I woke up with a scratchy throat that I felt developing overnight. Other than treating it with lemon-ginger-honey tea, I am in deep, deep denial about the possible oncoming cold this scratchy throat might foretell. Ugh.

So I was especially resolved that we’d make the most out of today, and use our energy to get some good schooling and playtime in before I am all stuffy and thick-eyed.

We started with a lab this morning, one of a series of labs I have put together that will culminate in our homemade volcano this week or next. As we are headed to Hawaii with my parents, brother, and sister-in-law soon, I want to make sure Katie has a working knowledge of volcanoes.

For this lab, I used a simple activity out of 101 Great Science Experiments: a Step-by-Step Guide by Neil Ardley, published by DK (page 33). Called “Fight a Fire,” this lab demonstrates how the gas CO2 can extinguish a candle flame by cutting off the oxygen supply. Since we’ll be using CO2 to build our volcano, I want to do a handful of labs with it so that Katie understands how the gas works.

We started by making review notes in our lab notebook/field journal. We reviewed what we learned from our cabbage PH lab, and we also reviewed how the resulting “fizzies” from the baking soda and vinegar help the cake we make for Amie’s birthday to rise.

We assembled the components of our lab. Katie put a candle in a glass bowl, making sure the candle was lower than the rim of the bowl. Then she added baking soda around the candle. She remembered that baking soda is a base.

We set flame to the candle.

Katie added the vinegar to create the carbon dioxide.

As if by magic, the candle went out! We had talked beforehand about the two ways Katie knows to put out fire (water and blowing). We talked about how the fizzy bubbles of the baking soda and vinegar pop on the surface and release CO2.We repeated the experiment twice to check our findings.

Then we got dressed and went to the park:

Mr. E and Katie played in the sand. Eric sure loves to dig…

And Katie rolled down this grassy hill about four times.

Oh, and this was taken the other day during one of our walks. I thought she just looked so cute!

Tomorrow, if I wake up feeling even partly well (fingers very crossed here), I plan to have us do a lab that uses CO2 production to blow up a balloon. I am excited about this lab series!

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