Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Science Kids

We are big fans of Usborne Publishing around here. 
Quite a few of their colouring/activity/puzzle/sticker books have found a happy home on our bookshelves, in fact I have my very own colouring book of patterns that the kids know they are FORBIDDEN to touch. So when Granny gave Leo this set of 50 science cards we were all smiling.

On weekends I can sometimes be an organised parent, suggesting that the kids find an experiment which we can create together. The latest one is the 'growing bicarb crystals' card, actually we've been letting them grow for about a month.

On a tray we have a plate, two jars, and a piece of wool suspended between with a paperclip on either end. In each jar we poured a cup of hot water and added four heaped teaspoons of bicarb soda, stirring till dissolved. The wool wicks the solution up from either end and as the water evaporates you can see crystals growing over a period of time.

This is the day after we set up the tray. The water drips onto the plate from the lowest point of the woolly 'skipping rope', and you get different crystals forming on the plate.

 After a week or so.

After 3-4 weeks. There is almost no solution left in the jars now, the crystals are starting to dry out and they are quite firm to touch. They are about the size of cauliflower florets, and are so beautiful. You can see that they are also growing all over the rim of the jar and down the sides.

Next time we might put food colouring in each jar, maybe a different colour in each, to see what blends we get along the woolly rope. I'll be sad to dismantle this experiment but there are so many more to make. I'll keep you posted.

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