In the kitchen

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

hot lava

Ella had a science day at school last week. She came home saying things like, "We could do an experiment and find out" and walking around looking at everything under a magnifying glass.  I was incredibly proud.

Somewhere in the recesses of my brain, I remembered how fun it was to make a volcano as a kid.  I was always concocting my own "experiments" as an unattended child and it is a wonder I didn't wind up combining any unstable compounds and frying my eyebrows off my face.

Since Sandi spent Thursday night working a call shift at the hospital, she came home early Friday.  By Friday afternoon we were in volcano making mode. 

(I love it when Sandi is in the house.  I love it when Sandi is in the house doing things with the kids. I love when I am not too busy to photograph Sandi doing these two things.)

I would have just made the volcano out of an old bottle. Not surprisingly, Sandi was more of the diorama persuasion. She found a box, cut all but one side out and made a hole in the bottom to fit a water bottle in. Then she made a cardboard cylinder to circle the bottle and function as the framework on which to build the actual volcano out of playdough. (The cardboard is there so that you can slip the bottle out from underneath and empty it for future volcanic eruptions.)
Then we set to making playdough.  Here is the recipe we used: mix 6 cups flour, 2 cups salt, 4 tablespoons vegetable oil and 2 cups water.  We added food coloring to this mixture which was fun but very hard to mix.  We ended up making a second batch and found that it was way easier to mix the food coloring with the water before adding to the flour (plus as an added bonus it looks super cool to drop food coloring in water.)

Our volcano was obviously a piece of art, made only more beautiful by the eruption itself.  To make an eruption (in case your brain doesn't recall the recipe from 5th grade) here's how you do it:  combine 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup vinegar, a few drops of dish detergent and a few drops of food coloring (for fun) to the bottle.  Slip the bottle into the hole under the volcano.  In a small square of tissue, place about 2 tablespoons of baking soda.  Fold the tissue and drop it into the bottle from the mouth of the volcano.  Then stand back.

Look what these simple kitchen staples can do for a pair of kids.

All of this reminds me of when Maya said to me once, "Did it hurt when you and Mommy fell in hot lava?" from the back seat of the car.  I said, "WHAT?" before realizing that she meant and asking, "Do you mean did it hurt when we fell in love?"  She answered, "Yes, did it hurt?  Because you fell..."
Anyone know of any other easy science experiments?  Because to be honest this one sort of tapped out my repertoire.


Zoe Kreitzer said...

Pretty easy and fun experiments with handy explanation!

Jenn said...

These are the sites we go back to over and over again. My kids get the magazines, too, and are so excited to see what the new experiment is every month (the ones in the magazines are often different).

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