Archive for June, 2012

Colour Experiments

This was the other experiment we did over the weekend, Alexander enjoyed doing it at preschool and so we tried it again. I did not set it up as well as I usually do (ie a cover over the table and paint smocks over the kids so Emily ended up a bit splattered with food colouring)

The first experiment was a bit of a bust, I am not sure if it was the container or the euipment. I wanted to try the water one with boats. I had read that it worked with pepper but I wanted to have boat races with the kids. I found one web site which was using bread ties and I found a dusty collection of them and tried but one would work but the others didn’t. Perhaps a square container is better than a round one? Perhaps the bread ties were too bent and so were already breaking the surface tension of the water. We had a few shoot around but it wasn’t the most exciting. Will try again with better bread ties or perhaps boats cut out of card.

If you dipped the tooth pick with detergent at the “back” of the bread tie was (the bit that holds the plastic) they are supposed to shoot across the water.

Anyway onto the next experiment. I bought a small container of whole milk from the shops for this experiment. THe kids got to squeeze drops of food colouring onto the surface. The first time we did it we shared the dish but I ended up giving them a container each to play with. Alexander liked stirring his up so it became quite muddied. We used whole milk the first time but after we ran out we used a combination of rice milk and lite white milk.

This experiment reminded me of marbeling paper when I was a kid so I thought I would give it a try. We used paper towel and also plain computer paper. This was where I should have spread a tablecloth or newspaper across the table to protect us. I had some cake racks ready to dry the paper on.
It turned out quite pretty if the colours weren’t mixed too much, the paper towel soaked up too much.

Add the milk

The food colouring

Now using a toothpick (or match) dip in washing up liquid and then drop in the milk and watch the colours dance

And then start again

Next time I might try and do two containers of detergent so they don’t have to fight over it.

Now add the paper – see how muddied Alexander’s got mixed, he started stirring with his toothpick.

Put the paper to dry

Swirled colours

We did this experiment three times they loved it so much and we will probably do it again. I will post pictures of the finished papers we dyed but I don’t have any at the moment.

I found this site ( ) that shows how to do paper marbling techniques. The one with shaving cream Emily and I have done at play group together and we might do that as a family craft one soon.


June 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm 1 comment

Science Experiment Photos

Going to give it another try..

Getting ready – putting the equipment together



Marking the cup we think will have the greatest reaction/explosion




More fizzing (this was when we gave up on the eyedroppers and poured the vinegar in)


Now onto painting with vinegar





I am looking forward to doing this with different colours – I bought some more vinegar today.

Here it is the sludgy mess – or relief map.


Alexander is tipping out the cups of bi-carb from the first experiment into the tray.

Bonus – nice clean pan now.

Another thing I have been wanting to try is now that it gets dark early glow sticks in the bath. Emily wasn’t feeling too well and I knew this meant she wouldn’t want a bath but I thought a nice warm bath would be just the soothing thing so I added glow sticks and it looked and worked great!

It also meant this morning I explained that inside the sticks was a reaction just like the one we created with the vinegar and bicarb and that is why the colours were fading as the reaction wasn’t as strong anymore. They both want to try this again tonight.




June 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm Leave a comment

Science Experiments

This week at pre school they have been undertaking science experiments.  One of the mums (whose daughter Emily happily plays with at play group and preschool) went in to preschool and began the week off with a few experiments.  They then took the idea and continued it throughout the week, which was good as Alexander and Emily got to see some of the fun.  Alexander requested that we do some at home.  I have seen some on blogs that I have been wanting to do so it was a good spur to get going.  Today I bought some bi-carb and some eye droppers (unfortunately I didn’t buy any vinegar but oh well we had enough at home).

The first experiment I found the idea on No Time for Flash Cards where they investigated what made the best explosion here.

I found some plastic cups in the cupboard and labelled them 1, 2 and 3. One set for Emily and the other for Alexander.  I then labelled three cups A B and C.  In the numbered cups I put bi-carb in one, Self Raising Flour and Baking Soda in the other.  In the other cups I put lemon cordial, water and vinegar.  I knew lemon is acidic but wasn’t sure how the cordial would go but I had no lemon juice.

I can’t seem to add photos at the moment.  I made a list of what number was what powder and what liquid was which and then I added the children.  They predicted which one would fizz the most and then we gave it a go.  I was interested to see that SR Flour did fizz a little from the added soda.  The lemon juice did made the baking powder and soda fizz and of course the vinegar did to.  The kids emptied the liquid in. As we started I thought making a chart would be a good idea and I quickly drew one up and then forgot to give it to Alexander to fill it out.

Then it was time for painting by vinegar which I was inspired to do from here.

I covered a baking tray with bicarb and then filled a couple of cups with liquid.  Unfortunately I had more brown vinegar than white so we only managed to make one colour – a dark muddy green because Alexander dripped in lots of blue and Emily only a little yellow. I found red wine vinegar and brown vinegar and the lemon cordial again and the kids had fun creating with that.

They decided the green was the water and the muddled brown colour the land.

I’ll have to add photos another time.  Tomorrow’s activity which Alexander did at pre school but Emily didn’t is the magic milk paint where the colours swirl around.

June 22, 2012 at 5:24 pm 3 comments

Writing with purpose

Alexander loves when mum draws a bike track. Ever since he was three I’ve drawn him bike tracks, some fancy, some plain. When the rain washes it away it’s tone to start planning a new town. One of the benefits of living in a Alexander is older he is wanting to draw the houses and shops himself and write the street signs.



June 22, 2012 at 4:09 pm Leave a comment


We love looking at the escarpment around here

In every weather it is beautiful. With the recent rain it had been covered in clouds. Since it is now winter Alexander has been waiting for snow but I had to tell him it rarely snows here and it is on bigger mountains it snows.
Today we looked at the different greens on the mountains which inspired today’s craft.
I found a mountain outline which I copied a few times and printed out. We coloured in the sky and mountains and my first idea was to use the sponge to stamp clouds but we had coloured the sky too dark for it to show up so we ended up glueing the cut up sponge on.






The clouds are a little square but Emily’s favourite game at the moment is finding different shapes in the clouds.

June 16, 2012 at 3:33 pm Leave a comment

Autumn leaves craft

My kids have been very interested by the leaves falling. I have been explaining why some trees don’t lose their leaves and why others do. They enjoy pointing out the autumn trees to me.
Yesterday during our black out I read “dragon’s leaf collection” but actually Alexander and I read it together as it is an early reader. In the story dragon collects the falling leaves but ends up with so many he has no where to put them. He writes a letter to the trees to say stop losing your leaves. He then discovers all the trees have no leaves and he ends up tying the leaves back onto the trees.
We have been collecting some leaves and today we decided to make pictures with them. In one we even stuck some string pretending we were like dragon tying the leaves back on.







Alexander did a picture with a deciduous tree and one with an evergreen. The other two pictures are by Emily and I. I wonder which is which?
Emily’s favourite bit is applying and reapplying glue.

June 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm Leave a comment

A rainy Sunday at home

Another day at home but we did manage to get out doors today. Alexander much better and no fever!
We went to the shops to buy potatoes for dinner and to the reject shop for some hair gel.
At home I attempted with the kids Mister Maker’s leaf prints.



Then we made some sensory colour bags with the hair gel. Emily is still playing with them. She keeps squeezing them and arranging them in different patternsI was not exact measuring the gel so some bags got lots and some the dregs. We added food colour and mixed different colours according to the packet directions. I added some marbles and plastic animals. The directions said packer’s tape but not having any I just used sticky tape which does not hold up to vigorous squeezing.  I found the idea here at teachpreschool and there are lots of fun ideas such as pressing our handprints in them or writing letters in them.  Or put them in the freezer for a cool pack.


Red and yellow make orange



Emily and Alexander looking through them to see if they change colours of objects around us.




Emily proud of her sun she has made.


Arranging the colours in a rainbow.

The children are now playing with them in the play room so I really need to find some tape to seal them up.

June 3, 2012 at 11:57 am Leave a comment

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