Last weekend was snowy and cold outside. If there was any green to be seen, it was buried under the sopping spring-like snow. But inside, conditions were perfect for playing around with ideas from Steve Spangler’s St. Patrick’s Day Experiment Guide. It’s a downloadable guide packed with experiments and simple, but fun activities. Kids can learn the secrets of the leprechauns and devise ways to capture one of the little mischievous guys.
You may know Steve Spangler from his appearances on Ellen. His ideas are highly entertaining and make science accessible. We had a good time transforming regular roses into something seasonable. The guide calls for using carnations, but the store was out of carnations. I wasn’t sure roses would work, but we learned otherwise. The principles of flower structure are universal.
Beatrix was delighted that it worked! She was amazed and proud because she was the main helper in charge of our Leprechaun flowers.
Another activity we did was shining coins to lure leprechauns. We all know they love coins, especially clean shiny coins. How to clean them? They’re looking pretty dirty. Hmmmm.
My coin-polishing guy went a little overboard with the unusual cleaner, but it smelled good and made me hungry. I promise this worked. Why don’t I have an illustrative photo? Because when we were rinsing the coins, they dropped down the drain and I ended up having to stick my hand into the garbage disposal and fish them out and then they were kind of gross and my hand was gross and then I got distracted. The pennies are now on my microwave in a shiny little stack.
St. Patrick’s Day is this weekend. You and your kids can get started right now with your own holiday fun because the guide is only $5 and is downloadable. You’ll have it forever and many of the ideas can be adapted for other fun times or just messing around in your kitchen. The guide teaches:
~Air movement and Bernoulli’s principle – The Leprechaun Bag
~Light and refraction – Rainbow Glass and Leprechaun Eggs
~Plants and movement of water – Color Changing Carnations (or Roses!)
~Polymers and water absorption – Leprechaun Snow and Green Worms
~Design and fine motor skills – Leprechaun Footprints and Leprechaun Trap
~Chemistry – Leprechaun Rainbow Milk and Leprechaun Treasure Polish
~pH (acids and bases) – Magical Leprechaun Cabbage
~Ultraviolet light and UV-reactive pigment – Rainbow Beads
~Air movement and vacuums – Leprechaun Breakfast
~Non-Newtonian fluids – Green Quicksand
There is a companion kit packed with science supplies, but you don’t need it. There is so much cool stuff in it that you might want to have it on hand for your own snowy or rainy days all year long.
(Steve Spangler Science provided our family with the downloadable guide to check out. I chose the activities and the opinions are ours.)