Happy Fourth of July! We have been having a sweltering heat wave, so ours was toasty! My husband had to work, so it was up to me and the kiddos to celebrate the 4th together. It was a little more difficult this year due to the heat. Many activities were cancelled. The one community picnic that we found last year was quite smaller this year (also due to the heat). We played 3 of the 5 games they had available and decided to go have lunch together.
While sitting at lunch at McDonald's (I know the horrible place that has dangerous food- but my philosophy is that we all know it is bad for you, so don't eat there often and make it a treat once every month or two) and keeping watch over the happy meal toys while the kiddos took turns in the restrooms, I thought, "this is pretty skimpy" - I have to do more to make this a memorable day for all of us (we are also under a fireworks ban so we really didn't have anything else "fun" planned for tonight).
I browsed the web for some interesting science experiments. It seemed suitable that I search for "exploding" experiments since it was the 4th. I found a few rocket-making sites and an "exploding colors" video. I have actually done these experiments with my Montessori class when I taught at the Montessori school, but my brain seems to draw a blank for ideas when I am out and about for some reason. These sites are the ones I bookmarked to use:
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Baking-Soda-and-Vinegar-Rocket (also great for chemical reaction review)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YA3Z_HQm8QE (awesome for surface tension!)
I also thought that it would not be suitable to just go out and play without once again remembering why we celebrate the Fourth of July. I want my children to respect the people of the past and to appreciate what they gave up for us.So, I decided to run to the bookstore (always one of our favorite places) and I found these 2 wonderful books:
We took them home (after I purchased them of course!), read them, discussed them and I answered as many questions as I could.
Then, after dinner, it was time for some exploding fun! Our surface tension experiment went off without a hitch... we poured our milk, added our food coloring (red and blue of course!) and then added our drop of food coloring to a toothpick and WAAAALAAA..... the kiddos thought I was so brilliant to be able to do this! Then I explained surface tension and then I got bumped down to pretty smart....
I'm afraid I do not have pictures of us actually setting off our bottle rockets, just the initial photo of our materials. Since it was exploding, I was the main one "setting it off" so there was no one left to snap the photos.
It took a few tries to get the baking soda and vinegar mixture just right, it wasn't perfect by any means - but I do think we created some fun memories!