Rainy Day Activities


Nothing is worse than a rainy day to dampen the spirits of your little ones, especially on summer vacation!  So, whip out some fun science activities to boost the spirits!

Make your own acid base indicator:  Many of you have heard of purple cabbage juice—put cabbage pieces in a blender with some water—chop, pour off the juice—test with baking soda (base) or vinegar (acid)—observe the color changes.

Try some others—same procedure as above:

Purple grapes, Petunia flowers (especially purple ones) Try other foods or flowers that have a lot of pigment (blueberries, black berries, cherries, other purple flowers, herb teas?).  Let me know your results!!

For more information:  http://scienceblogs.com/ethicsandscience/2008/09/26/after-school-experiment-make-y/ , http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments/red-cabbage-chemistry/ , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e13B0zfr0cU

Make a density column (or rainbow column):  My granddaughters love rainbows, which make this a great activity for a rainy day!  Take a bud vase or any other tall, clear cylinder you might have in your kitchen, or an empty plastic water bottle.  Add liquids (the same amount) of different densities (pour slowly). Some liquids to try are honey, white Karo syrup, dish detergent, milk, water, and cooking oil to make the column.  If you add food coloring to any of the liquids, mix it with them before pouring into the column.  Then add various small objects from the kitchen, and have the kids predict if and where they will float (cork, paper clip, a screw or nut, toothpick, peppercorns, pop corn kernels, a plastic bead, a small piece of chalk, a small piece of crayon, a ping-pong ball etc.).  What does this tell you?

For more information:  http://www.hometrainingtools.com/a/density-column-science-project/, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CDkJuo_LYs, http://www.ehow.com/how_10031828_make-layer-density-bottle.html

Penny Boats:  If you have saved any empty ice cream buckets, or have something similar, now is the time to get them out!  Give your little ones a piece of aluminum foil, and ask them to create a boat to hold the most pennies.  You might preface this activity by asking them to think about boats, and what shape are the ones that carry the most cargo?  Once the boats are constructed, have them place the boat in the water and add pennies one at a time until the boat sinks.  Count the pennies to see whose boat supported the most.  Repeat with a different design.  (Flat barges tend to hold the most; canoes don’t work very well, as there are no support ribs like a normal canoe would have.  What if you did add ribs with a piece of spaghetti? )

For more information, go here:  http://sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/buoyant-boats/