Saltwater to Freshwater Science Experiment

Gratefulness

Each night before bedtime, my son and I say a prayer. In every prayer we are thanking God for our many blessings such as a home, food, toys, water etc. As a parent, I try to instill in my son gratitude, appreciation, and gratefulness for his many blessings.

I do remind him that there are people in this world who don’t have homes, toys, and clean water. The first time I explained this to him, he was in disbelief. This led to discussions about people who are homeless and suffer from poverty.

The Problem

One day he was drinking water after being outside playing. He thanked the Lord for ‘good clean water.’ I told him it is great to be thankful because there are some people who don’t have clean water. We talked about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan after their water source was changed. This change contaminated the water, which led to elevated blood lead levels in the city’s children. It also caused hair loss, itchy skin, and skin rashes.

Let’s Put on the Thinking Cap

Whenever my son, Cory, hears about a problem, he thinks and asks questions about solutions. After doing research, we learned that Earth is covered with 70 percent water. Almost all of Earth’s water is salty in the oceans and we can’t drink it. Only about three percent of the water is drinkable fresh water. Most of this drinkable water is frozen in the Arctic and in Antarctica. Therefore, only about 1 percent of the world’s water is available to drink.

Possible Solution, Maybe

Cory wanted to explore how we could turn saltwater into freshwater to drink. He thought this will provide clean water to Flint, Michigan.

We talked about the three properties of water, which are liquid, solid, and gas. We learned how a liquid turns into a gas and solid. Afterwards, Cory asked we could turn gas into liquid. We started doing some research and found the Saltwater to Freshwater Experiment.

This experiment answered his questions about turning gas to water and finding a POSSIBLE SOLUTION to provide freshwater to those who don’t have it.

I will show you how we did this in our kitchen.

Let’s Get Started

Materials Needed:

  • Salt
  • Water
  • A pot
  • A glass bowl

Directions:

  • Put water in a glass
  • Pour salt in the glass of water
  • Mix the water and salt
Mixing the water and salt together.
  • Pour the water in a pot
Pouring the saltwater in the pot.
  • Put a glass bowl in the middle of the pot
Glass bowl is in the middle of the pot.
  • Boil the water and put the lid upside down on the pot
Pot lid turned upside down.
  • Observe what happens
  • You will see water dripping in the glass bowl
  • Turn your stove off and wait until the pot cools
  • Take the glass out of the pot and let the water cool

Watch the video below to see how condensation makes water.

saltwater-video-
This is the amount of water we made from condensation.
  • Drink the fresh water and enjoy.
My son drinking the freshwater.

Happy Learning and Problem Solving!

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Simple Number Recognition Game

One day my son was playing with dice from a Monopoly game and play foam numbers. All of a sudden I hear him say, “Mommy, I made up a game!”

When I hear the word “GAME,” I get excited. I think games are the best way to learn because they incorporate the three basic learning styles: Auditory, Visual, and Kinesthetic learning.

I sat on the floor with him and he gave me directions for the game. After playing the game with him, I realized it would be perfect to help kids with number recognition. Since we had a great time playing the game, I would like to share it with you.

Let’s Get Started!

Materials Needed:

Directions:

  • Spread the numbers on the floor (1-20 if possible).
  • First roll the dice
  • Then count the number of small dots on the dice.
  • The number of dots you count represents the amount of (play) numbers you hide around your home.
  • If you roll a six then you have to hide any of the six numbers.
  • The other person will find those six numbers and identify them.
  • Make the game more difficult by using a timer.
  • The person looking for the numbers will have to find the numbers within a certain amount of time, like 2 minutes.
  • Next round have the other person roll and hide the numbers
  • That’s all there is to it!
I rolled the number 3 so I had to hide three numbers. My son found and identified all three numbers I hid around the room.

I hope you like this game!

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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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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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Fun Thermometer Science Experiment for Kids

One day my son and I were watching the Temperature Investigation episode of Sid the Science Kid cartoon. Cory was two-years-old the first time he watched it. After the episode ended, we decided to do the science experiment showcased on the cartoon. My son learned a lot about thermometers and temperature change during this activity.

Fall is coming soon and our children will witness a drop in temperature. Do this simple experiment at home to help your child learn about temperature changes in nature. I am pretty sure you have all the materials in your kitchen.

Let’s Get Started!

Materials Needed:

Method:

  • Put ice in the bowl
  • Put the thermometer in the ice
The temperature on the thermometer was originally 75°F or 23° C but it decreased to 50° F or 10° C in this picture.
  • Open the instant grits or oatmeal packet.
  • Pour the ingredients from the packet in a second bowl.
  • Pour hot water in the bowl and stir to mix.
  • Put the thermometer in bowl.
  • You will see the temperature on the thermometer go up.
The temperature started at 20° F or -6° C and increased to over 100° F or 37° C.

  • Try putting ice in the bowl of grits or oatmeal and observe what happens to the temperature.
  • Hint: It should decrease.

Watch the video below to see our experiment.

IMG_9798

Have fun with this activity!

Bonus

Explain to your child how a real thermometer works

  • Thermometers usually have alcohol in them.
  • The alcohol changes its size in the thermometer which causes the temperature to increase or decrease.

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