Fun energy experiments to do with your kids over winter break

Anyone with children knows that it is sometimes hard to keep them entertained over the long winter break. Below are some fun, cool and easy energy experiments to stave away the boredom.

Dancing Oobleck: take some cornstarch and some water, mix together along with some food coloring if  you’d like some color and then throw on a stereo with some music that has bass and watch the Oobleck dance! It teaches the kiddos that even though you can’t see sound waves, they do exist!

Dove Soap clouds: grab a bar of Dove soap and put it in your microwave – on a plate of course! Put a couple minutes on the clock and watch the soap create a fluffy cloud. It shows kids that when the molecules of gas that are within the soap get hot, they need more space and make a break for it. As the temperature increases so does the volume.

Magic Plastic Bag: get a plastic bag and some sharpened pencils and head over to your sink.  It’s as simple as filling the plastic bag about ½ way and then shoving pencils from one side through to the other.  It amazingly doesn’t leak! Teaches kids about how polymers work.

Microwave Light Bulb: all you need is a light bulb, a microwave safe glass and some water.  It’s amazing, this actually works! Fill a microwave safe glass about ½ way with water and place the light bulb socket-end first into the water.  Remove the rotating tray from your microwave and set the timer for no more than 45 seconds and watch the bulb light up. This demonstrates how the appliance works by sending out small waves of energy, otherwise known as microwaves and the waves of energy pass through the bulb to light it up.

Incredible Can Crusher: you will need access to a stovetop, empty pop can, water, glass bowl and a pair of tongs for this one. Rinse out the can and place about a tablespoon of water in it.  Take it to the stove and heat it up, remove carefully with the tongs, flip upside down and plunge it into the bowl with the water. This shows that by boiling the water it changes from a liquid to a gas.

Shrinking Chip Bags: you can create mini-chip bags in your microwave. You need an empty bag of SunChips and a microwave.  Place the bag inside the microwave and put it on high for 5 seconds – that’s all it needs. There will be a bit of spark and some noise, but nothing to worry about. After the 5 seconds you should have a mini version of your chip bag! Wait about a minute before removing as it will be hot. This again goes back to polymers, the bag is made up of polymers that were heated to create the shape of the bag. When heated in the microwave they release from the shape and return to its normal bunched state.

NOTE: Please read through all the instructions on the above sites before attempting these experiments. All of these require adult supervision, children should not perform any of these alone.

Santanna Energy Services wishes you a fun and safe winter break!