Skittles Experiment

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I’ve seen this experiment several places online and the results looked so impressive that I just had to try it out with the kids.  Check out the beautiful pics of our Skittles experiment!  I know that we’ll be repeating this experiment to see the beautiful color combinations–probably whenever we have company over.  They’ll think we’re magicians!

Materials:

  • Skittles
  • large plate
  • warm/hot water
  • measuring cup

Directions:

  1. Arrange Skittles in a circle around the outside edge of the plate, making sure to alternate colors.  Plate should sit on a level surface.  (This really does affect the outcome of the experiment!)
  2. Pour warm water in the middle of the plate so that it spreads out just beyond the line of Skittles.
  3. Watch closely because the colors will disperse fairly quickly.  Try not to shake the plate or it will cause the colors to shift about and muddy.

This experiment is a fun jumping off point for talking about diffusion.  You can see that concept in action by watching the colors diffuse through the water.

 

Maker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects by Jack Challoner

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I found Maker Lab when we went to the library in a nearby town.  I was hoping that we would be able to do a few of the projects in our homeschooling, but that will have to wait.  We’re packing up to move and most of our supplies are languishing in storage right now.

Premise:

This book is aimed at kids who want to do their own maker projects.  The 28 projects fall into four categories: Food For Thought, Around the Home, Water World, and The Great Outdoors.  Each project has a supply list, clear instructions, a sample, and a short explanation about how it works.  The pictures are colorful and engaging, and enhanced by whimsical doodles.  There is also a short glossary at the end of the book to explain some of the more scientific terms.

My thoughts:

If I were a child, I would want this book!  That’s because I’m a perpetual crafter/project-tackler.  Any child who enjoys doing those hands-on projects will get excited when they see the awesome projects they can complete themselves.

The illustrations and projects are great, but there are only 28 total projects.  So while this is a fun book, it will not keep the dedicated project-maker occupied for too long.  Once you’ve tackled all of the projects, it would be a nice gesture to pass it on to a friend.

I would recommend this book for children of all ages.  The younger ones will need help with the projects, and the older ones will gain satisfaction from completing the projects on their own.

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Rocks & Minerals Activity Kit

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This post contains an affiliate link.

We recently ordered the Rock & Mineral Collection Activity Kit from Dancing Bear on Amazon.  We’ve been wanting to explore samples like these ever since our trip to a nearby cave, but their prices at the store were exorbitant.

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This handy little kit came in a medium-small box.  It included an identification sheet with clear pictures and labeling (quite helpful for this mom who couldn’t identify rocks if her life depended on it).  It also came with a nice assortment of shark’s teeth, two arrowheads, an amethyst cluster, and two geodes that we could break open ourselves.  And just look at how beautiful these specimens are!  Fancy jewelry can’t even compare to the beautiful patterns in these rocks that come straight from the earth!

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I have to say that I’m very impressed by this little kit!  It kept my five kids busy looking at and classifying the different specimens for quite some time.  It also introduced them to the wonder of rocks, minerals and gems in a very hands-on way.  I love sparking children’s interest by allowing them to learn through hands-on exploration!

Some of the rocks in this kit have not been tumbled, so we were inspired to buy a rock tumbler to see what they will look like once they’re all polished.  We also checked out a couple of videos about geodes on Youtube and want to try out some geode hunting for ourselves.

I highly recommend this kit or something similar as an excellent supplement to your child’s homeschooling education!

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Non-Disintegrating Chalk Experiment

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We attempted to do an experiment with chalk, but it was a very sorry and disappointing endeavor.  I think chalk must be made differently from how it used to be made in the good old days.  Do they make it with a different substance or in an alternate manner?

For the procedure we measured equal amounts of vinegar, water and lemon juice into three separate glasses.  We then put an equal-sized piece of chalk into the three glasses.  Then we let them sit for days and days, checking them each day to see if there had been any changes.  There were only very slight changes to the chalk, when supposedly there should have been at least one very notable disintegration.  You can see from the picture above that only a slight reduction in the size of the chalk was all we achieved.

Our first experiment was done using colored chalk because that’s all I had in the house.  When we didn’t get the desired results, we thought maybe the colored chalk was to blame.  We tried again with white chalk, but got the same results.  Our only conclusion was that chalk is made differently from how it used to be.  Not the most exciting experiment ever!

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Egg in Vinegar Experiment

The boys and I did a little experiment with a couple of raw eggs.

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One soaked in water, while the other soaked in vinegar.  We covered them to minimize evaporation and keep the vinegar stink out of the room.

 

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After a couple of days, this is what the egg in vinegar looked like.

 

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After about one week of soaking in the vinegar, this is what happened to the shell.  It was still on the egg, but it came off on my fingers like chalk when I touched it.

 

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We were supposed to be able to bounce the egg in a bowl, but ours just broke.  Oh well!  The shell felt like a deflated balloon.  It was pretty cool.