Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments (Book Review)

Earlier this year we were pretty excited to receive a copy of the newest book from the founders of the amazing online resource Kids Activities Blog.  It was a wonderful surprise to discover the 101 coolest science experiments waiting for us in our mailbox one day!

The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments
(A Book Review)

In the past we've had the chance to review another book from the same authors, 101 kids activities that are the bestest, funest ever and we loved the fun and new ideas we pulled from that book. These authors yet again proved they can put together a fantastic resource for parents, teachers, and caregivers!

This book has proven to get everyone in the household even more excited about science - including the grownups!

The experiments for the most part use household materials (or materials easily purchased at a local grocery store.) They also range in time frames, from experiments that take a few moments to a few that spread across a few days. Both of these factors make taking on any experiments in the book very doable.

For us this has been the perfect resource for the end of the busy school year. We were able to turn to the book on a quiet afternoon we happened to be home, a weekend day that needed something fun, or on a low key "sick day" when kids are too sick to go to school but restless being at home. It also inspired us to kick off our Simple Summer Themes weeks with a Science Week!

The book is laid out in four easy to use sections:
1) Kitchen Chemistry
2) Making Things Move
3) Exploring the World
4) The Human Body 

We wanted to share a few of our favorite activities in the book. We've included the page number so you can easily get the full directions to each activity.

Exploding Baggies (page 22)

I think this experiment was the all time favorite of both boys, especially as they keep asking to do it again! The ingredients are simple baking soda, vinegar, food dye, a plastic bag, and a clothespin. Simple set up with pretty amazing results! The force of the expanding baking soda and vinegar truly explodes the plastic bag! 

Shiny Pennies (page 75)

One of the few experiments we tried that took longer than a day, the shiny penny experiment involves soaking pennies in three different solutions: water, coco cola, and lemon juice. After soaking kids have the opportunity to compare which liquid made the biggest impact. Note- it needs to be pennies made before 1983 for the process to work. 

Rain in a Cup (page 134) 

This was the experiment that proved to be the most interesting to Little Brother. Using water, shaving cream, and food coloring kids can create a system which models how precipitation moves through clouds and the air. He loved watching the food coloring sink through the shaving cream to the water. 

Dissolving Ink (page 17)

This experiment not only was fun to try, but also gave the boys something cool to wear. It's also one we know we want to come back to again. Materials include a white t-shirt, permanent markers, and rubbing alcohol. First kiddos color, then they spray the shirt, so it's very hands on for kids. The final colors are so bright and different then they look as permanent marker. Now that we've tried it once, I am looking forward to doing it again when we know a little more about what to expect. 

These are just a few of the experiments we tried - there were several others we equally enjoyed. And, we're looking forward to some more simple science experiments over the summer months! How could we not explore more, with such a great resource at home to use? 

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