Mad Scientist Week

Science with little ones is a great way to practice cause & effect, hone observational skills, and hypothesize. It’s also a great excuse to make a mess!

Using some index cards, I wrote key words that the kids could use to describe the experiments. Today, our words included: Science, Big, Medium, Small, Eruption, and Hypothesis.

We started our week by creating Scientific Journals in which we will note all our experiments and what we observe. This was easily done by cutting a piece of scrapbook paper into thirds and folding in half {creating three separate notebooks}. By cutting 1/2 sheet construction paper {purchased at the Dollar Tree} into thirds, we filled our journals with paper and stapled them shut. Each child got to decorate his/her own cover.


Experiment 1: Biggest Eruption

What you need:

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Dish Soap
  • Test tubes {if you have them} or any tall, thin glasses
  • Food coloring optional {adds umph! to the experiment}
  • Cake Pan or Tupperware to catch the mess optional {but recommended!}
  • Funnel for pouring into test tubes
  • Stirrer {we used a bamboo skewer}


What we did: First, we did the always fun vinegar and baking soda eruption {with red food coloring mixed in with the vinegar} and observed the reaction. We placed baking soda into the test tube {funnels are key here!} and then added the vinegar. We observed that the reaction was immediate! And we liked that 🙂 Then, we discussed how the reaction creates carbon dioxide that is what makes soda bubbles.

Next test tube. To this, we added a squirt of Dawn Dish Soap to our Vinegar {and a little yellow food coloring}. We placed the baking soda into the test tube then poured in the Vinegar. The carbon dioxide reaction basically blows bubbles with the Dish Soap added. This reaction was slower, but more intense with the bubbles pouring over the test tube.

In test tube #3, we combined the dish soap to the baking soda and mix in the test tube. Let it sit for a minute as the dryer, the better the reaction. Then, add the Vinegar mixed with food coloring {in our case, green}. For us, it was a similar reaction to test tube #2, but it lasted longer and the bubbles were bigger.


I let the kids decide on test tube #4 and they wanted to duplicate test tube #2 with more baking soda to see if there would be more of a reaction. The reaction was good, but we did learn that more baking soda does not mean more reaction. Most of it stayed settled in the test tube.

Experiment 2: Dancing Colors

What you need:

  • Vitamin D Milk {it MUST be Vitamin D or you will have a dud of an experiment, but a lesson in learning from mistakes 😉 }
  • Food coloring {the more colors, the better}
  • Dawn Dish Soap in a shallow bowl
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Shallow pan {we used a glass pie pan}

What we did: First, pour enough Vitamin D Milk to cover the bottom of the pan. Next, have the kids place drips of food coloring in the milk. One drop at a time works best for little ones, but you can actually make some pretty cool patterns by layering the colors!


Next, dip your cotton swab in the dish soap. Place the cotton swab straight down into the milk. Watch as the colors dance away from the cotton swab and enjoy the kids’ reactions.



This is a one and done experiment. Once the dish soap and food coloring reacts, it will not react again. We did the experiment a few times to ensure everyone had a chance to make the colors dance. I also gave the kids tooth picks and they made swirls of their own.

Experiment 3: Balloon Inflation

What you need: 

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Funnel
  • Balloon
  • Empty water bottle

What we did:

  1. Put some baking soda in a deflated balloon.
  2. Fill an empty water bottle 1/4 full of vinegar.
  3. Put the balloon tip over the water bottle spout.
  4. Empty the baking soda into the bottle by lifting the balloon straight up.
  5. The baking soda and vinegar reaction will blow up the balloon.  

All-in-all, a very fun scientific morning!

Have a great day!!!



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