Winter breeds indoor creativity. Or at least it can. Sometimes crafting or science experiments can be a huge mess and take longer to clean up than the actual amount of play they provided. But these two are inexpensive, cheap, and quick (both to set up and to put away). Also, they provided at least 15 minutes of fun, with about 2 minute set ups and perhaps 1 minute clean ups. This is a good ratio, people! Do it! SCIENCE EXPERIMENT NUMBER ONE: Mini baking soda + vinegar volcanoes
This one! I’ve done a variation of this (I’ll explain!) but this particular version was an idea I got from a reader! What you’ll need:
sheet pan / baking soda / white vinegar / food coloring / pipettes
Spread the baking soda out on a sheet pan (a generous amount). Take your vinegar and pour it into small glasses (we use these tiny glasses from Ikea). Add food coloring to each glass. Use a pipette to squeeze up some of the vinegar and squirt it onto the baking soda where it fizzes up creating tiny little volcanoes and then craters. The boys love this one. Refresh with another layer of baking soda if they want to continue. Another way to do it–and Parker’s favorite way–is to put a bunch of baking soda in a cup (preferably a cup that gets thinner at the top like a milk bottle). Layer that with food coloring along the way. If you don’t have a cup this shape, you can build a sort of volcano top using tin foil with an opening at the top. Just rubber band the shape onto the top of the cup. Then pour your vinegar in and watch it explode out the top in different colors because of the layered food coloring. It’s pretty fun.SCIENCE EXPERIMENT NUMBER TWO: shaving cream rain clouds
This is a fun one and has a bit more of a meteorology spin on it. Filling clouds with “rain water” so to speak until they get so full that it, well, rains! I saw this one recently on Pinterest and it was too easy not to attempt. Again, simple set up, simple clean up, simple ingredients. What you’ll need:
a container of some sort with a wide brim that allows you to put a sufficient amount of shaving cream in / shaving cream / water / food coloring / pipettes Fill your container most of the way with water, and then cover the surface of the water with an inch or two of shaving cream. Make sure the water is covered completely. Especially at the edges. Then, begin to fill the “clouds” with your food coloring solution using the pipettes. Patience! It takes a bit to work its way down through the shaving cream to the water below. And it almost happens in slow motion as the color holds onto the shaving cream. And again, for clean up, it’s basically a dump into your sink!
Let me know if you try either of these. (P.S. I bought these pipettes! They can be used a million ways for little kids from water transfer to water painting to the above.)