Last Saturday we took the kids to the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney to do some science experiments (It was science weekend). It was pouring with rain for what felt like the hundredth day in a row and I just couldn’t bear another day inside the house all with three kids!
When we got there I felt like I was a kid again it was so much fun, and I’ll just quietly admit that I actually learnt quite a bit. First of all we met the surfing scientist, who has his own show on ABC doing cool science experiments for kids. I had never heard of him before but Master J was a little bit star struck!! Before he started, he told the kids that in order to do awesome science experiments you have to make sure you pay attention to maths at school. “If you’re good at maths, you’ll have a gold mine in your head when you grow up” he told them. (I wish someone had told me that – no wonder I’m not a millionaire).
He did some cool things with liquid nitrogen and laser lights and literally had the kids (and parents) eating out of palm of his hand. He even held Miss H’s attention, which I was pretty amazed at.
Here’s one of his tricks you can show your kids – they’ll think you’re awesome I promise.
- Put a butter knife inside a balloon.
- Push that balloon into another balloon.
- Pull the knife out but keep hold of the mouth piece of the first one.
- Blow up both balloons together and then tie off the first one.
- Blow the second one a little bigger and tie it off too.
- You will now have a balloon inside a balloon – pretty cool.
- Now hold a flame to the outside of the balloon and see what happens……..*
The next experiment we did was the mentos in diet coke explosion. The kids got really hands on with it which was awesome. Have you tried it at home yet?? (all you need is a two litre bottle of diet coke and a packet of mint mentos – and an umbrella).
Next they all got to dress up as mad scientists and play around with different coloured liquids and textures. Master J thought the mixing was awesome, Miss and H and Miss L just fought over the long blonde wig!! Then after wondering through the fashion display to get to the next experiment, I got told that our dress-up box at home is just totally inadequate!!
The highlight of the day was definitely making Cog’s super silly slime! The KIDS LOVED it. Miss L had the biggest meltdown ever known to man because she wasn’t allowed to drink the ‘juicy’ – which was actually coloured liquid ready to be turned into slime. Luckily Mr D managed to distract her, while Miss H and Master J got stuck into their experiment. The slime has come home with us and gone into school this morning for ‘News’.
If you’re feeling brave here is the recipe for Cog’s super silly slime (taken from the Powerhouse Play website, where there is also a whole heap of other science activities for kids to do.)
- Borax powder (laundry section of the supermarket)
- Guar gum powder (Health food store)
- Glycerine (Pharmacy or supermarket)
- Food colouring
- Warm Water
- Measuring jug
- 2 teaspoons
- Paddle pop stick for stirring
- Mixing bowl
- Squeezy plastic bottle (like a ketchup bottle)
- Jar or ziplock bag for storage
- Prepare the borax solution by (Parent helper)
- Adding 250ml warm water to your squeezy bottle (label it borax)
- Add 4 slightly heaped tsps borax to the water
- Place the lid on and shake to dissolve
- Keep adding borax spoon by spoon until it will no longer dissolve.
- Set aside
- To make the slime (kids)
- Add 125ml warm water to your bowl
- Add 3 drops of food colouring to the water
- Add ½ tsp guar gum powder and stir until it dissolves (if it turns to a paste, start again not adding as much guar powder)
- Add 2 tsps glycerine to the solution and stir (lots of stirring).
- Add the borax solution while stirring. Keep stirring until it thickens.
- Keep adding borax bit by bit until the slime can bounce on a smooth surface and stretch.
- Have fun!
We couldn’t leave without a trip to the Wiggles exhibition and Miss L thought she had landed in seventh heaven! It took all four of us to get her out of the ‘Big Red Car’.
All in all it was a fabulous day out and we didn’t even care about the rain. Who would have thought science could be so much fun?
Have you tried out any DIY science experiments at home?? I’d love to hear which ones.
*Only the balloon in the inside should pop. Let me know if it works. The surfing scientist made it look simples!