This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.
I love exposing my kids to real-life science. With a husband who used to be a science teacher, my kids are always experimenting with things in the kitchen and learning how to create and explore. For Christmas last year, my best friend (whose husband is also a teacher) worked to put together a box of age-appropriate science experiments for my daughter. More than that what you would buy in a simple kit at the store, but perfect for her age. These are experiments that a lot of science teachers do in 3-5th grade in their elementary-age classrooms. You can do a lot of science experiments with just items you have at home, but if you want to go more in-depth and buy even more fun things for your box, try out LooseInTheLab.com for basic science experiment supplies.
Here is what is inside our set:
Personalized Chemistry Set for Kids with Cricut
You will need:
- a clear plastic container you can personalize
- kids size lab coat
- styrofoam peanuts
- craft sticks
- steel wool
- tub tints
- baggies (sandwich size)
- bags (gallon size)
- hand warmers
- 15 ml test tubes
- 50 ml test tubes
- safety glasses
- tart pans (disposable mini pie pans)
- styrofoam cups
- wash bottle
- 9 oz clear cups
For chemicals, you can go as easy as baking soda and vinegar. You could also add things like mentos and Diet Coke and vegetable oil.
- Phenol Red
- Calcium Chloride
- Baking Soda
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Potassium Iodide (S)
- Poly A
- Poly B
- Potassium Iodide (L)
- Lead Nitrate
- Ivory Soap
- Snow Crystals
- Ghost Crystals
- Dehydrated Gel
- Potassium Permanganate
- Sodium Tetraborate
- Polyvinyl Alchohol
Make sure everything you gather fits inside your plastic box.
Here are a couple experiments that kids really love!
Tiny Lava Lamp Experiment
Here is an easy and fun experiment to include in your chemistry set.
You will need:
- an empty water bottle
- Alka seltzer
- vegetable oil
- food coloring
Fill your water bottle about three-quarters of the way full with vegetable oil. Add water until the bottle is almost full, an inch or two from the top. Add about 10 drops of food coloring. When the color settles at the bottom, add 1/4 of Alka seltzer tablet to the bottle to create your lava lamp!
Rock Candy Experiment
You will need:
- 3 cups of sugar
- 1 cup of water
- a large pan
- candy flavoring
- food coloring
Mix equal parts sugar and water over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add more sugar as your mix until the sugar will no longer dissolve in the water. Your water should be cloudy at this point. Add your flavoring and then heat the mixture until it starts to simmer. Allow your sugar water to cool. Roll each skewer in water and then in sugar. Allow them to dry out completely. Pour your sugar mixture into separate jars and color them to your desired colors. Place a clothespin on top of your skewer and place it in a jar. You will use the clothespin to balance the stick in the water, making sure it doesn’t touch the bottom or the sides. It will take about a week for the rock candy to grow out substantially. Then you can enjoy!
Why Use The Cricut Explore Air 2 for your Customized Gifts?
You can create a variety of gifts from a variety of materials! It is so easy to use and is perfect for even the most technology challenged.
Cut– The Cut feature allows you to cut out items that you have created on your computer or tablet. Use the already created images in the Cricut Design library, or upload your own to cut out letters, images, and designs. From material as thin as vellum to material as thick as leather, the Cricut can cut more than 100+ materials. Pretty much if you can fit it under the rollers, you can cut it! People love using the cut feature to cut vinyl for their walls, heat transfer for shirts and small embellishments for card making or scrapbooking.
Here are some of my favorite items to cut with the Cricut Explore Air 2
- Paper – Standard, Cardstock, Vellum, Poster Board
- Vinyl – Standard, Premium, Dry Erase, Chalkboard
- Iron-On – Heat-Transfer Vinyl (HTV)
- Craft Materials – Washi Tape, Craft Foam, Glitter Paper
- Upcycled Materials – Chipboard, Cereal Boxes, Aluminum Cans
- Fabric – Felt, Denim, Polyester, Burlap, Canvas
- Plastic – Stencil, Window Acetate, Silicone
Print then Cut– With the print then cut feature on this machine, you can print something out on your home printer and then have your Cricut cut around it! This always you to get crisp lines around quotes and other designs you may want for your home.
Write– There is a pen holder built straight into the Explore machine, which means you can add a pen to your machine and have it draw your designs instead of cutting them. Cricut has an entire line of gorgeous pens or you can use one you have laying around. The Explore Air and Explore 2 have a double tool holder so you can write and cut all in one step!
Score- Instead of cutting all of the ways through, your machine can score your images making them easy to bend and fold. This is the perfect feature for making cards and fun printables.
For this project you will need:
To make life really easy, you can find my cut files here. Follow the instructions below for resizing or creating from scratch.
Open up and sign in to Cricut Design Space. Your screen will look similar to the above. There will be a top banner, followed by a banner of your latest projects, You can see the cute Kitten shoes I just made for my daughter. You can see some of my most recent projects on the screen above. Below that will be the Make it Now projects. Hit the plus sign next to your projects to get started.
Using Cricut Images
Your new project will open up for you as a blank grid. Click on the images tab on the left-hand side of the screen to start this project. Search for flask in the top right corner search bar. I know it seems weird, but it brings up the best Chemistry icons. Scroll down until you find a beaker that you like. I liked the beakers attached with tubing. These are access images so if you subscribe, it will be free to use!
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Select the beakers that you like and insert them into the canvas. I used, Flask (#M2E56B) from the Chemistry Icons set.
How to Use the Contour Tool On Cricut Design Space
Find the image above and insert it into your canvas. Now this image isn’t exactly what we want, we don’t all of the bubbles, but we can easily make it what we want with the contour tool. Select the image and then hit the ungroup bottom in the top right corner. This will separate the chemistry image, then you can select just the green bottle and then hit contour in the bottom right corner of Design space.
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It will bring up the Contour screen above. In the hide contour panel, deselect any elements that you want to delete. This will remove those cuts completely. Return to your screen with just the button remaining.
Once you have inserted the image into your project you can resize it and move it around. Resize the image by clicking and dragging on the double arrow symbol that appears when you have the image selected. If you click and drag around your entire design, you will be able to resize it as one item instead of multiple items. There is a size box at the top of the screen that lists how big the image is, you can adjust the width and height here if you don’t want to manually toggle the blue arrow key.
One of my favorite features of Cricut Design Space is that when you change the colors of elements in the layers pallet, the program will assume that you want to cut those items out of a different kind of material. To change the colors of something, go over to the far right side and find the element you want to change. For text boxes, they are usually represented by the first letter in the line of text. For images, it will show a small version of the image. Click on the colored black dot and a color menu will pop up and you can change it to another color.
Add a text box and type the name of your recipient and lab in it. I used the font Anywhere for the name.
Change the fonts of each line by clicking on the line and then selecting a font from the drop-down menu in the top left corner.
Place the vinyl shiny side up on your mat. Select vinyl from the list of materials on your Cricut and cut out the design. You will need to cut several different times. The words and flasks out of black vinyl and then the flasks out of white. You will also cut the chemicals out of your choice of colors. I used orange and blue, because I had them on hand.
After your image has been cut, weed the extra off, leaving just your design.
Cover the design with a piece of transfer tape. Use a credit card or other smooth surface to rub the tape until the design pulls up. Place it where you want it on your clear box and smooth it down. Slowly peel the tape back, leaving your design. For this design, you will add everything in layers. First, add all of the black vinyl, then the white and then the orange and blue.
Would this be the perfect gift for the little scientist in your life?