She Blinded Me With Science

Well, summer is quickly drawing to a close at our house.  My son will be starting the 2nd grade on August 20th.  This is crazy for 2 reasons…#1:  he just got out in June!!!  I’m from Oklahoma & I am used to schools getting out before Memorial Day…not after!!  #2:  I remember 2nd grade & it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago.  Maybe I’m in denial, but I CAN’T  possibly be old enough to have a second grader, but, here we are.

Keeping a 7 year old entertained during the summer without letting his mind turn to mush has been challenging.  We’ve been doing lots of reading & this old fashioned thing called letter writing.  I hear people used to do it long ago, before e-mail & telephones.  They would write words down on paper, and get this, take them to a Post Office where they would be mailed to the other person.  Takes days!!!  Can you believe it??  

We did this to work on my son’s handwriting.  If it’s any indication, we have a budding doctor on our hands!  I thought it would be nice for him to learn the art of letter writing, plus the grandparents LOVE getting letters from him.  I think it’s been a great experience.

Another thing we did is some cool, hands on experiments.  I found a pin on Pinterest that has a bunch of science-y projects you can try.  We only did 2 of them (so far).  Here’s the link:

I haven’t explored the website, but it looks really cool…very educational and stuff.  We tried the milk experiment and the Elephant Toothpaste experiment.

ImageHere we are at the beginning…my son ran and got his safety goggles on…”you know Mom, safety first!!”

ImageImageHe was amazed!!!  He loved it so much, we had to do it a second time when Dad came home 🙂

ImageHe played with this for a long time.  Eventually, all of the colors blend together and you have to just dump it out and start over.  We used whole milk.  You need to use either that or 2% milk…the experiment works on the fat content of milk, so obviously skim just won’t do.

The second experiment we did was the Elephant Toothpaste on the same link.  Here’s what happened the first time we did it:

ImageThe yeast did react to the hydrogen peroxide, but it just didn’t fizz up like I thought it should.  So, I hopped on Pinterest to see if there were different directions to do this particular experiment.  I found this link:

The main differences I found was the first website had you using a LOT more dish soap.  It calls for 1/4 cup, while the second one calls for 3 tablespoons…huge difference.  Also, the first has you dissolve the yeast in 3/4 cup of warm water, while the second site has you dissolve the yeast in 1 tablespoon.  

Here are the results from experiment #2 using that second linkImage

ImageMuch better!!  Upon further research, I read where they recommend you use hydrogen peroxide that is 6%…we were using 3%.  I’m sure if we do this again (and we will…gotta show Dad!), I will get the 6% stuff instead.  

Overall, I have a very impressed 7 year old on my hands who is now talking about doing the Elephant Toothpaste project as a science experiment for school this years 🙂  Can’t argue with that!!!

Take advantage of these great experiments that are on Pinterest.  Even if they don’t work (like ours), you are still learning what works & what doesn’t & I think it’s good sometimes for kids to see that things don’t always work out right the first time around.  


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