I mentioned yesterday that we were unable to erupt our new volcano on Tuesday as planned because we'd gone through our entire gallon of vinegar doing other things. Specifically, it had been used as one of the 3 liquids we'd employed to make mixtures, formulas and concoctions.
Mixing random things together is one of those activities that is always a hit and this was no exception. Our chemists had relatively free access to several white powders: baking soda, flour, corn starch, Ivory Snow (a type of detergent that is only soap), and salt, as well as the liquids of water, vegetable oil and vinegar. I say "relatively free access" because I've learned that entirely free access to these types of materials inevitably leads to the group think idea of just dumping everything together in a big pile and that's that. Years ago a parent donated a massive quantity of small, disposable sample cups, so I'd asked my daughter Josephine, who was working the station, to ration the supplies by providing them in these little cups.
She was very busy for the better part of an hour, keeping those little cups full.
In fact, the workbench was so slammed for most of the morning that Joshua's mom Heidi had to pitch in.
It didn't take them long to figure out that the baking soda-vinegar combination produced the most dramatic results, hence the massive usage of vinegar.
This was going on simultaneously and adjacent to our rainbow room project (a phenomenon that prompted Thomas to say, "Teacher Tom, this is the best school ever!") which involved using squirt bottles of liquid water color to decorate coffee filter sea weed. It wasn't long before those paint bottles had migrated over to the workbench adding a fourth liquid to our experiments.
And while I hadn't anticipated the paint finding its way into the mix, I had intentionally set up our sensory table, full of water, nearby with the idea that our small bowl experiments would ultimately need a larger field of play, not to mention serving as a quick, informal wash up opportunity. And that's where it went.
There were a few water toys in the sensory table and the children, on their own, decided that one half of our divided table would be for experiments and the other for toys. Nice! Of course, soon the experimenting began to include the toys as well.
Now as this was happening alongside the rainbow room, I was wondering why the forest house, on which I'd worked so hard the day before, was standing unused. Duh. It doesn't take much reflection to figure it out now. Still, at one point I spotted children playing in there . . .
Yay! They were discovering it . . .
When I got closer I saw that they were engrossed in an old tire. Josephine (the 5-year-old, not the teenager) said, "Teacher Tom, can you move all these branches out of the way. We're trying to do experiments in the tire and we have to keep ducking."
The forest house would just have to wait until tomorrow. At least I'd been right about the sensory table!