Kitchen Science Lab for Kids: 52 Family-Friendly Experiments from Around the House

Reading Kitchen Science Lab
Update May 2016:  See the new video below!

I usually leave the book reviews to Felicia… but since we’re in the middle of summer break, and have some rainy days at home, I have a book to share with you!

My 7 year old has Kitchen Science Lab for Kids: 52 Family Friendly Experiments from Around the House and it’s full of easy and entertaining experiments.

The best part is that no special equipment is needed… just use the pots, cups and ingredients you have around the house.

Each “Lab” is easy to follow and teaches the science behind it.  From Carbonated Chemical Reactions, to Physics in Motion, to Marvelous Microbiology and to Rocket Science (and many more units in between), there are 52 labs to try.

 

Joe and the Coke Experiment
Our most recent experiment was the soda geyser.  The kids giggled as they got the Coke, dropped in the Mentos and ran.  The soda shot out for all the neighbors to see.

It wasn’t as big as we had hoped, so the kids read the book more carefully, and next time we’ll use a bigger bottle, more mints and diet soda!

Joe and the Coke and Mint Experiment
Go HERE to see the book for yourself!

See the updated video here:


Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 – Perfect for Teaching Young Kids about Electronics

I am a sucker for educational toys. If the box says the toy will teach my kids something, I’m tempted to buy it. I’ve been tricked many times into buying toys that are boring, breakable or not all that educational. This was NOT the case with Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100

I bought this for my 4 year old for Christmas. I figured I could put together the circuits for him and teach him a little about electricity.

I did put together the first circuit, but my 4 year old took over after that. For the simple designs, he’s able to put together the circuits as easily as he can build a Duplo tower. When the light bulb turns on or buzzer buzzes, he is very proud. When it does not work, he looks at his design to see what might be wrong.

As he is building, we talk casually about electricity and how it works.  We also talk what other devices around the house use similar circuits.

The toy is so simple and fun that we don’t get bored or overwhelmed.  I’m very impressed. Go check it out HERE.


Our Project: Insect Lore Butterfly Garden

 

I had read several reviews on the the Insect Lore Butterfly Garden and had been watching the price on Amazon for a while.  When a deal popped up on GROUPON, I grabbed it.   For $10, I purchased the butterfly garden, with live caterpillars. I schedule the delivery for late August, just before school was to begin.

The kit arrived the week of August 29, and fortunately I was home to rescue the caterpillars from the Houston heat. (The package is labeled as having live insects, so I do think Fed Ex would have found a shady spot for them… still, do you remember how terribly hot August was?)

Our kit had 5 caterpillars, with everything they needed to survive. Within a week, they started to form chrysalides.   My kids were really excited about it and we rushed it to preschool to share with our friends.

 

After all caterpillars had formed chrysalides, I carefully moved them from the original jar to the butterfly garden. Only one stayed on the “lid” as the instructions said they would, so I was a little unsure of how successful we would be. (Did I mention we have not had the best luck with little creatures? I had to tell my kids that the poor tadpoles were released into the wild.  And that poor guinea pig went to Heaven.)

 

To my surprise, the caterpillars have started to turn into painted lady butterflies. It’s really quite amazing and my4 year old son is  absorbing all the facts I am reading from the paperwork.   Did you know that the darker the chrysalid, the closer it is to emergence? And did you know that as a butterfly emerges, it will pump its wings to full size, and they will be full sized and hardened within a couple hours? Joe does now.

 

Also, did you know that these guys are quite tough?  We’ve transported them back and forth to preschool several times, and had little people being very gentle and just looking with their eyes (I mean just poking the net sometimes).   I’m amazed at the butterfly transformation and how successful we have been with the experiment.

 

So far we have been feeding our little guys with orange slices and sugar water. Once all butterflies have emerged, we’ll release them outside.


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