growing up good

mothering, homeschooling, and me

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Mad Scientists

Elliot has been begging to do a “mad scientist” activity for awhile now. It requires quite a bit of supervision, so with Edison getting into every little thing these days, I’ve been hesitant. Yesterday Elliot asked so nicely, I knew it was time to say, “Yes.”

This activity was inspired by a friend of mine. During a playdate once, our kids were in dire need of some sort of activity, and before I knew it my friend Helen had busted out 4 cookie sheets, some baking soda, vinegar, and droppers. Our kids were so mesmerized, I knew this was going to become a staple activity in our house, and it has.

Here’s what you need:

And a cookie sheet for each child. It will help contain the mess.

You’ll need some sort of containers for them to conduct their ‘”experiments”. You can use baby food jars, clear glass bowls, plastic jars, anything that allows them to see through. We have this, a Christmas present to my son last year and was worth every single penny my mom paid for it, we’ve used it a lot without even doing the experiments that came with it:


I gave each child a babyfood jar of vinegar tinted with the food coloring.

Then I let them play.


They played like this for 1.5 hours, with me only having to add some fresh baking soda now and then. Yes, I said 1.5 HOURS. That’s an ETERNITY for kids this age. I even left the room momentarily to put the baby down for his nap! The rest of the time I sat at the table and wrote the two blog entries I posted yesterday. After 1.5 hours Elliot was asking for more stuff, so I went to the fridge and found a bottle of tomato vinaigrette and stir fry sauce that had been in there, opened longer than what I consider usable, so I gave them a blob of each on their tray, and also gave them each a spoon and a pastry brush.

Warning: this does up the mess factor!


I’m happy that I finally said yes to this activity again! Both kids really enjoying creating their concoctions, and it was great to see them so focused on one activty- a real change of pace around here! Will I let them do this every day? ABSOLUTELY NOT. But maybe a little more often now.