Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mad Scientists and Their Crazy Experiments

I decided that today would be Mad Scientist Day in this house!  I thought they could use a little messy time and frankly so could I.  I like to have everything cleaned and organized but I like to get messy and dirty too.  I looked up a couple of "recipes" for our experiments and then set to work to create a "laboratory" for the mad scientists. 

I covered my table in newspaper and then put out all the ingredients and tools we would need.  I guess I couldn't get away from the organizing completely.

We all put on our aprons and I told them the only rules were: they were not to eat any of the things we made (Simon broke that one) and they were to wait for instructions before experimenting.

The first experiment we did was a color mixing experiment.  I had prepared glasses of water and food coloring for us to use in this experiment.  I explained to them that when different colors are mixed together, they can create new colors.  We had talked about this before but I wasn't sure how much they remembered. 
Here is the chart that I made and I told them that these were our instructions.  That we needed to mix the two colors that it showed and then put the color that it made after the equals sign.  So I let them each have a turn to mix a color. 

Caleb is finding out what color yellow and blue make. 
Josh just can't resist "helping".

They both observe that yellow and blue make green

Josh mixes red and blue together to make purple!

Even the littlest scientist mixes up yellow and red to make orange!

Here is the full results of our experimentation with colors. 

The next experiment we did was with cornstarch and water.  Does anyone know what that makes?  Yep!  Magic Mud!

You use 5 T of cornstarch and

2-3 T of water.  We used some of our colored water because we are just resoureful like that.  Then you stir.  It will be hard to stir and the big, mad scientist may have to help the little, mad scientists out with the stirring.

But then you will have this!  A BIG cornstarchy mess.  Just kidding!  It's a fun goop to play with!

It's hard to the touch when poked firmly, but if you just set your finger on it then it sinks down into it just like a liquid.  If you roll it around into a ball it will stay as long as you're rolling and then when released it turns all liquidy. 

Simon experimented with the taste...he said it was, "Yuck!"

Then, even though there was cornstarch ALL over my floor, we did our third and final experiment for the morning.  We made Kool Aid-Play Dough

Josh did such a good job of measuring out the flour.

Caleb is measuring out the salt. 
He kept stopping and saying, "Is that all?"

Caleb added the orange Kool-Aid while Josh stirred.  I gave them the choice between orange or grape and of course one chose orange and the other grape!  I had to hold them behind my back and have Caleb choose a hand to make our decision.

Then I poured in the boiling water and the vegetable oil and Josh stirred for a little while.  Then he said it was too hard and stinky! 

The littlest scientist experimented with the markers while the rest of us made play dough.  I like the apron with no pants look.  It kind of reminds me of the chaps with no pants look! 

The dough was great fun for our Mad Scientist experiments.

Cutting play dough is so much FUN!

And yes, I gave Simon a knife...but I promise it is not sharp!  What kind of mother do you think I am?!
What I really like is the brown marker that found it's mark on his face.  Oh yeah, and he ate some of this experiment too!

We spent over two hours doing our experiments and there was no fighting, whining or complaining.  Just lots of mess making.  I mean experimenting.  I love my Mad Scientists!

It works for me!


  1. Looks like everyone had a blast. Great idea.

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

  2. These are so fun!!! I love your color chart to teach them following directions (even for those who can't read yet!) I think my 4 year old class would LOVE these!!

    Can you tell me the ages of the children pictured to get an idea? Thanks for the fun ideas!

  3. They are 21 months, 4 and 3/4 and 5 1/2! Thanks for commenting!


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