this activity as they don’t understand the main concept of understanding 3d structures.

    What is the definition of 3d shapes?

    In a simple language, 3d shapes are three-dimensional structures or the shapes that have three dimensions. For example, sphere, cube, pyramid (triangular and square), prism, cone, cuboid, and cylinder are some of the basic 3d shapes.
    making 3d cube go science girls
    making cylinder shape

    Once, you give your child a brief explanation on 3d shapes, just ask them to draw a few 3d shapes on a white drawing sheet. This helps them to get more involved and concentrated on the topic they are going to do an activity. It is also easy for them to perform the activity by seeing the shapes and doing.

    Let us learn how to make a cuboid…

    Different 3d structure experiment for kids

    Cuboid:

    To make a cuboid shape, first we need to make a rectangular base. Take two equal sizes of sticks as a base and place a ball of play dough on their ends. Now, we are going to connect these two sticks with the help of short length sticks and place them horizontally on the sides of the base (two opposite sides will be shorter).

    Now the base is ready. Then place the four sticks on top of the four play dough balls of the base. And then cover the ends of the four vertical sticks with four balls of play dough.

    We have come to the end, take exact sizes of sticks same as taken to make the base. Attach them to each other using the play dough balls. That’s it, we can see the shape of the 3d structure i.e a Cuboid.

    My little one started clapping seeing the 3d shape which is made of her favorite colored play dough and craft sticks. In fact, she is surprised and saying “Mamma! I can make 3d shapes using play dough apart from tiny toys, insect shapes.”
    3D Stem challenge

    3D Structure Stem challenge for kids

    In the same way, we can make all the 3d shapes using play dough balls and sticks. Now, let us know how to make square based pyramid to better understand the concept of making 3d shapes using simple and interesting materials.

    Firstly, make a square base taking four equal sized sticks join them in a square shape using play dough balls at their ends. Now, attach four sticks of equal size vertically on all the four corners of the base. Bring them to the mid-point of the square base slowly i.e. nothing but you are pushing the sticks diagonally to the centre. Join all the four sticks that are brought diagonally to the centre with a small ball of play dough. Hey!! You are done with the square based pyramid shape.

    My kids enjoyed a lot doing this activity and they later tried making different shapes. Now they are familiar with moulding the 3d shapes. 🙂

    Activities For Kids

    Making 3d Stem Structures using Straw and Thread

    Now let us get into our next activity which I already promised you that I am going to discuss on 3d stem structures. That is nothing but making 3d stem structure using again the simple materials that are available in our home.

    Materials required

    • Woollen Thread
    • Scissors
    • Straws
    • Beads (optional)

     

    STEM Challenge What can you build with Straws and pipe cleaners

    Procedure to be followed

    This is another quick, easy and super fun activity to make large geometric 3d structures. The shapes are made by sucking a thread into the straws and knotting method. Let us see how it is possible to make shapes.

    Firstly, make a triangle shape on the flat surface using colourful straws. Now, insert the woollen thread into the straws. (Here to make a triangle shape we need three straws. So, cut the woollen tread into three equal lengths. Cut the thread into enough lengths in order to put knot between the straws).

    Now, tie the knots that are inserted inside the straws. Keep in mind that you need to tie the thread of one end of the straw to the other end of the adjacent straw. The same follows to the other corners of the triangle. Finally, when you lift the structure, you can see the triangle shape clearly made of straws holding by threads.

    STEM challenge can you construct a 3D shape Engineering maths fine motor and critical thinking combine in this fun activity

     The funniest part happened while doing this activity is my girls couldn’t tie the threads and keep knot as I dint teach them how to do a knot with threads. Hope I should do this before I start this activity. Lol…J so friends make sure that your children are aware of tying knots using thread.

    STEM challenge Building 3D structures

     

    Here you can see different 3d shapes and stem structures which my little girls have tried after I showed the basic structures using sticks and play dough balls.

    I highly recommend you to try this activity at home along with your kids. This activity helps your children improve their imagination and creative play and takes their basic knowledge of play dough moulding to next level.

    For making different 3D shapes, it’s always super fun to include a variety of materials such as Popsicle sticks, tooth picks, coloured matchsticks and straws. In this way kids can explore different materials as well as discover new things and concepts like which ones are easier for building.

    Straws are also perfect to this activity as they are light-weight and easy to mould in our required shapes and easy to cut as well. So, there are no limitations to this activity.

    After she finished I explained few geometry concepts and she was able to relate and grasp better now. I referred to the Geomag rods and explained about the triangular and square-shaped pyramid. Also, about prisms and triangular shape. I further incorporated 3D to the lessons.

    Keeping the foundation of STEM strong we simplify the science concepts and have made them as small experiments which kids can do on their own with minimal support. The catapult experiments and the balance scales include science concepts and engineering concepts. Likewise, each experiment will contain more than one pillar of the STEM and help students to understand easily.

    Happy Browsing and do not forget to give it a try!!

    Wearing her STEM pyramid hat

    Hands on geometry learning about pyramids and triangular prisms Fun STEM for kids

    STEM challenge can you build a 3D structure

    We shall post more for you and you will have the choice to select and make your kid take the challenge.

    In our next we want to bring out Coding for Kids! A special new topic for the coding genius in your kid. Watch out for it. 

    Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links from Amazon. An affiliate link means that when you purchase using the link provided in this page, I would get a small referral fees WITHOUT any extra cost to you. I highly appreciate your understanding and support.

    Swirling Milk Experiment (Magic Milk Activity)

    Swirling Milk Science Experiment : In this post, we are going to discuss one of the easiest and my most preferred science experiment that you can try at home (just with products from your home). You know the best part – it just takes few minutes

    Swirling Milk Science Experiment Go Science Girls

    Science Concepts Discussed
    Surface tension, properties of matter, Chemistry, Forces
    Who is it for?

    Both preschoolers and toddlers can do this. My younger one Tisha loved it to watch the fun. Even kindergarteners can work on this and ask them to guess color formation. You can explain color mixing with the primary and secondary color. But if you want to explain the advance science concepts behind it, that would be best for 5-6 year group or older kids.

    What you need to do this Milk Swirl Experiment?

    Things we need for swirling milk experiment

    1. Milk (whole milk or full fat milk preferred. You can do this with skim milk as well – just that the swirling motion will be less due to less fat content).
    2. Food colors (Blue, red, orange or any other color you may like. Choose at least two different contradicting colors).
    3. Dish Washing Liquid
    4. Plate or Bowl
    5. Pipette (optional)
    6. Pepper (optional)
    7. Pipe Cleaners (optional – you can also try out with cotton thread).

    [*Product links are affiliate links. Your support is highly appreciated]

    Steps to Create Swirling Motion

    1. Pour the milk from your container to the plate or bowl. Don’t waste too much of milk, just get it enough to dip your finger say up to 1 cm.

    2. Add few drops of different food colors. We just added two or three drops of Blue, Red, Orange and Yellow food colors each. Too much of food colors will spoil the experiment. So add just few drops.
    Food Colors added to milk - swirling milk experiment
    3. Now add powdered pepper (this is an optional step). We wanted to make the motion more visible before adding too many colors to milk. Pepper powder would easily show the swirling motion in the milk. This step makes the milk solution ready for the experiment.

    add powdered pepper to milk - create swirl

    4. If you are fine to make your kid touch the dish washing liquid by hand, you can try it with bare hands. Otherwise use a paint brush or cotton buds.

    Dip your hand (paint brush/cotton bud) in the dishwashing liquid and try to touch the milk surface lightly. Hurray! The pepper particles will move away from your hand. Then, try touching the place where you dropped food colors, it would create a swirling motion and you can see the colors flowing out of your hand. 

    fingers near to milk solution - milk swirl experiment for kids
    Pritika immersed the finger to create color motion 🙂

    keep your finger in the swirling milk - science experiment for kids

    The result was incredible to look and will amaze kids. My younger one started jumping on seeing these swirls while my elder one started screaming “What’s happening mom?”

    4. Tisha (my younger one) was persistent in using her favorite “Bubble Wand” to drop the dish wash liquid, so I allowed her to try it with it. She started making her own version of Milk Swirl Experiment.
    Getting swirling milk using bubble wands in dish soap

    5. Finally, we wanted to try creating a color jet stream in milk. This was Pritika’s ( elder one) idea based on a youtube video. She immersed a piece of pipe cleaner (about half the size of the plate) in dish wash liquid and dropped the pipe cleaner in the milk. Surprisingly it created a stream of colors and looked like a small river of colors flowing from the pipe cleaner.

    Making swirling milk using pipe cleaners in dish soap

    Check glimpse of our whole Milk Swirl Experiment in the video below:

    As a mom, I was more than happy that my kids enjoyed this science experiment at home. I allowed them to play with it too their heart’s content for about an hour. They in turn created milk swirls in so many different color combinations.

    Now it is time to understand the science behind this activity.

    Science behind Swirling Milk

    Instead of just talking science basics, it would be better if you discuss the below questions with your kids.

    Why did the dish soap make the milk swirl? Or what happens when you add soap to milk?

    The dish soap liquid added to the milk with food colors, it reduces milk’s surface tension. Also the dish soap liquid attracts the fat particles in the milk to create a strong bond. Due to this strong bond creation, the food color and water in the milk gets pulled away from the fat particles. This results in colorful swirl motion in the experiment.  The swirl motion will occur whenever dish soap liquid is added to the milk but it won’t be evident and clearly visible unless we add food colors to the solution.

    What effect does soap have on milk?

    Milk cannot mix with Soap liquid; thus, the soap liquid when added to milk, just floats on top of milk. But in the meanwhile, the fat particles get attacked by soap and creates visible motion.

    What is the purpose of the color changing milk experiment?

    This experiment allows us to see the invisible activity that happens between soap and fat with the use of food colors.

    Why is there movement of dye in the milk when soap is added?

    Actually, the dye doesn’t create movement. When soap is added, the milk’s surface tension is reduced and the fat particles start moving to create a bond with soap liquid creating swirl motion. The dye thus shows the movement of fat in milk while soap tries to settle evenly on top of milk.

    Why do milk and dish soap not mix? Or why does detergent react with milk?

    As we know, milk is made mostly of water (and of course fat). Proteins and fats in milk are very susceptible to changes. So when the dish soap is added, the proteins and fats that were made by weak chemical bonds gets altered.  The fat and protein molecules starts to roll, bend and move in all directions resulting in swirl motion.

    What is the science behind magic milk? Or what happens in the color changing milk experiment?

    Change in surface tension of milk and chemical bond alteration of fats and proteins results in magic milk.

    Is soap attracted to water, fat or both?

    If you add soap to water, it would reduce the surface tension of water – resulting in weaker molecular stickiness. That is why it is used to clean clothes and dishes. However, fats on the other hand tries to create a strong bond with dish soap.

    What other concepts can be discussed with kids?

    For toddlers, it is the right time to introduce about how particles make up solids, liquids and gases.

    swirling milk science activity for toddlers and preschoolers

    Try this experiment and with water. Does soap gets mixed in water or creates a swirl?  
    Let us know how did this science activity go with your kids?

    Reference & Resources:

    Color Changing Liquid – Lesson Plan from University of Nebraska
    Milk Rainbow experiment – Detailed document by The Chemist
    Get free Worksheet for Magic Milk Experiment from TeachersPayTeachers. We are making our own version of this worksheet with added features, we will make it available soon for our beloved readers. 

    Caution…
    The primary ingredient in this activity is milk and dish wash liquid ( a deadly combination). Dish wash liquid is NOT safe for consumption. There is high possibility for toddlers to be tempted to taste the milk mixed with dishwashing liquid. The attractive colors may add to the temptation. So we strongly advise you to be present with your kids all the time when your kid tries this experiment. Never to let your kids alone. Be with them and guide them all through the experiment. Decide if your kid can do it based on their health condition etc. Click and get more details.

    Swirling Milk Experiment for kids by Go Science Girls

    Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. An affiliate link means that when you purchase using the link provided in this page, I would get a small referral fees WITHOUT any extra cost to you. I highly appreciate your understanding and support.