When visiting a friend yesterday her son requested a volcano.

She pulled out a cookie sheet for each child, loaded them up with goodies and placed them in front of them.

Rose was delighted. She was taught to ‘suck up’ the vinegar and ‘push it’ out of the dropper.

The two wee cups contained vinegar with a few drops of blue food colouring and yellow food colouring. This was Rose’s first time playing with these ingredients. She loved the chemical reaction but was quite contained with the dropper. No crazy mess, as I had anticipated.

Jasper is an expert eruption maker and loved telling me about making hot lava and warning me to be careful not to get burnt.

Rose lasted about 5 minutes then was done playing. Jasper continued and has been known to enjoy this activity for over 30 minutes.

The two colour choices allowed the children to make green, teaching colour mixing through exploration.

Thank you for a great activity Erinne (after Rose was finished… I played!)

Learning Opportunities:

  • describe the chemical reaction (carbonic acid is produced which immediately falls apart into water and carbon dioxide- hence the bubbles) Simply using the word ‘reaction’ at age 2 is exciting!
  • colour mixing (you can use various colours)
  • fine motor skills, using a dropper
  • experiment with patterns and design

Here are some great products to support your experimenting:

Primary Science Safety Glasses

Primary Science Mix and Measure Set

Primary Physical Science Series

Science Mixture Fun with Test Tubes #giveaway

These Jumbo Test Tubes were left out for Daisy and Rose to explore before we did an experiment. The initial reaction was surprising. Daisy asked if she could use them and took off outside to find things to collect. She came back with gravel, dirt and a feather and explained she wanted to make mixtures.

“Yeah!” I responded. That was exactly what I wanted to do but having it pre-empted by Daisy gave her ownership of the activity, rather than me dictating the experiment.

We transferred the collections into bowls and added equal amounts 75ml of water to each test tube. The test tubes have markings to indicate 25, 50, 75, 100ml.

We added to the collections by including sand, salt and sugar.

I drew the test tubes and added ingredient words. Daisy predicted what the mixtures would look like.

She talked about each ingredient and predicted what would happen when it was added to water.

Sand, “I think it is going to float up”.

Soil’ “I think it will stay at the bottom”.

Gravel, “It’s going to be at the very bottom”.

Feathers, “I think they are going to float”.

Salt, “It will go down and then plop up again”

Sugar, “It will go up and float”.

These predictions were discussed as Daisy sketched what the mixture would look like.

Technically we should have added enough mixture to bring the water level up to 100ml.

That would have been a great deal of feathers so I decided to ignore the fairness rule. We did discuss it and realistically we could have found lots of feathers in the back yard. Between the ducks and the chucks we could probably make a quilt!

We used a spoon to make it fair.

A spoon full of each ingredient was added and then we looked at what happened.

Next it was mixing time. Daisy shook each test tube for 60 seconds. Great counting practice and exercise.

The dirt mixed up beautifully.

Isn’t the test tube rack cute?

I drew another six test tubes on our board and Daisy took each test tube in turn and sketched the results.

As before we discussed the results. Here are some of the findings in Daisy’s words:

Soil, “The water turned black then the soil came to the top”. (we use the terms dirt and soil interchangeably).

Gravel, “The water turned whiter and some bubbles came up”.

Feathers, “Some dirt from the feather is starting to go around and around”.

Salt, ” Salt made the water more bubbly. The salt turned watery”.

The bubbles created by shaking caused some misconceptions. Daisy was convinced the bubbles were little particles of salt and sugar. Questions such as “Could they be air?” or suggestions like “Maybe the shaking made the bubbles” did nothing to sway her from her theory.

Daisy is convinced the salt and sugar are in the tiny bubbles. She even explained to me that they were so tiny it was hard to see them!

The next morning Daisy ate her breakfast while talking about the mixtures. The soil was particularly interesting because it had changed. “The soil has come back to the bottom”.

We did mess up a little by not marking salt and sugar. The coloured lids are write-on/wipe-off for labeling. However I forgot to use that handy option! Luckily my husband remembered seeing which test tube we had not added salt to.

We will be exploring separating the materials soon.

Would you like to play with some Jumbo Test TubesThese Chunky Test Tubes are made just the right size for little scientists! Set of 6 jumbo test tubes with rack and multiple coloured lids. Ages 4+

Tell me what activity you would do with them?

All you need to do is one of the following:

Before Wednesday 2nd May 2012, 8am Central Time.

This contest is open to Canadian residents only.

Looking forward to hearing from you and good luck!

Snow Melting Investigations

The gorgeous white fluffy stuff is finally here. Many Manitobans sigh and feel blue about the incoming winter but I love it. Everything, from the excessive amount of clothes needed, to the tobogganing and freezing nose hair!!!

Daisy and I went out to play after daycare one night and got chatting about the snow and how it was still melting during the day. This sparked a need to find out how we could slow down the melting process. The picture above is Daisy collecting some snow to bring indoors (yes she has been told not to eat yellow snow!).

Equal ammounts of snow were put in bowls.

One was put in the fridge.

Another had an ice cube added and was left on the counter.

The third was also left on the counter.

The ice cube and fridge were Daisy’s ideas and the third is a control.

We guessed (hypothesised) about how long they would take to melt.

You can just see a little ice cube after 1 1/2 hours. The control was just water but we were very excited to find the snow in the fridge was still snow.

What do you do with the abundance of snow we are about to get?

Learning Opportunities:


  • Set up an experiment
  • Form a hypothesis
  • Explain results

What do you do with the abundance of snow we are about to get?