posted by Beret
Age Range: 6 and up
Ah, chemistry. How boring it can be when reduced to a textbook, a monotonous lecture, or a multiple choice test. But chemistry has its roots in ancient alchemies–the attempts to make gold and elixirs for healing or immortality.
Watching my kids in action, I think there may be an innate drive to mix substances and solutions to create something new. They began brewing their own potions long before we read Harry Potter. We started simply. Whenever I cleaned out the cupboards or the refrigerator, I would give the girls a giant (and unbreakable) bowl, wooden spoons, and safety goggles, and send them out into the backyard to make some new concoction. Stale or moldy food made for some pretty intriguing science projects. I also had the girls throw in any candy they might find from the back of cupboards or old birthday goodie bags. It was fun and got rid of a lot of junk.
When they tired of potions and wanted something more ‘scientificky’ to mix and do, I did a little research and discovered that juice made from a red cabbage is a natural indicator to determine whether a substance is acidic or basic. The process is very simple and straightforward, and the results are colorful and satisfying. Continue reading “Cabbage Juice Chemistry!”