It is amazing how much a child can be entertained by a balloon, a piece of string, a straw and some masking tape.
That experiment and 29 others are explained and demonstrated in Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments, the latest book by blogger, author and stay-at-home dad Mike Adamick. These are among the best books for dads looking to do more things at home with their kids.
As I was leafing through the book, my little guy told me he wanted to do an experiment with a rocket. And not having Mentos or Diet Coke on hand, we decided to try the Straw Balloon Rocket Blasters.
You tie a thin cord to one point, run it through a straw, and hold on to the other end. Then blow up a balloon, don’t tie it off, tape it to the straw, do a countdown, let it go, and wait for squeals of delight. What was neat was a few of our runs were not successful and we had to make adjustments (making the line tauter, less or more air in the balloon), which is the scientific method.
So when it worked it was even sweeter.
Asthmatics may want to avoid this one since your kids will want you to blow up the balloon over and over again. Thankfully, bedtime stopped me from breaking out my inhaler.
This tome is a winning follow-up to Adamick’s first book, the how-to crafting and backyard building extravaganza called Dad’s Awesome Book of Projects. Each experiment it contains a brief introduction, an explanation of why it works, a list of supplies, step-by-step instructions and then a quick fact on how you can take it further. Most of the supplies are things found around the house or things that can be easily found in a grocery store.
All the experiments in Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments are fun and relatively easy to do with kids of various ages. Obviously, dads with young kids will be doing most of the work, but even tiny tykes will have some hands-on participation in each experiment. Some of the experiments are instant gratification types, like the rocket blasters, but others take much longer and you will need to check back on them after a few hours or days.
The experiments in Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments are sorted by discipline: chemistry, biology, physics, planet Earth and the human body. Not only is this a great book to keep around for a rainy day, but it’s a nice reference to make an easy project for a science fair. I think we are going to try to make Ivory soap clouds next, but more likely we are going to do further testing with the Rocket Blasters.