Magic Jack-O-Lantern

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This is a super-fun Halloween twist on our Fizzy Balloons experiment.  It has been quite a while since we have done this experiment, so the boys had a great time watching the chemical reaction “magically” inflate the Jack-O-Lantern balloon.  With a little prep work, this would even make a fun center activity for a Fall party at home or school!

 

 

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Here’s what you’ll need:  recycled water bottles, vinegar, baking soda, a funnel, and Jack-O-Lantern balloons.

Do NOT, I repeat do not, attempt to use a Sharpie marker to make your own Jack-O-Lantern balloons…you will end up with Sharpie all over the surfaces that the balloon will inevitably touch, trust me.  Apparently “permanent” marker on a balloon is not actually so permanent after all.  Go to your nearest party store or order these.  :)

 

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 Use the funnel to fill the recycled water bottle about 1/4 of the way full.

 

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Rinse and dry the funnel and then add baking soda into the balloon.  I didn’t measure, but it most likely was around a tablespoon or two.

 

The “laboratory” test…

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Place the lip of the balloon over the top of the bottle, with the contents of the balloon hanging loosely.

 

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Lift the balloon so that it is straight above the bottle and the baking soda falls down into the vinegar in the bottle.

 

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The chemical reaction will begin to inflate the balloon!

 

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And now for the real test…

 

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Big Brother is meticulously following directions and lifting the balloon straight up over the top of the bottle.

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Whoa…he wasn’t expecting that!

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I love the faces I captured on camera…his love for life will never cease to amaze me!

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Little Brother was much more concerned with the end result (i.e. the balloon that he could keep forever…until it pops on a blade of grass, that is).  :)

The Science Behind It:  When the baking soda and vinegar mix, it creates a chemical reaction.  We know this because we see bubbles.  This chemical reaction gives off a gas which inflates the balloon.

Check out more fun science experiments here.

Clip the Color Activity for Toddlers

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 I have just about every “subset” of young children:  a school-aged child, a preschooler, and a baby.  I don’t currently have a toddler at home, however, but I recently came across these colorful clips at the Dollar General and knew they would make a great (and simple) color activity for toddlers!  

IMG 1084 300x450 Clip the Color Activity for Toddlers   This activity is also great for developing fine motor skills, since children have to use the small muscles in their fingers to open and close the clips.   IMG 1074 300x450 Clip the Color Activity for Toddlers   IMG 1076 500x333 Clip the Color Activity for Toddlers     Here is my cute non-toddler finding matching colors for the clips!   IMG 1092 300x450 Clip the Color Activity for Toddlers IMG 1094 300x450 Clip the Color Activity for Toddlers  

Check out more toddler activities here and on our Pinterest board!

 

 Follow Jenae {I Can Teach My Child!}’s board Toddler Activities on Pinterest.

Mixing Colors with Water Balloons

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This was a super fun art activity for a hot summer day!  We had a great time mixing colors with water balloons!  We used water colored with liquid watercolors within each balloon to create secondary colors once they were popped and mixed!

 

Here’s what you’ll need:  liquid watercolors (you can use food coloring, but it might stain clothes/hands), water balloon pumper, primary colored water balloons, water, and a dish tub or plastic container.  

 

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This is the type of liquid watercolors that we use.

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 1.  Inflate the water balloons using each individual color inside the coordinating color of water balloon.  We have this water balloon pumping station and love it because of the tie-not feature (it totally saves our hands from having to tie a million water balloons).  :)

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 2.  Find a place (outside) to begin the color-mixing fun!

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 3.  Have your child choose two colors of balloons…

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 …and pop them in whatever way he/she would like.  Stomp, squeeze, or throw!

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 4.  Swish the water around to see what color the two balloons create.

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 Little Brother thought that this activity was pretty cool.  :)

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5.  Dump out the contents each time into a larger container…

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 …and see what happens when all the colors are mixed together!

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 Be sure to check out our Sum Splat learning activity also featuring water balloons!  

Sum Splat: Learning with Water Balloons

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Water balloons are so much fun for the summer!  But besides being a great way to burn off some energy, they can also be a surprisingly good learning tool!  We used water balloons to create this sum splat game to practice some simple addition.

 

 

Here’s what you’ll need:  Water balloons, chalk, a permanent marker, and a water balloon pump.

 

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1.  Fill your water balloons with water.  We use this water balloon pump that has a tying feature (no more sore fingers!).

 

 

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 2.  Write your numerals on the balloons with a permanent marker (we did 1-5).

 

 

 

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3.  Write all of the possible sums on the pavement using sidewalk chalk.

 

 

 

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 4.  Get your balloons (and kiddos) ready.

 

 

 

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 5.  Have your child choose two balloons and add them together.

 

 

 

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 6.  Splat the sum with the water balloons!

 

 

 

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 Splat!

 

 

 

What is your favorite thing to do with water balloons?  

 

 

Simple Science Experiment for Kids: Why are there craters on the moon?

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Big Brother had his first science fair this past week!  He is still very interested in learning about outer space, so he chose (with a little direction) to do his science fair project answering the question, “Why are there craters on the moon?”

 

We created this poster detailing a simplified version of the scientific process.

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We even made a “puffy moon” using shaving cream and glue!

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Finally, we completed a simple experiment to illustrate the impact of a crater.  This post was inspired by this idea from Fumbling through Parenthood.  Instead of using the “moon sand”, I found that “cloud dough” held the shape of the “meteors” much more effectively.

Here is what you’ll need for this demonstration:  

4 cups of flour
1/2 cup of baby oil
small pebbles or rocks
Round cake pan

 

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(Don’t mind the specks of black in our “moon dough”. I attempted to color it using black liquid watercolor.  Obviously, it didn’t work.)  :)

 

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Have your child(ren) drop the pebbles onto the pan.

 

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Observe the “craters” left by the pebbles.

 

We also talked about how the moon is more susceptible to craters from space rocks than Earth.  Earth’s atmosphere will burn most meteorites and asteroids before they come in contact with Earth’s surface.  The moon, however, does not have an atmosphere to protect it!

 

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The Moon by Seymour Simon

 

 

 

What is your favorite science fair experiment???