I’m always looking for fun, easy, and cheap (especially cheap!) science experiments to do with the kids. Have you heard of Janice Van Cleave? She has all these awesome science experiment books that focus on fun, easy and cheap things your kids can do. Check out her books on PaperbackSwap.com
What follows is an adapted experiment from Janice VanCleave’s 203 Icy, Freezing, Frosty, Cool, and Wild Experiments:
empty 2 liter bottle
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp dish soap
Place the empty 2 liter bottle in the freezer for a few minutes, cap removed. Keep it in there at least 3 minutes for the best results.
While the bottle is chilling mix the soap and water in the bowl. Mix slowly to avoid creating bubbles.
Remove the bottle from the freezer, dip the neck of the bottle into the soapy water for a few seconds, then flip the bottle right side up.
What happens? A big bubble should form!
Why this works:
When you put the 2 liter in the fridge all of the molecules that made up the air inside of the bottle got cold. When air molecules get cold they move closer together, kind of like how you and your siblings may get closer together to keep warm when it’s really cold outside. When the air molecules got closer together more air was able to enter the bottle.
When you removed the bottle from the freezer the air molecules started to warm up, which means they moved further apart. This is just like how you and your brother wouldn’t stand very close to each other if it was 100 degrees outside! The problem is, as the air molecules warmed up and moved apart there wasn’t any room for any of the extra molecules anymore! These air molecules are pushed out of the bottle, and that is how the bubble was blown!
Recommended age: 3 & up
Reading level required: none
Skill level required: none
Parental involvement: recommended for younger kids
Meg Grooms is a long-time homeschooling mother of 6 children, ranging in age from preschool to married with kids of their own. Always a vagabond at heart, Meg and her family have embraced a slow travel lifestyle and currently call Southern California home. Your guess is as good as hers as to where they’ll end up next.
Meg blogs about secular homeschooling and gameschooling at Homeschool Gameschool.