My son had so much fun with our oil and water activity that he recently came up to me with the bottle of baby oil in his hand and asked if we could do another project with it.  Always ready to think on my feet, I grabbed some food coloring and we put together this little concoction.  Just oil and water didn’t seem interesting enough, so we stepped it up by adding a couple of little plastic beads.  (I’ve got about four million of these, so you may recognize them from other activities we’ve done.)  They sunk in the oil but floated in the water, producing this lovely ice berg effect.  The beads would be easier to see if we had restrained ourselves a bit more with the food coloring, but we aren’t exactly known for restraining ourselves during projects around here.

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We experimented with rigorous shaking and lots of tipping — note that you should use an extremely well-sealed jar if you’re going to turn your preschooler loose with this — but nothing we did could sink those beads!

The slow but inevitable separation of the air, oil, and water kept this little guy engrossed until dinner time, and each time he shook the jar, he’d watch it expectantly until the oil started to clear and he’d yell, “I see the beads!!”  Seeing him fully locked into an activity like this never gets old for me.

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What are your little ones watching today?

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