Foam Explosion – Elephant Toothpaste

One day my son, Cory, watched the Youtube personality, Ryan. He saw Ryan and his mom do the elephant toothpaste experiment. After watching, he said, “Mom, I want to do that!” So I watched the video with Cory and immediately started to write down the materials and directions.

We had everything needed for the experiment except dry active yeast. I purchased the yeast from Amazon because I figured Cory would want to do this repeatedly. The next day, the yeast came and we immediately started to make the elephant toothpaste.

The first time we did the experiment, we saw an explosion but the cup we used was too big. We decided to use a smaller cup because we wanted the chemical action to overflow out of the cup. The second time was “epic” according to my son.

I will show you how we did the experiment below. Your child will want to do this repeatedly so get ready.

Let’s Get Started!

Materials Needed:

  • Two cups
  • ½ cup of Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 1 squirt of Dawn dish soap
  • 5 drops of food coloring
  • 15 ml of warm water
  • .25 oz Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast (1 packet)
  • Goggles to protect eyes
  • Gloves to protect hands

Directions:

  • Tell your child that they will create a fun foam explosion called Elephant Toothpaste.
  • Put on goggles and gloves
  • Put hydrogen peroxide in one of the cups
  • Add five drops of food coloring in the cup
  • Put a squirt of dish soap in the cup
  • In a different cup pour 15 ml of water.
  • Add the active dry yeast packet to the water and mix.
  • Pour the water and yeast mixture in the cup with the hydrogen peroxide mixture
  • Watch the awesome foam explosion!
My son adding food coloring to the hydrogen peroxide.
Mixing the water and active dry yeast.

Watch the video below of our experiment!

elephant-toothpaste-video

Have fun with this experiment!

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Addition Bowling Game Part 2

Last week I told you about the Addition Bowling Game for Kids that my son, Cory, created. This game involved using Cory’s bowling play set to practice addition. You may also use paper cups if you don’t have a bowling play set. This activity allowed my son to review adding one and two digit numbers.

Cory created a second spin-off game that allowed him to practice adding three-digit numbers as well. I was impressed in the effort and thought he put into this game. I will show you how to play below…

Let’s Get Started!

Materials:

How to play:

  • On a piece of paper determine the point value for each pin.
    • For example, the first red bowling pin in the set was worth 100 points and the second red bowling pin was 200 points.
    • Below is a list with the point value of each pin in our game.
    • Please note: if you don’t have bowling pins use paper cups. You should attach the point value to each cup.
I wrote the point value of the bowling pins as my son created and dictated them to me.
  • On a piece of paper, draw separate columns and put each player’s initial at the top to keep score
On the left is the point values and the right are two columns to record our score. As you can see, my son Cory knocked over one blue pin for 300 points.
  • Set up the ten pins or cups in a scattered fashioned.
My son set up the bowling pins in a scattered fashion.
  • Have the first player roll the first ball towards the pins
  • Have the first player roll the second ball towards the pins (the bowling game comes with two balls)
  • Take note of the number of pins knocked down and their point value.
    • For example, if a player knocks down one blue and one yellow pin, their score would be 1000 points. (One blue pin = 300 ; One yellow pin = 700)
    • Add 300 + 700 for a total of 1000 points.
  • Record the score in that player’s column on paper.
  • The next player will roll and repeat the previous seven steps.
  • My son added both our bowling scores for all the rounds.
  • It was a great way to practice three-digit addition.
  • Below is a video of my son calculating our score.
IMG_1506

Have Fun with this Activity!

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Addition Bowling Game for Kids

In our household, we have something called “Creative Time.” This is when my son chooses an activity or a game he and I can play. This is my time to follow his lead in whatever creative project he wants to do.

This time, he pulled out his bowling game and said, “Let’s play!”

While playing the game we incorporated addition so my son could practice his math skills. If your child is not doing addition yet, use this game to practice counting and number recognition. Like all games we play, we had a blast!

I will show you how we played below!

Let’s get started!

Materials:

How to play:

  • On a piece of paper, draw separate columns and put each player’s initial at the top to keep score
  • Set up the ten pins
My son set up the pins.
  • Have the first player roll the first ball towards the pins
  • Have the first player roll the second ball towards the pins (the bowling game comes with two balls)
  • The number of pins a player knocks down is the person’s score that round.
    • For example, if a player knocks down eight pins then their score is eight for that round.
  • Record the score in that player’s column on paper.

  • The next player will go and repeat the previous five steps.
  • My son added both our bowling scores for all the rounds.
  • It was a great way to practice addition.
  • Below is what my son wrote.
M is for mommy. The score was 26 to 24. I won the game but it was really close. The second to last number under the C column is 10 and NOT 16.
  • Have your child count the number of pins knocked down for each round if you want to do number recognition instead of addition.

My son created a spin-off addition game. You will hear about that next week!

Stay tuned!

Have Fun with this Activity!

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Teach Kids, ages 3 and up, Chess in a Fun Way

Admiration and Failure

I have always admired people, young and old, who can play the game of Chess. Throughout my life, I have heard the many benefits of playing this strategic game. Also, people who play Chess seem intelligent to me.

Honestly, I have tried three times to learn chess and failed. It was the time and energy it took to learn the name of the pieces and how they moved. I would read or watch online videos about the game and eventually become bored.

Grandma’s Inspiration

The idea of tackling Chess again came from my mother. One of her gifts for my son’s third Christmas was a Chess game. It was the same cycle again.

I read the book that came with the game she gave my son and I got bored. Additionally, I thought my son was too young to learn the game. However, in the back of my mind, I knew Chess would be a game that he would like because it challenges the brain.

My Bright Idea

My decision was to wait until he got a little older to introduce him to the game.

My future plan was to take him to some type of community program that would teach him how to play Chess. Then, maybe I would learn through him. This was a win-win situation!

The Solution

It wasn’t until one night while skimming Facebook, I saw an advertisement for Story Time Chess. After seeing the advertisement’s picture of young kids playing chess with their parents, I wanted to learn more. On the website, I saw these words, “A revolutionary new game that lets you teach your child how to play chess as young as the age of 3!”

It is revolutionary because it teaches kids to play through fun stories with colorful diverse characters instead of rules. Each piece has a story about how it moves. Each piece holds a character’s picture from their story which allows children to visually connect it to the chess board and understand how to play.

Another helpful aspect of Story Time Chess is each story is concluded with a mini game that reinforces how the pieces move.

Our Experience

We love it! My four-year-old son and I learned how to play chess within a week and a half of opening the game! He was highly motivated to learn because of the engaging stories and pieces in the game. We currently play almost daily. Sometimes, he wins and other times I am the victor.

Watch the two videos below of my son and I playing chess. The first video is footage of us playing a game. The second one shows my son winning against me in the game of Chess.

My four-year-old son and I playing Chess.
My son is the winner in this game.

Below I will answer frequently asked questions parents have about Chess. It will be through the lens of our experience.

What age can a child learn chess?

The programs that I have researched in my local area start teaching kids chess at the age of seven. However, I have seen kids learn chess as young as five-years-old. My son learned how to play through Story Time Chess as a four-year-old. However, if I’d known about this game earlier, our starting age would have been three.

If your kids love fun engaging stories with colorful characters, they can learn at an early age.

What is the easiest way to play chess?

Of course you know the easiest way for us to play chess was to learn through Story Time Chess. We learned how the pieces moved in this order: king, pawns, knights, rooks, bishops, and queen. There were mini games at the end of each story that gave us a hands-on perspective on how each piece moved.

The best way to learn is be consistent with playing. It is important to learn the basic steps first and then take it a step further by learning various strategies.

We play daily which helps to hone our skills and learn new strategies.

What Chess teaches?

Chess teaches children so many important skills. I will concentrate on three skills below.

Chess teaches kids problem solving skills. During our games, my son spends time concentrating on how to keep his king safe while capturing mine. I can see him thinking about and planning his next move.

It also increases your child’s creatively. There is one piece my son loves to use when capturing my king. When I take that piece away from him, he has to be creative and think outside the box to win the game.

Chess has improved my son’s memory and observation skills. I use a particular strategy to win games against him. One day, I noticed he began to remember my first three moves while playing. He told me what the moves were and asked why I always did that. Then he developed some strategy to counter my moves. Amazing!

Try Story Time Chess! Be persistent and play with your child often!

Have fun Playing!

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Teach Kids to Prevent Germs with this Science Experiment

I love getting books for my son that explain basic germ prevention, hygiene and life skills. One day we were looking in the Children’s Science section of the library and saw the book, You Wouldn’t Want to Live Without Soap! by Alex Woolf and Mark Bergin.

This book gives children the history of soap, how it is made and why it works. We learned that before soap was invented, people used urine, incense smoke, clay, sand pumice, and ashes to clean themselves.

The pictures in this book are colorful and appealing to children. It will make your children laugh, say “ewwww”, and become more curious. The authors have included hands-on activities and tips that will further your child’s understanding of soap and its purpose.

One experiment we did involved ingredients you have in your home such as oil, water, and dishwashing liquid. It teaches kids why soap is a better cleaner than water by itself. My son learned that water and oil don’t mix, so washing with water only leaves most of the dirt behind.

I will show you the experiment and other discoveries we made.

Let’s Get Started!

Materials Needed:

  • Cooking Oil
  • Water
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Jars (2)

Directions:

  • Put cooking oil and water in a jar.
Cory pouring water in a jar.
Now he is mixing oil with water.
  • Screw on the lid and shake
  • The oil and water should separate into layers
The water and oil have separated.
  • Add drops of dishwashing liquid to the jar and shake again
We are adding dishwashing liquid to the oil and water.
  • This time it should make a cloudy mixture
  • Oil and water are no longer separate layers
Here is our cloudy mixture of water, oil, and dishwashing liquid.
  • Compare two jars.
    • One jar should have oil and water.
    • The second jar should have a mixture of oil, water, and dishwashing liquid.
The left jar has water, oil, and dishwashing liquid. The right jar has oil and water.

Why this Experiment Works and How Germs are Washed Away

  • Most dirt contains oil.
  • Oil and water do not mix so washing with water only leaves most dirt behind.
  • Soap binds to water, dirt, and oil.
  • The tail of soap molecules attach to oil.
  • The head of soap sticks to water.
  • When soapy water mixes with dirt, the soap molecules form tiny clusters called micelles.
  • When you wash your hands with soap, dirt mixed with oil from your skin is pulled inside the micelles, then rinsed away.
  • In the experiment, the soap molecules grabbed the oil and water making a cloudy mixture in the jar.

I hope this helps! Have fun with this experiment!

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Draw Monsters Out of Letters and Numbers

Today I challenged my son to find something creative to do while I cooked dinner. He spent some time blowing up a balloon then watched it fly through the air after releasing it. He played with his cash register and a DIY water gun we made earlier that day.

Next he saw the book, Draw Alphabeasts by Steve Harpster laying on the table. He decided to view it while he ate a snack. This book teaches you step-by-step how to make over 130 monsters, aliens, and robots from letters and numbers.

I checked this book out from the library about a year ago. We enjoyed drawing the characters so much, that I purchased it from Amazon.

This month is October and I thought his book choice was great because Halloween is soon approaching.

My son, Cory, skimmed the book and decided to draw a monster named Zeep starting with the number 4. After drawing, he showed me his picture and I was very impressed.

Cory then asked if I was almost done with cooking. My reply to him was “yes.” He wanted to pick a character for me draw. He chose a character named Freddy Bones, who resembles a skeleton and robot simultaneously. Again, it was the perfect picture for Halloween.

Below is a picture of our drawings, along with the step-by-step instructions we followed from the book. This book is perfect for beginning artists and for those who just want to be creative.

My son drew the character, Zeep, on the left. I drew the character, Freddy Bones, on the right.
These are the steps my son took to draw Zeep.
These are the steps I took to draw Freddy Bones.

Try these out. There are characters drawn from numbers 1-20 and the alphabet in this book. Buy this book if you want to draw more characters! I highly recommend it!

Have fun with this activity!

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Stubborn Unpoppable Bubble Experiment for Kids

What do you do on the days when it’s raining or extremely hot or cold outside? You can do fun science experiments! Today my son and I decided to do a bubble experiment; however, there was something different about this one.

We all know that bubbles pop shortly after they are formed. This happens when the water between the soap film surface evaporates. We made bubbles that would NOT pop! It is called the unpoppable bubble!

Kids will be amazed at how difficult it will be to pop a bubble in this experiment. Try this activity for yourself and see your child’s amazement!

Let’s Get Started!

Materials:

  • Water (4 parts)
  • Dish soap (1 part)
  • Corn Syrup (2 parts)
  • Straw
  • Pencil
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Bowl

Directions:

  • Fill a bowl with water
  • Put a few drops of food coloring in the water.
  • Put dish soap in the water.
  • Mix in the corn syrup.
  • Dip the tip of the pencil in the mixture.
  • Dip one end of the straw into the mixture and blow into the other end to make bubbles.
  • Try to pop the bubble with the pencil.
  • Now try to pop the bubble with your finger.
  • Watch the video below to see our unpoppable bubble!
IMG_1099

Why this experiment works:

  • Bubbles are made of two basic things: water and air
  • Adding soap and corn syrup to water helps make the bubbles stronger
  • Soap and corn syrup molecules squeeze in between water molecules and help the film of water stretch out without breaking.
  • Bubbles made of just water pop quickly because their watery skins aren’t very stretchy.
  • When a dry pencil touches a bubble, the water in the bubble’s skin sticks to the pencil and causes it to snap back.

Have fun with this activity!

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Secret Message Activity for Kids

I am always looking for activities that incorporate reading and writing in a fun way. When I saw this activity, I knew there was potential for a variety of learning. The Secret Message activity will expose your child to science, reading, writing, spelling, and even math. At the bottom of this post, I explain how to use this activity to expose your child to different subject matters.

This activity is quick, simple, and uses materials you probably have in your home. Get ready to share a surprise with your little one.

Let’s Get Started!

Materials:

  • White Crayon
  • Paper
  • Watercolor Paint
  • Water
  • Paintbrushes

Method:

  • Use a white crayon to write a secret message on a white sheet of paper.
  • You may draw pictures, notes, letters, numbers, etc.
I wrote a message on the white paper.
  • Have your child use watercolor paints to brush over the paper.
  • The watercolor paints will reveal the secret message.
My son painted the paper with green water color and revealed the message “I love you.”
  • Your child should delight in discovering the mystery message.

Other ways to use this activity

  • This is a fun way to have your child practice letters, shapes, and number formation.
  • Write a vocabulary word on the paper and practice using the word during the day.
  • Practice reading skills by writing a note to your child and have them read it.
  • Surprise a love one or a friend with a fun greeting message.
  • Discuss the science of this activity by explaining that colored water paint reveals the message because the white crayon is written on white paper.

Have fun with this activity!

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Slime Time Game for Kids

One day my son came home from daycare with DIY Slime. He could not wait to show it off after he greeted me with a kiss and hug. It was in a yellow container and sparkled with glitter.

We decided to take the slime out the container to play with it. It was sticky, slimly, ooey, gooey, and fun to play with. We smashed and constructed it in to various shapes.

About 30 minutes before dinner, we decided to make up an activity called the Slime Time Game. The game is simple and will encourage your child to think on their feet while being creative. This is a great indoor activity for rainy and cold days. Below I will explain how to play.

Let’s get started!

Materials Needed:

How to Play:

  • Give your child the slime.
  • Let them play with it for a while to get used to shaping and forming it.
  • I encourage you to play with the slime as well.
  • Tell your child they have a certain amount of time to make a letter, number, shape, or image.
  • During the first round of the game, I told my son he had 45 seconds to make the letter A.
My son made the letter A in 25 seconds.


  • Have your child give you the slime.
  • Have them tell you to make something in a certain amount of time.
  • My son asked me to make the number 89 in 40 seconds.
I made the number 89 in 30 seconds. This slime was very sticky.

Watch this video of my son making the letter H in 30 seconds.

We had a lot of fun with this activity. It kept us busy for about 35 minutes! It is great for letter, shape, and number recognition.

Have fun with this!

Don’t forget both of our books are available on Amazon, Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play” and “Fun and Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Write.”

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Egg Volcano Experiment for Kids

My son loves science experiments that are messy and incorporate mild explosions. When I saw this experiment, I knew we had to do it. Like many of the science experiments we do, all the ingredients were in our home.

We liked this activity because it was simple and fun. It requires you to use boiled eggs. I used this as an opportunity to expose my son to the science of cooking. While boiling the eggs, we discussed how cooking is transferring energy from a heat source, the stove, to the food. In other words, heat changes food.

Try this experiment at home! Your kids will love it. Doing science experiments will help your child become a better reader.

Let’s Get Started!

Materials:

  • Bowls for each color you would like
  • Water
  • Paint Brush
  • Baking Soda
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Food Coloring
  • Vinegar
  • Drinking Glass or Plastic Glass – big enough for an egg
  • Plastic container – something to catch the overflow of the liquid
  • Hard boiled eggs
Egg Volcano material. I am missing the small bowl in this picture.

Directions

  • Combine and mix water, baking soda, and a few drops of food coloring to make a paste.
My son is putting red food coloring in water.
Making the paste with water, baking soda, and food coloring
  • Fill the drinking glass with vinegar 1/2 full
Plastic Glass of Vinegar
  • Put the glass of vinegar in the plastic container
  • Use the paint brush to paint the egg with the paste
    • For a bigger reaction, put a thick coat of paste on the egg
My son is painting the egg with the paste.
  • Lower the egg in the glass of vinegar.
  • Now watch the Bubble, Fizz, and Overflow!
Egg Volcano Explosion!

WHY IT WORKS?

  • Baking Soda is a base and Vinegar is an acid.
  • When Baking Soda and Vinegar mix, the hydrogen ions in the vinegar react with the sodium and bicarbonate ions in the baking soda.
  • This mix is the result of two new substances called carbonic acid and sodium acetate.
  • There is a second reaction called decomposition reaction.
  • Decomposition reaction is when carbonic acid is formed.
  • The carbonic acid is decomposed into water and carbon dioxide gas causes the bubbling action.

I hope you like this experiment!

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