Sharpie Tie Dye Science Experiment

The image above is a close up of the experiment that my son and I did using sharpies, rubbing alcohol and fabric. I had seen this science/art experiment circulating around the internet and thought that we would give it a whirl.

Materials used:
  • plastic cup
  • white cotton fabric
  • scissors
  • rubber band
  • sharpies (all different colors)
  • rubbing alcohol
  • eye dropper

First we cut out a piece of cotton fabric, wider than the opening of the plastic cup we were using. Then secured it over the top of the cup by using a rubber band and pulling it taut. We drew circles in the fabric of all different colors with our sharpies.

Then took turns dripping rubbing alcohol onto the fabric with an eye dropper.

It was cool to see the colors from the ink spread out through the fabric. We noticed that some inks spread better than others, namely the yellows and the blues.

Lessons my son learned by doing this:
  • Sharpies are called "permanent" markers because they are water- "insoluble", which means water will not dissolve the ink or make it bleed. 
  • Sharpie ink, however, is "soluble" in rubbing alcohol aka - it will dissolve in rubbing alcohol.
  • Solvent is the substance that dissolves the this case, rubbing alcohol is the solvent, however, in many cases water can be the solvent, like with watercolors.
This was a fun activity. As I am just about to post this, I found a similar activity just posted that I'd like to refer you to, as it sounds super fun too, and fitting for this time of is doing virtually this same thing but on Easter Eggs! Head over to Housing a Forest and check out their post! Enjoy!
If you liked this post and you want to stay informed of more kid activity ideas I post or find around the blogosphere, remember to "like" me on my Facebook Page! Thank you! Have a wonderful day!
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DIY Rainbow Rice!

It has been forever and a day since I last posted! There has been some (welcome) changes in my life; however, for awhile there I got out of my routine of blogging, but I hope to get rolling again! I do enjoy it, and it keeps me on top of my game with my son.
The latest fun project we did was dyeing a big batch of rice in every color of the rainbow. 

I mixed up 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Discount School Supply Liquid Watercolors with a splash of rubbing alcohol first and then poured the mixture into 6-8 cups of white rice. I mixed it up with a spoon until the color was absorbed consistently.  I then spread out the rice on various baking pans (a cookie sheet, a casserole dish, etc.). I ended up with 7 batches of different colored rice so I had a lot to spread out! I fit the rice best I could in a preheated oven (170 degrees). Once in awhile I stirred it. After about 20 minutes I turned the oven off, and just let the rice sit continuing to dry. Once the rice was completely dry, I put it all in a Sterilite plastic bin and then let my son have at it! The bin proved perfect for sensory exploration, as the sides were high enough that not much rice escaped (it was 35 quart size, 24.5"x17.75"x7.125")! In addition, it still had the lid intact (making it perfect for easy storage). You can find a bin this size for $9-10 at your local home improvement store.

I was thrilled to see that my son played in the rice for a long time! We added little toys from his room that he buried and then made explode out of the rice (via use of his imagination and his hands). Also I put in plastic measuring cups, a funnel and a spoon which he used for pouring. Pouring (rotating of the wrist) is an excellent practice for developing fine motor skills and I emphasize this as well with the preschool kids I work with.

My son found old glow sticks that he stuck in the rice and used them for an obstacle course that the toys had to weave around. He was deep in imagination.
I was so happy to see my son engaged so deeply in this sensory tub for so long! It is SO WELL WORTH it to create sensory tubs such as this for your child or students to explore in. In my experience, THEY entertain themselves for LONG stretches of time — such a better use of their time than video games or TV in my opinion! I hope you try it out — you won't be disappointed!
This post is part of a Rainbow themed linky party...go check it out here:
If you liked this post and you want to stay informed of more kid activity ideas I post or find around the blogosphere, remember to "like" me on my Facebook Page! Thank you! Have a wonderful day!

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