Saturday, April 20, 2013

Toddler Science: Oil, Colored Water and Glitter!

This started as a science experiment, but turned also into a beautiful art project. Santino played with oil and colored water, adding it little by little and observing the colorful bubbles floating. He was more interested in the process of transferring water to the oil, rather than the science behind the two substances not mixing in a usual way.

He loved the texture of the oil, I could tell by how he watched the splashes. I myself was mesmerized by the results and kept trying to snap a nice picture.

Since I was a little girl I loved to watch how if you add water to oil, or oil to water, they would separate and eventually layer one on top of the other, instead of mixing together. I would shake the glass and watch the waves and swirls calming down and settling little by little. I wish I thought of adding color to that water!

I found this idea here on the Growing a Jeweled Rose blog. Our experiment didn't go as far as adding vinegar and soda, but I still consider it a success.

We started with a little bit of oil in a see through bowl, and 3 glasses of water. I added some food coloring to make the water bubbles more visible and fun. The picture somehow makes the oil look darker than it was .


We tried a thick straw, an eye dropper and a turkey baster. The first 2 seemed to be too small for Santino, and the amount of water they were dropping was not dramatic enough for him.

Then we tried the turkey baster, which allowed Santino mix up all the colors into 1 and add them to the bowl in a few minutes. The glasses were empty and the water in the bowl turned green. It still looked pretty and shiny, and all the little water bubbles reminded me of the stars.

 To improve on that idea, we added some glitter. It turned out beautiful!

When we tried mixing what's in the bowl, the glitter and water bubbles started creating beautiful nebula-like clouds. For a space-obsessed kid this would have been a great imagination trigger.

Santino loved soaking up some of the water and oil in the turkey baster and then splash it back in. The thick density of oil slowed down the splashes and made them so much more interesting to look at!

This was going on for quite a while. A great idea, and I will definitely do it more often! Instant calmer for an ever-busy-toddler like Santino.