Fizzy Chemistry Kiwi Crate

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Travis’s latest crate from Kiwi Co had him hands-on with bubbly potions and concoctions! We mixed up one cup with an acid (the provided packet of citric acid) and one with a base (the provided packet of baking soda), and from there, there was a whole host of experiments to try.

First up was to make Color-Changing Doodles. Travis dipped a q-tip in the base solution first and made designs on the provided gold paper. (Hint: This is really litmus test paper). Surprise – the paper turns red!

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We let it dry and then dipped a second q-tip in the acid solution. The paper turns “back” to gold. Note: Through trial and error we discovered that designs with thin lines worked better for this activity than thick doodles.

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The reverse experiment was to use the acid first, leaving a “secret” message the blends in with the yellow. Rub over with the base using a second q-tip after the solution dries, and your secret code is revealed!

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Travis also tested a few alternate ideas from the booklet, including dipping a toy in the base and then on the paper (dinosaur footprints!)…

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…or adding a little of the provided bubble solution to the base. Blow bubbles with a straw and press onto the litmus paper for fun reddish outlines.

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The version that didn’t work great for Travis was adding some base solution to a spritz bottle and spraying at the paper, which resulted in only a weak wash of red.

The second project, Multicolored Monsters, also relied on the litmus paper, but this time cut into fun monster shapes. Travis was less interested now that he knew how the paper would react, but he attached the provided wiggle eyes.

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Then he could make the monsters yellow- or red-striped, depending whether he used the base or acid mixture.

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It was definitely time for some Bubbly Reactions! We filled both cups A and B with 1 scoop of citric acid, then made a paste from the baking soda and bubble solution which could roll up into little “snowballs”. One cup of citric acid received cold water and the other gets warm. Travis dropped in the snowballs, and observed the differences! Kids can get nicely scientific here, drawing their observations in the booklet, testing different amount of citric acid, or measuring the temperature of each cup before and after the reaction!

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For us, unfortunately, both our cups fizzed but the warm water cup not appreciably more so than the cold water one. Luckily, there was entire Chemistry Lab Booklet in Travis’s crate, full of further experiments! Some of these were repeats of games we’ve enjoyed at home before, but a few were entirely new.

First, he did a quick repeat to reinforce the idea of Acid or Base, using provided litmus test strips on liquids around the house. We tested vinegar, coffee, and almond milk!

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Next came a Blow-Up Bag; spoon citric acid and baking soda onto a square of tissue paper and fold up. Add water to a zip-top bag, then place your tissue paper solution inside. Seal and watch the bag expand!

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Homemade Snow Dough was similar to versions we’ve made recently, this time a combination of citric acid, baking soda, bubble gel, and water. This stuff was particularly neat because it felt cold just like real snow!

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Dancing Raisins are an oldie but goodie: place raisins and 1 teaspoon baking soda in a cup with a little water. Squirt in the citric acid solution, and the raisins “swim” like little fish.

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We also tried out Mix It Up, which involved pouring an acid (tinted with red food coloring) and a base (tinted yellow) into a center cup at the same time.

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Fizzy explosions like this never get old!

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The biggest hit by far was a Citrus Volcano. For this one, poke a pencil into a lemon and mush it around a little bit. Set the lemon in a plastic cup to hold it in place then use an eye dropper to squirt in a bit of the baking soda solution.

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The liquid fizzes back out as it reacts with the lemon’s acid! This was an ooey gooey delight since you can squeeze the lemon to make more goo fizz out, or make a second hole so your lemon is erupting from both sides. In sum, this crate got high marks from Travis, full of activities that are sure to keep any little scientist busy.

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Scratch, Roll, and Resist Valentine Art

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Veronika has made tape resist art before, but with this clever idea from Hands on As We Grow, she now had a chance to combine that art method with two others! I loved the mix of tools that went into this craft, making it a great way to hone a toddler’s fine motor skills.

To start, I used painter’s tape to create a heart shape on a piece of sturdy white paper. Smaller pieces of tape work best for the curvy parts of the heart.

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Time for the second method: a rolling pin! I placed the paper in a tray and squirted on a few blobs of pink and peach-colored paint, then showed Veronika how to use a plastic rolling pin to smear the paint. At first she wanted to use the rolling pin more like a paintbrush, stabbing down at the blobs, but then realized she could copy my motion and roll. With a little mommy help, we smeared our paint toward the edges of the paper.

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Now for the final method: a comb! I showed her how to drag a comb through the thick wet paint to make neat textured lines.

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She loved observing the squiggles and lines that appeared.

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I find that it’s best to remove the painter’s tape immediately, while the paint is still wet, and then set the project aside to dry at this point. Veronika loved spotting the heart she had made.

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Finally, big brother Travis wrote in a Valentine’s message for their grandmother, making this their second sibling collaboration of the day!

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Sibling Valentine’s Day Cards

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Here’s a fantastic way for your kids to collaborate on cards for Valentine’s Day even if they are different ages, each contributing according to his or her own skill level. The brilliant hack is to make one big card then cut it into pieces at the end! This can make the task of making Valentine’s for multiple recipients feel less daunting.

Veronika was in charge of the decorating, because as a toddler she loves things like dot markers, crayons, and stickers. I set out pink construction paper and divided it into quarters with lines of pink marker. Then I gave her the above-mentioned supplies, all in various shades of pink and red.

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First she wanted to add jeweled heart stickers, and loved placing these any which way on the paper.

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Some fun with dot markers followed next!

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Keep decorating with whatever other supplies you have on hand, whether pink or red crayons, pink or red colored pencils, or even heart stamps and ink pads.

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When she was done, I cut along the lines so we now had not one card, but four, all decorated and ready to go.

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Travis’s job was to write each cousin’s name at the top and sign the cards with love, all great writing practice!

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We hope these cards bring big smiles to cousins’ faces when they arrive in the mail.