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Toothpick 🌟Star 💦Trick Science Experiment For Kids (Science 🔬⚗️⚖️ 101 🎥Series 🎇)

How about adding some✨magic to this Holiday Season? Your kiddo will absolutely love this fun 🎄Christmas Inspired Science ⚗️Experiment! A magic toothpick trick on how to turn a broken toothpicks snowflake into a star! Observe the toothpicks mysteriously glide right in front your eyes!

DSC_0011What you will need:

  • five wooden toothpicks,
  • smooth surface,
  • a dropper or a drinking straw,
  • water.

DSC_0011Bend each toothpick in the middle carefully not to break it completely.

DSC_0011  Place all five semi-broken toothpicks in a circle with broken points meeting at the center. 

DSC_0032Using a dropper, carefully put few drops of water in the middle.

DSC_0011Observe how toothpicks mysteriously glide into place to form a star!


Please note, that the second part of "opening" of the star has been sped up 8x times. So please be patient and do not be discouraged if your star does not expand as fast.

Science mystery is 💡 revealed: toothpicks are composed of dry wood. When we bend and crack the toothpicks in the middle, the wood fragments inside compress. Once we add water to the center circle of the star, capillary action causes the water to be absorbed into the toothpicks.  As the water moves inside the dry toothpick from the starting point of the crack along the length to its pointed tips, the wood fibers that are bent expand and open up. The capillary action or water traveling inside the toothpick causes toothpicks to glide as they straighten forming a star.

DSC_0032  As dry wood absorbs water and toothpicks straighten out, they push against one another opening up the inside of the star.

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Tips for success (we had several trial and errors until we figured it out:

  • Snap a little - do NOT break! How you break the toothpick matters: bend and apply the least pressure and be very careful not to break apart: the more wooden fibers are still connected, the better chances you will have that the "star" will open. If too many fibers are broken, the experiment will not work.  
  • Surface matters! We tried this experiment on a plate and it did not work. We are using this tray. 
  • The right amount of water! Too little would not be enough for the capillary action to take place, and too much water would just cause the toothpicks to float instead of gliding.

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But how does wood absorb water? Wood absorbs water by capillary action, adhesion, and cohesion.These are the same factors that allow plants to carry water from roots upwards through vein-like tubes to the leaves. For more on Capillary Action, see here "💛💙❤️Primary Colors, 💦Water & Paper Capillary Action ⌛️Timelapse ⚗️ Kids Science Experiment (🌈 Rainbow Walking Water). "

💦Water science is one of my children's favorite activities! They can never seem to get enough of these experiments! See here "Walnut Shell ⛵Sailboats 💦Water Science Experiment (Science 🔬 💡⚖️ 101 🎥 Series 🎇)" and here a video post "🎶Musical 💦Water 🌈Glasses (Science🔬⚗️⚖️ 101 🎥Series 🎇)" and here "Pour 💦it in! Liquid Illusion" (Science🔬⚗️⚖️ 101 🎥Series 🎇). 


Paper Towel, Markers and 💦Water 🌈 Color Mixing ⚗️Experiment (🔬⚗️⚖️Science meets 🎨Art 101 🎥Series 🎇)

Today, we are exploring colors while creating patterns on a paper towel, and thereafter experimenting with water and color mixing, coming up with a new art piece, different than the original.

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What you will need:

  • paper towel (we are using Bounty),
  • Sharpies (buy thin point here and thick here), markers and/or highlighters,
  • droppers (we are using silicone bulb dropper from this set),
  • water.

Paper Towel, Markers and Water Color Mixing Experiment from Anya on Vimeo.

DSC_0006 Adrian's art before adding water.

DSC_0006 Did you notice that where children used Sharpies, the colors did not "bleed" or mix as much?
DSC_0006Julia's artwork after adding water. 

The water travels through paper diluting and mixing colors. This process is similar to our Capillary Action Science Experiment below, where I describe the process in details.

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See here "💛💙❤️Primary Colors, 💦Water & Paper Capillary Action ⌛️Timelapse ⚗️ Kids Science Experiment (🌈 Rainbow Walking Water). "  

For more on color mixing, see here a video-post "👔 Father's Day🎈Balloon Color-mixing DIY Craft (Sensorial 🖐️👀👂👅👃 Activities 101 🎥 Series 🎇)." 

For more on Science experiments, see here a video-post "Lava Lamp: Oil vs 🌈 💧Water Density Immiscibility ⚗️Experiment with 💥Alka Seltzer."

See all our 🔬⚗️⚖️ Science Experiments here.


Science in a Bottle: DIY 🍂Terrarium🍃 and The 🌧️ Water Cycle (Science🔬⚗️⚖️ 101 🎥Series 🎇)

Today, we are learning about the water cycle by making a terrarium and simulating rain, while understanding a very basic concept of how clouds hold water. Did you know that the amount of water on Earth is finite and has been the same since the early formation of the Earth? Yes, the glass of water you might be holding in your hand could have fallen from the sky when Brachiosaurus walked through lakes feeding on plants. And, when knights and kings ruled the land, they drank from wells, your glass of water could have been part of. And that same glass of water might fall from the sky as snowflakes hundred years from now. 

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To make a terrarium you will need:

  • nature's objects: such as bark, moss, marbles, leaves, pinecones, acorns, chestnuts (you can also use pea gravel or potting soil);
  • we also added forest animal figurines (buy here);
  • water + blue water coloring;
  • cotton balls to resemble clouds;
  • Gauze to seal the terrarium with a rubber-band.

 DSC_0087Since the Earth has a limited amount of water: the water keeps going around and around in what we call a "Water Cycle." This cycle is made up of few main parts:

  • Evaporation: the sun heating up water in oceans, rivers, and lakes, and turning it into vapor or steam. Also transpiration: when plants lose water out of their leaves.
  • Condensation: when water vapor gets cold (usually high up in the atmosphere where the temperature is cooler), it changes back into liquid, forming clouds.
  • Precipitation occurs when so much water has condensed that the air cannot hold it anymore. The clouds get heavy and water falls back to Earth in the form of rain, hail, sleet or snow.
  • Collection: when water falls back to Earth, it may fall back into the oceans, lakes or rivers or it may end up on land, soaking into the earth and becoming a part of the "groundwater" which plants and animals use to drink. Or it may run over the soil and collect in the oceans, lakes or rivers where the cycle starts ... ALL OVER AGAIN!

 DSC_0094Children used a dropper and blue-colored water to saturate the "clouds" causing precipitation.

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A terrarium (plural: terraria or terrariums) is a glass (or a see-through) container containing soil and plants, which is usually sealed, however, it can also be open to the atmosphere (similar to what we created).

Children learned, while practicing fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination, that when clouds become too heavy, it starts to rain. 

DSC_0094On the other hand, closed terraria create a unique environment for plant growth, as the transparent walls allow for both heat and light to enter the terrarium.
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This experiment was very illustrative to discuss the water cycle and how it works: 

  • Through transpiration, the moisture is carried from the soil through the plant's roots to small pores on the leaves.
  •  Evaporation occurs when tiny drops of water transform from a liquid to a gas (generally due to increased temperature).
  • Condensation takes place when the water vapor collects and turns from a gas back into a liquid.
  • And finally, precipitation happens when a lot of condensation forms, getting too heavy and falling to the ground, as here in the form of rain.

DSC_0087If you create a sealed terrarium, the heat entering through glass walls would naturally allow for the creation of a small scale water cycle. This happens because moisture from both the soil and plants evaporates in the elevated temperatures inside the terrarium. This water vapor then condenses on the walls of the glass jar and eventually falls back to the plants and soil below, representing a complete natural water cycle. 

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As the light passes through the transparent terrarium wall, this can also be a fun experiment on photosynthesis, which is an important aspect of plant growth.

For more on Science, and property of water, see here "Pour 💦it in! Liquid Illusion," and also see here a video post "🎶Musical 💦Water 🌈Glasses (Science🔬⚗️⚖️ 101 🎥Series 🎇)."


🌊Ocean 🌋Volcano 💦HydroGels Lava Lamp powered by 💥Alka Seltzer (Science 🔬⚗️⚖️ 101 🎥Series 🎇)

Today, we are experimenting with the concept of density of liquids, the properties of carbon dioxide gas and its reaction with hydrogels. So, how about making a water beads lava lamp powered by Alka-Seltzer?

DSC_0048What you will need: 

🔹colored water (we are using blue food coloring to simulate the ocean),
🔹vegetable oil,
🔹blue hydrogel beads (buy here),
🔹Alka Seltzer (or any other fast dissolving tablet).

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When you add💧water to the oil: what happens to the two liquids? Oil and water are immiscible, meaning that they will not mix together since the force of attraction between the molecules of the same liquid is greater than the force of attraction between the two different liquids. So, you end up with beautiful dancing bubbles in a home-made lava lamp!

DSC_0049Now, what will happen when you add Alka Seltzer to our "lava lamp"?

Science mystery💡revealed: Alka-Seltzer tablet reacts with water to make carbon dioxide gas. These bubbles attach themselves to the water molecules (and hydrogels), causing them to float upwards. When the bubbles pop, the water droplets sink back to the bottom, creating an "ocean volcano!"

The oil and water do not mix, but rather the oil breaks up into small little drops, which float on the surface because water is heavier and denser than the oil. So, while the water is sinking to the bottom, the oil is rising to the top, bringing the hydrogels along, creating a beautiful display of bubbles and gel-beads going up and down. 
DSC_0049 🔹Subject: early Chemistry;

🔹Skills a child is developing: mathematics, observation, and visual skills;

🔹Concept: density, immiscibility.

DSC_0049Unfortunately, this lamp does not last long, unless you keep adding Alka Seltzer.

See here a similar science experiment "Lava Lamp: Oil vs 🌈 💧Water Density Immiscibility ⚗️Experiment with 💥Alka Seltzer (Science 🔬⚗️⚖️ 101 🎥Series 🎇)."

For more on 💧hydrogel beads, read here "💉 Inside of the BODY Anatomy Unit Study."

For more on the property of water, see here "Pour 💦it in! Liquid Illusion (Science🔬⚗️⚖️ 101 🎥Series 🎇)."

For more on science experiments:

  • See here a video-post "Float or Sink❓Tangerine 🍊 Science Experiment (Science 🔬 💡⚖️ 101 🎥 Series 🎇)." Also, see here "Walnut Shell ⛵Sailboats 💦Water Science Experiment (Science 🔬 💡⚖️ 101 🎥 Series 🎇). "
  • For baking soda experiments: see here "Magic Balloon (Baking Soda and Vinegar Reaction) Science🔬⚗️⚖️ 101 🎥Series 🎇," and here a video-post "🌋 Erupting Volcano Science Experiment 🔬 💡⚖️ 101 🎥 Series 🎇."
  • Also check out here  "💛💙❤️Primary Colors, 💦Water & Paper Capillary Action ⌛️Timelapse ⚗️ Kids Science Experiment (🌈 Rainbow Walking Water)."
  • For more on color-mixing, please see here " 👔 Father's Day🎈Balloon Color-mixing DIY Craft (Sensorial 🖐️👀👂👅👃 Activities 101 🎥 Series 🎇). 

DIY 💉 Blood Model (BODY Anatomy Unit Study, Science🔬⚗️⚖️ 101 🎥 Series 🎇)

We are continuing our BODY Anatomy unit study. Today, it is all about 💉blood! Recently, Adrian, after getting a scab, asked me: "What is blood made of?" 🤔The cells and particles that make up our blood are so minuscule! So I wanted to break the blood down into its components, examine each, discuss its functionality and then see what will happen when the components mix together. With this easy DIY Blood model, we will explore up close what is in just one drop of blood! We will also learn what the white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets really look like in comparison to one another.

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What you will need to make this 💉 blood model:

🔴 Cheerios with red food coloring to make red blood cells;
⚪️ white marshmallows to resemble white blood cells; 
💜 purple beads for platelets;
💛 water with yellow food coloring to make plasma.

DSC_0041First, offer a child to make blood "plasma" by adding yellow food coloring to the water. 

DSC_0041Once the plasma is ready, make "red blood cells" by adding red coloring to Cheerios.

DSC_0041Mix Cheerios and let them soak up the red food coloring. 

 DSC_0041Red blood cells are ready! 

Observe what will happen once all the blood ingredients are mixed together.

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Let your child explore the mixture and then discuss the parts of the blood and its functionality:

  • 🔴 Red blood cells carry oxygen.
  • ⚪️ White blood cells are our "soldiers" - they fight germs, bacteria, and viruses.
  • 💜 Platelets facilitate clotting and help heal cuts.
  • 💛 Plasma helps the blood move through veins and arteries.

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Your 💉blood makes up 8% of your body weight. Did you know that there are 60,000 miles of blood vessels in your body, which is twice the circumference of our 🌎 planet Earth! Blood plays a very important role in your body’s everyday functions, such as carrying life-potent oxygen and nutrients from your ❤️️heart to other parts of the body. Blood also maintains the optimal body temperature, keeping you warm or cool day and night.


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We are using First Human Body Encyclopedia (buy here) book as a reference. The book introduces inner workings of the human body with fascinating facts and full-color photos and illustrations, making anatomy accessible and fun for any age!


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Our body contains a lot of various systems and organs, each performing an important specific function. I hope that this simple 💉DIY ⚗️science experiment will help your child better understand the amazing human BODY and how it works!

See here our entire "💉 Inside of the BODY Anatomy Unit Study."