If you want to sneak in a science lesson at dinnertime, start early in the day, with a head of red cabbage.
Cut half of it up, and place the chopped pieces into a pot, and add just enough water to cover. Simmer for 20 minutes. If anyone complains about the smell, remind them that cabbage soup was all poor Charlie Bucket, and his family had to eat (other than an occasional chocolate bar).
Drain the now purple liquid from the cabbage, and allow to cool. You can add vinegar, and sugar to the cooked cabbage pieces, to make some really horrible pink pickles - but I wouldn't suggest it.
Instead, using a sieve, to keep out any bit of cabbage, fill an ice cube tray with the cabbage water, and place it in the freezer.
Then at dinner, wow the children by pouring an ordinary glass of lemonade, and adding a purple ice cube...
...to produce pink lemonade!
It really tastes alright. I was a little skeptical, and the children (who were probably tipped off by the Mission Impossible theme song I was humming, as I poured the drink) were less than enthusiastic, until one brave volunteer gave it a taste. It's funny, because you can't taste the cabbage, but it kind of takes the edge off the sourness of the lemonade, which combined with the color, does lead you to believe your drinking pink lemonade.
If you're unconvinced though, you can go with the more common, pH testing, color changing experiments by pouring some of the liquid into a couple of jars, and then adding lemon juice to one...
...and baking soda dissolved in water, to the other - always fun!
Or, you can soak some paper in the solution, and then paint on it with acid, or base solutions, after it dries (or cut it into litmus strips).
All of these ideas, came from Jill Frankel Hauser's Super Science Concoctions, which is either the best children's science book I've ever seen, or the most disappointing. I'll let you know shortly, after we try out a few more of the experiments.
But for now, you can find more fun with science, at this week's Science Sunday link-up, hosted by Adventures in Mommydom.
It's great to be a homeschooler.