Jobs of a Preschooler · Ramblings

Simple Science Experiment: Chemical Reaction

This post contains affiliate links which means I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you if you click on one of the links and make a purchase. Thank you!

My daughters and I continue to do our science lessons using Apologia Exploring Creation with General Science for our science course this year.

We’ve had a lot of fun doing multiple science experiments already using this book. I love how the suggested science experiments use easy-to-find (if not already on hand) supplies. I also like the hands-on approach the science experiments add to the reading.

You can click here if you are interested in seeing the books Apologia offers. Please keep in mind the science books are written from a creationist point of view.

I’ve talked about a couple of the science experiments we have already completed using Apologia Exploring Creation with General Science.

We did a simple science experiment that answered the question: do molecules move faster in cold or hot water.

Does food coloring mix faster in cold water or hot water?

We also did this simple science experiment when we discussed atoms and density.

Simple Science Experiment

I won’t be sharing every science experiment we do along with our current science lessons (there are over 50 of them!); however, today I am showing another simple science experiment we completed during our reading.

This was a neat experiment to show chemical reactions. The science book gives a detailed explanation of what the chemical reactions were, what substances interacted together, and what new substances were formed. I’m not going to get that detailed, but I will still show you what supplies we used and a general idea of the steps we did to complete this experiment.


  • clear, empty plastic 2 liter bottle
  • white, distilled vinegar
  • balloon
  • 2 Tbsp baking soda
  • funnel
  • purple cabbage
  • water
  • small pot
  • stove
  • ladle
  • measuring cups (1 c., 3/4 c., 1/2 c.)
  • safety glasses


  • Boil 2 cups of water in a small pot on the stove with some cabbage leaves. The water should turn purple. Let it cool for a little bit and remove the cabbage leaves.

purple cabbage base

  • Pour 3/4 c. vinegar into 2 liter bottle.

vinegar in bottle

  • Pour about 1/2 c. of the purple cabbage water into the 2 liter bottle using a funnel.

Pouring base into vinegar

  • Notice the color change. The white vinegar and the purple cabbage water made the vinegar (an acid) red.

acid coloring

  • Pour baking soda into the balloon using a dry funnel.
  • Cover the lip of the 2 liter bottle with the balloon’s opening. Make sure the balloon is securely attached.
  • Move the balloon so the baking soda falls into the mixture in the 2 liter bottle.

inflating a balloon with vinegar and baking soda

  • Watch the chemical reaction occur as the mixture fizzes and the balloon gets bigger.

inflating balloon with vinegar and baking soda

  • Eventually, the mixture will stop fizzing.

inflating a balloon with vinegar and baking soda

  • Notice how the red mixture has now turned purple when the baking soda (a base) was added.

Up close base color

It’s as simple as that!

Jobs of a Preschooler- I'm a scientist...

“I’m a scientist…” from the book Jobs of a Preschooler

I ended up buying an entire head of cabbage for this experiment even though it only required a few leaves. As a result, we had quite a bit of cabbage left over.

Similar to when we did our grand pumpkin experiment, I searched online for a recipe so that I could use the left over cabbage pieces.

baked purple cabbage

Who knew that these science lessons would lead to some cooking lessons as well? We ended up sampling some baked cabbage later that day.

from book Jobs of a Preschooler...preschooler being a taste tester

“I’m a taste tester…” from the book Jobs of a Preschooler

What’s your favorite science experiment?








Jobs of a Preschooler · Ramblings

Simple Science: Do Molecules Move Faster in Cold Water or Hot Water?

This post contains affiliate links which means I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you if you click on one of the links and make a purchase. Thank you!

As I had mentioned in a previous post, my daughters and I have been using Apologia Exploring Creation with General Science for our science course this year.

The companion student notebooks (I purchased one for each of my daughters) have been very useful. They have an entire section devoted to scientific lab reports that go along with the course. My daughters are required to complete each of the scientific lab reports when we do the experiments.

Scientific Lab Report 1.2(A2)

My daughters have been getting so much practice following the scientific method lately that they even reminded me of it when I recently declared “Our Grand Pumpkin Experiment”.

We have been able to complete all of the recommended science experiments together so far. I’m hoping we will be able to complete them all, but we will see. There are over 50 within this course!

You can find all of the products Apologia has to offer here.

Below is a science experiment we recently completed during our reading on atomic motion.

Does food coloring mix faster in cold water or hot water? 

We gathered the following materials.

  • 2 quart sized canning jars without lids
  • green food coloring
  • small pot of hot water (heated on stove)
  • cold water
  • hot pad
  • funnel
  • eye protection

Then, we completed the steps listed below.

  • Fill one of the canning jars up to the 400 ml line with cold water.
  • Run the other canning jar under warm to hot water from the faucet. (I did this because I was worried the jar would break with the sudden temperature change of the hot water.)
  • Fill the warm canning jar to the 400 ml line with the hot water. Place on hot pad.
  • Put one drop of the food coloring into each jar at the same time.
  • Watch what happens.

Will the molecules move quicker in the hot water or the cold water?

Does food coloring mix faster in cold water or hot water?

The answer is pretty obvious when you look at the picture. The molecules moved quicker in the hot water than the cold water.

Does food coloring mix faster in cold water or hot water?

Another simple, yet fun experiment completed!

Jobs of a Preschooler- I'm a scientist...

“I’m a Scientist…” from Jobs of a Preschooler


Ramblings · Writing Appearances

How To Make Math Worksheets Fun

Recently I wrote a post for Hands On As We Grow entitled Simple Number Line Car Race to Teach Math about a fun activity I used with one of my daughters to reinforce the concepts of addition and subtraction.

race cars to learn math facts

I enjoy doing simple at-home learning activities with my daughters that don’t require worksheets; however, worksheets can serve a purpose.

Some worksheets seem tedious and boring. Others include interesting information and colorful pictures.

One of my daughters enjoyed doing the activity shown above when she completed addition and subtraction worksheets.

Below are two additional techniques I have used with my daughters to make math worksheets more fun.

Turn Worksheets into a Scavenger Hunt

One of my daughters used to get very overwhelmed with math worksheets. I could tell she was frustrated and the worksheets took much longer for her to complete than necessary. To remedy this situation (while still having her do the worksheets), I turned the worksheets into a timed scavenger hunt.

I simply cut the worksheets into small sections, wrote “clues” to where the next section of the worksheet could be found, and hid the sections around the house. After she completed a section of problems, she would read the clue, and then race to the next small section of problems.

I set a stop watch to record how long it took her to complete the entire scavenger hunt (and worksheet). She definitely finished the worksheets much quicker, and she no longer dreaded having to complete them. Turning the worksheets into a scavenger hunt became a fun game.

Use Dry Erase Boards

My daughters enjoy writing on dry erase boards, so I have copied math problems from worksheets on to boards for them to complete. Again, having just a few problems at a time seems to be less overwhelming than an entire worksheet filled with problems. The dry erase board also offers more space than the worksheets often provide to solve equations.

Once they solve the problems, I correct them on the board. If they get the answer wrong, they redo the problem on the board. If they get the answer correct, they write the answer only on to the worksheet. I have them do this step since we homeschool, and I keep all of their finished worksheets as proof they are actually doing schoolwork, progressing in their studies, and learning.

It may seem silly that using a dry erase board instead of a sheet of paper yields better results since they are doing all of the same problems, but this worked well with my daughters when they were younger.

What are your thoughts about worksheets?










Ramblings · Writing Appearances

8 Batty Books

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you click on them and make a purchase.)

I love doing activities or unit studies based on specific themes. Fall is a great time for themes such as fall leaves, apples, pumpkins, and even bats!

I recently compiled 20+ batty crafts, snacks, and activities to try at home, which was published on Hands On As We Grow.

After doing some batty crafts, snacks, and activities, you may want to huddle together like a colony of bats and enjoy some batty books. Although there are many bat books to choose from, below is a list of eight bat books I was able to check out from my local library.

Bat Jamboree by Kathi Appelt

This rhyming picture book shows the many acts of a group of bats performing in front of other animals. It counts from one to ten and then back again from ten to one. The “show won’t be over until the bat lady sings”.

Little Lost Bat by Sandra Markle

This is a longer story with some sad realities of a bat’s life. It starts with a female Mexican free-tailed bat giving birth to her little baby. It discusses the life of a little bat inside of a cave including some dangers. For example, it states “a snake lurking at the entrance crawls across the cave ceiling and snags a baby bat for dinner”. It also talks about the bats searching for meals of moths, beetles, and mosquitoes; a bat using echolocation (although it only describes the process instead of using the word echolocation); and it goes into detail of an owl snatching the mother bat out of the air. The baby bat waits and waits inside the cave for his mom to arrive, but she never does because she has been taken by the owl. At the end, the baby bat finds another mom bat (who has lost her baby bat) to take care of him.

Although this story does show the realities a bat may face in the wild, some children may have a difficult time accepting the loss of a baby bat and the death of the mom

Bat Loves the Night by Nicola Davies

This story focuses on a pipistrelle bat’s activities throughout a day including waking up, gliding, capturing a meal, and feeding her own little baby bat. Various bat facts are also included throughout the pages.

Hello, Bumblebee Bat by Darrin Lunde

This story has simple text for little readers. It is set up in question and answer format. For example, the little bat is asked his name, and the little bat responds that his name is Bumblebee Bat. Throughout the book, the bat answers how small he is, what he looks like, how he sees at night, where he lives, how he sleeps, and more.

I found this book in the children’s nonfiction section at my library. It focuses specifically on information concerning bumblebee bats.

Bats at the Library by Brian Lies

This rhyming picture book talks about the adventures a colony of bats has at the library throughout one night. They hang upside down from a lamp, create shadows, copy themselves, splash in a drinking fountain, and (of course) read.

Bats in the Band by Brian Lies

This rhyming picture book starts with bats awakening after hibernation. So, what do bats do when they no longer are quietly hibernating? They create music with horns, bagpipes, bugles, violins, straws, spoons, and more. There’s a one-bat band that plays, a group that plays a country song, and more. As night ends and the bats head home, they realize music can be found in everything.

Bats at the Ballgame by Brian Lies

This rhyming picture book shows the adventures of bats at a ballgame. A vendor flutters around with mothdogs, the mound is raked (with a fork), the anthem is sung, and the bats play a great game of bat-ball. What team will win before the night ends?

Bats at the Beach by Brian Lies

This rhyming picturre books shows the adventures of bats at (you guessed it) a beach. The bats even take turns being kites (as seen on the cover) and enjoy dessert at the snack bar (hanging upside down around a single light bulb that is attracting many insects).

What do you think of bats? Are they cute and furry or creepy creatures?

Jobs of a Preschooler · Ramblings

Our Grand Pumpkin Experiment

I’ve mentioned that my family and I have been able to make pickles, can jalapenos, and make quick fresh salsa this summer using fresh ingredients.

Our garden is no longer nearly as large as it had been in the past since we moved last year, but we have still been able to enjoy jalapenos, cherry tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, green beans, sugar snap peas, and strawberries from the plants we have planted in pots on our deck.

We were even able to get a few zucchinis from a zucchini plant in a large pot on our patio. My daughters were so happy we had actually gotten a zucchini from a potted plant that they invented “Zucchini Harvest Day” on the day we picked the first zucchini.

It’s now time to enjoy pumpkins.

We don’t have pumpkins in our potted garden, but my grandparents recently gifted my daughters with two pumpkins from their garden. My grandma mentioned these pumpkins are specifically grown for cooking.

Since we had written “make a pie” on our fall activity list, we decided to attempt to make a fresh pumpkin pie using these pumpkins.

pumpkins on deck

Maybe we’ve been doing too many scientific experiments lately because when I mentioned this would be our “grand pumpkin experiment”, one of my daughters reminded me that I needed to follow the steps of the scientific method in order to call it an experiment.

Jobs of a Preschooler- I'm a scientist...

“I’m a scientist…” from the book Jobs of a Preschooler

Well, my objective was to make pumpkin puree and create an edible pumpkin pie using the pumpkins we had been given.

My hypothesis was that we would successfully create pumpkin puree, and the pie would be edible but would not taste or look good, yet we would still have fun even if it didn’t turn out well. At least that way, I would either be right with my hypothesis or pleasantly surprised with the results.

I wasn’t sure what materials or procedure we needed to follow to make the pumpkin puree, though, so I did some online research.

We started by cutting the pumpkins open and scooping out the insides.

scooping pumpkin innards

As one of my daughters and I were scooping out the insides, my other daughter separated all of the seeds from the guts of the pumpkins.

Sorting through pumpkin guts

One of the ideas I found online for making pumpkin puree was to cut the pumpkin into strips and bake it. We decided to try that.

I had the pieces sitting with the peel side down, but they started burning, so I rotated them a few times while they were baking. I removed them from the oven when they were soft enough to peel and mash.

Baking pumpkin

One of the other ideas I saw online for making pumpkin puree was to remove the peel, cut the pumpkin into cubes, and boil the pieces. We decided to try that, too.

This technique reminded me of a combination of cutting a watermelon and making mashed potatoes. I used a colander to remove the water once all of the pumpkin pieces were soft. Then, my daughter mashed them in a large bowl using a potato masher.

Boiling pumpkin

We had more pumpkin pieces baking in the oven than boiling on the stove since I couldn’t fit as many pieces in the large pot as I could on the cookie sheets.

Our observations were that the boiled pumpkin seemed to soften quicker than the baked pumpkin. We were also able to mash it sooner since the peel had already been removed. I had to let the baked pumpkin cool for a little bit before I could remove the peel and mash it. I apparently didn’t let it cool long enough because I still managed to burn my fingers a little as I was removing the peel.

The mashed baked pumpkin pieces seemed more stringy and less moist than the mashed boiled pumpkin pieces. I was concerned the boiled pumpkin puree was going to be too moist for future recipes (especially if frozen first), so I ended up mixing the baked pumpkin puree and the (drained) boiled pumpkin puree together. I divided the puree into containers, so it could cool in the refrigerator.

pumpkin puree in container

Once we had our pumpkin puree, we were ready to make the pumpkin pie. I found a recipe on allrecipes for homemade fresh pumpkin pie using 2 cups of the pumpkin puree.

We read through the recipe, made sure we had all of the ingredients, and then watched a video on Youtube to see how to cut shortening into flour using the two butter knives method.

We successfully made the pie crust, but I managed to accidentally tear it apart as I was trying to put it into the greased pie pan. So, we rolled the dough flat again, placed the greased pie pan upside down on it, cut around the edges, and carefully peeled it away from the board we had used to roll it. Once peeled from the board, we flipped the pie pan with the dough in it. From there, we pushed the dough flat and pinched along the top edges.

It wasn’t the most gorgeous pie crust, but I considered it a success since I was able to get it into the pie pan without it falling apart again.

homemade pie crust

We had looked through the list of ingredients before making the pie, but we didn’t realize we only had about 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg instead of the 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg suggested in the pumpkin pie recipe. So, we used 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and we decided to increase the amount of ground cinnamon to 1 teaspoon.

We also didn’t use an electric mixer or immersion blender like the recipe had recommended. Instead, we mixed the filling by hand with a large plastic spoon.

Mixing pie filling

Once mixed well, we poured the mixture into the pan. We actually had a little bit of extra mixture that didn’t fit in the pan, which I disposed of. We created a heart with the small amount of left over pie crust we had. Then, the pie was carefully placed in the preheated oven. I was thankful I managed to get it into the oven without spilling any of it.

precooked pumpkin pie

The result was that cooked pumpkin pie actually turned out much better than I had expected, so my hypothesis was wrong. It may not be the best looking pumpkin pie, but it didn’t look horrible and everyone in my family thought it tasted great. In fact, the entire pie was eaten in less than twenty-four hours by my family of four.

finished pumpkin pie

In conclusion, we were able to successfully make pumpkin puree and an edible, delicious pumpkin pie using the pumpkins my daughters were gifted. We were able to do this by researching information, following (and adjusting) directions, and working together.

But, we didn’t stop there.

We didn’t let those seeds my daughter had separated at the beginning go to waste. We soaked them overnight and then made two different kinds of baked pumpkin seeds. One included a mixture of butter, sugar, and cinnamon and the other was just salt.

2 kinds of pumpkin seeds

When the pumpkin puree was completely cooled, I divided it two cups at a time into six separate labeled freezer bags. I’m curious to see how well it will work in future recipes once it has been frozen. Hopefully, we will be able to replicate 6 more delicious pumpkin pies within the next few months with this puree.

pumpkin puree prepared to freeze

We had made a total of 15 cups of pumpkin puree from the two pumpkins. We used 2 cups for the pumpkin pie and packaged 12 cups in the freezer bags to freeze, so we had a total of 1 cup pumpkin puree remaining. Since I didn’t want to waste the extra pumpkin puree, I found a pumpkin muffins with cinnamon streusel topping recipe from allrecipes that required only 1 cup of pumpkin puree.

We made a total of 18 muffins using the recipe. They didn’t hold together very well when I removed them from the muffin pans, but they still tasted pretty good.

pumpkin muffins

Do you have a pumpkin recipe you’d like to share?

From book Jobs of a Preschooler...Preschooler being a chef

“I’m a chef…” from the book Jobs of a Preschooler