Monthly Archives: April 2013

Experiments Using Invisible Ink

Writing secret messages to friends is so much fun!  To be honest, we were about to skip this experiment in our science kit, but after a bit of thought, decided it would be a quick and easy experiment to do before bed.  Quick and easy?  Well, it’s never quick and easy here, as one thing always leads to another!

We decided to try out the method suggested in Usborne’s Science in the Kitchen book.  This method suggests squeezing lemon juice into a bowl, writing on white paper with it, and then developing it with a warm iron.  We didn’t have a lemon on hand, so we used bottled lemon juice, and wrote on pieces of watercolor paper with a q-tip.

Here’s what we found out!

When the lemon juice dried, it was barely visible on the paper (perfect for sending super secret messages).  We developed it with an iron, it showed up a little bit.  Here’s what we ended up with:

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Lemon juice

Of course, since we didn’t get a great result, we had to do some research and figure out other methods for making invisible ink.  We found 3 other methods online:

Invisible ink with milk: We did the exact same thing with milk as we did with lemon juice.  The results were similar.  We found that spots of paper that were still damp from the milk got darker when we developed it.

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Milk

Water and baking soda: We mixed 1/4 cup baking soda with 1/4 cup water.  The downside to this method is that the spots where we wrote were bumpy, and could be read without developing, at the right angle.  When we put it under the iron, the writing was a bit darker and more consistent than the milk and lemon methods

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Baking Soda

White crayon and paint: The kids hypothesized that this would be the best method, with the best results.  To do this version of the experiment, all you need to do is write with white crayon on a white piece of paper.  To develop it, you go over the paper with watercolor paint.

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White crayon and watercolor paint

Utilizing the white crayon and paint method was clearly the best way to write and develop a secret message!  I think the wheels in their heads are spinning now.  I expect they’ll be asking for paper, envelopes, stamps, and addresses of their friends…

Like I said, one thing always leads to another!

Have you used a different method of writing with invisible ink?  What did you use, and how did it turn out?  

 

 

15 Things You Can Do. Earth Day 2013

Earth Day is coming up in 2 days.  What are you planning on teaching your children about this year?

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Here are 15 thing YOU can do to help the earth this Earth Day!

1) Talk to your children about the importance and EASE of recycling.  If you don’t have a system in your home for recycling, set one up.  If you suspect your neighbors aren’t recycling, have your kids create flyers to distribute to the neighborhood. Include a list of things that can be recycled, what things need to be sorted, where they can get recycling bins if they don’t have them, and phone numbers or web addresses for your towns recycling program.

2)  Take your kids to the store to buy reuseable water bottles.  Take a vow in 2013 to stop using bottled water!  Here is some interesting information about plastic water bottles from National Geographic.

3)  Help your kids create a compost bin in the yard.  Here is some great info about how to get started.

4)  Analyze and discuss your daily trash output.  Weigh your garbage every day for a week, and determine how much your family throws away annually.  Discuss as a family how you can reduce the amount YOU are contributing to the landfills. Here are 29 ideas for reducing waste.

5) Do you buy paper products every.single.time you’re at Target?  Try making your own paper towels.  It’ll save trees AND money.  Here’s a tutorial.

6) Get your kids involved in their local Roots and Shoots organization.  Founded by Jane Goodall, this organization will have your kids participating in activities to improve the Earth, locally!  If you don’t have a local group, start one!

7) Plant a garden.  You’ve heard about the importance of buying local.  Well, you can’t get much more “local” than your own back yard!  Grow enough to eat all Summer and Fall. Learn how to can or freeze your produce, and make your bounty last all Winter, too.

8)  Calculate your family’s carbon footprint here.  Find ways to reduce it.

9)  Watch the previous years Disney Nature movies.  There won’t be a new one this year (sadly!), but the old videos are amazing!  They’re great for teaching environmental compassion.

10) Plant a tree.  If you don’t have anywhere to plant one, donate $1 to plant a tree in the rainforest.

11) Leave your car at home and walk or take the bus.  If you don’t live in a walkable area, plan your errands so you drive half as much.

12) Protect the bees!!  Provide a safe home for them, buy local honey, or even start raising your own.

13) Turn off lights when you leave the room.  Take it a step further and put chargers, TV’s, video game consoles, etc. on a power strip, and turn it off when you’re not home.

14) Pick up trash.  Organize a group effort at a local nature center, national park, or city park.

15) Google “Earth Day (and your zip code)” to find out if there are any local activities near you!

We celebrate Earth Day formally on April 22, 2013.  But, remember that Earth Day is every day! 

“We must protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can’t speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish and trees.” - Qwatsinas (Hereditary Chief Edward Moody), Nuxalk Nation

 

First 100 “Likes” Science Kit Giveaway

We’re super excited at the fabulous response we’ve had from “you guys” to our Science Adventure Club Kitchen Kit!  When we got over 100 “Likes” on Facebook in a matter of 2 days, we decided that we needed to thank you with a give away!

Here it is:

One lucky person will receive a Science Adventure Club Kitchen Kit in the mail!  The contest starts right…now…and goes until 10:00 AM Central time on Thursday, April 18th.  The winner will be chosen randomly, and will be notified via email, our blog, and Facebook.  The winner will have until Midnight on Sunday, April 21 to send us their address so we can mail the kit.

To enter:

Leave a comment below, and tell us about a great science experiment you’ve conducted recently.

Good luck!!

And the winner is:

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MJ!

Congratulations!  I’ve sent you a private email.  You can respond with your address, and I’ll put in the mail for you :)

How To Make A Science Journal

Why a science journal?

Keeping a science journal is a great way to reinforce concepts learned, and to complete the “Communicate your results” phase of the scientific method.  (It’ll also be really fun to look back on years from now!)

What should a science journal look like?

There’s no right or wrong way to present your work in a science journal.  Here are a few ideas I’ve seen:

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  1. Take a piece of felt and decorate it with needlework or tacky glue and bits of felt, fabric, buttons, rhinestones, etc.  Then, insert a few pieces of paper, fold it over into a book, and stitch up the middle.  Pros:  They’re pretty. Proper sketching or watercolor paper can easily be used.  Cons: It’s hard to insert printables.
  2. Take a few pieces of construction paper, punch a hole in the upper left hand corner, and bind it together with yarn. Pros: It’s easy to have a new journal for each topic, and easy to glue printables in. The cover can be decorated to reflect it’s contents.  Cons: Not as durable as the other types of journal.
  3. This is the method we use.  Purchase a 3-ring binder and some tabs.  Decorate or print a cover for the journal.  Next, create tabs (the number of tabs you’ll need will depend on your needs).  Our tabs say Science, Nature, and Science Fair.  Now, we can 3-hole punch a few pieces of blank paper and insert them behind each tab.  The paper can be for sketching or taking notes.  Pros: Super easy to insert printables, and it’s to customize/change as time goes on. Colored pencils fit nicely in the front pocket. Cons:  Not necessarily as pretty as the other journals.  Can cost more to get set up.

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 Regardless of what type of journal you use, the important part is that your child is recording what they’re learning and observing!  Have fun!

What type of science journal do you use?

 

 

Making Bubbles

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My girls managed to conduct this experiment, learn, explore, and then continue to conduct their own experiments for nearly an hour!  It’s amazing how one simple experiment can capture the attention of a child!

To do this experiment, fill a cup 3/4 full with water.  Pour a few tablespoons of dish detergent in the cup (blue Dawn works best).  Gently stir.  Now, to make the loop, take a piece of thin, straight wire, and let your child form it into a circle (or square, or triangle, or…)

When your child(ren) are working on the Making Bubbles experiment, be sure to encourage them to try different things with the loop.  Do the bubbles blow differently when they change the shape of the loop?  What about the size of the loop?

What happens when they don’t blow on the thin spread of dish detergent, but make observations of it while it’s in the loop.  Can they see the different colors swirling around?  Do they notice anything particular that happens right before it pops?

Try this:  When the loop has the dishwasher liquid spread thinly within it, have them stick their finger through.  What happens?  Now, have them try dipping their finger in the bubble solution, and then stick it through the loop again.  They’ll be able to stick their finger through the loop without breaking the bubble!

 Fun fact: When the bubble film turns black right before it pops, it’s thinner then the shortest wavelength of visible light!!

Get a FREE printable here: Science With Bubbles
Supplies for the Making Bubbles experiment are included in our Kitchen Kit

 

It’s Here! Science In The Kitchen

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The Science Adventure Club team has been working really hard to bring you a fantastic product we are certain you and your children will love!  After our official launch, we found that our website wasn’t going to work with our goals, so we shut it down, and now reopened here.  Our kits are now exclusively available on Amazon!

Here’s what you’ll find in the Science Adventure Club Kitchen Kit:

  • The book Usborne Science Activities: Science in the Kitchen,
  • A journal so your budding scientist can record what he/she is learning,
  • Supplies needed to complete dozens of science experiments (over 85 items),
  • A certificate to mail in upon completion of the kit.  In return, they’ll receive a fun surprise!

This kit is perfect for homeschoolers, unschoolers, or any child in kindergarten through 5th grade that loves science.

As a special kick-off promotion, all kits ordered through March 31, 2013, will come with the book Usborne’s First Science Encylopedia (a $9.99 value)!

**Because we took the site down temporarily to upgrade, this “kick-off promotion” will run through April 15th!!***

This kit can be purchased exclusively through Amazon!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C8JKK3I