BY REGAN MIES
As the coronavirus crisis continues, it’s becoming more difficult to find new and exciting things to do with your kids while stuck at home. From making chromatography flowers and exploring density to creating constellations and popsicle-stick bridges, there’s a do-it-yourself experiment or activity for everyone. Keep your kids learning by trying out some of the following!
Looking for arts and crafts? Check out 5 Easy Crafts for Kids to Do at Home During Quarantine and Homeschooling
Air Pressure Egg-in-a-Bottle Experiment
You’ll need: one egg (hard-boiled and peeled), one glass bottle approximately 1.25 inches wide at the opening (like a standard milk bottle or science lab beaker) and a few matches
Instructions: first, set the egg on top of the mouth of the bottle. The egg should be too big to fall through. Lift the egg, light your matches, and toss them into the bottle. Quickly put the egg back on top of the bottle and watch it be sucked in!
The egg creates a seal at the opening of the bottle, and as the air within the bottle cools down, its pressure becomes lower than the air pressure outside of the bottle. The high air pressure outside of the bottle pushes the egg through the opening!
Experiment and Photo via Nellie’s Free Range Eggs
Grow Your Own Crystal Names Experiment
You’ll need: pipe cleaners, fishing line or yarn, pencils, scissors, glass or plastic containers for each different color (mason jars work great), a container large enough to hold your name (spelled out with pipe cleaners), Borax, food coloring, liquid measuring cups and a heat-safe mixing bowl
Instructions: form your name in pipe cleaners, making sure the letters are small enough to fit within the glass or plastic container without touching the sides. Boil water and measure out 3 tablespoons of Borax per cup of hot water, enough to fill each of your containers. Stir until the Borax dissolves, pour the mixture into your containers and add a few drops of food coloring into each. Next, use fishing line or yarn to suspend the letters from a pencil so that they hang into the container and are suspended in the liquid mixture. Leave the letters overnight, and take them out the next day! Hold them up to your window to watch your name sparkle in the sun.
When Borax is dissolved in water, it creates a suspension, which is a mixture that has solid particles large enough for sedimentation. When the Borax begins to settle, it crystallizes on the surfaces it comes in contact with — like your pipe cleaner letters.
Experiment and Photo via Playdough Plato
Create Your Own Cloud Experiment
You’ll need: a jar with a lid, ⅓ cup hot water, ice and hairspray
Instructions: pour the hot water into the jar and swirl it around to warm up the jar’s sides. Turn the lid upside down, set it on top of the jar and place the ice cubes on top. Let sit for 20 seconds. Quickly remove the lid, spray hairspray into the jar and replace the lid with the ice still on top. Watch the cloud form, and when you see a good amount of condensation, lift the lid and watch the cloud escape into the air!
When poured into the jar, some of the hot water turns to vapor. When it rises and meets the cold ice, it condenses, but clouds cannot form unless water vapor has a substance onto which it can condense. In nature, this might be dust particles or pollution. In our experiment, the water vapor condenses to the hair spray.
Experiment via Gift of Curiosity