Tuesday, January 29, 2008

January 29

A few days ago Trev found my container in the spice cupboard that was holding cream of tartar, and said "Hey! This looks like for a Mad Scientist!"
Indeed it does.
Since then he's been talking about chemistry (and super heroes, actually) and how he wants to do Mad Scientist experiments.
While we've played with vinegar and baking soda several times, it never occurred to me to utilize it as a gas until I visited Sarah's page here several days ago (thanks, Sarah!).
Several observations were made...
the first one was that the balloon would take absolutely no vinegar unless air was there. It simply would not transfer a single drop.Secondly, even when we placed the balloon (filled with vinegar) on top of the beaker of baking soda, it stayed separate until we held up the balloon straight over the bottle so that the air in the bottle could rise into the balloon.Third - gas! The reaction created gas - and powerful enough to blow up the balloon substantially, especially since we had small bottles of chemicals.Very interesting! (I wonder if as we do more experiments we'll get better at making observations...)

Next we colored three different liquids - oil, water, and cetyl alcohol with coloring, then mixed them together into one bottle. We're waiting to see how well they separate still.

Third we made soap bubbles with baking soda, then added vinegar to them to get more colored bubbles. The children liked squeezing them out of the bottle, then playing with them (on the table, in the bottle, on the floor).

and Morphs We've also checked out our Home Science Tools catalog today to scope out a few Must Have's (a very fun way to utilize some of that lovely tax return money). "See Mom? This is the sort of thing I want to do!!" I think we're going to order a few carnivorous plants, owl pellets, some agar and slide covers, and definitely a chemistry set. We've gotten through about page 10 in the catalog....

Maddie is practicing galloping and watching Math Circus, and Bob the Builder, and Sesame Street - all at the same time. Or trying to, anyway.

Trev is playing Star Flyers, and learning cause and effect and getting comfortable with geometry and physics (Really - I was amazed).

More experiments.
First is the hot and cold water one - I've been meaning to do this one for a while. I knew of it, but I don't remember ever having done it myself, and didn't know what to expect. An excellent reason for an experiment, hmm?
I found directions here....
First we put the cold water over the hot...
Of course, the paper not falling off the jar when it was upside down was a Most Amazing Surprise, and got lots of "woh!"'s and "ooh"s and "aah"s. :) (though this was a pic of hot over cold, of course.)
When we removed the card, the water within two seconds became purple. Which was also very cool for them.
Next we tried it the other way - with the hot (red) water on top. Very cool!

Next we played with salt volcanoes....which was another definite success, and a big hit. Maddie joined in whole-heartedly on the fun, and made observations like "Wooooh! It's floating!!" and "Woh, it's sinking!!" and "Woh, it's falling!!"

After we were officially finished, Maddie insisted on playing with all the elements that we had experimented with today - plus a few more. I'll ask her for her notes and let you know tomorrow what exactly she discovered and observed....At the moment she's still madly scrambling and figuring and trying to make sense of it all...


  1. Is that your laptop on the same table as the mad scientist experiments? ;) Brave you are.

    Sounds like you had a blast. We've played with stuff while baking, but never formally and never with balloons. I will try this.....

  2. Mmmm, you're right....
    I've probably gotten a little cocky since I decided that I'm not having any more accidents...
    Prob'ly a bit of prudence is in order....
    It was totally fun.
    But now I'm totally exhausted!
    Looking forward to Universe on the History channel, and snuggling in.

  3. Those are great. We've done the hot-and-cold experiment before, but I bet my youngest doesn't remember. Time to do it again.
    Thanks for the Home Science Tools link. I think sometimes, "Where could I buy some beakers?" and then never follow through to look it up.

  4. Looks like lots of fun was had!! I love science, and to think I hated it in school.

    That picture of Maddie sleeping is precious:) Isn't it all you can do not to grab them and hug them when their sleeping?

  5. Beverly - I -and we- LOVE that one.
    Them and Discount School Supply are our very favorites! :)

    Julie -
    Well, not in the first five minutes of peace, surely!, but after that.... yeah.
    In the beginning I'm too thankful - if she's gone down, then she's been um... tired and grouchy. :)

  6. Great post! So many ideas for me to follow up on...

    Thanks for the supply link!


  7. Have you ever tried mentos in a 2 liter of soda? I bet the would love that. Make sure to do it outside though!!

  8. Tara -
    that's on list with two others...
    the wintogreen lifesavers in the dark, and this alcohol in a jar with oil with little glitter and miniature toys in the bottle...

  9. Have you mixed cornstarch with water? It's magic! Kind of a solid in the container, then liquid in your hands... it's very cool stuff. You can google it.

  10. What a lot of fun you're all having :0) and a wonderful life you're creating for your children. I'm glad I foudn your blog!


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!