Hallowe’en is almost here, and what better way to get into the spirit than to concoct some colourful, frothy, magic potions!
My bugs really enjoy MineCraft and the Harry Potter series, so this was definitely an activity I knew they would both love. Besides, what kid can resist the allure of experimenting and creating messy, bubbling, erupting, potions?! I even managed to get them to do some writing (disguised as fun, of course).
- mason jars with lids (so your bugs can bottle up their potions without them spilling)
- food colouring (add to the vinegar, water, and oil to make the liquids more interesting, or have the kids add and mix drops of colour for additional exploration)
- baking soda
- vegetable oil
- a variety of “earthy” and craft materials (pebbles, feathers, leaves, shells, pinecones, small sticks, petals, glitter, sequins, gems, etc.)
- eyedroppers or straws
- a journal or a printed copy of a book-of-magic-potions (make sure to select the printing layout as 2 pages per sheet. Add as many blank pages as you like, then fold the pages in half, punch a couple of holes through the folded edge, and bind the pages together with twine, string or ribbon).
Creating Magic Potions
I displayed all of the materials on the table and told my bugs that they were welcome to create their own magic potions. We brainstormed some ideas first to help ignite their imaginations as to what their potions would do (potion of invisibility, potion of flight, potion of giant-ism, shrinking potion, etc.)
I also encouraged them to look at the materials in a new way (for example, glitter=pixie dust, feathers=Griffin feathers, leaves=dragon scales, etc.) to make their potions more interesting and mystical.
After creating each potion, my bugs drew a picture of their observations and wrote down the ingredients they used (using the imagined names) as well as what the potion does. I made a point to emphasize that these potions are just for fun, and not for actual drinking/using…
My bugs made some interesting scientific observations, such as:
- Vinegar and baking soda create a chemical reaction (carbon dioxide) that results in a fantastic, bubbling brew! Not surprisingly, this was their favourite discovery…
- Water is more dense than oil, so the oil will always rise to the top!
- Adding a lot of salt to water will make objects float (the salt increases the density of the water causing objects to become more buoyant).
- And, of course, mixing colours!
My bugs had a lot of fun experimenting, and using their imaginations, to create unique potions. A lot of them turned out to be quite pretty too, so we displayed them on the windowsill for a couple days before dumping them out and making new ones.
Thanks for stopping by!