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An Easy Science Lab for Littles

Does anyone lay in bed planning out your next day with gusto and optimism? You think things like, “Tomorrow, I’m gonna go Marie Kondo on the entire house. If it’s not organized, it’s out!” Then you wake up, fight 100 unexpected fires, and before you know it all of your lofty goals for the day have been dashed.

Girl, I feel ya.

That’s why I want to show you an easy science lab. Something that doesn’t take much prep at all and will have your kids partaking in explosions, states of matter changes, and snack time all in one. #multitasking

Let me introduce you to the scientific marvel that is popcorn!

A Good Lab is All About the Questions

Start by asking your kids this question: “why do you think popcorn pops?” Let them try to come up with some ideas. If they have no clue, ask them a follow-up question: “what do you add to popcorn to make it pop?”

Whatever you do, don’t spoil the experiment by giving them the answer…even if they guess right. It’s time to practice your poker face. We gotta encourage them to support what they think with evidence!

Making Observations

Pop the popcorn and have them make some observations. What does it look like? What does it feel like? What does it taste like? What floats out of the bag when it opens? Where does that come from?

What makes popcorn pop is the small amount of water inside each kernel of corn turning into steam. This causes pressure to build up, then BAM! Deliciousness. This is a great way to circle around to states of matter when you reference water turning into steam. It’s also a great way to make your house smell like a movie theater or Target department store…I swear they pump that buttery smell through the air vents!

If your kiddos are excelling in this popcorn experiment, ask them a follow-up question: why do some kernels not pop? And that, friends, I’m gonna leave for you to figure out. Feel free to share your hypothesis in the comments below—and if you have any other easy labs, let me know!

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