Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a little science fun

Teach youth about the heart on this lovely holiday.

Celebrate this year’s Valentine’s Day by including a few science activities that your children will love.  Michigan State University Extension suggests sharing these fun and educational science experiments with your family. It is a great way to enjoy this holiday.

Valentine’s Day is all about the heart.  Teaching children that the beat of their heart can be measured by observing their pulse is easy with the an activity called, visible heartbeat.  In this easy experiment use a mini-marshmallow and a toothpick.  Simply pierce the toothpick into the side of the mini-marshmallow.  Place the marshmallow on the inside of your wrist above the pulse point.  Watch the toothpick move as your child’s heart beats.

“Dancing heart” is another activity that is sure to amaze children.  In this experiment learn how a chemical reaction can create carbon dioxide.  Using a glass jar add 1/2 a teaspoon of backing soda to 1 cup of water.  Add a few valentine candy hearts.  Slowly add 1/4 cup of vinegar.  Enjoy watching the hearts rise and fall.  For more information about this activity visit Inspiration Laboratories.

Teaching children about the capillary action of plants could not be easier than the coloring flowers experiment.  In this activity, children dye their own flowers to share with a valentine.  They discover that water is drawn from around a plant up to the tips of its flower petals, similar to how a straw functions.  Simply add 1/2 a cup of water to a jar and 20 drops of bright food coloring.  Place a freshly cut white carnation flower stem into the jar and wait up to 24 hours to observe what happens.  Be sure to have your child explain to their valentine how they created these beautiful flowers.

Enjoying hands-on science activities is a wonderful way to celebrate Valentine’s Day!  For more information about youth science activities visit the Michigan 4-H Youth Development and Science Literacy page.

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