Keeping your little one busy!

This week has been a really long year. This year has been a really long decade. And I'm trying to figure out how to unplug 2020 so we can reset everything. Other than that, things are great! ha!

I feel very fortunate that my family is all together. We have food to eat and a place to sleep. It has been really rainy where we live, but even that is a gift because it washes away the pollen that makes us all sneezy. I am sending all of the positive energy I can to friends who are feeling ill, friends who are struggling to find what they need, and friends whose livelihoods have been interrupted by this. I hope you are finding the help you need.

Back to some fun for your little one!

Yesterday, my sister sent a video of her almost FIVE year old doing a science experiment. You likely know the one...mix food coloring and vinegar in a glass, add some baking soda, and let the giggles commence! He had making fizzy water, elephant toothpaste, or whatever you like to call it. When I saw that I decided it would be fun to compile some simple science activities for your kiddos. These are not new, they're definitely not my own, but they may inspire you or remind you of other fun activities.

Here we go!

1. Exploding Mentos! (If you don't have one of these tubes, you can make your own.)
Materials: paper, tape, a drill (though not required), string, and nail (or even a q-tip with the cotton removed). You also need a 2 liter of diet soda and a pack of mentos (not fruity, but minty).

-How to make the a Mentos tube if you don't have one: Use a piece of paper to make a tube that is just larger in diameter than the Mentos tube (you want the candy to easily slide through the tube). Secure the tube with tape. If you have a drill, open the soda and drill a hole straight through the sides of the opening. The hole should be just a tad bigger than the nail. Tie a string to the end of the nail, then put the nail through the holes. It acts as a stopper, so that you can pull it when you're ready for the candy to enter the soda bottle. Next, tape the paper tube to the mouth of the bottle. Then, drop Mentos into the tube one by one (make sure the nail or q-tip is in place so the candy doesn't enter the bottle yet).

Place the entire contraption in an open area OUTSIDE of your house. Have everyone stand back. Then, countdown from 10, and when you get to 1 pull the pin using the string and RUN RUN RUN! :) But not too far because you need to look back and watch the explosion!

Some science videos for your viewing pleasure:
-Testing the reactivity of other soda flavors:
     This is a great video if you have older kids and want to discuss the steps of the scientific method and the actual science behind this explosion.

2. Fungus Farts! 
Materials: empty water bottle, warm water, sugar, active dry yeast, empty balloon
Here's a fun video that explains the science and will make you want to bake some cinnamon rolls!


Fun note: A couple of years ago I taught this lesson to a multi-age group at our forest school co-op. The kids loved it when I told them the balloon was full of fungus farts!

3. Dried fruit dance party!
A variation using popcorn, vinegar, and baking soda.

4. Static balloon
This is a fun one you probably remember from your childhood. It's as simple as this:
1. Blow up balloon and tie.
2. Rub balloon on your hair and see if you can make your hair stand up!
3. Now try to pick up small squares of tissue paper (not toilet tissue, we can't waste that!).
4. Repeat process using a comb instead of a balloon.

Here's a fun variation:
Materials: salt, pepper, teaspoon, plate, balloon

Other science ideas:
When my kids were little, they LOVED watching Sid the Science Kid. At the time we could stream it, but now if I wanted to watch I'd just find an episode on YouTube. They would watch, then do the same activity, then write in their science journal.

Kanopy Kids: Does your library offer this streaming service? I can log in with my library card number and access so many videos! One of the videos that goes with the Fungus Farts lesson above is Let's Make Bread by Brain Power Studio Rights Inc.

Please let me know if you need help finding activities for other subjects, or just need to vent! And feel free to share. None of these are mine, I just compiled them for your use!