Is it science or magic? This is a super simple and fun way to explore states of matter, density, and more for Thanksgiving! Usually, you see this activity with raisins, but you can easily mix it up with dried cranberries for the holiday season. There are two great ways to set up this Thanksgiving science experiment that both cause the dried cranberries to dance but use slightly different ingredients. Give your science activities a fun twist for Thanksgiving this year.
DANCING CRANBERRY EXPERIMENT FOR KIDS
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to experiment with pumpkins. apples and even cranberries! Our dancing cranberry experiment is an awesome example of simple chemistry and physics, and your kids will love this simple experiment just as much as adults!
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We have a whole season of fun Thanksgiving science activities to try! Holidays and seasons present numerous occasions for you to re-invent some of our classic science activities. This might look more like play than learning, but it’s so much more! All of our experiments are easy to set up and inexpensive for at home or in the classroom.
DANCING CRANBERRY EXPERIMENT
Can you make cranberries dance? You can even try this with raisins, grains of salt, and even popping corn. If you don’t have a soda, you can also use baking soda and vinegar seen here. This is a bit of a combo of physics and chemistry, but we are going to focus on the buoyancy part here!
YOU WILL NEED:
- Clear glass
- Dried cranberries
HOW TO MAKE CRANBERRIES DANCE
STEP 1. Fill the glass almost 3/4 full with Sprite.
STEP 2. Add a small handful of dried cranberries to the Sprite.
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STEP 3. Watch the cranberries drop to the bottom of the glass, float to the top and back down again for several minutes.
THE SCIENCE OF DANCING CRANBERRIES
First, what is buoyancy? Buoyancy refers to the tendency of something to sink or float in a liquid like water. Can you change the buoyancy of something?
Yes, you can! Initially, you observed that the cranberries sunk to the bottom because they are heavier than the water. However, the soda has gas in it which you can see with the bubbles.
The bubbles attach themselves to the surface of the candy and lift it up! When the candy reaches the surface, the bubbles pop and the candy falls back down. You do have to be a little patient at times to observe this happening! The bubbles are key to making the cranberries dance!
You can create your own gas with a baking soda and vinegar experiment that we tried here with our dancing corn experiment. It’s also quite fun to watch.
Can your kiddos identify the solid, liquid, and gas in this activity? What if you compare it to a glass of water? What happens when the cranberries are placed in only water?
Make it even more of an experiment with testing out different items like we mentioned above and compare the results. Or do different types of soda work differently?