Help children develop a love for science, or nurture their already-growing interest, with these simple experiments.
Ever wanted to catch a cloud in a bottle? Now’s your chance! Pour just a splash of water into a 2-liter plastic bottle. Light a match (a grownup’s job) and drop it into the bottle. Immediately replace the lid and squeeze the bottle a few times to watch your cloud form.
Create your own unique flowers with this neat trick. Fill a vase with water and 8-10 drops of food coloring. Cut the stem of a white carnation at a diagonal, and place the flower into the vase. After a few hours you will notice a slight change of color in the petals. Let the flower soak overnight and observe the dramatic change in the morning.
Don’t worry--this doesn’t hurt a bit! In fact, you may want to try this at your next sleepover party. Stand in front of a mirror and turn off all of the lights. Pop a wintergreen- flavored Life Saver into your mouth and chew. Can you believe your eyes? This “lightning” phenomenon is called triboluminescence. To find out more about triboluminescence, visit http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howthingswork/a/aa060601a.htm
Deborah Shelton edits The Five Minute Parent email newsletter. For your free subscription, send a blank email to Five_Minute_Parentfirstname.lastname@example.org or visit FiveMinuteParent.com for more family-friendly ideas.