The anatomy of a science experiment (A photodiary)


In a continued effort to reduce screen time, I set up Peanut’s science kit on the kitchen table this past weekend.  She was beyond excited to try the volcano experiment…so I laid down a towel to catch the mess, got out the instructions, and away we went!

A few notes before we begin:

1.  Don’t be too impressed with me.  I used old, crusty baking soda from the back of the fridge and happened to have vinegar under the sink for toddler dog pee pee accidents.

2.  Peanut and Pumpkin both hate clothing with the fire of a thousand suns.   If you didn’t already know this, you clearly haven’t read this or this. Naturally, then, Peanut is naked in these photo-diary below.  Nudity was not a requirement of the science experiment, I assure you.  You can, in fact, build a volcano while clothed.

3.  To set up, I laid down a dark colored towel on the kitchen table and had Peanut put her safety goggles on.

4.  The cluttered counters, overflowing sink, and otherwise messy kitchen in the background was Photoshopped in so that you wouldn’t feel bad about YOUR messy kitchen.  Yes, even the overflowing recycling bin is a feat of editing magic. You’re welcome.

For this experiment, you will need:


food coloring for the “lava” (optional but super fun)

baking soda


large beaker or cup

small beaker or cup

Step 1: The Mountain

To start, fill a beaker with 1 cup of water and a bunch (3 or 4 Tbsp) of crusty old baking soda. Stir well.

CONGRATULATIONS ! You built yourself a mountain.


Step 2: The Magma


Next, fill a small beaker with 1/4 cup of vinegar. Add 5 drops of red food coloring.

Voila! You have LAVA!


Step 2: The Magic Happens


Slowly add the vinegar (lava) to the baking soda (mountain).


KABOOOM! Science magic.

Then repeat….


"Do it again! Do it again!"

And repeat….

"We need more pee pee cleaner, Mommy!"


And then finally give in and make the whole darn thing explode….


Here's where the towel comes in handy.



So. awesome.

Last but not least, allow your experiment devolve into a mess of food coloring, water, and eye droppers. Your Little Scientist will be in experiment heaven.  And you will get at least 20 minutes of uninterrupted Facebook meditation time.


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