A good experiment can entice all four of my kids, regardless of their age range. This one was super simple, but gave us lots of bang for our buck!
We found Soap Souffle on Steve Spangler Science…but of course, we added a few twists of our own! Here’s what we did:
First, we compared Ivory soap to a regular brand. We noticed right away that the Ivory floated in water while the regular soap sunk. Why? we wondered. Thomas thought it might have something to do with density or buoyancy, two concepts we’d played with before.
Next, we placed the Ivory soap on a paper towel in the microwave, set it for 2:00 on high and watched the magic!
Watch out…it gets hot!
Of course the kids wanted to do more than just observe this phenomena – they wanted to experience it! I gave each of the kids a portion of our “souffle” on a tray (it gets super messy otherwise!) and let them explore to their hearts’ content. Talk about a sensory experience! Texture, temperature, and scent – this souffle had it all!
While the kids explored, we talked about why the soap did what it did. Steve Spangler’s explanation was quick and easy to understand.
But the fun didn’t stop there! Curiosity abounded as Thomas, Faith and Maggie began to wonder all sorts of things….
What if I rub it between my hands for a long time?
What if I add water?
What if I add water, then put it back in the microwave?
What about adding an ice cube?
Of course, they had to try out each idea!
This is what I love about a good open ended science experiment: it engages a child’s curiosity and sense of wonder. Without even realizing it, these small scientists were forming hypothesis, making predictions, testing their ideas and forming conclusions: the scientific method in action!
And the best part? This is one experiment where small hands are cleaner afterwards than they were before!