Jun 9

The Pepper and Water Trick

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Science time! Sometimes you just want to do something because your kid is going to say, “COOL!”  There really isn’t any other reason to do this particular experiment.  Well, actually I take that back.  If you are interested in wasting a good deal of pepper, and you like setting up things that will only last about 2-5 minutes before you are on to the next thing, and you like cleaning up stuff, then you’ve definitely got yourself a great reason to do this! Here’s the water and pepper experiment:

Here’s what you need

  • 1 plate or bowl
  • Water
  • Pepper
  • Dish Soap
  • A finger (preferably attached to a person)

There isn't anything cool in this experiment. No knives, no fire...boring!

Fill the plate with water, then dump a ton of pepper until it covers the entire surface.

Stick your finger in the middle. Nothing happens! What?! This is soooo stupid! Or. Is. It?

At this point your child will think that you are a moron and that you have wasted his precious, valuable time.  He could have easily been kicking a ball into the neighbors yard, or been using a tool to chip wood off of the play structure.  And that’s when you take a trip to the sink and you cover his index finger with dish soap.  Now try that again!  And say hello to awesomeness:


As you can tell by the video, I was unprepared for the “why” of the trick.  I had just come across it on some random site as I was perusing the interweb.  If you want to know the why, the Surfing Scientist seems to have the answer. Surface tension, molecules…it’s a little much for my 6 year old, so I stick with, “It must be MAGIC!”

Keep in mind that this experiment literally lasts about 2-5 minutes from start to finish.  We played around with soaping all his fingers, and trying to make different patterns, but in the end, as you can tell by what he was saying before I shut the camera off – he was asking to do another experiment. It’s worth it, though, even if I didn’t have another experiment lined up and it turned into a big let down.  Pre-let down was RAD!

What are some cool experiments that you like to do with your kid?  I’m all ears!  I got these monsters at home for the next two months.  I’m in the market for ideas!

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Posted in Experiments, How To

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