Experiencing, Exploding, and Examining!

What do those three things have to do with one another?! They are all things we have either done or observed in our science/art experiments lately! I love incorporating science and art together in experiments where the students get to explore and experience different things! So, today, I'm going to be recapping two experiments: Liquid "Exploding" Chalk Paint and Cloud in a Jar.


This super fun activity is a great beginner science experiment, but can definitely be done all-year round! Students will discover how the mixture can be liquid and solid, how it feels like chalk when it dries, and of course, the EXPLODING of the paint using a special solution! This idea came from A Day in First Grade. For this experiment, you will need:
Equal parts of cornstarch, baking soda, and water
Food coloring
Vinegar

I chose to have three colors for my students to use: yellow, red (pink), and blue. If I had more baking soda, I would have done more colors, but that was a calculating error on my part! I mixed up two of the three paint batches before class, and it helped ease the stress during the activity. We mixed up the blue paint as a class, and talked about what we were going to do in the experiment. We got to experience our paint as a liquid, as well as turning into a solid. Everyone got to help, then we got to work!!
Pour the paint into pitchers or cups, and give each student a paint brush. You can also use squirt bottles, and anything else you can find, but brushes work just as well! That's all we had to use! I had colored cups, which was great to color-code the paint! I split my group of twelve into two smaller groups for less fighting over space and paint.


We explored the different ways of painting the chalk paint! Splatter painting, painting your name, abstract art, and so much more! These boys, below, were trying to make a foursquare court!!


After a little while of exploring with the chalk paint, it was time for some explosive fun! I filled a spray bottle with vinegar, and they all got to experiment with it! Since we have already done an experiment with baking soda and vinegar, most of my students caught on to what was happening right away! Then, they all wanted to make their chalk paintings explode!



 At one point, I had half of my class playing in the baking soda/vinegar mixture! They sure love to explore!

This was a fun, easy, and exciting experiment that they all enjoyed! It would be a great last week of school activity too! The weather will be warm enough, my students had no problem spending almost an hour doing it, and it's a whole lot of fun!



This experiment has been around the block a few times in the education world, but my first graders had a blast with it! I didn't think I was going to be able to do this, as shaving cream that you can usually by in the dollar store in the U.S. is not very cheap here. I spent weeks scanning the local stores here to try and find something that would work. And even though I spent about $4 on a can of shaving cream, it was totally worth it for this fun experiment!

You begin with a clear glass or jar, about 3/4 filled with water. Then, you spray in the shaving cream to create the cumulus clouds! You want the "clouds" to be thick and even, so you don't see any water through them.

Then, you mix water and food coloring (I did this before the experiment) and drop it into the jar. Unfortunately, I had no eyedroppers or pipettes. But, I did have creativity! I made my own eyedroppers! All you need is a plastic bottle and a sharp knife. I used Coke bottles. Just pierce a small hole through the middle of the bottle cap, and you have your very own dropper! It worked like a charm! Then, just pour in the water and food coloring. It might take a minute to get the feel for how hard you should squeeze the bottle, but, in the end, it works just as well as a pipette!

 When you are all set, drop some of the water with coloring into your cloud, staying around one spot. You should start to see the color rain down through the cloud!

 I love how observant and focused everyone was!


We worked in groups of two and three, and they took turns doing the different jobs.

Oh, boy, did we have fun experimenting!!

 What a cute group of little scientists!!

Make sure you check out last week's post, about how we learned about the different types of clouds, leading up to this experiment! I hope you enjoyed taking a peek into our classroom, as we become scientists and artists! Let me know if you do either of these experiments in your classroom! I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! 

Much Love, Allie

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