dancing raisins

Kids are natural scientists. They’re constantly making observations about the world around them, testing hypotheses, and drawing conclusions based on data. At home, we’re able to let scientific exploration to unfold naturally—there’s no rush, no grades, no test.

That being said, sometimes it is nice to set up opportunities for kids to be more structured with their science; things that’ll pique your kid’s interest and expand their vocabulary. That’s where this kitchen science project comes in. It’s quick, entertaining, and lets you throw out a few scientific terms to show the kids that you still rock science, just like them.

You’ll Need

Clear soda
Tall glass

First, Some Pro-Terms

  • Volume is the amount of space an object occupies.
  • Mass is a fancy word for weight (basically it’s the number of atoms in an object).
  • Density is a measure that tells us whether something will sink or float. You determine it by dividing an object’s mass by its volume.

Now, Let’s Dance!

dancing raisin 1

Fill a glass 3/4 of the way full with soda. Observe it. Do you see bubbles? Those little gas globes are filled with Carbon Dioxide, or CO2.

Now drop a raisin into the glass. What do you notice? At first they sink, but then something changes. Look at the raisin covered in bubbles. The gas bubbles have increased the raisins’ volume. Up, up, up it goes! Once the raisin reaches the top, it sinks. Then it floats again. What’s going on?

dancing raisin 2

What we’re seeing in this experiment is how an object’s density can change. At first the raisin sinks because its density is greater than soda. Then the bubbles increase the raisin’s volume, helping it displace more water and voila! It’s density is now less than soda and it floats to the top. Once it reaches the top, the gas bubbles pop leaving the raisin, and the raisin’s volume decreases. That’s when the raisin falls back down and the cycle starts all over again.

The raisins will dance until they run out of gas. Literally.

Take it further

About Jennifer Cooper

Jennifer Cooper

Jennifer Cooper is the blogger behind Classic-Play.com, an online resource for creative families.  Her favorite past times include: dancing around her living room, watching the Pink Panther with her kids and daydreaming. She lives in Baltimore, MD with her husband, photographer Dave Cooper, and two children. 

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