Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spring Break - Day 3: SCIENCE DAY

The most requested day for Spring Break in our house is 
Science Day.  
Heaven forbid I even try doing a Spring Break with my kids without a Science Day.  My girls would flip out.

I'm actually quite thankful my kids enjoy learning as much as they do.  Science Day is more for my older kids, but the younger ones had fun too doing some of the easier activities.
We started the day out learning about thickening agents (flour, cornstarch, cream of tarter, etc.) & how they affect liquids & why we use them.  Then we spent a good hour playing with play-doh.


After play-doh we enjoyed a scrumptious snack of deviled eggs & graham crackers.  It has nothing to do with science, but the kids were being so cute I had to take a picture.

For our 2nd experiment we learned a little bit about different types of gasses & what they do.  I was trying to focus on Carbon Dioxide so we could do an experiment that made Carbon Dioxide.  It's a simple one & even the little ones enjoyed it.

First, fill a water bottle 1/3 full with white vinegar. . . 

Next get a balloon & fill it 1/2 full of baking soda.

Attach the balloon to the mouth of the water bottle, but be careful not to mix the baking soda & vinegar yet.

Then when you get the kids all hyped up about what's about to happen, lift up the balloon & let the baking soda rain down into the vinegar.  Together they form a chemical reaction that produces LOTS of Carbon Dioxide.  The Carbon Dioxide tries to escape but can only escape into the balloon.  The boys LOVED watching the balloon BLOW ITSELF UP.

After the balloon experiment, I let the boys go upstairs to play with their dinosaurs while I made homemade bubble gum with the girls.  Lorien got a gum making kit for Christmas & I just put it away for Science Day.  She's been looking forward to it for a while now.

Making gum is absolutely disgusting by the way.  I don't know if I'll be able to eat gum again.  It grossed me out that much.  It must be the pregnancy.

First you take gum base & melt it in water in the microwave.  This produces the most disgusting smell you've ever smelled before.  It takes forever, but you stir it until you have a smooth sticky substance that smells like . . . something really bad.  Then you add some corn syrup which makes it even stickier.

Once you have a huge mess of stick sticking to your spoon, you get the glob of stick into your hands & start kneading it.  While you're kneading it you add the watermelon flavor & we added some citric acid for sourness since we love SOUR in this house.  Once that's mixed, add a ton of powdered sugar to make it a manageable dough.

Then you knead & knead & knead it for 20 minutes until you hands feel like they're going to fall off.  Lorien LOVED kneading it so it was great because I hate kneading things.

Once it's pliable & ready to eat you break the lump of dough into equal size pieces.  Lorien rolled each piece into a gum ball & rolled it into powdered sugar for extra sweetness.

Then it is ready to eat.  The girls LOVED it.  I think I was still scarred by the smell of the hot gum base.  I couldn't even get a piece in my mouth.  Maybe tomorrow I'll feel good enough to give it a try.  Lorien has been eating it all day.  She loves it.

After the boys took their nap (& I got some unpacking done) we made homemade ice cream in bags.  I taught them what happens to ice when salt is added to it.  They didn't believe me that it would freeze the milk, sugar, & vanilla in 10 minutes flat.  Boy were they amazed when it really did.

Ice cream in a bag is always fun for everyone because you get to shake the cold bag for 10 minutes.  We did shake dances, tossed the bags back & forth, & saw who could shake the most times in one minute.  It really was fun.

It's a very SOFT ice cream, but it tastes divine.  We all loved it.

And for our last science activity of the day we made homemade soap.  Cadence got a soap making kit for her birthday this year so we saved it for today as well.  Soap is super fun & easy to make if you have the materials.  First you melt the block of glycerin & add some color to make it pretty.

Next we added some peppermint essential oil to make it smell really fresh & yummy. 

Next you pour it into your molds & put it in the fridge.

30 minutes later you have cute little homemade soaps.  The girls are SO excited to give them to all their friends & use it on themselves as well.  It was a fun craft/project for us.

Tonight's dinner was Lorien's choice & she surprisingly chose tostadas, homemade salsa, & cantaloupe.   Normally she opts for spaghetti or ramen noodles.  I was excited because I LOVE MEXICAN FOOD. I haven't made salsa in FOREVER.  It was delicious.

And that ends Science Day.  Tomorrow we're trying a new genre for a themed day:

We'll see how that goes.  I'm excited.  It's going to be fun.

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