The Exploding Ivory Soap Experiment

What kid doesn’t want to put something weird in the microwave and see what happens? Satisfy their curiosity with this easy (and super clean!) science experiment with Ivory Soap.

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It’s important to use only Ivory Soap for this experiment. When Ivory is manufactured, they whip a lot of air into the bar creating little air pockets. When you heat it in the microwave, the air in those pockets expands and makes the soap grow and fluff up. Other soap bars will not have as much air and will not fluff up the same.

And while it doesn’t actually explode, it does look like it might at any moment as the bar at least triples in size and becomes a fluffy flakey white cloud-like blob. And you can still use it for soap afterwards!

The first thing I did was order this 3-pack of soap on Amazon for under $5, because if I can avoid driving to the store, I will. (affiliate link) I also wanted to have a couple extra bars so we could do it more than once and compare different blob effects.

Then you just remove the wrapper and put it on a plate and set the microwave for about two minutes. Our’s stopped growing just after one minute, but it depends on the strength of your microwave.

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It’s really neat to watch it grow! When you first take it out, it will be a little hot. Let it cool down, then try breaking it apart with your hands. This is the cleanest science experiment ever! The soap is still good to use afterwards if you don’t want to feel like you are being wasteful. You could sit it in a dish and have the most unique original soap sculpture hand soap in the neighborhood!

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We had a lot of fun with this one and it’s definitely the only science experiment so far that left the microwave smelling better than when we started!

How to Launch a Rocket with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Making a bottle rocket with baking soda and vinegar is always a fun and explosive (but safe) activity! When the baking soda reacts with the vinegar, it forms carbon dioxide and water. The carbon dioxide builds up inside the bottle until it launches into the air!

Here’s step-by-step directions to launch your own rocket:

Supplies:

Empty water bottle
4 Chopsticks
Tape
Paper
Scissors
Markers (or paint, crayons, etc.)
Vinegar
Baking Soda
Paper Towel
Cork

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First Make Your Rocket:

1- Take a sheet of paper and color one side. This will be your rocket decorations.

2- Cut out a circle, cut a slit halfway, wrap it to make a cone and tape it in place. This is the top of your rocket.

3- Tape three or four chopsticks to the upside down bottle, with a few inches extending past the top opening. This will be your rocket legs, so make sure they are even and the bottle can stand on its own.

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4- Wrap the decorated paper around the bottle, over the chopsticks and tape into place.

5- Tape your pointy cone to the top. You should now have something that resembles a rocket!

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It may not be very pretty, but it will still fly! lol

6- Wrap tape around a cork until you can plug the bottle easily but not too tightly. If it is too tight, it won’t shoot out.

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Prepare to Launch:

1- Take a square of paper towel and put about a tablespoon of baking soda in the center.

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2- Wrap it up to create a little baking soda packet. This delays the release of the baking soda and gives you time to put in the cork and get out of the way.

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3- Fill your bottle about 1/3 with vinegar

4- Find a nice flat surface outside where you don’t care about the splatter. It makes a big mess when it explodes, but it is all easily washed away with water.

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5- Push the baking soda packet into the bottle and VERY QUICKLY put in the cork. Make sure it is secure enough but not pushed in too far or it won’t pop out.

6- Give it a few shakes, flip it over and then RUN!

Regrowing New Lettuce From Old Lettuce

I love seeing what I can regrow, whether it’s from cuttings, stems or seeds. Recently I experimented with regrowing lettuce from a few different varieties I got in the Artisan Lettuce pack. You can try this with any kind of lettuce- it works great with romaine!

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I always replant my green onions, so when I heard you can do it with lettuce, I decided to give it a try. With green onions you can keep regrowing and cutting them over and over, but with lettuce it seems you just have one chance to regrow and even then it may not be enough to fill a salad bowl. So I don’t expect this to replace my usual mixed greens, but it was a fun little experiment and something neat to do with kids too.

First I used the tops of the lettuce for salads and saved the last bit with the stem. I stuck the stem part in a bit of water and then sat it on the windowsill for about a week before it sprouted roots.

You can see the lettuce already had started growing again out of the top by the time it sprouted very small roots at the bottom. The rest of the lettuce started turning brown and it didn’t seem to be growing very fast so I decided to plant it in the garden and see what happened. You can also just leave it in the water and it will keep growing.

After I planted them, they started growing pretty good and a week later they were more full and the two purple varieties started turning more purple. Then we had some cold weather and no rain and one of the purple ones withered away while one of the green ones grew big enough to eat! The other purple one was still doing good, but it’s such a deep purple that it is hard to see in the photo. If you plant them in dirt, keep them well watered!

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I was worried I might lose the nice big green one, so I decided it was time to eat my new lettuce, about three weeks after planting it and one month total including the time spent in the water cups. So even after one month, I still had to mix in a little bit of grocery store lettuce. But overall, it was a very tasty salad and neat gardening experiment!

Trying Out ABC Mouse Early Learning Academy

I’ve been seeing the ABC Mouse ads on TV since Keelan was born and the Disney channel became a constant companion. So when they recently contacted me about becoming an affiliate and giving them a try, I was excited to sign up. They are having a sale right now for 60% off the whole year, but you can also just sign up and try it out for a month for free so there’s nothing to lose!

untitledSo far Keelan is really enjoying the program. He’s a fan of Reading Eggs, but he’s gone through most of the games on there and is always asking to play on “mommy’s computer.” ABC Mouse starts out with as assessment test, but we only got through one section before he was losing interest so I quickly jumped to the games section and was happy to see there are LOTS of games!

He also liked earning the tickets, which he used to buy himself a pet bunny. I’m not sure what else you can use the tickets for yet, but he really liked feeding and bathing his new virtual pet. He also enjoyed playing a game where you feed a dinosaur and one where you count eggs. Each activity ends with earning a certain amount of tickets.

While I’ve been having trouble getting him to enjoy actual books, he’s always happy to play on the computer. I guess it’s just the new digital generation! I’m just glad to have found some sort of educational activity he enjoys.

I’m looking forward to exploring more of the ABC Mouse program! If you’d like to check them out (and try it for FREE!) just head to www.ABCmouse.com