Monday, 12 November 2007

I can do science, me!

My little babies asked for more experiments! I think Nina and the Neurons can probably take more credit for their interest than I can, but I've been having a good think about small person friendly experiments and I hope this will be a regular part of our time at home. I'm really excited by this, and am trying hard to make sure I don't push it and put them off - but they are asking to do these and who am I to refuse? I am keeping them away from Brainiac for the moment though ...

Anyway, this time we decided to try kitchen roll chromatography; we've been talking about colour mixing so it seemed like a good time to try this. We put spots of felt tip pen onto kitchen roll:

then added a drop of water to each spot and watched them spread out:

and then hung them up to dry and looked at all the pretty colours that we could see. We did talk a little bit about being able to use chromatography to separate and purify different solutes but I feel it's a bit early to go beyond the most basic explanation ;-)

If you really want to scare yourself you could try this with food colouring. We saved the evil chemicals for another experiment that is still running but should be done within a couple of days ...


  1. Well I'm seriously impressed! But I think you may need to explain the benefits of chromotography to me before I could even begin to explain it to my children! Shows that I was an "arts" student whereas you were clearly "sciences"! Lucy x

  2. Go Val! Thank you - you should make this a regular blog feature! (if only for my sake ha ha!) We'll definitely be trying this one in our house soon!

  3. I take it you're saving the mass spectrometer for the weekend!

    No seriously, rocking science Mama! My boys would love this. Syringe and all. Very professional. Actually, I remember seeing a plastic pipette lurking in the back of a kitchen drawer today...

  4. You go girl!! I know the kids are having a ball with all these wonderful science projects! Three cheers for mom! :o)

    Smiles to you...


  5. what great fun, and I bet they didn't even realise they were learning anything! now your challenge is to make something with the pretty kitchen towels using only what you can find in the cutlery drawer, a sort of children's version of rough science - did you watch that?

  6. I remember it was such fun doing "kitchen science", of course the advantage of making volanoes in the sink (plughole) is that it helps to keep the drain free. Actually the kids still do that even though they are teenagers!

  7. Another great experiment Val. Now can you help with some science homework my 14 has to do - how the universe has changed (with timeline, please!!!)
    Kim x

  8. How wonderful! This reminds me of a project I did in art school making red, white and blue food!

  9. What a wonderful way to make science fun.
    Do you ever watch Mythbusters? It is a superb introduction to basic science concepts in a wacky format.
    e.g. can you refloat a boat with ping pong balls. Yes - if you have a lorry load.

  10. Definitely the way to go, if they're asking, let 'em know (as one can see, I was an English student of the highest degree - and apparently rhyming everything I say...?!).

    Just avoid old caravans and tesla coils, and gelignite eh? :)


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