Wednesday, October 19, 2016

52 Weeks of Outdoor Science Experiments

I've always loved science and my youngest daughter wants to be a scientist when she finishes school. When asked if I wanted to join this fun blog tour for the new book Outdoor Science Lab for Kids: 52 Family-Friendly Experiments, I jumped at it!

This book conjures 52 family-friendly at home science experiments that range from the awesome to the "oh my gosh!" With Halloween fast approaching, these simple, inexpensive and fun experiments will have you running for their lab coats and crazy hair wigs!

These experiments can be done outside, keeping your inside clean and mess free! With 52 experiments you can do one a week with your kids or several each week during the summer. Lots of opportunities to have fun and experiment with this book.

I have a fun experiment for you to try out from the book Outdoor Science Lab for kids.

Mix up a batch of non-Newtonian fun.


Medium-size bowl
Spoon (optional)
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (147 g) cornstarch
1/2 cup (120 ml) water
Food coloring (optional for colored goo)


Step 1: Mix together the cornstarch, water, and food coloring in a medium-size bowl using a spoon or your fingers. The goo should be the consistency of thick syrup. (Fig. 1, 2, 3)
Step 2: Remove some goo from the bowl and roll it into a ball. (Fig. 4)
Step 3: Stop rolling it and let it drip between your fingers. (Fig. 5)
Step 4: Put the goo on a tray or cookie sheet. What happens if you slap your hand down on it? Can you make it splash?
Step 5: If the goo gets too dry, just add a little more water.

What happens if you add more or less water? Does it retain the same properties? Can you think of some practical uses for non-Newtonian fluids?
Safety Tips and Hints
Food coloring will move from the goo to hands and clothes, so beware.
For colored goo, simply add the food coloring to the water before mixing with cornstarch.
Without food coloring, this project cleans up easily with water.

The Science Behind the Fun

Most fluids and solids behave in expected ways and hold their fluid or solid properties when you push, pull, squeeze, pour, or shake them. However, some fluids, known as non-Newtonian fluids, don’t follow the rules. Cornstarch goo is one of these renegade fluids. It’s called a shear-thickening non-Newtonian fluid, and when you apply stress to it, the atoms in the cornstarch rearrange to make it act more like a solid.
That’s why when you let the goo sit in the palm of your hand or let it slowly slide between your fingers it looks like liquid, but if you squeeze it, stir it, or roll it around in your hands, it looks and feels more like a solid.
Someday, fluids such as these may be used to make such things as bulletproof vests that will move with the wearer but stop speeding projectiles.

From Kitchen Science Lab for Kids by Liz Lee Heinecke
© 2014 by Quarry Books
Text © 2014 Liz Lee Heinecke
Photography © 2014 Amber Procaccini Photography

Be sure to visit the other bloggers on this tour to learn about more experiments!

April Noelle 17-Oct
Happy Healthy Hip Parenting 18-Oct
Mom of 2 Dancers 19-Oct
Just Joanna 20-Oct
Familylicious 21-Oct
Say it, "Rah-shay" 22-Oct
Honey Badger Mom 23-Oct
The Life of a Home Mom 24-Oct
Mom, Are We There Yet? 25-Oct
Bless Their Hearts Mom 26-Oct
Central Minnesota Mom 27-Oct
Cassandra M's Place 28-Oct
My Silly Little Gang 29-Oct
Houseful of Nicholes 30-Oct
Cook with 5 kids 31-Oct

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