I’ve been wanting to set up a free-style “potions” invitation for my kids ever since I came across 10 More Magic Potions.
Since we gave up following a science curriculum we’ve played with density, slime, fizzy fountains, elephant’s toothpaste and red cabbage indicator among other things. But, perhaps because we didn’t homeschool from the start, I’ve never set things up quite this way before, and I wanted to give C(9) and J(8) a serious chance to play before we move on to any more specific “potions” experiments (dissolving, separating liquids etc).
A visit on Wednesday to Professor Snape’s potions classroom at the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios was just the catalyst I needed!
Here’s what I set out:
* test tubes (large and small)
* plastic bowls
* coffee filter papers
* long-handled spoons
* popsicle sticks
* measuring beakers
* pipettes, eye droppers & a medicine syringe
* conical flasks
* lab glasses
* bottles of coloured water
* plain water
* bubble mixture
* mustard powder
* bicarbonate of soda
* old tube of hair conditioner
* old bath bombs
I was going to set up outside and suggest that the children collect additional supplies from the garden – dirt, leaves, and the like – but it started raining so we stayed at the kitchen table.
I made sure we had plenty of kitchen paper and old towels on hand: one of the many learning points was how much liquid does (and doesn’t!) fit into different shaped containers.
Once I’d shown the children the supplies, I left them to it and busied myself taking photos and notes.
I didn’t put out food colouring in the interests of economy, but provided it at C(9)’s request – she wanted a more intense colour without water.
The children had so much fun doing this, and I loved watching them learn as they played. Free-style potions has something for everyone!