Thursday, August 12, 2010


Lately, we have been spending some time exploring mud, sand, and rocks. As we continue to learn about geology we decided to take a look at Geysers. First, we looked at some photos from our family vacation to Yellowstone National Park specifically Dane was able to tell the children about visiting Old Faithful. Then we watched the National Park Service's Live Webcam at Old Faithful. Unfortunately, we were not able to catch the Geyser erupting. Instead of waiting we were able to find some great recorded footage online from

Now, it was time for us to make a geyser for ourselves. (Instructions for this can be found at Steve Spangler Science.) We didn't have the fancy contraption to make loading the mentos easier, so we made a narrow funnel out of a piece of copy paper. Then we punched holes in each side of it and placed a paint brush in the hole to keep the mentos from falling into the diet coke before we were ready.

After we gathered our materials and talked about what we were about to do, we headed outside. Each child was given one mento and had the opportunity to add it to the funnel.

After all of the mentos were in place, we all backed up to the sidewalk, except for Mr. Allan and Dane. Dane pulled the paint brush out of the way to drop the mentos and start the geyser.

I was much more interested in catching the children's reaction than I was in capturing the geyser. If you have never tried this, put "Diet Coke and Mentos" into your search engine. There are literally thousands of videos and photos of this reaction.

Hmmmm... How else could we make a geyser???? How about geyser painting? We took a mustard bottle and 2 smaller bottles that came with an art kit long ago and filled them with colored water. (The mustard bottle was filled with water colored from Markers that "didn't work." The other bottles were colored by watered down paint.)

We decided that this activity would be great to try on the fence outside.

The children placed the squeeze bottle below the paper and created pressure by squeezing it. Thus, the paint shot up into the air and onto the paper like a geyser! (Not to be confused with the other technique we used in making Pictured Rocks Inspired Paintings where we dropped the watered down paint from on top of the paper.)

If our fine motor skills were not developed enough to send the colored water up into the air, we improvised and tilted the bottle.

It was so hot, we decided to run through the sprinkler. While we were drying, we used the sidewalk chalk out front. One child decided to draw a geyser, but she couldn't remember what it was called :)


Ticia said...

I love the geyser painting idea, now I'm trying to remember where Yellowstone is so I can remember to do this with the kids when we get to that state. I'm thinking Wyoming area?

Amy A @ Child Central Station said...

Thanks for stopping by again Ticia :). Yes, Yellowstone is in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. It is nice to watch the videos, but it is hard to compare to the actual experience of being there. Dane was 5 when we went and he still remembers it vividly.

My friend died

 I learned a hell of a lot from Dan Hodgins.  He was mentor, a friend, and a "bone shaker" for many of us in the field of Early Ch...