Thursday, December 15, 2011

Grow a Snowflake

So every year I always like to sit down with the kids and make new ornaments for our tree. This year I got on the internet and found this cool idea about how to grow Borax crystal snowflakes. Obviously with my younger I will be doing more of the work but I knew that my daughter would love this and she did :)

Here is how they are made & What You Need:
  • string
  • widemouthed jar (pint)
  • white pipe cleaners
  • borax
  • pencil
  • boiling water
  • blue (any color) food coloring (opt.)
  • scissors
The first step of making borax crystal snowflakes is to make the snowflake shape. Cut a pipe cleaner into three equal sections.
Twist the sections together at their centers to form a six-sided snowflake shape. Don't worry if an end isn't even, just trim to get the desired shape. The snowflake should fit inside the jar.
Tie the string to the end of one of the snowflake arms. Tie the other end of the string to the pencil. You want the length to be such that the pencil hangs the snowflake into the jar.
Fill the widemouthed pint jar with boiling water.
Add borax one tablespoon at a time to the boiling water, stirring to dissolve after each addition. The amount used is 3 tablespoons borax per cup of water. It is okay if some undissolved borax settles to the bottom of the jar.
If desired, you may tint the mixture with food color.
Hang the pipe cleaner snowflake into the jar so that the pencil rests on top of the jar and the snowflake is completely covered with liquid and hangs freely (not touching the bottom of the jar).
Allow the jar to sit in an undisturbed location overnight.
Look at the pretty crystals!!! You can hang your snowflake on your Christmas tree or as a decoration or in a window to catch the sunlight :-)

Borax is available at grocery stores in the laundry soap section, such as 20 Mule Team Borax Laundry Booster. Do not use Boraxo soap.
Because boiling water is used and because borax isn't intended for eating, adult supervision is recommended for this project.
If you can't find borax, you can use sugar or salt (may take longer to grow the crystals, so be patient). Add sugar or salt to the boiling water until it stops dissolving. Ideally you want no crystals at the bottom of the jar

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Snow Globes

We made home-made snow globes today!!!!

It is that time of year again and to me its always a great time for fun sciency Christmas crafts.
So I decided to let the kids make a snow globe.

What You Need:
  • Small Jars with Lids
  • Mineral Oil or Water
  • Egg Shell and/or Glitter
  • Glue Gun or Sealant
  • Decorative Objects

It was pretty easy to make after we cleaned a couple of spaghetti jars up, all they had to do was glue some plastic holiday ornaments to the lid.
To make the snow I had them crush some cleaned eggs shells in a bag and pour with glitter into the jar. The of course we filled with water and glued the lid on.
Once dried it was neat seeing their faces when they got to watch their creation in action :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Turkey Bone Experiment

So with Thanksgiving right around the corner I have been really wanting to do a super cool "turkey" inspired science experiment with the kids.

I tell you what I love the internet and after a little bit of web surfing found this really neat idea. I have not done it yet but I'm looking forward to it.

I have included a copy of the article in case you'd like to try it too :)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

What you need:

  • Turkey bones (the thinner the better. If the bones are too thick this experiment will take the better part of a week and you lose the excitement for it before it has even finished.)
  • Vinegar
  • A jar or glass. (I prefer a jar since I can close it.)

Day One:

Clean off all the excess meat from the chicken bone.
Talk to your children about the bone, have them touch the bone and discuss if it is hard or if it is soft. Discussion is key to every experiment.
Pour vinegar into the jar.
Place in the bones and leave overnight. If they are thin enough, the experiment should only take a day but if they aren’t really thin, it will take about two or three days.
Make sure everyone washes their hands.

Day Two:

Remove the turkey bones from the vinegar. They should be soft and bendable.
Discuss what has happened to them. Allow your children to touch them and bend them.
Tie the bones into knots. You can tie them together or simply place knots in each bone. Sometimes the bones will slide out of the knot so I find just placing a clip on either end keeps them secure.
Place in a high cupboard out of the way (especially if you have any cats that might be tempted by a bone)
Leave the bones overnight (this should only take one night but check the bones before you pull them out for the last stage.
Make sure everyone washes their hands.

Day Three:

Take out the bones and explore them.
Remove any clips if you used them.
The bones should be hard, and back to normal except that they are now knotted.
The science behind it all:

Like everyone knows, when you become a parent all the secrets of the world are not revealed to you, although at times you wish that they were, and you might be just as stumped by this experiment as I was the first time I did it and my kids asked, “why?”

So just so you can explain to your child(ren) what has happened, let’s look at the science behind this experiment.

Obviously, the main answer is that we are dealing with a chemical reaction when we do this experiment. Bones contain a substance called “calcium carbonate” and it is this substance that causes the bones to remain hard. When you add vinegar, which is a acetic acid, the chemical reaction occurs.

Carbon dioxide is created and you should see it in the vinegar as tiny bubbles. The carbon is taken from the bones and they begin to soften. When there is no longer any carbon in the bones, the bones can be bent and tied without fear of breaking them.

Now for the really interesting part. Since carbon is in the air around us, it is very easy for the reverse reaction to occur. When you leave the turkey bone out for the night, the calcium that is still in the bone takes the carbon back into the bone. This makes the bone hard again and since you had reshaped it, it will harden into whatever shape you created.

So in essence, you get two reactions in one experiment and a whole new way to look at turkey dinner.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Home-made Lava Lamp

So my daughter was at a friends house last weekend. When she come home she was telling me how she wanted to go buy a lava lamp, because her friend had one!
I thought to myself, "We can make one of those, I know it!"

So I got online and found a website that had a lava lamp recipe. My daughter was really into the idea of making this.

So pretty much what we did was mixed some water and baby oil with a few drops of food coloring in a plastic bottle for some lava lamp action.

Here are the directions for anyone interested in making one too :)


1. Fill the bottle three fourths (3/4) of the way with vegetable oil.
2. Fill the rest of the bottle with colored water.
3. Close the lid tightly.
4. Turn the bottle on its side – watch as the color moves through the oil in funny shapes and blobs.
The water and the oil do not mix because the water has more density than the oil.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

It a Pumpkin

Okay so with Halloween right around the corner I thought why not learn about the vegetable we call "Pumpkin".

So I sat down with my lil' pumpkins in front of the computer and did a lil' research/reading. Here are few quick facts we learned about this vegetable. And how the pumpkin carving got started.

Quick Fact:
1. A pumpkin is really a squash. It is a member of the Cucurbita family which includes squash and cucumbers.

2. Pumpkins are grown all over the world on six of the seven continents, with Antarctica being the sole exception. They are even grown in Alaska.

3. The self proclaimed "Pumpkin Capital of the World" is Morton, Illinois where Libby has it's pumpkin industry and plant.

4. Pumpkins are believed to have originated in Central America. Seeds from related plants have been found in Mexico, dating back over 7000 years to 5500 B.C.

The History of Pumpkin Carving
Halloween evolved, in part, from the Celtic tradition of All Hallow's Eve.

Pumpkin carving evolved from the traditions of this annual event. But, it wasn't pumpkins that were being carved in these ancient times. Pumpkins are native to America, and were not known to the Celtic people of Ireland. They carved turnips and rutabagas

So now my kids are so excited they can not wait to go to the store buy a pumpkin and get to carving :)

Happy Halloween Everyone!!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Solar system

So our Solar System is a very interesting topic. I love thinking about all that is out in the universe, real or not ;-)

So I found a little saying to help my oldest and soon youngest learn their planets.

My - Mercury
Very - Venus
Easy - Earth
Method - Mars
Just - Jupiter
Sped - Saturn
Up - Uranus
Naming - Neptune
Planets – Pluto

I had my kids cut out different sized planets, moons, stars, comets, meteorites, rings and a sun. Then I had them place all of the "Solar System" on black poster paper and then glue each one to the paper.

It was pretty fun craft to do. Of course I also went into the educational info a bit. I explained how our solar system is made up of the Sun and everything that orbits it, the nine (eight) planets (Pluto was changed from a planet to ‘The Dwarf Planet’ in 2006. Because it is so small many scientists don’t consider it a planet at all.) moving in elliptical orbits around it. There are also a lot of asteroids (small lumps of rock). Moons orbit the planets. Mercury and Venus are the only planets that do not have any moons. The Sun’s gravity keeps the planets and a variety of other objects, including comets, moving the way they do because of the Sun's orbit.

Of course I am sure I will be explaining this many times in the future. But, all in all, it was a good day!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Colors of the Rainbow

With both of my kids I taught them the all colors of the rainbow, red, yellow, green, blue, purple, etc etc etc
We all know the excitement when after a long rain we look outside and catch a glimpse of a beautiful rainbow.
Even thou there is nothing as good as a genuine rainbow high in the sky, I decided to have the kids make the next best thing. ;-)

All I did was have my kids put some water in a shallow dish and then prop up a small mirror in the water at an angle. Then place the dish near a window and position the mirror so that sunlight hits it. The light passes through the water and bounces off the mirror, making a faint rainbow appear on the wall. If you do not have white walls, take a large piece of white card and hold it in front of the wall. Adjust it until you can see the rainbow.
To quote my lil' ones, "Ooh how pretty!" :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Colored Floweres

Coloring flowers, sounds like something you would do with crayons and paper right? Well you would be partly wrong,I found out that you can actually color real flowers!!! Crazy cool huh ;)
So I went out and bought some white carnations and brought them home and had the kids help me ummmm...color them :)
first I had them fill a few cups up with water. Then I had them add a few drops of food coloring (different colors of course )
I then cut the end off the stem and put the flowers in the water. It really didn't take that much time, it was cool how the food coloring literately was sucked up the stem along tiny tubes (called vessels) and this is how the petals of the flower started to change in color.

So Pretty!!!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Temperature Experiment

So to continue with are heat theme I wanted to do some temperature experiments.
I fond a cool one online, it's where you freeze oil & water together.
First we poured some water into some clear plastic containers, after that I had my kids add some cooking oil. Then you have to leave it for a few minutes.
After a few minutes the oil will have risen to the top of the container (kids thought this was neat). I explained how the oil becomes lighter than the water. Then all you have to do is put the container into the freezer for a few hours.
After it has frozen you, of course, remove from freezer.
Now this is the really cool part; the oil is now underneath the water!!!
Apparently water becomes a solid when it freezes. The water expands when it freezes and becomes less dense that the oil. This causes the water to rise to the top.
In my opinion, this was almost more like a magic trick than a science experiment, just saying ;)

Monday, August 1, 2011


With the hot month of August what better time then to learn about Heat.
So I was washing a load of clothes the other day and I thought "Huh', let's take advantage of this lil' house hold chore."
So I called my kids into the laundry room and went on to explain to them that even though the clothes were wet from the washer that when hung out on a clothes line the heat from the sun helps to dry clothes quickly. I went on to also say that our dryer does the same thing the sun does only it uses electric heat instead of the sun but that when heat is applied, no matter what the source, it makes the water evaporate.
I then got my hair dryer and wet a piece of cloth and let the kids watch how the heat of the dryer dried the material quickly. They really thought this was cool! ;)

Friday, July 15, 2011


Today I was showing my kids how magnets have a special power that enables them to attract other magnetic things such as iron, steel, cobalt and nickel. I explained to them that magnets have two main forces - push and pull.
I took a magnet off the fridge and then got a paper clip (they are made of steel). I had my daughter hold a paper clip close to a magnet. It was easy for her to feel the magnet pulling on the paper clip. I explained to her that the invisible force is called magnetism.
My son enjoyed this experiment as well, he loved sticking the magnets on anything metal he could find. ;)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Home-made Bird feeders

Home-made bird feeders are so much fun to make. We had some pine cones that we found and we decided to let the kids cover them in peanut butter and cover them with bird seeds. After that we tied some string on them and hung them out side.
It was neat to watch the birds and yes even squirrels eat them :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Potato Jar

So we decided not to long ago to do a potato experiment.
What I did was I took a potato and had the kids stick toothpicks in it and put it in a bit of water in a jar and put it in the windowsill several weeks ago.
Every week my kids would check it and would be a bit disappointed not to see any change, my daughter actually asked if the potato was broke! LOL....
I still had them take notes of what was happening. Soon it started to sprout and the kids were so excited!
This was defiantly a wonderful experiment to do, as long as you have some patience ;)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Chicken's Anatomy

So I thought it would be interesting to ask my children to look at a few different type of eggs to see what they thought would be different about them and what could be different inside and once hatched ect.
My son he thought that the chickens would be what ever color the egg was on the outside, that was the jist of his opinion. My daughter was not as quick to jump to that conclusion. She thought I think that I might be asking a trick question. lol ;-)
I then showed them photos that were what the birds looked like once hatched.
I also printed out a diagram of a chicken and learned the different parts of their anatomy.
My mom had just gotten some chickens recently. I find that learning about certain things are the easiest when children are interested .

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Magic Colored Ice cubes

So today we used some ice cube trays and put drops of different food colorings in each square to color the cubes.
Then we put the trays in the freezer. After they became frozen my son had a lot of fun watching them melt in bowls, coloring the water.
He loved taking two different colors like blue and yellow and watching them melt into green.
Defiantly a cool science experiment for him to do :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Flowers

O' what is that saying after April showers bring May flowers.....
Well we decided to enjoy what Mother Nature has made for us. We took the day and went on a nature walk at our local State Park. I thought it would be fun to collect as many different flowers we could find and study the differences among them. Teaching the kids that flowers are more than just pretty and smell good was fun. I think learning that in different parts of the world there are flowers that grow specific to that area was interesting to them. All in all, it was a very fun day!

Friday, April 15, 2011


So I find that the fun science is usually messy science!!!!!
Recently we made some starch slime!!!!
Well I am sure you are wondering what that is exactly, well I will tell you.
You take equal parts corn starch and water, you want to make sure you get all the corn starch wet, (kids always have fun mixing it together).
You can also add a bit of food coloring for fun!
I promise your kids will love making this messy experiment, at least my kids did!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Zoo Time

So we took the kids to the local zoo, as you can imagine it was quite a learning experience. My kids favorite area was the reptile exhibit. I think that these animals seem more of a mystery so that makes them more interesting. I, for one, am not found of the slithering, icky things, but the kids felt differently.
My daughter seemed very taken with the Boa Constrictors. She has since been making them out of paper gluing the pieces together trying to make a super long snake LOL. I thought that it was interesting that they give live birth and that, even though they can reach 13 feet, their life span is unknown.
All in all it was a great family day of learning :)

Here is some additional information that we googled once home (my daughter was eager to learn as much as should could)

They are found from Mexico through South America and the Lesser Antilles (islands off the coast of South America).
They live mostly in the rainforest, but they can be found on grasslands, farms and on rocky hillsides.
Body Traits
They can be from 3 - 20 feet long and reach 100 pounds, though most are smaller. They are colored in patterns of brown, gray and tan that look like fallen leaves. This helps them blend in (camouflage). They can use their tails to grip branches. This is called a prehensile tail. They have no fangs or venom.
They live alone, except in breeding season. They are good climbers, so are often found in trees. Unlike anacondas, they don’t like to spend a lot of time in the water, though they are good swimmers. When it is colder, they slow down, but don’t hibernate. They can live up to 30 years. Diet
They start out eating mice, birds, lizards, and frogs. As they get bigger, they begin to eat bigger prey like; monkeys, capybaras, agoutis, caimans, and wild pigs. The boa waits for prey to come to the river to drink. The boa constrictor kills it by squeezing it to death (constriction). It coils its body around it, and each time the prey breathes out, the boa squeezes tighter and tighter. Soon its prey can’t take a breath at all and dies. The boa swallows them whole. Since the boa is cold-blooded and moves so slowly, it does not need a lot of food. After eating large prey, they may not eat again for a long time.
Man is the adult boa constrictor's only enemy. Young boas are eaten by coatis, hawks, caimans, and wild pigs.
They have up to 60 live babies. The females keep the eggs inside her until they hatch at birth (This is called ovo-viviparous). She doesn’t eat while she is carrying the eggs.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Art Toast

It is amazing how you can do fun and interesting science experiments from your very own kitchen. With Easter just around the corner, food coloring came to mind so I decided to let the kids have fun using food coloring and mixing it together to make different colors.
Of course it led to wanting to color foods. So I let the kids take milk and mix with their food coloring and gave them a paint brush to paint a piece of bread. After they were done we toasted it in the toaster. It was such a hit that every day this week they have been asking me if they can make some more Art Toast LOL ;)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


My kids love learning about them. So I decided that we would learned about dogs this week .

My kids were surprised to learn that dogs can have jobs too.

We found out that the average life span for a dog is around 10 to 14 years and that there is said to be around 400 million dogs in the world and that the domestic dog has been one of the most popular working and companion animals throughout human history.

~>so they are used for more then just belly rubs lol ;-)

Also dogs perform many useful tasks for humans including hunting, farm work and security as well as assisting those with disabilities such as the blind.

This my kids thought was the coolest!

We also learned in our research that dogs have superior hearing than humans, capable of hearing sounds at four times the distance and that dogs have a remarkable sense of smell, they are capable of differentiating odors in concentrations nearly 100 million times lower than humans can.

So as you can imagine my kids have been begging for a family dog now
Woof! did I get myself into LOL! :-)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy "Heart" Day!

So being that this is the month of "LOVE" AKA "Valentines Day", I did a science theme about the heart yesterday. I have two age groups at my house so I always try to make the learning available and appropriate as possible.

My oldest was defiantly eager as she has a fascination with the human body and my youngest well he was just interested in the heart coloring pages I had printed out, LOL.

There is so much to learn about the heart, I honestly had a lot of fun myself with this lesson idea.

Here are a few heart facts:

  • The heart is one of the most important organs in the human body, continuously pumping blood around our body through blood vessels.
  • Your heart is located in your chest and is well protected by your rib cage.
  • The study of the human heart and its various disorders is known as cardiology.
  • The heart is made up of four chambers, the left atrium, right atrium, left ventricle and right ventricle.
  • There are four valves in the human heart, they ensure that blood only goes one way, either in or out.
  • Blood that leaves the heart is carried through arteries. The main artery leaving the left ventricle is the aorta while the main artery leaving the right ventricle is the pulmonary artery.
  • Blood going towards the heart is carried through veins. Blood coming from the lungs to the left atrium is carried through the pulmonary veins while blood coming from the body to the right atrium is carried through the superior vena cava and inferior vena cava.
  • You might have felt your own heart beating, this is known as the cardiac cycle. When your heart contracts it makes the chambers smaller and pushes blood into the blood vessels. After your heart relaxes again the chambers get bigger and are filled with blood coming back into the heart.
  • Electricity going through your heart makes the muscle cells contract.
  • You might have watched television shows or movies where a patient in a hospital is attached to an electrocardiogram (ECG). You might recognize it as the machine with a line moving across a screen that occasionally spikes (or remains flat when a patient is dying). This machine can measure the electricity going through a patient’s heart. A doctor can use the information to know when a patient is having heart rhythm problems or even a heart attack.
  • Heart attacks cause scar tissue to form amongst normal heart tissue, this can lead to further heart problems or even heart failure.
Hope everyone had a wonderful "heart day!" ;-)