Friday 17 July 2015

Mixing Colours with Volcanoes!

Today's experiment is a twist on the baking soda and vinegar volcanoes. We take it one step further to add colour mixing, to teach our young ones what happens when you mix two primary (blue, yellow, or red) colours together. (They form secondary colours, green, orange and purple). This experiment is super exciting for the kids because there is nothing that can hurt them, they can do all the work!

You Will Need:

  • two containers, one large and one small (I use see-through ones so the kids can see the chemical changes)
  • a spoon
  • baking soda
  • vinegar
  • primary colour food colouring

  1. fill the small container with vinegar (about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full)
  2. Add three drops of the lighter colour of food colouring or two drops of the darker colour you wish to mix. In this example we used blue.

3. Add a heaping spoonful of baking soda.

 4. The chemical reaction between the baking soda and vinegar will spill into the big container, but all of it won't go in, so pour the rest into the big container.

5. Wash and dry the small container, it's time for round two!

6. Replace the now empty and cleaned small container back into the middle of the big container. Add the same amount of vinegar and your new colour to it. Now you can clearly see the two different primary colours that will mix.

7. Add your baking soda only to the small container.

8. The new chemical reaction will cause the new colour to overflow into the big container, and the two colours will start to mix.

9. If it all doesn't go in, (which it won't), you can go ahead and pour the remaining new colour to fully mix the two together.

What's Happening: When the baking soda and vinegar mix, it creates a chemical reaction which creates bubbles of carbon dioxide (the same air we breathe out of our bodies) that overflow out of the container, carrying with it the colourful food dye.  When two primary colours mix, they make secondary colours, though the shades can vary depending on how much of each colour is used. If a lot more of one is used, it will create a tertiary colour instead (pronounced Tur-she-air-ee), this is why we balance the 2 drops of the darker with 3 of the lighter, to make sure we stay with secondary colours. 

Primary colours: blue, yellow, red. These are colours that you cannot MAKE. (You can't mix anything to create them).

Secondary colours: blue+yellow = green, yellow+red = orange, red+blue = purple

Tertiary colours: more blue than yellow = turquoise, more red than blue = maroon etc. There are infinate shades of colours by mixing different amounts of each.

Each time you try this experiment and change colours, you need to completely clean and dry each bowl.

Note: if you like this blog, check out my other work at

Friday 10 July 2015

EGG-Citing Science!

For this EGG-ceptional Air Pressure EGG-sperament, you are only in need of four things. This one must be done by an adult, but your children on-lookers are going to love it!

You Will Need:
  •  a piece of paper 
  • a book or box of matches (a lighter will also work)
  • a glass bottle (I used a Starbucks frappacino bottle from a variety store. These are the perfect size: the mouth of the bottle is small enough that the egg will sit on top, but it's big enough that when the egg gets sucked into the bottle, it won't break. This looks even more impressive to young viewers).
  • A whole, hard boiled, peeled egg.
  1. Tear a strip off of the paper and twist it (as seen in the picture above), so that it can fit into the bottle easily.
  2. light one end of the paper on fire, and drop the paper into the bottle.
  3. Immediately place the egg on top of the bottle, so that it sits vertically on the opening. (let go of the egg).
What is Happening:

When the bottle is sitting empty on the desk, the air pressure inside and outside of the bottle are the same. Once you place the flame inside the bottle, the heat forces the air pressure to grow inside the bottle only. As soon as the fire goes out, the air cools, and the air pressure contracts again, sucking the egg into the bottle as it does.

Friday 26 June 2015

Surface Tension of Water

This very cool science experiment can be done very easily with things found around the house.

You Will Need:
  • A small clear glass bowl (I used a small pyrex bowl here) 
  • A bottle of dish detergent (I used Dawn) 
  • Water (cold works best, as hot water has a lower surface tension to begin with)
  • Pepper
  • A tooth pick
1.     Fill the bowl about half way with cold water.
2.     Sprinkle pepper gently all over the top of the water. It should cover most of the surface, but if you see more and more flecks sinking to the bottom, stop. Most should float.
3.     Dip the tip of the tooth pick into the dish detergent.
4.     Touch the dish detergent covered end of the toothpick to the surface of the water.

What is happening:
Water molecules reach out in all directions - up, down, diagonally, and sideways.  On the surface of the water, the molecules there have no other water molecules above them to reach up to, so they reach out sideways more than the ones below them. This creates the surface tension of the water, where the connections between the molecules are thicker, like a blanket. When you sprinkle the pepper on the water, the flakes are light enough that the water's surface tension can support them. (This is also how a water strider stays on top of a river or pond). The dish detergent however, lowers the surface tension of the water by creating it's own surface tension when it comes into contact with the water. Now, lighter things that used to rest on top of the water, like the pepper, will either be pushed aside, or will begin to drop down through the water. Heavier things that will also initially remain on the surface of the water, like a small paper clip, or a sewing needle, will just drop through with the lower surface tension of the detergent.

I hope you've enjoyed this experiment! Please visit my website: to learn more about Heather, and check out her cool children's books!

Friday 19 June 2015

Father's Day Craft: Wallet of Awesomeness!

All it takes to make an amazing Father's Day gift are these four items. You only need one roll of duct tape, I showed two here because a second colour can be used to add a design to your wallet when you're done.  I would also recommend having a library card or gift card handy as it will be used, like the bill, to measure the pieces of tape so the wallet can actually be used effectively when complete. This craft can be done by an adult, or school aged child.

Normally I only post a picture or two for these craft ideas, but for this edition, I will be posting a picture at every step to further illustrate how to create your masterpiece! Let's get started.

Step 1: roll out some of the masking tape, always sticky side up.  You want to measure the bill beside it, and make the cut so that the tape is slighty longer on both ends than the money.  You will be trimming this down later, and it allows for you to be able to eyeball the tape length and not have to measure constantly.  This will come in handy, as you will be creating many strips of tape.

Step 2: Make three more strips of tape so you have four total.  It's alright if they're not exactly the same size, but they should all be longer than the money.  Once you have four strips of tape prepared sticky side up, attach them together to make one large piece of tape. You don't want these to overlap each other very much, just enough to attach them together. Set this large piece aside.

Step 3: Prepare four more strips, the same size as the first set. This time, ony attach two together. The third strip is going to be stuck to the first two, but this time face down so the two sticky sides will come together. You want to leave a small strip of upward facing sticky tape at the top.

Add the second face down piece, which will create another small line of sticky taple face down at the bottom of your new shape.

Fold down the top sticky strip over the top to create a nice top edge. (Leave the bottom sticky edge, it will be of use later. Set this piece aside.

Step 4: Cut two more pieces of tape the same size, and this time lay them down on the top half of the first set of tape you created.  These pieces of tape should come together as evenly as possible, so no sticky edge is left at the top.

Step 5: Take the second double sided piece you made, and line up the top of this piece with the newly taped top of the first piece.  Use the bottom stickly line on the second piece to secure it to the first piece, so that it creates a flap. 

Leaving the flap up (so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the first piece, add two more pieces to the bottom of the first piece so you are left with a large square(ish) piece with a flap in the middle.

Step 6: Fold the bottom of the wallet up so the flap is inside. This will become the billfold part of the wallet. Line the bill up with your wallet and trim off the extra uneven edges, making sure not to make the wallet smaller than the bill.

Step 7: Cut off a smaller piece of tape the length of the side of the wallet, and rip it in two, lengthwise. Sticky side up, stick it to the back of the wallet at the side, and fold it around to close the side. Repeat on the other side.

Fold the wallet in half and let it spring back open so you have a clear dividing line on the inside showing the middle.

Step 8: Take your ziplock bag (it has to be a ziplock or knockoff, something that seals), and cut off the corner square including the "zipper", so that it will fit in one side of the wallet with a small boarder around it.

Step 9: Open the zipper and tape down the inside top of the bag so that the tape will not interfere with the closing of the zipper. Close the zipper and fully tape down the rest of the square of bag, turning any left over tape at the top inward, so that the baggie can still open at the top. This will be the change-purse part of the wallet.

Step 10: Cut off Two new pieces of tape: the first just slightly smaller than the other half of the wallet, and the other slightly longer.  Lay the smaller piece sticky side up, and then cover it sticky side down with the longer piece, leaving a sticky edge at the top.

Fold the sticky edge down, and the extra bit at the side around the side of the wallet to the back.

These will be the credit card slots.  Repeat as many times as you like, and as many as will fit comfortably.  I recommend 3-4 slots.

Step 11: cut another square of baggie, this time without the zipper. This will become the photo slot for the wallet.

Place the baggie over the change-purse and cut one more piece of tape the length of the square of plastic.  Rip this lengthwise into three thinner strips of tape. Secure the bottom and both sides with the thin strips, wrapping the tape around to the back for extra security.  Leave the top of the baggie open.

Your wallet is now complete! Close it up, and if desired use a second colour to create a fun design for your dad.

It has two slots for bills, three to four credit card slots, a sealable change purse, and a place where you can surprise him with a family photo.

If you enjoy this blog, please check out my website:

Tuesday 26 May 2015

Science: Lava Lamp...Minus the Lamp!

This fun and exciting science experiment can be done with different colours and objects to go with celebrations during any season.

You Will Need:
  • a clear mason jar or glass (I've used an Erlenmeyer flask in the science lab, mwa ha ha!)
  • A small bottle (250 ml) of baby oil
  • 3-4 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp white tempera paint (or other colour to go with a celebration)
  • alka-seltzer tablets, broken up, but not pounded into powder (aim for dime sized pieces)
  • some small light objects to go with your holiday/season (here we have used silver glitter, but we have done this with green paint and plastic coins for St. Patrick's day or differently shaped table confetti works well.)
  1. Add baby oil to the jar 
  2. In a separate container, combine the water and paint, and mix until it is a uniform consistency.
  3. Add paint mixture to the jar, it will sink below the oil.
  4. Add glitter or table confetti or other small, light plastic objects.
  5. Have the child drop in a piece of the alka-seltzer tablet, and watch what happens.
What is happening:
The tablet, being heavier than the water and oil, will sink to the bottom of the jar.  The bubbles it creates float to the top, (because they are lighter than the water and oil), which pushes the painty water and objects upward. Once the bubble reaches the top, it pops, and the painty water and objects which are heavier than the oil, sink back down to the bottom until another bubble carries them up.

I hope you've enjoyed this experiment! Please visit my website: to learn more about Heather, and check out her cool children's books!

Saturday 9 May 2015

Handprint Sciency Craft for Mother's Day

April showers may bring May flowers, but so does Mother's Day! A beautiful bouquet is nice, but if you want to give the gift that keeps on giving, you should really consider planting some seeds to the pretty lady that helped you grow! Now you may say "That's all well and great, but a pile of dirt with some sleeping seeds in it doesn't necessarily look like much." That's why we've come up with this beautiful way to present the pot in which it grows.  This will give it that special touch, especially if there are kids involved.

Lets face it, kids grow like weeds.  It's nice for a mother or grandmother to have something to look back on to see just how much her children or even grand children have grown. This particular craft and gift idea uses both handprints and footprints to capture the perfect flower before your planted seeds even bloom!

What you will need:

- A large ceramic plant pot (it has to be unglazed or the paint won't stick)
- Tempera/acrylic paint (green + another colour for the petals of the flower)
- Paintbrush (either one for each colour of paint, or also have water and a paper towel handy for             cleaning brushes between colours)
- Seeds or bulbs that will bloom into your mother's favourite colour of flowers or maybe even herbs
- Potting soil
- Clean hands and feet

1) Start by painting a straight green line to be the stem of your flower.
2) Paint the child's feet green to match the stem
3) Press children's feet onto the pot, in a V shape (heels together) to make the leaves of the flower.
    (I have found this task is easiest done in the bathroom.  Have the child sit on the closed toilet lid,         suspending their painted feet.  Then lift the pot up to meet their V shaped feet.  This way you have     the most control over where the feet land on the pot, and you can use your free hand to help press       the foot down to get the best print.
4) Then paint their hands and press them to the top of the stem as the upturned petals of the tulip.

For my pots, since I was using both of my children's prints, I added their name and current age to the bottom of the pot, for grandma's future reference.

As a final touch, I got a little creative and wrote grandma a handprint poem, which I painted on the empty space of the pot.

Feel free to use the poem for any of your home-made crafts for family members.  If you plan on using it for later sale though, please be aware that it is my original copyrighted work, and I ask that you contact me first for permission to use my poetry in this way.

Have a wonderful time making this mother's day gift, and please stop by my website:

Poetry for Mother's Day Cards

Having your little one (or big one) write an original poem for a card can make any Mother's Day card extra-special. Here are a couple of quick tips and types of poetry with examples to help you create a lasting impression.

Types of poetry:

Haiku: a poem of three lines with a total of 17 syllables.
The first line has 5 syllables, the second has 7, and the third has 5.

Thankful for my mom,
Even when she’s tough on me,
Always has my back.


A mother’s love blooms,
A thing of growing beauty,
That will never fade.

Cinquain: Five lines, each with a designated number of syllables: 2, 4, 6, 8, and 2 syllables respectively.

Gave me my life,
Held my hand when I was small,
Scared off monsters under my bed,
Loves me.

Tanka: five lines, each with a designated number of syllables: 5,7,5 (like a haiku), then 7,7, syllables for the last two lines.

Mother, I love you,
You took time to teach me things,
Taught me my manners,
And the right way to treat others,
I am me, because of you.

Acrostic: a poem where letters of the topic spelled out vertically create the beginning of each line. These can be one word lines, or phrases.



Most amazing
Only one who puts up with me
Thankful for her family
Helps me out when I need her
Entertains us
Really loves me

Sonnet: 14 line poem with a specific rhyming scheme. Each letter (and colour) represents the rhyming word pattern that ends each line: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG

My mother’s bright like yonder sun,
Her tongue sharp like a shining sword
She showers kindness on everyone,
And speaks the truth with every word
She takes the time to treat me right
A model of complete respect,
And when my siblings and I fight,
Both sides of it she will inspect
She creates each healthy meal
We love to stuff our faces with,
She gives us medicine so we can heal
And tells us stories, poems and myths,
She sings us songs and taught us art,
I love you mom, with all my heart.

Please note: all of these poems are my original copyrighted work, feel free to use them in your cards made for family members.  If you are planning on using them for sales of any kind, please contact me first for permission to use them in projects of that nature.

Also, check out my author website at: