Christmas Science Experiment –Dancing Bells and Cranberries

As soon as I read about this Christmas science experiment, I had to try it but the kids were both busy. Dancing bells? I also tried some dried cranberries. I used the excuse of wanting to see how it worked before doing it with them. Truthfully, though, I wanted to try it more than once.Christmas science experiment The name of this science fun, Dancing Jingle Bells, starts lots of questions immediately. How can bells do that? Will they really dance? What does experiment use? I could hardly read through all of the post. Fortunately, a few bells were right at hand with the box of decorations.

This experiment needs a glass jar or drinking glass, bells, and a clear, fizzy soda pop. Pour the soda pop into the jar or glass and drop in a few bells. It’s hard to see but bubbles start to form on the inside of the glass and collect all over the bells. Nothing happened for a while but suddenly, one of the bells popped up, stayed at the top, and then slowly drifted back down. Just about the time I thought it was only going to happen once, another bell danced its way to the top. The bells danced a few more times but now there were fewer bubbles.

Christmas science experiment

We’ve done this experiment before with raisins. From baking earlier in the week, there were a few dried cranberries left over. Cranberries are both Christmasy and small and did they ever dance. Up and down like yoyos. Even after more than 20 minutes, cranberries were still coming to the surface. When some of the bubbles popped, the berries would drift back down to recharge.

Although there were three sizes of bells, the largest one took up too much room in the jar to use. I was sure the smallest one of the bells would dance if any of them did, but it didn’t at all. This small bell has been in the decoration box for years so quite likely it is thicker and heavier even if smaller. That’s what science is about, finding answers to questions.

Christmas science experiment

When doing this experiment with kids, talk about it first. What do they think will happen? Will this work? What do they know about soda pop and bubbles? There will be lots more to talk about after doing it too! Can you hardly wait to try this Christmas science experiment of dancing bells and cranberries?


Autumn Activities #6: Apple Science Fall Fun Experiment

You may have done this apple science fall fun experiment before but kids like to ask and do the same thing over and over again. Have you noticed? Get out an apple, fun some water in the sink or a bowl, and here we go.

apple science fall fun experiment

Science experiments start with wanting to know. In this case, we want to find out if an apple will float or if it will sink when we put it in water. Ask your child what s/he thinks will happen. Sometimes, the reply is “I don’t know,” but we don’t need to know first. That’s why we’re doing an experiment. This is thinking what might happen. The apple will float on the top or sink to the bottom. It won’t grow legs. It won’t sing a song. Float or sink. If you remember from your science days, this is called the hypothesis. Once kids say one or the other, go to the next step.

apple science fall fun experiment

Make sure there is enough water in either the sink or the bowl so the apple doesn’t just sit on the bottom. The more water, the better for splashing, of course. Now, kids can gently lower the apple into the water and watch. Did the apple float? Did it sink? Were you surprised?

Even after doing this a dozen times, it’s still exciting. To add to the fun, kids can turn the apple upside down. What might happen this time? Will it still float? After guessing, put an apple in the water upside down, that is with the stem on the bottom. We’ve found some apples stay floating that way but others turn over immediately and the stem points upwards again.

play with food

It’s fun to try other fruits and veggies, like carrots, potatoes, grapes, strawberries, bananas, oranges, and peppers. Here’s a question for the adults: are peppers a fruit or a vegetable? The part of a plant that has seeds is the fruit. If peppers are fruit, what’s a tomato? It has seeds so it’s a fruit too.
fall science activities for kids

One benefit of this apple science fall fun experiment is the fruits and veggies get washed. And maybe the kitchen floor from wiping up the water. Does this fun and learning float your boat, that is to say, your apple?

Candy Cane Science Fun

Kids are exceptional scientists with wanting to find out already wired into the genes. This candy cane science fun rates almost as appealing as eating one. Kids enjoy doing it more than once to check out the results.

candy cane science funThe materials needed are one or more candy canes and some bowls or jars. Using glass jars or bowls makes it easier to see but plastic containers are more enthusiasm-proof. To start, ask your child if s/he thinks a candy cane would melt faster in hot water, cold water, or vinegar. Put hot water in one bowl, cold in another, and vinegar in a third. Using 3 candy canes or 3 pieces, try and put the candy canes into the liquids at the same time. Kids can do the cold water while you do the vinegar and hot water. Count 1, 2, 3, go and drop away. (dark blue = cold, turquoise = hot, yellow = vinegar)

candy cane science experiment for kidsIt doesn’t take very long for the candy canes to start melting. After watching for a bit, kids can give a stir, but they need to use a different spoon for each liquid. What’s happening to the candy canes in each bowl or jar? Of course, adults know which liquid will cause more melting but kids don’t. It’s exciting for them to see the color come off and start swirling in the liquids. It doesn’t take very long at all for candy cane to start getting smaller.

Some children are reluctant to make a guess about what will happen. It’s surprising how kids so young can be concerned about being wrong. Predicting what could happen isn’t about right or wrong, it’s about asking questions and testing possible answers. Once kids have done this candy cane science experiment, they may want to try with other liquids like milk or fruit juice. While we hope this experimenting doesn’t transfer over to meal times, there’s a good chance it could. Candy cane science fun may not mix well with soup. Or bath water! Oh, oh, does the elf on the shelf like science too?

Dinosaur Float Sink Science Dinovember Fun

Real scientists estimate the mass (weight) of dinosaurs by floating scale models. We tried some dinosaur float sink science too. Not for checking on water displacement, just to see if they would float or sink. Water play is appealing for kids so with some warm water in the kitchen sink, Little Sister checked to see … Continue reading Dinosaur Float Sink Science Dinovember Fun