8/9/11

Things to Make - A Homemade Lava Lamp (sort of)

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The other day, while perusing the $1 aisle in Target (so wonderful in so many ways), I picked up up a Science Projects workbook, full of fun stuff to do with the kids. Plus, the Artful Parent has posted several easy science experiments, which inspired me. First up - the homemade lava lamp (the word "lamp" being completely extraneous to the description). I figured this would be a great experiment to try with all three kids, as it seemed toddler-friendly. On the upside, T LOVED it. On the downside, he loved it so much that he fought his sisters for the right to shake the "lamp". He fought hard. So it goes.

Here's the scoop:

1. Find an old 2 liter plastic bottle (or a smaller plastic bottle) and remove the wrapping so you can see inside (this is the hard part, I had the girls do it, which took up a good half hour).

2. Fill the bottle up 50% with vegetable oil or olive oil.

3. Use a cup to mix water and liquid food coloring or liquid watercolors (I let the kids pick the color and mix the water). Talk about how the color DISSOLVES in the water, making everything uniform.

4. Funnel or pour the colored water over the oil into the the bottle.

5. Cap the bottle and shake to mix. Talk to your kids about how the oil and water mix.

6. Then let the bottle sit for about an hour and notice how the water separates from the oil. If you're motivated, you can have your kids write scientific notes on how the bottle changes with time.

We kept the bottle around for a few days (I, oddly, found playing with it a great stress reliever) and P liked to shake it and talk about how oil and water don't mix.

TURNS OUT THAT THIS PROJECT BECOMES REALLY FUN IF YOU ADD SOME ALKA-SELTZER, click here to learn more.

OTHER CREATIVE IDEAS FROM AROUND THE WEB:

*DIY liquid watercolor paint using old dried out markers. Such a good idea. And, as you all know, we use liquid watercolors a lot (click here to see all our past liquid watercolor posts).

*Melted crayon art (how awesome is this picture?)

*DIY paint with water pages (link via Modern Parents, Messy Kids)

*I love these downloadable dot to dot pictures (so cute) from Under the Pecan Tree.

*Made from Milk Cartons - lots of great ideas and inspiration.

*Make a "magic book" out of a sheet of paper.

*This super-detailed tutorial on making crepe paper flowers is wonderful. I want to make them all. But with the kids I'll probably stick with our super-easy tissue paper flowers.

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