Do you want to Keep Kids Smart and Satisfied This Summer with Amazing (Mostly) Edible Science Experiments ?! Then Check out “Amazing (Mostly) Edible Science” a book for today’s young experimenters and their fearless parents. These projects show kids how real science happens in the kitchen. The recipes are simple, fun, require no special ingredients and are totally non-toxic (although there are a few you might only want to taste once – i.e “slime”). Suitable for the whole family, “Amazing (Mostly) Edible Science“ will Keep Kids Smart and Satisfied This Summer with Amazing (Mostly) Edible Science Experiments and keep your kids busy, engaged, and happily snacking on their amazing results. Who knows? The next great chemist – or chef – might be asking you right now, what are we going to do today? Keep reading for ways to introduce kids to the fun and practical side of science via the kitchen with these safe, non-toxic projects and at-home experiments from exploding volcano cakes, to glow-in-the-dark Jell-O, and bouncy eggs (classic!)!
Keep Kids Smart and Satisfied This Summer with Amazing (Mostly) Edible Science Experiments
INCREDIBLE, EDIBLE SLIME
Thick, slippery, and gooey, slime is a strange substance that feels funny to the touch.
The secret ingredient is cornstarch! The simple mixture of cornstarch and water is one of the weirdest fluids on Earth. In fact, it behaves so strangely that it is classified as “non-Newtonian,” an homage to Isaac Newton, who first described the easy flow of fluids, when he wasn’t identifying gravity or developing calculus. A liquid of cornstarch and water doesn’t act like other liquids; the harder you press on it, the more solid it becomes. Wild! This project is fast and fun, and great to pull out at parties!
Makes about 1½ cups (360 ml) !! BE CAREFUL! HAVE A GROWN-UP HELP YOU DO THIS !!
- One 14-ounce (414-ml) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tablespoon (8 g) cornstarch
- Some food coloring
- A few drops of vanilla or other flavor extract (optional)
- Mixing spoon
COOK UP YOUR SLIME
- In the saucepan, stir together the milk and cornstarch over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly.
- When the mixture thickens, take it off the stove. BE CAREFUL! HOT SLIME CAN STICK
COOL IT, COLOR IT—AND PLAY WITH IT!
- Stir in your favorite slime-ball coloring and any flavorings you might want with a fork, and then let it cool.
- When your slime ball is at room temperature, you can take it out—and play with it! And yes—it’s edible.
HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?
Most materials have three states of being: solid, liquid, and gas. At room temperature, for instance, water is a liquid. Freeze it, and it becomes a solid (ice). Heat it up, and it evaporates into a gas (steam). Milk, which has a lot of water in it, acts in pretty much the same way—or it would if you hadn’t mixed the cornstarch in it.
The weird thing about cornstarch is that it does not fully dissolve in most liquids. Instead, its tiny particles just sort of stay floating around inside, creating what’s called a suspension. When you squeeze on your slime ball, the bits of cornstarch smash together, making it feel slippery on the outside but solid on the inside. Let go, and the cornstarch bits spread out again, making your slime ball seem more liquid than solid.
PS: If you’re planning to eat your slime ball, you might not want to roll it on the floor, let it goop through your dirty hands, or get a bunch of hair in it. In the end, you may find it’s a better toy than a snack—but be brave, and give it a try.
GLOWY, BOUNCY EGGS
Have you ever tried to bounce an egg? Well, don’t try it—at least, not until you try this project. In this experiment, you’re going to soak a raw egg in vinegar until the shell dissolves. Eggs are amazing. Right under the shell, there are two membranes. These membranes are made largely of protein, and that protein is going to react with the vinegar in your setup and become firm and bouncy—strong enough to hold all of the liquid egg inside once the shell is gone. The clear liquid (egg white) inside is also packed with proteins. When you shine a light through it, the proteins refract the light and the egg white starts to glow. If you look even more closely, you’ll see two lines in the egg white going from the edge to the center. These are “chalazae” (say “cha-LAY-zee”), which are twisted ropes of protein that attach the yolk to the outside membranes and make sure it stays safely in the center of the egg.
Makes 1 glowy, bouncy egg—but make as many as you like!
- 1 egg
- 1½ cups (360 ml) white vinegar
- 1-quart (1-L) glass jar with lid, like a Mason jar
- Soupspoon, if needed
SET UP YOUR EXPERIMENT
- Carefully place the egg in the jar. Don’t let the egg drop in and break! (If your fingers don’t reach the bottom of the jar, ask an adult to help, or put the egg onto a soupspoon, turn the jar sideways on a table or counter, and carefully use the spoon to slide the egg into the jar.)
- Add the vinegar, screw the lid on tightly, and set the jar aside for 2 to 3 days.
CHECK YOUR EGG!
- Your egg is ready when you can see these things happening: The vinegar looks foamy, with little bits of decomposed egg shell floating on the surface; the egg has swelled to about twice its size and is floating in the vinegar; you can see light coming through the egg when you hold it up to a window or lightbulb. When you see this happening, it means most of the shell has dissolved. If there are a few opaque areas where light is not coming through, that doesn’t matter. They can be washed off.
- Carefully remove the egg from the vinegar and wash in a bowl of cold, clean water. Bounce it, but not too hard.
The membrane around the egg has toughened up, but the egg inside is still raw. If the membrane breaks, the raw egg will run all over.
HOW DID THAT HAPPEN? The acetic acid in vinegar dissolves the calcium carbonate of the egg shell, causing the shell to dissolve. As soon as you put the egg in the vinegar, you can see bubbles rising off the egg shell. The bubbles are carbon dioxide, created by the reaction of the vinegar and calcium in the egg shell. At the same time, the acid coagulates the protein in the membrane under the shell, making it tough and bouncy.
CREAMLESS ICE CREAM
This “ice cream” doesn’t use cream. In fact, it’s totally dairy free—and practically fat free. And there’s no sugar! The secret ingredient is bananas. Bananas store their energy in the form of starch and convert that starch to sugar as they ripen. The change is awesome. A mature banana that’s yellow, but still green at the ends, has 25 parts starch to 1 part sugar. Wait a day or two until you can see brown stripes on the banana’s skin and everything will have switched. The banana is now 1 part starch to about 20 parts sugar. The fruit inside will be smooth, creamy, fragrant and so-o-o-o-o sweet!
Makes about 2 cups (480 ml)
4 very ripe (but not overripe!) bananas, peeled, broken into chunks, and frozen solid
Pinch of ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Container with a cover to store any uneaten portions
SMASH IT ALL TOGETHER…
- Put everything in the blender and blend until smooth.
- Start on the slowest speed and work up to the fastest, using the tamper to help everything blend smoothly.
- Reduce the speed of the blender to the lowest level before turning it off.
- Scrape into bowls with the rubber spatula and dig in!
- You can keep this tasty treat in the freezer for up to about 2 hours. After that it will start to freeze solid and will need to be chopped up and run through a blender again.
HOW DID THAT HAPPEN? Unripe bananas are rich in starches that turn into sugar as the fruit ripens.
At the same time, enzymes in the fruit soften the fruit’s fibers, turning them creamy. The combination of high sugar concentration and creamy mouthfeel makes a puréed frozen banana a dead ringer for sweet, rich, ice cream.