Saturday, February 21, 2015

Rainbow Paper | Color Science for Kids

Rainbows are one of the most beautiful natural wonders. They are created in the sky when just the right combination of rain and sunshine mix. Sunlight is reflected off of raindrops in the air, making the light we usually think of as "white" split into a gorgeous array of different colors. In this science activity the kids are going to create rainbows on paper that can be enjoyed year-round, rain or shine.
Total Time: About 5 minutes

Safety Concerns: None. This is a fantastic activity that even toddlers and preschoolers can do on their own.

Materials You Need:
A bowl filled with water
Clear nail polish
Small pieces of black paper

Directions:
  • Add 1-2 drops of clear nail polish to the bowl of water. Watch it disperse over the surface of the water.
  • Quickly dip the paper into the water. Let it dry on a paper towel.
  • Once it is dry (this only takes a few minutes) tilt the paper in different directions to see the rainbow patterns appear. Hold it next to a sunny window for best results.
  • NOTE: The nail polish will dry quickly on the surface of the water, which will create a film that won't stick to the paper. To do this activity successfully you will need to do it quickly. Be sure to dip the paper into the water within 10-15 seconds after you drop the nail polish in. If the nail polish does create a dry film on top, simply scoop it off and try again more quickly!
Print these instructions
We did this experiment several times with several pieces of paper. It was fascinating to see how each piece came out so differently!

What is going on?


When you dip the paper into the water it gets coated with a thin layer of nail polish. Light is reflected by the nail polish, creating rainbow patterns. This is basically the same thing that happens when a rainbow is naturally formed in the sky.
Try to find each of the following colors on your rainbow paper: red. orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. White light is composed of all of these colors!




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 Saturday Science

STEM Saturday | Science Math Engineering Technology for Kids
And now on to our STEM Saturday link up! Check out our wonderful co-hosts and link up your own math and science activities:

Rainbow Rockets from Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails


Follow Little Bins For Little Hands's board STEM Saturday on Pinterest.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

20 Must-Try STEM Activities for Valentine's Day

20 Must-Try STEM Activities for Valentine's Day
Over the past several weeks we have had many amazing bloggers link up their best Valentine's Day STEM activities for kids during STEM Saturday. Today we get to pull all these great posts together to showcase the 20 best science, engineering, and math activities for Valentine's Day from all over the web. Enjoy!
20 Must-Try STEM Activities for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day Science

DIY Magnetic Fishing Game from The Practical Mom
Flying Cupids | Static Electricity for Valentine's Day from The Science Kiddo
Light Up Circuit Valentines from Left Brain Craft Brain
Dissolving Candy Hearts Experiment from Lemon Lime Adventures
Scented Hearts Experiment from Suzy Homeschooler
Fizzy Hearts & Stars | Baking Soda and Vinegar Experiment from The Practical Mom
Fizzy Heart Valentine Science from Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
Easy Kids Toy Valentine from Thriving STEM
Sparkly Red Valentine's Day Slime from Best Toys 4 Toddlers
Learning About the Human Heart from Suzy Homeschooler
Chocolate Science Reversible Change Food Science from Little Bins for Little Hands
20 Must-Try STEM Activities for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day Engineering

Candy Heart Catapult | Measuring Distance from Stir the Wonder
LEGO Candy Box for Candy Hearts from Little Bins for Little Hands
Heart Marshmallow Toothpick Structures from Buggy and Buddy
Engineering for Kids | Peeps Catapult from Lemon Lime Adventures
LEGO Valentine Lantern from Planet Smarty Pants
20 Must-Try STEM Activities for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day Math

Sprinkle Math Heart Fine Motor Activity from Sugar Aunts
300 Free Valentine Math Worksheets for Kids from iGame Mom
Valentine's Day Polygon Shapes Building Activity from Lemon Lime Adventures
DIY Valentine Dominoes Busy Bag from Mommy Needs a Coffee Break




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Saturday Science

STEM Saturday | Science Math Engineering Technology for Kids
And now on to our STEM Saturday link up! Check out our wonderful co-hosts and link up your own math and science activities:

Totally Awesome Science Experiments for Kids from Lemon Lime Adventures 
Freezing Bubbles Indoor Outdoor Bubble Play from Little Bins for Little Hands
Awesome Science YouTube Channels for Kids from Stir the Wonder
Magnet Lab Science Sink from Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails


Follow Little Bins For Little Hands's board STEM Saturday on Pinterest.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

DIY Fire Extinguisher | Baking Soda and Vinegar

Have you ever sat around a campfire and watched it dance and glow? Have you ever wondered about the science of fire? We know it is hot. We know it needs something to burn, like paper or wood. We know it is usually orange or yellow, depending on the materials that are being burned. And we know that it needs oxygen to "stay alive".

There are several different ways to deprive a fire of oxygen so that it will go out. You can dump water on it. You can put something like dirt or sand on top of it. For small fires, like candles and matches, you can simply just blow on it.
DIY Fire Extinguisher | Baking Soda and Vinegar
So why does a candle go out when you blow on it? One of the possible explanations is that when you exhale you breathe out a lot of carbon dioxide. That carbon dioxide displaces the oxygen around the fire, making it go out. Some fire extinguishers even use carbon dioxide (among other chemicals) to put out larger fires.

In this experiment we made our own fire extinguisher using vinegar and baking soda. The reaction of these two materials produces carbon dioxide, which you can see bubbling up through the solution. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air so it drops right on top of our candle to put the flame out.
DIY Fire Extinguisher | Baking Soda and Vinegar
This experiment can be found in The Usborne Science Encyclopedia, one of our favorite books that I consider essential in our home library.

Total Time: About 5 minutes
Safety Concerns: Use caution around fire and matches. Make sure your child understands that playing with fire is dangerous and that he or she can get burned severely, even with small candle fires.

Materials You Need:
A sturdy bottle (preferably glass)
A funnel
A small candle
Matches
5 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 Tbsp baking soda

Directions:
  • Have an adult light the candle.
  • Add vinegar to your bottle.
  • Using a funnel, quickly drop the baking soda into the bottle.
  • Being careful not to spill your mixture, hold the bottle at an angle so the carbon dioxide can flow out onto the fire.
  • Notice how carbon dioxide is heavier than air and drops right onto the flame to extinguish it!
Print These Instructions



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Saturday Science

STEM Saturday | Science Math Engineering Technology for Kids
And now on to our STEM Saturday link up! Check out our wonderful co-hosts and link up your own math and science activities:

Learning About the Human Heart from Suzy Homeschooler
Fizzy Heart Valentine Science from Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
Chocolate Science Reversible Change Science from Little Bins for Little Hands
Engineering for Kids | Peeps Catapult from Lemon Lime Adventures


Follow Little Bins For Little Hands's board STEM Saturday on Pinterest.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Window Gel Clings | Valentine's Day

I hesitated for a moment to post this activity because my windows are filthy. On the outside, guys. The hard to clean part. At any rate, you have to promise to only look at the gorgeous window gel clings we made for Valentine's Day and to completely ignore the dirty windows. Let's just say it's our little secret, shall we? It would be so embarrassing if somehow these pictures got out on the internet and the entire world knew that I am not a perfect window-cleaner.
Window Gel Clings | Valentine's Day | The Science Kiddo
By now you are familiar with our window gel clings that are completely taste safe for kids. These sparkly window jelly tutorials have been some of our most popular posts here at The Science Kiddo! That makes me happy because it means lots of you in internet-land have beautifully decorated windows with happy kids to admire them.

For Valentine's Day we used heart cookie cutters and pink, purple, and red food coloring. We also used healthy doses of pink and purple glitter.
Window Gel Clings | Valentine's Day | The Science Kiddo
Please go to my original post to grab the recipe and instructions.

Customize them however you want to! We have now made spring/summer window gel clings, Halloween jellies, and Christmas gel stickers. Our house looks naked without gel clings in our windows.

Enjoy your beautiful decorations and let me know how they work! Better yet, stop by Facebook and upload a picture of your heartful creations to inspire all of us!

This post was inspired by a lovely series called 14 Days of Love. Check it out to find over a dozen beautiful love-inspired activities from bloggers from all over the web!
14 Days of Love Blog Tour | The Science Kiddo
*This post contains affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy.



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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Our Month-Long Vacation

I have been out of town for one whole month. One month. It has been amazing, but it is so nice to be home.

We spent Christmas and New Year's in Denver with my husband's family. They love to stay at home, play with the kids, read, joke around, and chat. It's very low key and enjoyable. I end up taking long naps and learning how to sleep in again when we go to Denver. I love it.

In January we hopped over to Salt Lake to visit my family. The pace is much different there! They drive up and down the Wasatch Front visiting friends and family, host big dinner parties, go to museums, stay up late, and always squeeze in an adventure in the mountains. I end up reconnecting with true friends and getting very little sleep when we go to Salt Lake. I love it.

Now I am home, back to my life of biking, homeschooling, and blogging. Back to Portland where I don't have to use an entire bottle of lotion to keep my hands from cracking and where I don't have to drive in snow, but I do get frowned at when I feed my kids Cheetos in public. We don't live near any family here and often I feel sad about that, but I love my life in Portland. I love it so much. It is home.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Flying Cupids | Static Electricity for Valentine's Day

Static electricity is awesome. I'm just going to say it. Playing and experimenting with static electricity provides children with some of their earliest hands-on physics lessons.

You can see static electricity in action when a child goes down a plastic slide at the park only to arrive at the bottom with crazy hair that is sticking straight up and all over. You can feel static electricity when you rub your feet on carpet and then touch a metal doorknob. Today we are going to harness the power of static electricity in a fun activity for Valentine's Day. Get your balloons and your crazy hair ready!
Total Time: About 5 minutes
Safety Concerns: None.

Materials You Need:
Tissue paper
Markers
Scissors
An inflated balloon
Wool, flannel, or fleece fabric (A head of hair also works perfectly!)

Flying Cupids | Static Electricity for Valentine's Day | Hands-On Science for Kids
Directions:
  • Draw a cupid on a piece of tissue paper. You can either do this freehand or trace a cupid onto the tissue paper like I did! (I'm no artist.)
  • Cut out the tissue paper cupid and put it on a flat surface.
  • Rub the balloon on the fabric or hair for about 10 seconds.
  • Hold the balloon a few inches over the tissue paper cupid and see what happens. If the balloon has acquired a good static charge, the cupid should jump right up and stick to the balloon!
  • Have fun making your cupid fly!
Print These Instructions
Flying Cupids | Static Electricity for Valentine's Day | Hands-On Science for Kids
So what is going on with the balloon? Why does rubbing a balloon on your head make your hair go crazy and then attract tissue paper to it?
Flying Cupids | Static Electricity for Valentine's Day | Hands-On Science for Kids
Simply put, when the balloon is rubbed against fabric or hair, electrons are transferred to the balloon, giving it an overall negative charge. This negative charge attracts the tissue paper cupids, making them stick!

*This post contains affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy.



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Saturday Science

STEM Saturday | Science Math Engineering Technology for Kids
And now on to our STEM Saturday link up! Check out our wonderful co-hosts and link up your own math and science activities:
Scented Hearts Experiment from Suzy Homeschooler
Dissolving Candy Hearts Experiment from Lemon Lime Adventures

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ice Art | Winter Science

The moment I saw these beautiful creations from The Artful Parent and Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas I knew we were going to have to try this hands-on science activity out for ourselves.

We have a history with salt and ice after all! We have learned in several different ways how salt melts ice. First we did our Fishing for Ice experiment. Then we made ice cream and fruity slushy drink using the super cooling power of a salty icey mixture. It's only natural we should do an artsy science experiment with salt and ice now!

This experiment is quick, easy to clean up, and completely dazzling!
Ice Art | Winter Science | The Science Kiddo
Total Time: 5-30 minutes, depending on how engaged the kids are!
Safety Concerns: None.
Ice Art | Winter Science | The Science Kiddo
Materials You Need:
Ice cubes
Table salt
Liquid Watercolors
Paintbrushes
My kids also used glitter glue and glitter, which added a very festive flare, but it is certainly not required!
Ice Art | Winter Science | The Science Kiddo
Directions:
  • Place the ice cubes in a tub, a casserole dish, or a baking sheet.
  • Have the kids sprinkle salt over the ice. Wait a few minutes and watch how the individual grains of salt melt tunnels into the ice.
  • Paint the ice using your liquid watercolors. Watch how the colors fall into the caves created by the salt. Admire your beautiful creations!
Ice Art | Winter Science | The Science Kiddo
Want more ways to play and learn with ice? Check out these six simple ice science activities!

*This post contains affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy.



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Saturday Science

STEM Saturday | Science Math Engineering Technology for Kids
And now on to our STEM Saturday link up! Check out our wonderful co-hosts and link up your own math and science activities:


Building Structures with Candy Hearts from Lemon Lime Adventures
Bubbling Pine Cones from Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
Building Rockets with Shapes from Stir the Wonder
Waves from Suzy Homeschooler
PVC Pipe Heart Engineering Project for Kids from Little Bins for Little Hands


Friday, January 23, 2015

Science With Ice | Unique Hands-On Play

Winter is the perfect time to have some science fun with ice. Over the past few months I have been delighted to see so many great ways to learn with ice in our STEM Saturday Linkup. The thing I love most about these activities is that they are all very easy to set up since they only use basic household materials. Plus, they are uniquely educational, fun, creative, and simple to clean up, too!
Science With Ice | Unique Hands-On Play
Be sure to stop by STEM Saturday tomorrow to see the best science and math posts linked up from all over the web!
Science With Ice | Unique Hands-On Play
Fishing for Ice from the Science Kiddo
Lego Science | An Ice Excavation Experiment from Lemon Lime Adventures 
Ice Cube Sculptures from Teaching Mama
Science With Ice | Unique Hands-On Play
Magnetic Ice Science Play from Little Bins for Little Hands
Reinforcing Science Concepts from Planet Smarty Pants



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