Ten science experiments you can do with a plastic bottle – Part 1

Ten science experiments you can do with a plastic bottle – Part 1

Do you love science and want to try out some experiments yourself? Do you worry that you’ll need special equipment and expensive kits? FEAR NOT! There are so many science experiments you can do with things you have around your home RIGHT NOW! Just remember to always ask an adult’s permission. Finish drinking your water and save that bottle because we are going to share TEN amazing experiments with you… you’ll never look at a plastic bottle in the same way again!

A few months ago I promised to share ten experiments you can do with a simple plastic bottle. If you have been following me on Face Book you will have noticed that I have shared one every week and we reached ten no problem; I’ve compiled all the instruction videos here so that you can pick and choose which ones you want to do (or, even better, try all ten).

The reason I started this was because I was sick of seeing science experiment kits full of rubbish (I am not saying all science kits are rubbish, but I have seen my fair share lately). I wanted to show you that you can do plenty of science experiments from things you have around your own home. And what better example to use than a simple, humble, plastic bottle. A great example of reusing and recycling.


Without further ado… here are first five Science Experiments you can do with a plastic bottle:

  1. make a fire extinguisher


2. Inflate a balloon



3. The Sneezing Alien Experiment


4. and 5. Ocean in a bottle experiment and Lava Lamp experiment


Those are the first five experiments. Have lots of fun with them, check back next week for the next five experiments. Remember to keep those bottles!

As always, we love to get comments and feedback so do let us know if you try some of these experiments; we’d love to know how you get on, did you make some of your own modifications and improvements to the experiments? Would you like us to share more video experiments?


Anything that glows…

Anything that glows…

Halloween season is a bit mad in this science filled house as you may have guessed by now.  There have been more experiments than dinners in the kitchen the past week… we have been repeating old favourites, modifying others and trying out new ones.. and all because it is Halloween.

We love things that glitter and glow and this time of years allows us to really indulge this side of science.  I thought I would share some new favourites with you here, in case anyone wants to add some glowing fun to their Halloween parties or games!

Glowing lava lamps:

We love making lava lamps but made a few modifications to add a bit more glow to this favourite!

You will need:

An empty plastic bottle or a clear plastic cup
Vegetable oil
A funnel
Florescent paint (or glow in the dark paint*)
Alka Seltzer (or similar antacid tablets)
A UV light (also called a black light) if possible

What to do:

  1. Put a small amount of water (about an inch or two) in the bottom of the plastic bottle or cup.
  2. Add some fluorescent paint to the water and mix.
  3. Using the funnel pour the vegetable oil into the bottle, filling almost to the top.
  4. You will see that the water and oil settle into two layers, with the water at the bottom.
  5. Break up the Alka Seltzer tablets into smaller piece, and, if you have a UV light, turn it on and turn off the regular light.
  6. Add some pieces of the Alka Selzer tablet to the bottle to start off your lava lamp.
  7. Once the bubbles stop rising you can add more tablets to keep the lava lamp going.
This is what we did:
We had lots of different colours and types of fluorescent paint so, of course, we had to try them all!
We added fluorescent paint to water in each cup and then we mixed it in
Then we added a layer of vegetable oil to each
Then we turned on our UV light…
…And turned off all other lights. We added the Alka Seltzer and watched in delight!

You get a better idea from our videos…

So what is happening?

The Alka Seltzer tablets drop to the bottom of the bottle and dissolve in the water.  These tablets contain an acid (citric acid) and a base/alkali (Sodium hydrogen coarbonate) in powder form.  When these dissolve in water the acid and the alkai start to react together and form carbon dioxide gas.  This gas forms bubbles with the water.  The bubbles are lighter than the water and oil so they travel up the bottle to the top.  Once they reach the air they burst and the water droplet is now heavier than the oil and drops back down to the bottom of the bottle again.


We tried both flourescent and glow in the dark paints for this experiment.  We found the flourescent paint worked best, but if you have a good glow in the dark paint feel free to try this out with the lights off!

This is our fluorescent lava lamp in daylight…
still pretty cool we think!

If you do not have a UV light then try this experiment in the daytime with plenty of sunlight. 

The fluorescent paint is still very bright and gives a pretty cool effect.

More glow in the dark experiments tomorrow so remember to check back!