Thursday, October 21, 2010

Kid Friendly Experiment #1

There's always the classic vinegar and baking soda volcano to demonstrate chemical reactions to children.  Its fast & messy... add a little food coloring & you've got red lava!

One of my favorite ones is the Borax bouncy ball.  It is easy and can be made with things most people have in their home already.  I got the information from but I'm adding my comments or suggestions in blue and took a few things out.

What you'll need:
•borax (found in the laundry section of the store)
•cornstarch (found in the baking section of the store)
•white glue (e.g., Elmer's glue - makes an opaque ball) or blue or clear school glue (makes a translucent ball)
•warm water
•food coloring (optional) (Moms beware, food coloring stains little hands so use sparingly!)
•measuring spoons
•spoon or craft stick to stir the mixture (I'd recommend using a disposable utensil because cleaning up can be a mess)
•2 small plastic cups or other containers for mixing
•marking pen
•watch with a second hand
•zip-lock plastic baggie
•newspaper or (disposable) plastic table cloth to cover the surface you're working on; not necessary but allows for easier clean-up

  1. Label one cup 'Borax Solution' and the other cup 'Ball Mixture'.
  2. Pour 2 tablespoons warm water and 1/2 teaspoon borax powder into the cup labeled 'Borax Solution'. Stir the mixture to dissolve the borax. Add food coloring, if desired.
  3. Pour 1 tablespoon of glue into the cup labeled 'Ball Mixture'. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the borax solution you just made and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Do not stir. Allow the ingredients to interact on their own for 10-15 seconds and then stir them together to fully mix. Once the mixture becomes impossible to stir, take it out of the cup and start molding the ball with your hands.
  4. The ball will start out sticky and messy, but will solidify as you knead it.
  5. Once the ball is less sticky, go ahead and bounce it!
  6. You can store your plastic ball in a sealed plastic bag when you are finished playing with it.
NOTE: Don't eat the materials used to make the ball or the ball itself.  Wash your work area, utensils, and hands when you have completed this activity.

Happy NCW!


1 comment:

  1. How fun! I can't wait to do things like this with our little girl!