Thursday, January 31, 2013


Keeping up the theme of "If You Give a..." books, we read "If You Give a Cat a Cupcake" after breakfast. Ryan stopped on the page where the cat visits the Dinosaurs in the science museum. He had been playing with dinosaur stickers yesterday and a volcano appeared in both. He asked what a volcano was made of, so we had a quick science chat. I feel like I can handle these at age 3, but check back in with my when he's 8. I only took the minimum 3 Science courses in High School and one doesn't really count because we had an eccentric teacher in his last year before retirement and I kid you not, his grading system was that everyone started with a 70% and you had to earn enough "bonus points" doing things like building bridges out of toothpicks and glue or making a hydraulic robot out of Legos (ours was named Kramer and we spent 2 weeks decorating him) until you got to your desired grade. Then you could (and we did) basically take a vacation for the remainder of the semester. I miraculously passed the Science CLEP test and therefore took zero science in college except for the required Tree-Hugging Environmental 2-credit class (my professor wasn't too keen on my pro-DDT presentation).

Now that you know my extensive expertise in Science, it might shock you that I had to google "Volcano Science Experiment". I knew the two key ingredients (baking soda and vinegar), but ended up using this recipe which also included warm water, dish soap, and food coloring. We skipped the whole "mold a volcano out of 6 cups of flour and salt" and went straight to the Mello Yello bottle.  I can't say it was a gigantic success and didn't erupt as much as I expected without some additional prompting shaking,  but Ryan still thought it was pretty cool and his dinosaurs had fun playing in the liquid hot magma (lame Austin Powers reference). If you got that before I explained it, don't admit it. I don't.

We did it twice with different colors and amounts of water/vinegar, but I'd still do some more experimenting if you were going for a big wow factor. I'm glad Ryan is still easily entertained by things like this. Once he gets to the age where this would invite an eye roll instead of a "WOW" face, I'm going to tell him about that time in 6th grade when I made a light bulb turn on using nothing but wire, pennies and salt water. Mind.Blown.

Kind of like our volcano.

But only kind of.

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