Continuing in our installment of fun science activities to do with your kids this summer….
1. Make your own play-dough. This is surprisingly easy to do and very cheap, which certainly helps when you are trying to entertain your kids on a budget. The key here is to use as much salt as the recipe calls for (don’t be tempted to skimp!) and to mix it really with your hands. Feel free to add all kinds of food coloring to the play-dough too. Your kids might try to eat it, if they are anything like mine who put everything in their mouths, but they will quickly find out that it is extremely salty and doesn’t actually taste good at all (but it is completely non-toxic so no need to worry!).
Links for homemade playdough recipes:
2. Make super-strong bubble solution. Any time I take my kids to a children’s museum, all they want to do is play in the bubble rooms. After about 100 or so of such trips, I decided, why can’t we play with bubbles at home? Then I bought all the bubbles from our local CVS, and it turned out that the bubbles you buy from CVS or Rite Aid or your local supermarket are not actually as strong as the bubbles in the museums, and therefore you can’t do all the same fun things with them. Why not? The super-strong bubble solution at the museum contains a special chemical called glycerin, which thickens the solution (makes it more viscous), and helps it last longer. We can use glycerin to make super-strong bubble solutions at home, or corn syrup, which will mostly have the same effect.
Bubble recipes with glycerin can be found here:
And with corn syrup instead of glycerin:
You may have to play with the amount of glycerin or corn starch that you use until you get the desired consistency, because some of that decision depends on the dish soap you are using (and also your personal preference for super-strong bubbles!).
Once you have a super-strong solution of bubbles, you can play with them as you would any normal bubble solution, but you can also make boxes out of pipe cleaners and straws and then make square bubbles! These boxes form squares inside them instead of the traditional spheres due to the surface tension of the bubble solution.
Detailed instructions on how to make square bubbles can be found here:
Part 3 of this installment is coming on Saturday, but we are going to take a break tomorrow to highlight some fun science-friendly activities to check out this weekend.