Simple Saturday: Sandwich a la Liquid

Today's activity couldn't be easier or more fun. You've got the goods, right? The clear bottle, water, funnel, cooking oil, glycerin, and food coloring?

To make a Liquid Sandwich use the funnel to fill the bottle one third full with water. Drip 4 or 5 fat drops of food coloring directly into the water.  Fill the bottle another third of the way with the glycerin and lastly with the cooking oil. That's it! What could be simpler?

Look at the way the liquids separate, will you? Like a liquid sandwich, wouldn't you say? The bottom layer is oh, so glycerin clear. The middle layer is oceanic blue topped of with sunny golden cooking oil. Kind of poetic, isn't it?

A word of warning, though. To keep these distinct layers separate you will need to handle your Liquid Sandwich with care. I wouldn't shake it up, if I were you. When it gets shaken the glycerin mixes with the water. The end result is something like the Ocean in the Bottle we made a few weeks ago. It's cool and still fun to play with, but the clear glycerin layer is gone...or is it? 

Where does it go? Why does this mixing of liquid layers happen, you ask? What is your hypothesis? Something to do with the molecular structure of the  liquids, I'll bet. You think?

You know, my Simple Saturday friend, this activity would make a dynamite project for your school Science Fair. Of course, you would have to do a wee bit of research to explain the scientific reasoning behind the liquid separation. Wouldn't it be fun to study the science behind an activity as fascinating as this one?

Isn't that what the scientific process is all about? To find out more about something that interests us? Don't we state our hypothesis, or our own reason why we think something is happening, and then set out to prove it?

Well, go for it, Einstein. Let me now what you find out!

Simple Saturday Prep: The Liquid Sandwich

A sandwich is all about layers, right? Yummy stuff layered between two or more slices of bread. Something hearty you can sink your teeth into...substantive, scrumptious, splendiferous.

Well, forget about a sandwich like that one. Tomorrow's will be one of the liquid variety. Liquid, you ask? How can that be? Gather up the following materials and I'll show you what I mean. You'll need a clear bottle, water, a funnel, cooking oil, food coloring, and some glycerin (You can buy glycerin at the pharmacy for cheapo. In fact, a while back we used some to make Monster Bubbles, remember? You might have a some left over from that project. I did.).

See you tomorrow! We'll have some simple fun then.

Simple Saturday: Monster Bubbles

I thought I'd post a bit earlier this week as, perhaps, you might enjoy this activity during your Labor Day family BBQ's. Nothing could be easier and more fun than making Monster Bubbles in the backyard!

Your simple supply list includes: two plastic drinking straws, one 2 ft. long piece of string (this can be modified by cutting it shorter to fit a tiny hand), one bottle of glycerine (I bought mine at CVS, as you can see), liquid dish detergent (Dawn works the best, in my opinion), a rubber bucket or dish pan, and water.

To begin, let's make the most-perfect-yet-super-simple bubble wand to enhance the thrilling Monster Bubble making experience. Simply thread the string through the straws. Knot the ends of the string together and squeeze that knot inside one of the straws. Trust me. This works.

To make the ultimate bubble solution get the rubber dish pan or bucket. Pour about 3/4 cup of Dawn in it and about 1/4 to 1/2 bottle of the glycerine in. Actually, start with 1/4 of the bottle of can always add more later, if need be. (This solution is TONS better than that crummy stuff in the plastic jars. The only thing good about those jars is the fancy wand inside.)

Use the outdoor water hose or a pitcher of water to s-l-o-w-l-y fill the bucket 3/4 full. Let the stream drizzle out the nozzle or you're going to have to wade through a mound of bubbles to get to that burger waiting for you on the grill! Gently swish your hand in the solution to blend the Dawn, glycerine, and water together. The solution should feel wonderfully slimy!

Now, submerge your string wand in the solution. Take one straw in hand and, once again, s-l-o-w-l-y lift it out. The solution should look like a piece of plastic wrap stretched between the strings. If the bubble bond what? Do it again. Now wave that dangly bubble wand carefully from one side of your body to the other. Be bold. Hold it out like a banner and let the wind help you. After a few easy tries, you'll make a bubble bigger than the size of your head! Maybe even as big as a basket ball...or a beach ball...or maybe even the planet Pluto! (Oh yeah, Pluto's not a planet anymore. Sorry.)

Well, that's it for this week. Have a simply delightful Labor Day holiday! If you make Monster Bubbles, I know that you'll be squeaky clean all day long.