Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Getting Groovy with Science

Something strange has been happening to me for the past few weeks. Evey will attest to it. I have become some kind of strange 1950s version of myself. I'm not joking. I used to go on Pinterest and waste 2 hours pinning a bunch of cool stuff to a bunch of my boards and then promptly forgetting about it LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE. Then, I had a series of strange epiphanies which I will not bore you with and so I started actually DOING stuff that I saw online. 

Yup. For real. 

I made little Santas out of strawberries and whipped frosting. Even though I am deathly allergic to strawberries. I made some crockpot pork chops from a recipe I pinned to one of my boards. IT TOTALLY SUCKED. I actually followed the link to the article about better ways to use your KitchenAid mixer and it was EPIC. Let me tell you, I am never, ever, ever going to shred chicken by hand again. Hands down, however, the best thing I have done is to start doing the activities aimed at keeping your kids busy. For once I am going to refrain from being a total Miss Snarky Pants and tell you something straight: Pinterest is helping me be a more involved mom.

Okay, Kleenex moment over. If you mention that again, I will punch you in the throat. 

There are about 50 different pins with this experiment on it. To be honest, I can't remember which one I saw and followed. Sorry about that! But this is so easy to replicate, so don't worry. You'll need a clean plastic bottle with a lid, vegetable oil, water, food coloring, and an Alka-Seltzer tablet. I had all of those things, especially the Alka-Seltzer because I drink a lot of wine and I've learned what to do so that I can function with three kids the next day.

Have your delicious little helper fill the bottle halfway with water. I did this experiment with my oldest son who is 9, but really any age is fine.
Then fill the bottle the rest of the way with the veggie oil. Please use a funnel. I shouldn't have to point that out, but honestly, do you really want to clean up a bunch of vegetable oil from your kitchen floor? No, you don't. You're welcome. 
This is the perfect time to lecture your child about the properties of oil vs. water and viscosity and why they don't mix. I am raising some nerds over here, so my kid actually LISTENED to me prattle on about this crap, but feel free to just let your kids marvel at the fact that the two liquids don't mix and you can just explain it by saying that it's "magic". 
Now here is the fun part: Add a few drops of food coloring to the bottle. It will be fun to watch the drops form into little bubbles in the oil and water and bob along the surface.  I tried to trick my kid and told him that this was the end of the experiment, but as you can tell from his shirt, he is awesome and therefore did not believe me at all. Open the Alka-Seltzer and cut it in fourths. Drop one of the little pieces into the bottle, cap the bottle, and watch the action!
At this point, my child shouted, "Hey Mom! This is so cool!" which made me feel pretty great. He then asked me if I Googled this to find out how to build it, which made me roll my eyes at him. But we hugged it out so it was all good. 

Then we had to do this about 50,000 more times so that we could show Daddy, his little brother, his little sister, the dog, our mailman, our neighbor, etc. I finally had to cut him off because he was using up all the Alka-Seltzer and I was already into my second glass of wine. 



  1. My daughter made this a few weeks ago...(i fact I secretly threw it away yesterday)....we do a lot of these kinds of things around here...helps wen your parents are science teachers!!!! Never ending supply of ideas!

    I need to check out the Kitchen Aid one!

    1. You really do! It was eye-opening. I already love my Kitchen Aid mixer about as much as I love my husband...this just about pushed it over the edge.

  2. I'm just delighted that you found a use for the word 'Prattle' in a sentence. signed: your anonymous cousin in Houston.


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