Kitchen table science: Turn your kitchen into a mad scientist’s lab
Mommy on a Shoestring's Beth Engelman (left) creates an at home science project with Kim Moldofsky by putting baking soda in a balloon and vinegar into a bottle on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, at Engelman's home. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 16, 2013 8:02AM
Kim Moldofsky doesn’t let a little mess get in the way of having fun.
The mom of two is a firm believer in hands-on projects. “As schools become more focused on standardized testing, I think it’s important for families to set aside time so kids can explore, discover and do,” Moldofsky said. Her web site, themakermom.com, is testament to this idea as it’s chock-full of activities, resources and more that are related to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Need inspiration for turning your kitchen into a science lab? Check out these kid-approved experiments courtesy of Moldofsky.
Egg Carton Colors
This project showcases how colors change when mixed together but the real magic is in how easily it keeps your kids interested and engaged.
Empty egg carton (one per child)
Food coloring (include a variety of colors)
Eyedroppers (Moldofsky recommends using recycled droppers from medicine bottles)
Place food coloring and eyedroppers in the middle of the table.
Give each child an egg carton filled with water.
Encourage your young scientists to play and explore with the droppers, colors and water.
Moldofsky loves this experiment, which combines food coloring and shaving cream. “When my boys were in preschool, we’d do this project quite often,” she said. “Usually, we’d finish in the bathtub where I’d poke a hole in the bags and my boys would squeeze out the shaving cream. Talk about good clean fun.”
Plastic bag with zipper closure (such as Ziploc)
Fill ¾ of plastic bag with shaving cream.
Add a few drops of food coloring (any color).
Encourage your kids to squeeze and squish their bags as they watch the colors swirl and mix, just like a magic mirror.
This “cool” experiment turns water balloons into colorful ice orbs. It’s a great experiment to do on a cold winter day when you can let Mother Nature do most of the work.
Fill balloons with water and a few drops of food coloring.
Tie balloons closed and place in freezer (or outside if the temperature is below 32 degrees)
Wait 10-24 hours until the balloons are completely frozen.
Use scissors to peel back the balloons and reveal bright colorful orbs.
Challenge your kids to inflate a balloon without using their breath. It’s easy with this experiment that creates carbon dioxide with vinegar and baking soda.
Empty plastic bottle (16 oz.)
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pour vinegar into bottle.
Spoon baking soda into balloon.
Place the mouth of the balloon over the mouth of the bottle.
Use one hand to keep the balloon in place while slowly transferring the baking soda into the bottle of vinegar.
As the baking soda and vinegar combine, the balloon inflates with carbon dioxide.
Take a bow as your kids stare at you in amazement.