Halloween Blog Tour: Outdoor Science Lab for Kids & Experiment
This Fall has been cold and wet, which means that we have spent our time indoors. I don’t know about your kids but my boys get stir crazy when they’re cooped up for too long. What I do to prevent this from happening is keep them busy with fun things. That’s why when I heard about the book Outdoor Science Lab for Kids I was super excited! This book is filled with 52 experiments that are both fun and educational. Perfect for my boys and me.
These experiments are meant to be done outdoors. However I have to confess that I don’t mind it when the boys make a mess inside. As long as they’re having fun it’s alright with me. They’re little for such a short time and I plan on cherishing the time we spent together. Soon enough they will be in their own homes with their own families. I don’t want to regret not spending more time with them. So it’s okay if I have to clean up more than usual.
Here’s a fun experiment you can try with your kids which can be found in the book.
- Unopened 8-ounce (235 ml) plastic water bottle
- Sheet of paper to make a funnel
- Detergent containing sodium tetraborate (e.g., Borax)
- Baking soda
- Paper cups
- Food coloring
- STEP 1: Remove the label from a water bottle, take the lid off, and pour out about 2 ounces (60 ml) of water.
- STEP 2: Using a paper funnel, add 1 teaspoon (5 ml) detergent and 5 teaspoons (23 g) baking soda to the water in the bottle. Put the lid back on the bottle and shake well. Label the bottle “detergent–baking soda.”
- STEP 3: In a paper cup or small pouring container, mix together 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vinegar, 2 generous tablespoons (30 ml) glue, and a few drops of food coloring. Mix well with a stick or spoon. If you’re using a paper cup, pinch one side to create a pouring spout.
- STEP 4: Shake the bottle of detergent– baking soda solution and set it on a tray or plate. Remove the lid from the bottle.
- STEP 5: Immediately pour all the glue-vinegar solution into the water bottle very quickly.
- STEP 6: Watch the chemical reaction create foaming slime. When your bottle has stopped “erupting” foamy slime, squeeze it out of the bottle.
- Add more or less water to your glue solution to see what happens.
- Try adding different amounts of baking soda and vinegar to the reaction.
Safety Tips & Hints
- Supervise young children so they don’t put detergent in their mouths.
- Label bottles containing detergent.
The Science Behind the Fun
- Polymers are long chains of molecules, like beads on a necklace. In fact, polymer means “many parts.” Glue contains a chemical called polyvinyl acetate, a polymer that is runny when you mix it with water or vinegar. However, if you add sodium tetraborate, which is called a cross-linker, to glue, all of the glue molecules stick (or link) together in a big glob.
- Mixing together baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and vinegar (acetic acid) creates a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide gas.
- When you pour glue-vinegar solution into baking soda–detergent solution, the chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar forms carbon dioxide gas bubbles as glue molecules are linking together, trapping gas bubbles inside gluey polymer slime. Your slime escapes the bottle as bubbles push their way out of the bottle under increasing pressure.
From Outdoor Science Lab for Kids by Liz Lee Heinecke
© 2016 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.
Text © 2016 Liz Lee Heinecke
Photography © 2016 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.
Follow the Blog Tour for more experiments and information from the Outdoor Science Lab for Kids.