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!!!!

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