Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Experiment of the week: Bubbles

Here is a challenge perfect for summer - which solution makes the best bubbles: Homemade or Store-bought?  It is an age old question on so many fronts. Here you need:

Your favorite store purchased bubbles
Bubble wands or pipe cleaners made into wands
Homemade bubbles (my recipe to follow)

So, what makes a good bubble? Does it last the longest? Is it the biggest? or the most?  Decide a head of time and make a prediction (guess) about what solution makes for the best bubbles.  Now test! Remember to use the same bubble wands for the testing and go for it!

My favorite bubble recipe:
1 gallon of water
1 9oz bottle of Dawn (any color)
2 oz glycerin
24 hours

Mix the water, Dawn and glycerin together very slowly and set aside for a day. Makes gobs of bubble solution that can last for months. If it is possible not to use it all up in a day!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fun Friday Fact

Could dinosaurs spit?

In the movie Jurassic Park, a Dilophosaurs spits venom in a man's face. Alas, there is no physical evidence that dinosaurs could spit. It takes a lot of muscle to spit and that probably would have left marks on the skeletons of dinosaurs.

There are snakes such as the Spitting Cobra that appear to spit venom, but they really just spray their venom. The have large muscles that allow them to eject venom quite accurately.

Check out this video of a spitting cobra, well spitting. It is under two minutes and very well done.


Here are some fun ideas for dirt explorations...

Make Mud Bricks: Add a small amount of water to different kinds of dirt and dirt with sticks or leaves. Pack in to a brick mold or some sand toys. Let them dry in the sun for a day or two. Make some predictions about which bricks will be the strongest?  How could you test your idea? Unmold them and test your ideas.

What is in the dirt? Put dirt in a kitchen strainer and pour water thru it. What happens?  What stays and what goes thru?  Now put a coffee filter in the strainer and do the same thing. What is left behind now?

Erosion: Make a mountain of dirt and slowly pour water over it. What happens?  Make your mountain again. What would happen if you poured water quickly or in a different place?

Growing: Do a dirt scavenger hunt in your yard. Gather up some pots and put different kinds of dirt in to each pot. Then put in a seed or plant and see which soil is best for growing plants.

Eat Dirt: Make chocolate pudding and sprinkle the top with crushed chocolate cookies or chocolate graham crackers. Add some gummy worms and you have dirt for lunch!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Experiment: Water Tension

I have a challenge for you. Fill a glass of water right up to the top. Guess how many paper clips can you put into the glass before the water spills over. Will it be 5 or 10?  Does it matter if you slide them in or if plop them in?  Keep filling the glass with paper clips - the girls scouts just did this and were able to add a whole lot.

Refill the glass and see you can float a paper clip on the top of the water.  It is far trickier than you'd think.  If you really get stuck, use a fork to lower it down onto the surface.

Check out the pictures here.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Messy Fingers starts again next week!
May  8 - seeds
May 15 - dirt
May 22 - bubbles
May 29 - butterflies

Sign up at the Millbury Public Library. Class starts at 10:30 and lasts about an hour. For preschoolers 3-5 and their parents.