When I pulled out the volcano acid + base experiment that we had from the Kid Concoctions set that ALEX Toys sent us, I was planning a simple experiment, but the kids had other ideas! They grabbed the rocks we use with play dough, some grass from our yard, and their plastic dinosaurs and set up a pretend play small world scene!
The kids all thought the volcano was really cool! We have done the standard baking soda plus vinegar volcano before; for this version, you mix together two powders, one of which is presumably an acid and the other a base. Then you just add water. I think this is a good way for kids to learn that you can create the same (or a similar) reaction in different ways.
Johnny was a little concerned about the dinosaurs’ welfare, being so close by, so Emma declared that it was a magical volcano that spewed candy instead of hot lava and ash, and everyone was able to play happily.
We didn’t spend much time talking about the science behind the experiment, but I think that’s all right. For me, the main reason to do science experiments with young children is to help them see that science is some of the coolest stuff there is! You don’t get learning without engagement, and fun, visual science is one of the easiest ways to get kids thinking about how the world works. Turning hot volcanic lava and ash isn’t bad, either – it’s all about compromising to meet the needs of an entire group, and some creative problem-solving. Imagination at its best!
Do you have a favorite science activity for kids? Squishy circuits from Nerdy Science is on my list to try this summer, along with the other experiments from this kit! Do you have any other suggestions for us to try?
I blog for ALEX Toys, and they periodically send us products to review. All opinions are my own.