Have I mentioned how much I love being an Usborne Books & More consultant? One reason is that I get to try out some amazing books because I really don’t like to sell books I haven’t read and enjoy myself. Today my soon to be 5 year old and I busted out our new book, Big book of Science things to make and do, for our afternoon activity. She picked out the Layered Liquids experiment.
First we had a cup full of cold water and food coloring. Note that I didn’t realize we should have been doing this in a separate cup and not the container we were going to be making layers in so after coloring the water we poured it back into the measuring cup.
Next came the cooking oil. The directions just say to add 4 TBSP to the jar but I thought it would be fun for my daughter to see what would happen if you add food coloring. It was neat seeing how it stayed in a little blob like in a lava lamp instead of mixing with the oil. Even stirring wouldn’t get the food coloring to mix and I had her explain her observations about the difference in behavior of the food coloring in the water and oil.
Then we slowly added the water to the jar (pouring it down the side of the jar) and watched as the water sank below the oil. How cool right? Thankfully since I’m rusty on all my science knowledge the book had a blurb explaining about the difference in density between oil and water caused the water to sink. I did have to simplify saying that the water was just heavier even though I know it’s not the most accurate description but oh well. You can’t really see it too well in the picture but it was also neat to see how the green food coloring we had put in the oil got sucked down into the water layer as well.
Finally we added some corn syrup to the bottle and watched that sink below the water and created three distinct layers. The green is the corn syrup, the black (it was supposed to be purple) is the water and the yellow is the oil.
After that we just played around with the mixture like stirring it up and watching them separate again. We also tried adding more food coloring and watched as it slowly sank through the oil into the water layer.
Not long after this my 2 year old woke up and wanted to play as well. It didn’t take long for the concoction to be spilled and that was that for this experiment but we had a blast. Even when daddy came home he was watching the experiment and making suggestions on things to try out.
This is the book we used and you can purchase it through my store if interested.