Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Summer Fun :: Lava Lamps, Gak, and Oobleck!

Summer is waning and you've done just about all you can do to occupy your children's time. What's left?

How about some easy and fun science projects you can do in your kitchen. Most of the materials will be in your pantry or utility room, however, a dollar store is a great locale for anything you may be missing.

Homemade Lava Lamps

Lava lamps have been popular since the seventies; we even have one in our youngest son's room. Why not recreate one in your kitchen without the heat and electricity? My boys loved this and even experimented with different amounts of alka seltzer. I think they wanted it to boil over, but even with 8, it didn't!


A glass container
Vegetable oil
Alka seltzer tablets (I used a generic form)
10 drops of food coloring


Fill your glass container half-way with oil. Fill the remainder amount (less one inch) with water. Add the food coloring of your choice. Then, break the alka seltzer into several smaller tabs and add them to the container. Enjoy the show!


Very popular in the late eighties and early nineties, Gak was a Nickelodeon slime. This is definitely a favorite in our house! (Just as long as it doesn't end up in the carpet.)


1/4 cup of liquid starch
1/4/ cup of Elmer's glue
Food coloring
Plastic baggie for mixing


Combine the glue and liquid starch in a plastic baggie. Add food coloring and mix well. Allow the Gak to set-up for a few minutes and gently mix again. Once all the liquid is absorbed, you may remove the Gak and play with it freely like a putty.


Oobleck is derived from the goo found in the Dr. Seuss story Bartholomew and the Oobleck. Every child will thoroughly enjoy reading the book and then creating their own!


A mixing bowl and spoon
1 cup of water
1 1/2 to 2 cups of cornstarch (adjust as needed)
food coloring


Combine the cornstarch and water, along with the food coloring of your choice, in a mixing bowl. Stir until well combined. The stirring may be difficult at first, but it will become easier as your progress.

Oobleck is a real treat because it has the property of a solid and a liquid depending on how fast or slow your child pushes their finger into it.

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