Tag: kids’

Hot Chocolate Bombs (Holiday Science)

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

Here’s a video on how to make hot chocolate bombs. My tips below.

  1. Buy thin silicone molds like these that make it easy to pop chocolate half-domes out.
  2. Melt chocolate (chips or a chopped chocolate bar) in the microwave at 15 second intervals until almost all of it is melted, but there is still some solid chocolate. Stir until the last of the solid chocolate melts. (If you get the chocolate too hot, it ruins the crystal structure of the fat in the cocoa butter and it won’t re-harden very well.)
  3. Use a spoon or brush to coat the sides of the mold. Put in the freezer (or outdoors if it’s below freezing) for five minutes.
  4. Add a second layer of chocolate to cover any holes and thicken the structure. Put outside for five more minutes and then carefully remove the chocolate.
  5. Put hot chocolate mix and marshmallows in half of a dome.
  6. Add melted chocolate to a small plastic bag, cut the corner off and pipe the chocolate around the edge of the filled half-dome.
  7. Put a second half-dome on top, smooth the seam with your finger and allow the chocolate to hard.
  8. Decorate by piping more chocolate on top and adding crushed candy or sprinkles.
  9. Add to hot milk, stir and enjoy!

Science Books for Kids (Holidays 2020)

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

If you’re looking for holiday gift ideas for the young scientist on your list, here’s Science Magazine’s 2020 list of science books for kids and teens! They’re all finalists for the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science)/Subaru Science prize and I’m thrilled to have my latest book, Chemistry for Kids, included on the list.

Find the entire list here, along with descriptions and brief reviews of each book: https://blogs.sciencemag.org/books/2020/12/01/books-for-young-readers-2020/

From the Science Magazine review of Chemistry for Kids:
“If you were to choose 25 discoveries to document the progress of chemistry through millennia, what would you pick? In Chemistry for Kids, Liz Lee Heinecke takes us on such a journey, using familiar objects and simple scientific instruments to create straightforward chemistry experiments that chart the field’s evolution over time.
Each chapter is centered on a different experiment and begins with a vivid illustration that highlights a scientist and his or her work. A few paragraphs of engagingly written introduction are followed by colorful photographs of youngsters demonstrating the steps of the experiment. A brief explanation of the chemistry that underlies each experiment wraps up each chapter”


“If you were to choose 25 discoveries to document the progress of chemistry through millennia, what would you pick? In Chemistry for Kids, Liz Lee Heinecke takes us on such a journey, using familiar objects and simple scientific instruments to create straightforward chemistry experiments that chart the field’s evolution over time.
Each chapter is centered on a different experiment and begins with a vivid illustration that highlights a scientist and his or her work. A few paragraphs of engagingly written introduction are followed by colorful photographs of youngsters demonstrating the steps of the experiment. A brief explanation of the chemistry that underlies each experiment wraps up each chapter”

Hard Candy Stained Glass- Edible Science

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

Most clear hard candy has what scientists call a glass structure. It’s a disorganized jumble of three kinds of sugar: glucose, fructose and sucrose, which can’t assemble into organized crystals, so it remains transparent when you melt it and allow it to re-harden.

 

Hard Candy Stained Glass “STEAM Lab for Kids” Quarry Books 2018

To make stained glass for our gingerbread house windows, I adapted the crushed stained glass candy project from my book “STEAM Lab for Kids.” The challenge was figuring out how to create perfect rectangles. After some trial and error, I discovered that scoring the candy when it was still warm and soft created weak points, which allowed me to snap the candy into clean shapes once it had hardened.

Stained Glass Candy “STEAM Lab for Kids” Quarry Books 2018

You’ll need:

-Jolly Ranchers, Life Savers or another clear, hard candy

-a baking sheet (spray or grease the baking sheet, if not using a silicon liner)

-a silicon liner for the baking sheet, if you have one

-a metal spatula or dough scraper

-an oven

Safety tip: Adult supervision recommended. Hot, melted candy can cause burns. Don’t touch it until it has cooled.

What to do:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  2. Unwrap the candy and arrange the pieces on a baking sheet so that they’re close together, but not touching.

    Stained Glass Candy “STEAM Lab for Kids” Quarry Books 2018

  3. Bake the candy for 7 to 8 minutes, or until it has melted. 
  4. Remove the candy from the oven. Tilt the baking sheet, if needed, to fill gaps.
  5. Use the spatula to score (make lines in) the candy, creating whatever shapes/sizes you need.

    Stained Glass Candy “STEAM Lab for Kids” Quarry Books 2018

  6. When the candy has cooled, snap it carefully along the lines you made. (See photo at the top of this post.)
  7. Eat your creations, or use them to decorate some edible architecture.

    Stained Glass Candy “STEAM Lab for Kids” Quarry Books 2018

  8. Try crushing the candy before you melt it for different visual effects. What else could you try?

    Stained Glass Candy “STEAM Lab for Kids” Quarry Books 2018

 

 

 

14 Fun Halloween Science Projects for Kids

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

Turn your kitchen table into the coolest mad science lab in the neighborhood. Click on the project name for a link to instructions and the “Science Behind the Fun.” Several of these projects can be found in my book “Kitchen Science Lab for Kids,” if you’re looking for a gift for your young mad scientist!

Click on

1. Frankenworms– Bring gummy worms to “life” using baking soda and vinegar.

2. Alien Monster Eggs– Make creepy, squishy monster eggs.

3. Oozing Monster Heads– Combine science and art to create Halloween fun.

4. Bag of Blood– Amaze your friends with this magical science trick.

5. Vampire Rock Candy

Vampire Rock Candy (kitchenpantryscientist.com)

6. Cornstarch Goo

7. Jell-O Eyeballs

Jell-O Eyeballs
kitchenpantryscientist.com

8. Vegetable Vampires

Vegetable Vampires kitchenpantryscientist.com

9. Magic Potion– Make a color-changing, foaming potion using red cabbage and water.

10. Halloween Soda Explosion– Halloweenize the classic Diet Coke and Mentos explosion

11. Foaming Alien Blood– Bring the X-Files to your kitchen with this creepy green fake blood

12. Mad Scientist’s Green Slime– Because everyone loves slime

13. Homemade Fake Blood– It’s simple to make non-toxic fake blood in your kitchen.

edible fake blood

14. Fizzy Balloons– Draw scary faces on balloons and blow them up using baking soda and vinegar.

Coffee Filter Volcano

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

(Re-posting one of our favorite experiments!)

Last spring, I went into my daughter’s first grade classroom to do the famous volcano experiment that involves mixing baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and vinegar (acetic acid). Unfortunately, with our hectic schedule there was no time to create a “work of art” volcano from paper mache or clay. So, we made one out of a paper bag. It was a smashing success. Note: It works just as well to use a coffee filter instead of a paper bag.

Paper bag volcanoes (image from Kitchen Science Lab for Kids- Quarry Books 2014
Paper bag volcanoes (image from Kitchen Science Lab for Kids- Quarry Books 2014

To make your own paper bag volcano, you’ll need a brown paper lunch sack (or a slightly bigger one like we used), an empty plastic water or soda bottle, a cup of vinegar, red food coloring and about a fourth of a cup of baking soda. *Cone coffee filters make great volcano cones too and work well on small plastic bottles! 

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Remove the lid from the bottle, invert the brown bag over it, and tear open the bottom of the bag, along the flaps. Then, loosely tape the paper sack so that it fits around the mouth of the bottle. Don’t tape it to the bottle. If you like to draw, you can decorate the bag with markers.. We squashed and tore the bottom of the bag a little, to make it look more mountain-like.

Now, remove the bottle, fill it with the vinegar and add several drops of red food coloring for your “lava.” Place the bag bag over the bottle to hide the lava container.

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Place the volcano on a tray or something that will contain overflow and you’re ready for eruption!

Using a folded piece of paper or a small paper cup with the lip pinched into a spout, quickly dump all of the baking soda into your bottle to start the chemical reaction. You’ll see the volcano erupt as the baking soda combines with the vinegar to produce carbon dioxide gas, which is one of the gases spewed by real volcanoes.

From Kitchen Science Lab for Kids (Quarry Books 2014)
From Kitchen Science Lab for Kids (Quarry Books 2014)
From Kitchen Science Lab for Kids (Quarry Books 2014)
From Kitchen Science Lab for Kids (Quarry Books 2014)

If you liked this experiment, try making fizzy balloons with the same ingredients (plus a balloon, of course!) If you want to learn more about carbon dioxide gas and the carbon cycle, here’s a link to a cool video from NASA that explains it using a banana and a chunk of coal.

Essential Oils and Chemical Precipitation from “Chemistry for Kids”

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

Here’s a segment I did for TV last week, featuring of projects from Chemistry for Kids, which pairs the story of 25 scientists with hands-on projects related to their work! In the clip, I demonstrate how to collect essential oils from flowers, citrus or herbs using a crock pot and how to do a precipitation experiment similar to one Marie Curie used to extract radium from mining waste.