Science in the Bath

Experiments make a bath fun (and messy). Plus, says Shar Levine, author of Bathtub Science, your kids “won’t be terrified” in Chem 101 later on. Start with this lab work.

Colored Concoctions
Fill plastic cups with water and food coloring. Then give your kid empty containers and start mixing it up.
Be sure to mention: We see the colors we do because our eyes have special sensors to detect them. Some animals see more colors; others see no color at all.

Underwater Sounds
Clank two spoons together underwater. Have your little mermaid listen from above, then ask her to dunk her head and listen again. The sound will be much louder the second time.
Explanation: Sound waves are good at swimming through water or wiggling through air, but not at moving from one medium to the other. So it’s hard to hear a noise that starts underwater when your ears are in the air.

Flotation Device
Place a sheet of foil on the water. Note the float. Now ball it up. Sinker!
What’s going on: When the foil is flat, its weight is spread across a lot of water molecules, which team up to hold it up. When it’s in a ball, all the weight’s in one spot and it breaks through.

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