For those who don’t actually like eating cabbage

It’s amazing how much fun you (and those much younger than you) can get out of a purple cabbage. I sort of glaze over the “common” science experiments, dismissing them as blasé, but they aren’t blasé when you’ve never seen them before (aka, are 5 years old)!

First we just had fun dying scraps of cotton fabric in our cabbage dye, but the real fun was what came after pouring out cups of the liquid (a pH indicator). First we determined our knowns. Katya and Emma knew lemon juice was sour (though we had to taste it numerous times to be sure), and when we put that in our cabbage juice, it turned pink. Great, pink is an acid! (We also talked about acids yesterday when discussing Vitamin C). Then we tried baking soda, though I wasn’t so cruel as to have them taste it, so that was our blue and blue-green (the linked article has a color guide for determining actual pH based on the color, but pH was just a little advanced for 3- and 5-year olds). We did a couple others, tasting and “measuring” vinegar and Squirt soda, for example, but when Mom gets bored, then the kids must get to mix everything willy-nilly just because. Oh, and did I mention how wonderful everything is when it fizzes too?

So now the only question is if we’ll be able to tie-dye our original cabbage-dyed fabric with lemon juice and baking soda.


07 2007

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