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Monday, August 19, 2013

Science Birthday Party For 5-9 Year Old Kids

Our daughter LOVES science so we thought it would be fun to celebrate her birthday with friends and activities she LOVES most! 

This is what we did:
  1. We designed her party to start at 1:00 p.m. and end at 4:00 p.m.
  2. We decorated the entry way with blown up balloons with marbles inserted in them so the balloons hung nicely.
  3. We crisscrossed "Danger & Explosion" warning tape over the windows. 
  4. We covered three tables with a variety of colored plastic table cloths and topped them with centerpieces of "Color Changing Flowers."  We purchased white carnations and daisies and put them in vases filled with water and food coloring.  This must be done a few days in advance so the flowers absorb the colored water.
  5. We made science books for each child from three prong folders with directions to each experiment so the kids would be able to follow along and take home as a reference. We included explanations and "science laws."
  6. We prepared pizza, cut up watermelon, lemonade, and chips for lunch.
With preparations complete, the Lab Rooms were ready to receive the young scientists!

When the kids arrived we gave them name tags with colored string, safety goggles, and children's aprons that we purchased from Amazon.  The kids decorated their name tags and put them in holders to save their spot in the science lab.

We then started the party with a game.  We split the kids into three teams (according to the string color on their name tag). We gave each team a bag of marshmallows and a bucket.  One child was instructed to hold a bucket on his/her head.  The other team members were told to turn around and try to toss marshmallows into the bucket from behind their backs.  The team that got the most marshmallows into the bucket were rewarded with water balloons they could throw at the adult volunteers. 


Egg In the Bottle
Peeled Hard Boiled Egg
Paper Towel
Glass Milk Bottle
  1. Cut a strip of paper towel about 1" x 8".
  2. An adult volunteer carefully lights the strip of paper at one end and drops it into the large-mouthed bottle.
  3. While the strip of paper is still burning in the bottle, set a peeled egg on top of the mouth of the bottle.
  4. Watch carefully!  The burning strip of paper will go out.
  5. Keep watching!  The hard boiled egg will start to wiggle, then quickly squeeze through the top of the bottle and drop to the bottom.  AMAZING!!!
  6. The experiment is not over yet.  How will the egg can come back out?   Be extra careful doing this part.
  7. Turn the bottle upside down.
  8. With your mouth, forcefully blow air into the bottle.  It shouldn't take much.
  9. The egg will pop out of the bottle just like it popped in.

Why it works:

The burning piece of paper heats the air molecules inside the bottle.  Escaping molecules cause the egg to wiggle.   When the air inside the bottle cools, a "partial vacuum" occurs.  Because the air pressure outside the bottle is so great, it pushes the egg into the bottle.

                       The "Eggsclusive" Upside-Down Twist

Peeled Hard Boiled Egg
Paper Towel
Glass Milk Bottle
  1. Carefully push two or three small birthday candles into the narrower end of a peeled hard boiled egg.  Make sure the candles fit easily inside the large mouthed bottle.
  2. Light the candles and sing a quick "happy birthday song" to the birthday girl.
  3. Turn the large mouth bottle upside down and slowly place it over the burning candles.
  4. Allow the flames to heat the air inside the bottle for just a few seconds, and then place the mouth of the bottle tight against the egg.  The candles will go out and with a "pop" the egg will squeeze up into the bottle. 

What's Shaped Like an Egg? A Water Balloon!

Water Balloon
Paper Towel
Glass Milk Bottle
  1. Carefully fill a balloon with water so the balloon is about the size of a tennis ball.  It must be slightly larger than the mouth of the bottle.  Tie it off.  Make a few balloons just in case the first one breaks.
  2. Smear some water around the mouth of the bottle.
  3. An adult volunteer lights the strip of paper and quickly drops it into the bottle.
  4. Immediately put the balloon on the mouth of the bottle.  In just seconds, the balloon will start to wiggle, the flame will go out, and the balloon will be sucked inside. 
  5. What invisible force is at work and how will we get the balloon out?  Ask the children if they remember what they learned earlier about the "egg in the bottle" and air pressure.
  6. Insert a straw into the bottle next to the balloon.  When the air outside the bottle gets inside the bottle, the water balloon will come out.
Lava Lamp
(with no light)

     Clear bottle
     Vegetable Oil
     Food Coloring
    Alka selzer tablets
  1. Find a clear bottle.
  2. Fill it 2/3 full with vegetable oil.
  3. Fill the rest of it with water leaving a bit of room at the top.
  4. Add a few drops of food coloring (any color you choose).
  5. Drop in Alka Seltzer tablets and watch it go!

Why it works:

Alka Seltzer tablets contain sodium bicarbonate and citric acid.  When the tablets dissolve, they mix together and release carbon dioxide (bubbles).  The bubbles mix the oil and colored water.

Color Changing Milk

     Food Coloring
     Dawn Dish Soap
  1. Pour milk into the dinner plate to completely cover the bottom (about 1/4").  Allow the milk to settle.
  2. Add one drop of each of the four colors of food coloring (red, yellow, blue, and green) to the milk.  Keep the drops close together in the center of the plate of milk.
  3. Use a clean cotton swab for the next part of the experiment.  Predict what will happen when you lightly touch the tip of the cotton swab to the center of the milk.  It's important not to stir the mix.  Instruct the kids to try it and ask them what happened.
  4. Now place a drop of liquid dish soap on the other end of the cotton swab.  Place the soapy end of the cotton swab in the middle of the milk and hold it there for 10-15 seconds.  See the burst of color!  It's like the 4th of July in a bowl of milk!
  5. Add another drop of soap to the tip of the cotton swab and try it again.  Experiment with placing the cotton swab different places in the milk.  Notice that the colors in the milk continue to move even when the cotton swab is removed. 

Why it works:

Milk contains fat.  When dish soap is added, the soap attaches to the fat molecules which makes them bounce around.  The food coloring allows you to see the action.
www.stevespangler.com is a good resource for more information.

 The Pull Of Gravity (We did this with using only the ruler)
     Two People
  1. Lay a 12 inch ruler flat on a sheet of white cardboard.  Use a pencil to draw a line all around the ruler.
  2. Use a pair of scissors to carefully cut out the shape from the cardboard.
  3. Divide the cardboard into six equal parts.  Color each part brightly with markers.
  4. Ask a friend to hold the cardboard hanging down just above your outstretched hand.  When your friend releases it, try to catch the cardboard as quickly as you can.

Why it works:

Your brain sends a message to your hand to catch the cardboard but sometimes gravity is faster than you think!

Soda Geyser

     2 liter Bottle of Diet Coke
     Roll of Mentos
     Safety Goggles
  1. Find flat land and set your bottle of Coke down.
  2. Carefully open your bottle of Diet Coke.
  3. Drop two or more Mentos into the bottle of Diet Coke at the same time.
  4. RUN, RUN, RUN!  Well, ok, just take several steps back.
  5. Watch the bottle erupt!

Why it works:

Soda is bubbly because it contains invisible carbon dioxide gas.  It also contains a lot of water molecules which hold the gas bubbles.  This forms "surface tension."  When you drop Mentos into the soda, the surface tension is broken and bubbles are released.

The kids also had fun with the law of gravity again - jumping in a blowup (rented) Jumpy House. 

When the party was finished each child took home a pair of safety glasses, an apron, a name tag, a lab book, a ruler, a lava lamp, and an experience they LOVED!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Inspirational Garden Sign

A good friend of mine gifted me with a garden arbor he built .  Needless to say, I LOVE it!  I placed it at the entry of my garden where it welcomes friends and family while supporting some of my favorite flowering vines.  This summer I added an inspirational hand made sign I found at a church thrift sale. 

I assume the writer was referring to LOVE and marriage but it also reminds me of my relationship to God. 

My love for You is a journey
Beginning at forever and ending at never

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Painted Stones

My friends LOVE painting rocks.  They also LOVE the search.  Finding the right size, shape, and smoothness can be quite an adventure.  It's so fun to see them turn simple river stones into beautiful creations.  It's also fun when I'm gifted with one of their treasures.  Thanks, friends, for sharing!

This is what they did:

  1. They chose a stone for each critter.
  2. They followed instructions from The Art of Painting Animals On Rocks by Lin Welford.
  3. They added their own personal touches using acrylic paint, brushes, and even toothpicks for small detail.
  4. They sprayed their critters with clear acrylic paint to preserve the finish and make them weather resistant.
My friend's granddaughter also collected rocks and painted a few of her own.  They weren't as detailed as the ones shown above but they were unique and colorful.  She enjoyed a fun filled afternoon and had her own personal treasures to take home to show her family.  I placed my "ladybug rock" in my garden and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!

A Star Of Sticks

Nature offers many gifts of beauty.  Fallen birch branches are one.  I LOVE  that they can be used for wonderful, unique projects, and are often "free for the taking!"  With a little wire, a cutter, and a few birch sticks, I created a hanging star for my door.

This is what I did:
  1. I made a paper template of a star.  Mine measures 14" x 14".
  2. I cut birch branches to fit within my template.
  3. I wired them together with 9 gauge wire.  You can also tie them with fish line.
  4. I attached a wire hanger.
I've seen a similar craft of painted sticks in a heart shape but I preferred to keep mine natural.  Older kids who are able to twist and/or tie will have fun creating shapes of their own!