Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Fourth of July Fun and Salt Explorations!

Fourth of July Fun and Salt Explorations!


We tried some different experiments with vinegar and baking soda. We have done several experiments in the past with baking soda and vinegar volcanoes, blowing up balloons, and we also have done soda and mentos, etc. So we decided to change things up a bit and try for some bigger explosions. Here is what happened!

To do the experiment, we used:
1 empty 2 liter soda bottle
3 unsharpened pencils
electrical tape
a small board
botttle of vinegar
baking soda
and paper towels
a cork
We taped the pencils onto the bottle with electrical tape to make a pedestal of sorts on the end with the opening. Then we tested it to make sure that it would stand up properly and was fairly sturdy. Next week poured about 4 inches of vinegar into the bottle. Then we poured some baking soda into half of a small select-a-size paper towel and rolled it up so that it was skinny enough to fit inside of the soda bottle. Next we put the paper towel with soda into the bottle and quickly put a cork in the opening. We found after experimentation that if you give the bottle a little shake as you turn it over that it produces a bigger rocket. Then we set it on the board on the pencils and watched the magic!
It was awesome! The kids had a great time!
During this experiment we got to talk about pressure. It was great to actually see the pressure building up inside the bottle before it goes off. The kids could watch the bottle expand. We talked about how tight and hard the bottle would get as it expands and the pressure builds up inside. It was also great to hypothesize and experiment.
We spent about 45 min on this activity. It has great learning potential, but you need to have a place outside to conduct the experiments. I think that the best age for this experiment is 3rd to 5th grade.


Next we tried elephant toothpaste. 
For this experiment we used:
an empty 2 liter soda bottle
a funnel
a bottle of 40 volume peroxide
dawn dish soap 
a packet of yeast
warm water

First we poured 4 oz of hydrogen peroxide into the bottle. Then we added a squirt of dish soap and food coloring for a few explosions. The we mixed up the catalyst: we mixed 3 Tbl. warm water with a packet of yeast. Then we poured the catalyst into the bottle and watched the magic!
This experiment was great for hypothesizing and experimenting. We tried different amounts of hydrogen peroxide and yeast. We determined that the best explosion came by doubling the original recipe. 
We talked about hydrogen peroxide and how it can be dangerous. Then we talked about why and how the explosion worked. It was a great lesson to introduce catalysts which is appropriate for older children. We spent about 30 min on this experiment.

Double recipe results.

The children thought that the foam from the explosion looked fun to play with so we cleaned it up and pulled out the shaving cream. This activity was much more appropriate for the early childhood years. This activity can be used with any age over 2. The children enjoyed making letters and numbers and drawing in the cream with their hands. You could use this activity to have the children practice spelling, letters, numbers, addition, subtraction, shapes etc. it can be adapted to many lesson plans. I love the tactile and sensory learning that this activity offers. We spent 30 min playing with shaving cream.

Fruit Rockets!

 For the fruit rockets we used:
green grapes
wooden skewers
red and silver tinsel
I prepared the sticks by tying tinsel to the skewers. Next I set out three bowls with the fruits. The children all made their own skewers. The had fun making and eating them.
This was a great activity to practice patterns. My five year old came up with some great patterns. I would make sure that there were rules about the skewers for the children's safety. This activity is great for pre-K through 2nd grade. This is also a great activity for developing fine motor skills.
We spent about 30 minutes on this activity.

Salt Explorations:

Firework salt painting!

For this project we used:
black construction papers
table salt
water color paints
First we drew our designs on the black paper with white glue. We put the glue on sort of thick so that the salt would stick. Then we used the droppers to put salt on the glue. Next we painted the salt. We made sure that our brushes were very wet with water and brushes very lightly. The projects turned out great. This project was great for creativity. The children can use the tools to create whatever they like. This activity would be great for grade levels Kindergarten through 4th grade. The older kids really got into this one as well. We spent about 45 minutes on this project.

Salt drawing:

 This activity involved tactile and sensory letter practice.
My five year old practiced her letters and numbers and writing her name. She had a lot of fun and learned to write her letters in the proper form.

 Even my other children got into the activity. My older sun started drawing math equations in the salt. My little 20 month old loved drawing in the salt.

This is a great activity for pre-k through 1st grade.
You can adapt it to whichever grade level and concept you are working on in Language arts. You could also use it for math concepts.

We spent more time on this activity than I thought, we spent about 30 minutes. The only bad thing is that it is messy. Next time I think I will put their salt plates on baking sheets or go outside.
We even went into a exploration of comparing salt and sugar. We smelled the sugar and salt. Then we tasted the sugar and salt. Then we observed the salt and sugar to see which one was finer. We determined that sugar was finer than salt and noted all of the differences between the two and the similarities. 


The children LOVED making slime. We talked about viscosity and the children learned knew academic vocabulary. We also talked about liquids and solids. The children enjoyed measuring the ingredients and watching the mixture change. We talked about how things change from solids to liquids. This activity was pretty clean and easy. It is good for grades Kindergarten through 5th grade. We spent 1 hour doing this project. The children made the slime pretty quickly, but played with it for a long time;). It would be a great idea to have a couple children in the classroom make some at a time while the rest of the class works on another project so that you contain the mess and do not need as many supplies. 

 Even my little guy loved the slime:)
We had a great time making projects this summer! Happy learning!!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Campout Under the Stars and Big Bubble Study


It's Summer Time!! So we decided to make some giant bubbles. I figured that we could use this opportunity to learn something as well.:)
We looked up a recipe for giant bubbles and tried the mixture. Below shows the ingredients for the bubble solution.
Moroni mixing the solution.

The recipe for the solution is 6 cups of water, 1/2 cup dish soap, 1/2 cup cornstarch,  1 Tbl baking powder, 1 Tbl glycerin.
It was pretty easy to mix up the solution. You have to make it before hand because you need to let it sit for 1-2 hours before you use it. You can save it for later as well, you just need to stir it for a good few minutes before you blow bubbles.  It took five minutes to make the solution.
We hypothesized what we thought would happen. How big would our bubbles get?

We thought that they would get as big as a cantaloupe.
As you can see the bubbles got pretty big. We created our own bubble wands out of copper wire. We tried to make different shapes of bubbles by making different shaped wands, but they all produced round bubbles. It was windy so we blew the bubbles in the garage. We blew bubbles, made wands, and studied bubbles for 40 minutes.

This activity would be difficult in the classroom. The appropriate age would be Kindergarten through 2nd grade.

 After blowing the bubbles we decided to try blowing colored bubbles. We added a small spoon full finger paint to the bubble solution and blew the bubbles onto a large sheet of paper. The color was not very evident, so we decided to finger paint on the paper. Tristan loved the finger paint. We painted for 20 minutes.

Moroni mixed colors and created some neat new colors.

Finger Painting and coloring mixing would be great for Kindergarten. It would also be a great activity for team building. 

Then we decided to try spin art with some household items. This took a problem solving process. We hypothesized what would happen if we squirted some paint in this pan and spun the lazy susan. Nothing happened to the paint, it stayed still. Then we decided to thin the paint. We used a dropper to add a few small drops of water on each squirt of paint in the pan. We tried spinning again. This didn't change much. We decided to spin the lazy susan faster. It still didn't do anything. 

We got another tupperware and cut a hole in the bottom center of it and stuck a Dremel through the hole. We put the piece of paper with the squirts of paint and a few drops of water inside the tupperware. We turned on the Dremel and it spun the tupperware much faster. We got some great spin art projects. We learned that to make spin art you have to have a high speed  spin and thin paint. This process took us 40 minutes.

You could do spin art in the classroom with salad makers. You would need to have just a few kids at a time so you would have to have it as a center. This activity would be great for Kindergarten through 3rd grade.

 After painting we talked about the properties of bubbles. We examined the large bubbles we created and tried to recreate them. We used colored chalk and black construction paper. The kids created some great art. We did this art project for 20 minutes.
Bubble painting was great. you could examine pictures of bubbles as a class and then have the students use techniques to create bubbles with their characteristics. This activity is great for 3rd grade.

Campout Under the Stars!

We did not actually camp out;) we did some great activities with a camping and star theme. 

Galaxy Jars!

We made glow in the dark jars. We talked about day and night and the children painted jars how they wished and made some of their own constellations on them with glow in the dark paint. 

Moroni's galaxy jar.

We ran out of yellow paint so Taylie did some experimenting with mixing. We talked about primary colors and tint and shade. We experimented by adding white to see what would happen. She came up with a great yellow color for her sunshine.

Taylie painted stars to make a constellation. 

Our galaxy jars. These jars took us 30 minutes. We used tole paint and small paint brushes and glass quart sized jars.
The galaxy jars ended up coming out all very different,  that is a good sign. This project would be great for mothers day or fathers day. The children could make personalized gifts while still focusing on learning. This activity is great for Kindergarten through 3rd grade and above.

Constellation Structures!

We studied star patterns and made constellations out of spaghetti sticks and mini marshmallows.

Simple constellation cards.
We worked on constellations for 20 minutes.
I really enjoyed this activity. This is great for 1st through 4th grade. Students get a more hands on approach to star patterns.

Campfire Snacks!


We made these cute campfire snacks, the kids could make these themselves with a little bit of help.
Here is what we used:
Fruit roll up
pretzel sticks
saltine cracker rounds

spread nutella on the cracker
put a ring of grapes along the outside of the cracker
have the fruit roll up cut into pieces
put 3 fruit roll up pieces into the middle of the cracker
break the pretzel sticks into smaller pieces and put them between the grapes and fruit roll pieces.
There you have it, a little fire pit. yum!
After some prep, these thematic snacks took 15 min for everyone to make, eat, and clean up.

This was a great thematic snack idea. You could use this for a camping theme and have the children put them together themselves, great for Kindergarten through 3rd grade. This is also a good fine motor skill activity.

Constellation and Star Art!

We used black construction paper and colored chalk again to make these star art projects.
The children used star stickers to create patterns and then connected the stars with lines using chalk.
We also worked on proper form when writing letters.

These are great for pre-k through kindergarten. You can have the stars already on for the first letter of each chid's name and then have some more star stickers available for them to make their own creations. 
Then we created our own star galaxy art.

Here is Taylie's big dipper and her bakery oven picture. She got very creative with this little oven picture.
We spent 20 minutes on Star Art. This activity would be great for children from Kindergarten through 2nd grade.

Star Gazing Center!

I put together this little star gazing fort for the kids to feel like they are outdoors under the stars. They can look for star patterns and read camping and star books with flashlights in small groups or pairs.
I created this fort out of a water heater cardboard box, some white christmas lights, a knife, and a sheet. (The sheet does not completely cover the fort, you can always see inside.) This could be used in a reading corner during a star or camping unit in the classroom for kindergarten through 3rd grades. However, I would probably use pvc pipes and fabric to make little tents instead. They are smaller and take far less time to create. I spent 1 1/2 hours building this fort.
I cut small holes in the cardboard by sticking a sharp knife into the box. I cut the front part of the box off and put it on top. I stuck a light from a sting of icicle lights into each hole and plugged them in. Then I put an old sheet on top of the box.
The kids had a great time playing in the hut, they searched for star patterns and drew them with chalk on the cardboard for 10 minutes.

Reading Time!

We read the book Camping Out, the kids loved the book with Clifford in it.
Then we stayed in a circle and played the "Going On a Bear Hunt" We stood up and did all the actions to the song and sang it together. This is a great activity to get kids moving. This activity is best for Kindergarten through first grade.
The story time and bear hunt took 25 minutes. We did the bear hunt song twice. The second time around I had the kids made up the actions for the song.