My son, Corban, loves to do science experiments. Science experiments are a fun way for kids to get their hands messy and to understand how the world works. I have learned a lot through doing these activities as well. For example, I got a better understanding of Newton’s Law of Motion from doing the Colorful Egg Drop Science Experiment for Kids.
Because of our many scientific encounters, I decided it was time to get my son tools such as beakers, test tubes, funnel, and safety goggles. I did not want to purchase these things separately so I got the Educational Insights Geo Safari Rockin’ Reactions Chemistry Set. It includes the following: beaker, 4 test tubes, test tube rack, graduated cylinder, lab glasses, dropper, funnel, stirring rod, and 22-page activity journal.
Fun and Easy
As soon as we got the kit, Corban looked through the activity book at the various experiments. He decided to do Ice Cube Melting Experiment aka Disappearing Ice. I like this experiment because you don’t need fancy science tools. You can use materials you have in your home. In fact, we shared a video of my son doing this experiment with a friend. About 30 minutes later, I get a video text with my friend with her daughter doing this experiment with drinking glasses and ice.
I encourage you to try this easy activity. It will show kids that when two or more chemicals are mixed together, amazing things can happen.
Corban has created a video showing you how to do the experiment below.
Let’s Get Started
1 funnel (optional)
1 test tube (an alternative is a drinking glass)
2 (more) drinking glasses or plastic cups
2 ice cubes that are about the same size
regular table salt
Watch Corban demonstrate the Disappearing Ice/Ice Cube Melting Experiment. It is a great activity to teach kids why, in snowy regions, workers put salt on the road to make them safer for drivers. The video comes from my son’s YouTube channel called Corban’s Fun Learning Adventures. Please like and subscribe for fun learning activities!
Have fun discovering how chemistry helps keep drivers safe.
“My child hates reading!” I hear this a lot from parents. When I was a child, I did not like reading either. After finishing graduate school, I grew a love for reading. When I was single, I would spend Friday and Saturday evenings in my local Barnes and Noble reading books. It was the most comfortable and relaxing environment.
When did my sudden desire to read come?
My desire to read came from having the freedom to finally indulge in material that interest me. In school, we are given reading assignments from text books and paperback books suggested by teachers and professors. Most of those reading assignments were boring to me. It gave me the mindset that all reading was boring.
Furthermore, while growing up, my mother encouraged us to read. However, the only books I remember having in the house were adult Bible stories, Encyclopedias, and novels. Again I found those boring. We did have one local library in our hometown that was located about 25 minutes from our home. We didn’t get there often because 25 minutes was considered a long way in my small hometown.
We had a school library that I could have easily borrowed books from. However, my mindset was all reading was boring so I only stepped foot in the school library when I had to.
While in graduate school, I started a business where I would go out to local elementary schools and teach financial literacy. My work was funded through a grant and I got paid $100 every time I taught a class. The MBA students were helping me teach those classes as well. This experience got me really interested in business.
I started reading financial literacy, self help, and business books by Robert Kiyosaki, Jack Canfield, and T. Harv Eker. Reading a book a week was nothing for me. The secret to my love for reading was finding books that could teach me what I wanted to learn.
While pregnant with my son, I started reading books of prominent male leaders such as Malcolm X, Bill Gates, Congressman John Lewis, Frederick Douglas etc. My purpose was to find out their mother’s roles in their lives. I wanted to know if their mothers were strict, lenient, nurturing, supportive, entrepreneurs, submissive etc. I found the mothers to have all sorts of personalities, roles, and traits. However, the one theme that stood out in each book were the men were avid readers.
So when my son was born, I wanted to ensure that he liked reading. To this day, he loves reading. We visit the library once or twice a week (pre Coronavirus). He is five-years-old and reads on a 4th grade level. He started blending sounds at 21 months.
Here is a video of my son reading to my brother when he was 25 months.
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There were three things I did to grow my child’s interest in reading. These tips are in the questions that parents should ask themselves when their child does not like to read.
Let’s Get Started
The first question: Are you giving your child books they are interested in?
As previously mentioned, I usually visit the library once or twice a week (pre Coronavirus). During my visits, I am always perusing the shelves for books on various topics. Whatever topic your child has an interest in, there is a book about it. There are books on video games, wrestling, superheroes, cartoon characters, animals, sports figures, princesses, dinosaur poop, farting, arts and crafts, etc.
If your child expresses interest in a topic, get some books on that subject matter. It will make the process of reading easier and more interesting.
Remember those boring adult Bible stories we had growing up? Well I have plenty of children’s bible story books with colorful characters and writing that my son loves to read.
I know many children, have reading assignments from school. Try to use weekends or evenings to dive into books that fit their interest (thats if they are not in the school books).
The second question: Is your home literacy rich?
When my son was three-years-old, he spent the night at a family member’s house. He had a wonderful time playing and getting attention from loved ones. One of his first statements, after picking him up, was our family member didn’t have any books. I could tell he was shocked by this. I was surprised that my three-year-old had this observation in someone else’s home.
I then realized that he was used to seeing books and words all over our home. We have a book shelf on each level of our home. On the third floor, my son has a book shelf in his room that is filled with at least 50 library books plus others we own. Our second level contains a shelf with over 200 books that my husband and I have accumulated over the years. Our basement also has a book shelf. Books are everywhere!
Not only it is great to have books in the home, but take it a step further by reading those books to your child at least 15 to 20 minutes a day.
Books are not the only way to make your home literacy rich. I have made a list of 30 Ways to Create a Literacy Rich Home.
The third question is: Do your children see you read?
I often hear the phrase that children do what we do more than what you say. When I became a mom, this saying became evident to me.
We constantly tell our children to read. Many times they are thinking to themselves, “I never see you read, so why should I?” Often our children see us, in our free time, watching television, on our phones, or on the computer. There is nothing wrong with this but we should let them see us pick up a book, especially if we are encouraging them to read.
My son has been read to since he was in the womb. I would go to the library and check out children’s books to read to him while I was pregnant.
When he was born, I continued to go to the library and get at least 25 books at a time. Now that number has increased to 50 books. It would probably be more if the library allowed me to check out more books.
I remember talking to my mom on the phone and telling her I just borrowed a lot of books to read to my son. My mother replied “How many books did you check out for yourself?” My answer was “none.” I was so focused on getting my son books, that I didn’t choose any for myself. The next time I went to the library, I checked out books for myself.
This action made a difference. When my son is playing independently, I will often read a book. On long road trips or during times to myself, I am turning the pages to a book. Sometimes, my son will stop playing to sit beside me and ask what I am reading. Once he asked why I WASN’T saying any words while reading. I told him I was reading silently. Soon after this encounter, I saw him sitting in his room reading silently to himself.
So, these are the questions you should ask yourself if you have a child that does not like to read. Ponder over them.
About a week ago, many families were coloring eggs to prepare for Easter Egg Hunts. This can be a fun and interactive process for children. I knew my son would love coloring eggs this year and we did just that. However, we decided to do something different. We incorporated a magical science trick while coloring our eggs.
It is called the Colorful Egg Drop Science Experiment for Kids. My son saw this experiment in a book and could not wait to try it. He immediately searched our home for the materials to execute this amazing scientific trick.
I was a little skeptical at first because I didn’t think it would work. However, to my surprise, it was successful on the first try! My son wanted to do the experiment repeatedly after it worked the first time.
I love this experiment because it required materials I had at home, it was quick and easy to set up, it taught my son about Newton’s Law of Motion and gravity, and it colored our eggs for Easter in a fun way!
Below my son will teach you how to do this fun experiment.
Let’s Get Started!
Two toilet paper rolls
Three cups of water
Food Coloring (we used three different colors)
One saucer size paper plate
One regular size paper plate
Three white eggs
Watch the video below to see my son doing the Colorful Egg Drop Experiment. This video comes from his YouTube channel, Corban’s Fun Learning Adventures. Please like and subscribe!
Spring is such a wonderful time of the year. The weather is warm and kids are outside playing. My family and I love to go on nature walks to see the tadpoles evidently turn into frogs. My son loves to throw rocks in the water and fly his kite.
To prepare my son for spring, we start reading books about the season near the end of winter. There are countless books that will teach your child about the lifecycle of various animals, plants, and what happens to the earth during spring time.
It is wonderful to absorb the rich information in these books. However, I encourage you to couple your reading with actually experiencing spring.
Below is a video of the Walking Water Experiment. It is a great activity to teach kids how plants get water through capillary action starting in Spring. The video comes from my son’s YouTube channel called Corban’s Fun Learning Adventures. Please like and subscribe!
Below I will give you 30 spring books for preschoolers.
Let’s get started!
Little Mole is sad. Therefore, his mother teaches him about hope by leading the way out of their dark burrow into a bright world filled with the promise of spring.
Count the 10 little rubber ducks as they swim downstream on a spring day. This book has hatching chicks, a hopping bunny, blossoming flowers, and more spring-time scenes.
On a sunny springtime day, siblings Feather, Flap, and Spike set out to explore the many flowers, leaves, and seeds outside. Their day is met with difficultly by Spike’s dino-sized sneezes.
Easter is almost here and Turkey knows just how to celebrate. He’s going to win the eggstra-special Easter egg hunt! The only problem is that animals aren’t allowed to enter. What will he do?
After the cold of Winter, comes the warmth of Spring. I Am Spring takes young children on a journey through the many important events that occur uniquely in the beautiful growing season of Spring.
Celebrate the season of spring with raindrops, robins, bluebells, and butterflies! This book has colorful illustrations and are matched with rhyming, easy-to-read text that explores rain falling, flowers blooming, and other springtime wonders.
When spring comes, leaves unfurl and flowers blossom, the grass turns green, and the mounds of snow shrink. Spring brings baby birds, sprouting seeds, rain and mud, and puddles. You can read all about it in the book!
Join in the rainy-day fun, as kids splash through the puddles, affecting another weather enthusiast, a nearby worm. An imaginative and playful story, readers will love seeing the worm delight in the weather just as much as the kids.
Mole can smell that spring is in the air, but Bear is still asleep after his long winter nap!Excitedly he taps on the window and knocks on the door. He even tries playing a trumpet to wake his friend so they can celebrate together. However, bear keeps snoozing.
As days stretch longer, animals creep out from their warm dens, and green begins to grow again, everyone knows―spring is on its way! Join a boy and his dog as they explore nature and take a stroll through the countryside, greeting all the signs of the coming season.
Young children will enjoy learning about colors and flowers while reading this book.
This story is about the life cycle of a flower and is told through the adventures of a tiny seed. It includes a detachable seed embedded paper housed on the inside front cover.
Flitzy the butterfly welcomes back the plants and animals of spring! This book has rhymes and colorful illustrations that will delight young readers!
The adorable baby animals in this book are fun to view and they represent life that is spring. Every young creature finally ventures outside to play as the days of winter fade away and color surround us all.
In spring, seeds are planted and sprouts pop up through the soil. Colorful flowers bloom. Your child will see how plants come to life in spring.
Children will explore spring in the forest with this interactive Lift-a-Flap Surprise board book! Little ones will love learning all about springtime fun in the forest while following a mama deer and her sweet little fawn.
Your children will hear the forest is calling. They will also take a quiet walk through the woods, where shadows fall in the darkness, eyes peek out, and some animals sleep while others run and leap.
Up in the garden, the world is full of green. Down in the dirt there is a busy world of earthworms digging, snakes hunting, skunks burrowing, and all the other animals that make a garden their home. Children will discover all the wonders of spring.
This story helps children understand the change of seasons, the excitement of hiking, and the importance of what it means to “leave no trace.”
Ladybugs, butterflies, daddy longlegs, and roly polies are just some of the familiar creatures featured in this book. This book also has an actual size bug chart, which provides real-world comparisons so that readers know exactly how big each bug is, and the Bug-O-Meter, which lists fun facts about each bug, such as number of legs, where it lives, whether it flies, and if it stings.
Bob and Otto are best friends. They love to eat leaves, dig, and play together. When the two meet again, Otto is still the same dirt-loving earthworm, but Bob has done the unthinkable: grown wings.
Gossie and Gertie are friends waiting for Ollie to hatch. They try poking, listening, even sitting on top of his egg but, Ollie just won’t come out.
A girl observes and describes birds—their sizes, their colors, their shapes, the way they move and appear and disappear, and how they are most like her. She imagines what it would be like if clouds looked like birds, or if she could ask the birds questions.
This book includes lots of easy, smart ideas on how we can all work together to make the Earth feel good. It discusses planting a tree, using both sides of the paper, saving energy, and reusing old things in new ways.
This picture book shows the incredible metamorphosis that occurs as a tadpole loses its fishy tail and gills and becomes a frog.
Mayumie and her grandmother take a trip into Tokyo to see cherry blossoms flowering in the heart of the city.
This book teaches kids to speak up and stand up for those who can’t. With a recycling-friendly “Go Green” message, The Lorax allows young readers to experience the beauty of the Truffula Trees and the danger of taking our earth for granted.
Come explore the amazing world of bugs with this book. The bugs in this book include hungry caterpillars, busy ants, and graceful dragonflies.
Little chick may be the smallest chick on the farm, but she doesn’t know it. What she does know is that she can chirp the loudest, eat the most, and stand the tallest.
Springtime is here, and Zinnia can’t wait to plant her seeds and watch them grow. She takes care of her garden by watering her plants, weeding, and waiting patiently for something to sprout. Soon, the first seedlings appear!
My son, Cory, loves science experiments because they provide the ultimate hands-on experience. Hands-on learning is the best way for children to be exposed to something new. It uses three of the child’s senses which are touch, sight, and hearing.
When doing science experiments, children are touching and seeing the materials they are handling and manipulating. Often times, they are working with others and hearing their friends’ conversations while adhering to the experiment’s directions.
Cory would agree that the best experiments have fun chemical reactions and explosions. A few that we like are Elephant Toothpaste, Egg Volcano, and Magic Balloon. We are always looking to add more to our collection. My son found the Soda Explosion in a book. This is a reaction between the carbonated beverage Coke and Mentos mints that causes the beverage to spray out of the bottle/container.
We made a tube with this experiment so the explosion would be more intense and higher.
This activity is simple and fun. It is a popular experiment right now. Let me show you how to do it.
One day my son and I went to the Dollar Tree to buy pans for our next science experiment.While we were there, my son found a big bubble wand with a tray, and asked if we could get it. I told him “yes” because it looked like fun.
I thought we could incorporate science into the bubble play by making our own bubble solution. When we got home, he could not wait to try out his new wand. He also suggested that we try other bubble wands as well. We looked around the house and got pipe cleaners, a straw, tape, and paper.
We took the materials and attempted to make bubble pipes with three different materials. They were simple to make and fun to use. We stayed outside for over an hour playing. The various wands we used made the bubble play interesting and engaging. I will show you what we did below.
Before I had children, child development professionals, friends, and families told me boys usually talk later than girls. It became something that I expected. So, when my son Cory was born, my goal was to communicate with him often so he would become familiar with language.
I didn’t want Cory to be a late communicator, because in my work as a play therapist, I noticed children who couldn’t speak would resort to hitting or kicking out of frustration. However, once they developed language, this behavior would decrease because they could communicate their wants and needs.
My son was able to speak in full sentences by nineteen months. This was because he was naturally exposed to language through play and interaction. One way that I exposed him to language was through playing and singing toddler songs.
How and when it was done
I played and sung songs during the night when he woke up as a baby and during car rides. We also heard songs during feedings and diaper changes. When we played Toddler Radio on Pandora, I would pick my son up and dance with him.
Once my son become a toddler, we would play music on Youtube or on the radio and dance to it. Then we would do physical movements to songs like Wheels on the Bus and Head Shoulder Knees and Toes. This helped Cory make a connection with words and their meaning.
You may take it a step further by purchasing or going to the library and getting books that are based on toddler songs. It is an excellent way to expose children to language.
Now that you know the benefit of exposing young children to toddler music, I will give you a list of 60+ songs.
My son was able to recite the numbers 1-10 at 17 months. I remember him sitting in the high chair, waiting for his dinner to cool down, saying the numbers as I held my fingers up.
He did not learn with flashcards. He learned with natural and playful exposure. I wanted to ensure he used three of his senses, which were sight, hearing, and touch, when learning the numbers. It was important for him to see, hear, and touch them. It is possible to incorporate the sense of taste by making number cookies.
I will show you the educational toys for toddlers we used to naturally expose my son to numbers in a fun way. Additionally, there are explanations in how we used each toy or material.
Let’s Get Started!
My son liked these types of puzzles because he was able to touch the numbers.
Whenever he picked up a number, I would identify it.
We would put them in order forwards and backwards.
I also loved to hide them around the room and he would bring them to me.
After he gave me the number, I would identify it until he could do it himself.
“Can we do a science experiment?” This is what my 4-year-old son, Cory, asked me while walking in the grocery store one day. We just passed the aisle with vinegar, which is an item we use for many of our experiments. A week before, we did the Tooth Decay Experiment,which taught my son the importance of brushing his teeth twice a day. He had a lot of fun with this experiment and wanted to have that same feeling again.
So I turned to him and said, “Sure we can do another experiment. Do you know what experiment you want to do?” His reply was, “No, but we can look one up.” We did just that the next day and found the Walking Water Experiment. I was familiar with how to do it without instructions. However, I wanted my son to read the experiment instructions and follow directions. Science experiments are a great way to increase a child’s reading level.
Watch the video below to see how science experiments can increase a child’s reading level.
We looked in our kitchen for the materials needed to do the Walking Water Science Project. We had everything except food coloring. Cory was so excited to do the experiment that he requested we go to the grocery store to get it. When my son is excited to learn something new, I try to act on it as fast as I can. After we got home from the grocery store, we were ready to get started.
This is an amazing experiment to show how water can defy gravity with a capillary action. I will explain this at the end of the post.
Let’s Get Started With This Fun Rainbow Experiment!
At first we only filled the glasses halfway, then we realized it is best to fill them up.
Put a different color of food coloring in each glass.
Stir the food coloring and water in each glass.
Place the glasses so there is an empty glass in between the ones with food coloring.
Fold six paper towels into a skinny rectangular shape.
Insert paper towels into two glasses placed beside each other.
Let this sit for 24 hours and watch what happens.
The empty glasses now had colorful water in them.
The glasses that were once full are now only a quarter full.
The water seeped through the paper towels and put water in the empty glass next to it.
Why this works:
As soon as you place the paper towel in the glasses, you should see that the it starts to absorb some of the water.
Water goes up the paper towel and defies gravity in a process called capillary action.
Paper towels are made of many small fibers that have gaps in between them.
Water gets pulled into these gaps by capillary action.
The water goes up the paper towel and down into the empty glass.
This is how water moves through plants.
Watch the video below to see how we did the experiment in real time. This video comes from my son’s YouTube channel, Corban’s Fun Learning Adventures. Please like and subscribe for fun learning adventures.
I love doing science experiments with my son. One reason is that they help children become better readers. Also, they provide learning that is hands-on and uses the three senses of sight, hearing, and touch (sometimes smelling and tasting as well). They are the best way children can apply what they are learning.
In the past, I have used science experiments to teach my son lessons in hygiene such as the importance of washing his hands. The activity I will show you today is a great complement to that experiment. It is called the Tooth Decay Experiment. This could be your child’s next science fair project (for older kids).
The Tooth Decay Experiment will show your children the importance of brushing their teeth twice a day. Furthermore, it demonstrates what happens to your teeth when you drink certain beverages such as orange juice, tea, and water.
We have fun with all our experiments; even those that don’t work. It gives us opportunities to investigate and solve problems. I tell my son this is what scientist do!
The Tooth Decay Experiment has made my son a “Flossing and Teeth Brushing Advocate!” After you do this activity, it will probably have the same impact on your child. I will show you how to do it.
Let’s Get Started!
Warning: This post contains a lot of pictures.
5 cups (we used paper cups)
5 individual labels that read: Orange Juice, Soda, Water, Tea, and Vinegar
1 cup of orange juice (enough to submerge an egg)
1 cup of dark soda (enough to submerge an egg)
1 cup of water (enough to submerge an egg)
1 cup of tea (enough to submerge an egg)
1 cup of vinegar (enough to submerge an egg)
Plastic Gloves to protect hands
Goggles to protect hands
Here is a video of my son doing the Tooth Decay Experiment. This video comes from my son’s YouTube Channel, Corban’s Fun Learning Adventures. Please like and subscribe for fun activities.
Make 5 individual labels that read: Orange Juice, Soda, Water, Tea, and Vinegar