Archive for the ‘ Science Experiments ’ Category

Earth Science: Layers of the Earth Hands-On Activity

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Last week, I mentioned that we learned a bit about the Solar System in general.  This week we’ve been looking more closely at Earth’s long history.  We’ve been going over the four major eons and looking more closely at what happened in each (Hadean Eon, Archean Eon, Proterozoic Eon, Phanerozoic Eon). At first 4.6-4 billion years ago, the Earth would have been molten. Then as the Earth cooled it went from liquid to solid. Heavier molten iron sank into the core, while lighter rock rose to the surface, cooled and became the crust.  This was the activity we did as we learned about the layers of the Earth.

To get ready for this activity, I made several batches of homemade play dough.

In a pan, place the following ingredients. Cook on the stovetop until the dough sticks together in one big clump.

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1 Tablespoon cream of Tartar
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 drops of vegetable glycerine (optional)
  • dye — We made globs of dough in different colors for the different layers of the Earth. Be sure to add the dye before you start heating it on the stove.
We read through Gail Gibbon’s book Planet Earth/Inside Out.  We talked about how thick each layer was and filled in the worksheet I made for the kids. [I'll share that at some point soon. We're still working on things and the packet isn't quite ready to finish.  If you are working on this right now and would like those pages, just email me or leave a note on our Homeschool Den Facebook and I can send you what I have so far! :) Otherwise, I'll probably share that within the next couple of weeks.]
The inner dark layer represents the solid iron core which is 1500 miles across. Then we added the outer core, the mantle, the crust (oceans/continents).


Once it was assembled the kids took a knife and cut it apart.  It’s definitely a visual way to see the layers of the Earth!

This is such a great activity for any age! We first did this about four years ago, but the kids enjoyed it as much at this age as they did when they were 2, 4 and 6!

Well, that’s about it for now.  See you next time here or at our Homeschool Den Facebook page!

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Egg-tivity: Seatbelt Safety to Protect an Egg

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

While LD was away at summer camp, the girls did a few egg-tivities of their own. First in preparation for the activity, they made their own pinewood derby cars (just kits that we got from Michaels).

Once the paint was dry and the wheels were on, I told them they had a challenge… to create a seatbelt safety system to protect an egg as the car traveled down our steep driveway.  DD experimented with a couple different options. First she tried using pipe cleaners:

When she couldn’t get the egg from popping forward, though, she opted for a rubber band system instead.

Although her egg stayed in place, her egg did not survive the bumpy ride down the hill. To be fair, though, her egg had a slight crack to begin with (from rolling off during the seat belt adjustment phase!).

She gave it a second go with a pom-pom addition (I”m not quite sure what the pom-pom was for)… but egg pilot #2 came to a bitter, sad end as well! She really had a blast with this activity despite the sad end for her eggs!

Meanwhile, ED declared she wanted a kitty to ride her car instead. Kitty made many, many safe trips down our driveway for an entire afternoon of fun! That’s what it’s all about, right?!!
If you’re looking for other egg-tivities, we had a ton of fun with eggs around Easter.  Be sure to visit those posts and download our entire Egg-speriment pack.


Have fun and see you next time! If you try these out at home, we’d love to hear from you at our Homeschool Den Facebook page!


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Free Weather Packet

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Yesterday, I shared some of the science experiments we did about air. We learned that air has weight, hot air rises and more.  We are using a science textbook as the spine of this unit. These were the pages I made for the kids’ science notebooks. You can download them free by clicking on the link below:

Earth Science – Weather Packet

Visit our other Weather Unit Posts:


You may be interested in these posts:

Be sure to visit us at our Homeschool Den Facebook page!

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Weather Unit: Experiments about Air

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Last week we had a lot of fun with our Weather Unit.  The kids always love when we do science experiments and this part of our unit had a ton of demonstrations.

Air has weight:

This first activity is pretty self explanatory. We made sure that two balloons balanced. Then we blew up one balloon. It was clear immediately that the blown-up balloon was heavier.

Clear or Cloudy Day:

The next activity was supposed to show whether the air heated up more quickly on a clear day or a cloudy day.  Then we were supposed to check to see which lost heat more quickly (we forgot to go back outside late in the day, though).

Warm Air Rises:

This was by far our favorite experiment! It worked so well. First we spent quite a bit of time talking about the movement of air… how warm air rises and cool air sinks. We talked about the term “convection.” We also talked about how in warm air, the molecules expand and with cool air the molecules are closer together. This makes cool air “heavier” than warm air. We read the section in our science book that covered this movement of air and drew pictures for our science notebooks.

For this experiment I had a glass bottle that was cooled in the freezer.  We put a balloon on top and then set the bottle in boiling water.  We were shocked how quickly the balloon shot up and filled with air! In fact, it all made us jump!!

The kids loved this so much that we got out a bowl of ice water and they took turns moving the bottle from the cold water to the hot water and back again. They were surprised how quickly the balloon expanded when they placed the bottle in the hot water, but how long it took to deflate again when placed in the ice water (by comparison).

Tomorrow we will share the notebook pages I made for the kids for this portion of our unit. The Weather Packet will be free to download. We have some experiments we have yet to do relating to air pressure.  We hope to get to those in the next week or so.

You can click here for our  free weather packet. In the meantime, you may be interested in these posts from this unit:

Visit our other Weather Unit Posts:

You may be interested in these posts:

Be sure to visit us at our Homeschool Den Facebook page!

Find fun activities you can do right at home, here!

How to Make a Bird-Feeder Craft
How to Make a Bird-Feeder Craft
How to Make a Bird-Feeder Craft

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EggSperiment: Brush Your… errr… Egg (Part 4 of 4) and the Free Printable EggSperiment Pack

Monday, April 14th, 2014

This activity helps kids understand how very important it is to brush your teeth every day!

For this activity we chose coke, grape soda (we didn’t have any grape juice) and coffee. You can use any beverage that you think will stain your teeth.  The kids each selected two drinks and we let the eggs soak for several hours.

As the kids “brushed” their eggs, they were amazed at how quickly and easily the “stain” came off.

Did you miss the first posts in this series?

Finally, it’s here!! The Free EggSperiment Pack!  

Click here to download your free Egg-speriment Pack with all the fun activities we shared the past several days!

Did you like this series? Come let us know over at the Homeschool Den Facebook Page. That’s also a great way to quickly browse through all our latest posts. Hope to see you there! ~Liesl and the kids

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