We know about purple cabbage as a pH indicator...but did you know that radish skins can be used to test if liquids are acidic or basic? A pH indicator is a substance that changes color (and sometimes smell) when a basic or acidic substance is introduced. This is a fun activity and can even be adapted to any holiday.
Have your little goblin draw a picture of something spooky...perhaps a pair of lips and fangs, a pumpkin or a witch.
Hold on firmly to a radish and rub the radish onto the picture like a crayon as you color in the lips, pumpkin or witch's hair and dress with the red color skin.
The red radish color on the paper will act as a pH indicator.
(With purple cabbage juice ...If a BASIC substance is introduced, the paper will turn a BLUE/GREEN color. If an acidic substance is introduced, the paper will turn a PINK/RED color.)
With the red radish paper, we found that the BASIC substance turned the paper a shade of ORANGE and the ACIDIC substance turned the paper a shade of dark PURPLE.
Try some substances around the house...water (neutral), milk (neutral), bleach (basic), baking soda paste (basic), glass cleaner (basic), vinegar (acidic), lemon juice (acidic)... what else?
We made a baking soda paste by adding a little water to a Tb of baking soda and mixing it together.
[Just like making a red cabbage juice pH indicator...If you wanted to make a red radish liquid, you could skin the radish peels and to the peels, add a 50-70% alcohol water solution. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. Now you have a liquid litmus indicator. You can pour the liquid into small cups and it will turn colors when an acid or base is introduced. OR you can soak pieces of paper in the red liquid, let them dry and then cut the radish-soaked paper in strips.. Now you have pH paper. Drop a little drop of bleach, lemon juice or vinegar onto the paper...are they acidic or basic substances?]
This fun activity results in the production of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in a fun fizzy drink. We put a little Halloween twist on this one.
Ask your little haunt to use a black sharpie to draw a picture of a Jack-o-lantern on the front of a clear plastic cup. Fill the cup with freshly squeezed orange juice to see the Jack-o-lantern appear.
You can also use bottled lemon juice and a little food coloring to make the drink a nice orange. (Here's a trick for Halloween: It will look like orange, but taste like lemon)
Let your child use a spoon to add a little sugar to sweeten the drink to taste.
Now, let your child sprinkle a teeeeeeeny bit of baking soda over the drink. You will see the reaction between the citrus acid and the baking soda begin to form fizz....or Carbon Dioxide bubbles.
NOW I DO MEAN TEEEEEEEENY bit of Baking Soda. Let your child take a pinch of baking soda and sprinkle it on the top of the drink. If you use too much, your drink will taste salty, so use just a little and taste the drink along the way as you add a bit more baking soda.
Enjoy your Jack-o-lantern juice!
TRICK OR TREAT TOSSER
Physics and Math...what could excite your children more!?!
Let's make a lever launcher to toss those Tricky Treats across the room. You can make a launcher by just using plastic spoons that won't launch the treats too far, or one made with popsicle sticks that tosses a bit farther.
I'll explain with the spoons. You'll need two spoons or popsicle sticks. Lay one spoon on top of the other. Secure the handle of the spoons together with a rubber band at the very bottom of the handles. Slide a pencil inbetween the spoons and push it down towards the bottom of the handles. Then secure the pencil in place. The pencil acts as a fulcrum for this lever launcher.
If you use popsicle sticks, lay one on top of the other and secure the very end of one side with a rubberband. Slide a pencil inbetween the popsicle sticks and secure the pencil with a rubberband. You can now lay a spoon face up on top of one of the popsicle sticks. Secure the spoon with a rubberband around the spoon handle and the popsicle stick. The spoon will act as a "holder" for the Halloween treats.
Now, set a treat inside the spoon "cup". Push down towards the table on the tip of the spoon and release... Watch the treat soar.
Instead of just launching treats randomly, let's set out a cupcake tin. Try to launch the treats into the tin. On the bottom of each cup of the cupcake tin, place a number from 1 - 12 inside of it. (You can just write the numbers on a piece of paper or a small sticky note paper)
Now, let your child launch away and try to get as many as they can into the cupcake tin. Now for the math. If you have a little learner, they can just count the number of treats that landed into a certain cup. More advanced learners can add or subtract the number of treats with the number in the bottom of the cup. Multiplication students can multiply the number that is on the bottom of the cup with the number of treats that landed in that cupcake cup. Or, you can divide the two numbers.
However you play, your child will enjoy launching the treats and watching them soar!