Posts Tagged ‘water’

Sweet (and Salty) Lava Lamps

March 3, 2010

Pull out a jar, a bottle of vegetable oil, some food coloring, salt, sugar, and water to mix up this easy experiment! 

Fill the jar about halfway up with water and add a few drops of food coloring for contrast.  Add about half as much vegetable oil to the jar and watch it float to the top.  Now, a spoonful at a time, add salt to the jar.  The salt will pull some of the oil down with it, but will release the oil as it dissolves and the oil will float back to the top.  This will make your science experiment look like a real lava lamp.  Keep adding salt to make it keep working.  Now, try adding sugar or even sand. Kosher salt worked really well!

What worked the best for you?  Do you know why oil floats to the top of the water?  Email me your answers in the comments section at for a chance to win a tee shirt (size M.)  I’ll do a drawing for a winner in two weeks!

Magic Bag

January 25, 2010

Your kids will be amazed when they fill a plastic zip-lock bag with water and poke sharp skewers through, only to find that the bag does not leak!  All you need is a ziplock bag, water and wooden skewers.  It’s another great project from the Dragonflytv website!  Just remind them to watch the sharp points.

Have your child fill a quart-sized ziplock bag with water and seal it.  Let them poke several wooden skewers completely through the bag, from one side to the other, avoiding the part with air in it.  See how many they can push through!

When they ask you why it doesn’t leak, tell them that the plastic makes a seal around the spot where the skewer is poking through.  The bag is sealed and contains very little air, so there isn’t much pressure pushing on the water. Now, let your child take the bag to a sink or bathtub and either push a stick through the part of the bag holding air, or remove the stick and they will find that the bag leaks like crazy!   

If they want to, let them draw a picture of what they did or record their results in their science notebook.  Have fun!

Dandelion Curls

May 13, 2009


My daughters were playing tug-of-war with a chrysanthemum size dandelion today when it’s “head” popped off.  As tears ensued,  I recalled a making dandelion curls as a child and assured them that we could do something really fun with the stem.  This is so simple, I hesitate to post it, but my daughters are hooked.  They’ve spent the last half hour running outside to find more dandelions.  They ooooh and aahhhhhhhh every time a new one curls.

You will need dandelions and a bowl of water.  Remove the head of the dandelion and show your child how to split the stem with their fingernail to peel it in half.  Put the stem in the water and voila-dandelion curls.  Shorter pieces will make tight curls.  It’s also fun to leave the flower on and curl the stem. 


I think the stem curls because the inside of the stem absorbes water, while the outside doesn’t, but I’m not sure.


It’s good to have a few weeds in your yard.  I’m pretty sure that dandelions are my kids’ favorite flower!