Kids love to experiment, so what better way than by using kitchen science? The best part about beginning kitchen science is a lot of ingredients are already available as common items in the kitchen. Children will be able to:
- Experience scientific method
When looking at scientific method, there are basically five points to take a look at:
- Observe/Question: What do you want to find out?
- Hypothesis: Predict what will happen.
- Experiment: Conduct you experiment.
- Draw Conclusions: What happened? Was your prediction correct?
- Share Results: What did you learn? Share with your fellow Cloverbuds
- Explore the differences between a mixture, solution and a reaction
A mixture is when two or more items are combined and no reaction takes place. A solution is a type of mixture that is formed when one substance dissolves in a liquid with no reaction. A reaction occurs when two materials are combined and a reaction occurs or something happens.
Materials list for each Cloverbud: ¼ t salt, ¼ t pepper, ½ t sugar, ¼ c water, 1 t baking soda, ¼ c vinegar, three small cups, small stick for stirring, small snack baggies and one sandwich size zip lock bag. Prepare one baggie for each dry ingredient.
- Have the Cloverbuds predict what will happen if they put salt and pepper together in a small cup.
- Have the children mix salt and pepper together in the small cup.
Did anything happen? Can you still see the salt and pepper? Did your prediction come true? What is a mixture? What other ingredients could you use to make a mixture?
Snack mixes make great mixtures because you can still see what ingredients you used. You can use any snack ingredients such as pretzels, cereal, veggie chips, peanuts, or corn chips. A fun activity is to have several different snack items available and let the Cloverbuds make up their own recipe and name for a snack mix.
- Have the Cloverbuds predict what will happen if they put sugar and water together.
- Have them stir the sugar and water together in a small cup.
Did anything happen? Can you still see the water and sugar? Did your prediction come true? What is a solution? What other ingredients could you use to make a solution?
Smoothies work for making a solution. Here is a simple fruit smoothie recipe: 8 strawberries 1 banana and ¼ cup milk. Put in a blender to combine.
- Have Cloverbuds predict what will happen if they mix vinegar and baking soda.
- Put baking soda into sandwich size zip lock bag. Pour vinegar into small cups. Place cup into plastic baggie and seal. Dump the vinegar out of the cup and watch what happens.
Did anything happen? Did your prediction come true? What is a reaction? What other ingredients could you use to make a reaction?
Because of yeast, bread making is another way to show a reaction. Mix together 1 ½ c warm water, 1 T honey, 1 ½ t salt, 1 T yeast. Let sit 5-10 minutes until there is bubbling or a foam on the top. Next knead in 3 ½ – 4 cups flour until it is no longer sticky. Make small balls (for number of Cloverbuds) and cover for 20 minutes. Preheat oven or toaster oven at 400 degrees. Bake 15-20 minutes.
These are just some fun activities you can do to encourage learning by doing. Not only will your Cloverbuds have fun, but they will also be learning some science knowledge.