Monday, January 31, 2011

when science experiments fail :)

Today was first day back at school :(
Im sorry to those of you who are glad the holidays are over but Im SO not one of those mums. I totally miss her when shes not here and its weird for the other two as well... this week will get even bigger when Jared starts preschool :( gosh what will I do????

Over the weekend, Jumeirah wanted to try and experiment we had seen all over the net, creating our own lava lamp.
This needed baby oil, water and food colouring and I told her we could do it :) And so she found a bottle and we began.
Firstly, you pour in about 1/8 of the size of the bottle with water. Then fill the rest with baby oil.
I stupidly squeezed it too hard so it fizzed and bubbled and became incredibly cloudy so we had to let it sit for awhile... Of course I also have no patience so it wasnt completely clear when we started.

So we added the food colouring to it which was cool cos the food colouring stays in a ball shape until it hits the water, then it slowly bursts through and colours the water. By this stage the oil was a bit clearer but still a little murky, thus the crap photos .. sorry :)

It was about now that I realised we were missing a very main ingredient, an alka seltser tablet. Not to be put off, we hunted through the cupboards and found ENOs ( a stomach settler) and figured, "well its fizzy so surely it would work" and so we tried it.

I have never seen a little face light up so much. Photos dont do it justice but it was totally amazing to watch, even through cloudy oil :)

Unfortunately we got a little over zealous and once we had added almost half the bottle of ENOs to it, we ended up with a real lava flow... all over the kitchen in a glorious oil and RED food colouring mess. Jumeirah was nearly delirious with delight at creating REAL lava.

The next day when the oil had returned to completely clear, we tried again, this time adding black food colouring to the mix. Unfortunately the oil and water contain far too much ENOs and was not dissolving but I was encouraged by my loving 6 yr old that we could try again with proper tablets.

And even though it didnt work as I had hoped, it was a fantastic time of learning and experimenting, talking about colours, things that dont mix, density, and, of course, Lava ;)

You should definitely try this one :)


  1. Well, at least it kinda worked. And she loved it.

  2. We did lava "lamps" at Kid Zone by just putting the liquid coloring into straight oil. I even used cooking oil so it was a bit yellowish - it was amazing for the kids to tilt their little bottles and watch the big blob break into smaller little balls.

    But your volcano eruption sounds fun too - just couldn't do it with loads of kids unless we had loads of supervisors!