Have ya’ll ever put Ivory Soap in the Microwave? If not this is something that you have to do with your kids! What happens is absolutely amazing! Putting soap in the microwave for various activities is currently one of my kids favorite past time activities.
For those of you that have never seen what happens we made a short film. Livia really wants to get into editing videos and while it is a tad shaky I think she did an awesome job!
Microwaved soap clouds make an awesome sensory bin filler and a really fun science experiment!Plus this smells fantastic!
Microwaved Soap Science Experiment
To start you will need a couple bars of soap, only one being the Ivory Soap brand and some bowls of water. Have kid place one bar of soap in each bowl of water and ask what they notice right away. Every single bar of soap should sink except the Ivory Soap. Have kids make a hypothesis as to why they think the Ivory Soap floats when none of the other brands do.
My kids guessed air pockets the first time so we broke our bar in half. There were no air pockets though! So how is the Ivory Soap less dense than water?
The Science Behind Expanding Ivory Soap in the Microwave
Ivory Soap floats because it has air whipped into it during the manufacturing process. You aren’t able to see the air bubbles because they contain water which is part of the actual soap, much like marshmallows and popcorn. The expanding effect is due to the water being heated in the microwave – as the water evaporates it forms bubbles and expands at the same time that the heat is softening the bar of soap.
This is a fantastic visualization of Charles Law that states that as the temperature of a gas increases, so does its volume.
Microwaved Cloud Art
On top of the fun science behind it microwaved soap clouds are really fun to play with! In the past we have used this for a sensory bin with airplanes and hot air balloons. Lately we have been working on color mixing and the clouds made a beautiful canvas for it!
Items Needed for Microwaved Cloud Art
- Bar of Ivory Soap (buy here)
- Food Dye (buy here)
- Craft Tray (buy here)
- Eye Droppers (buy here)
- Cups and Water
How to Play with Microwaved Cloud Art
For this we talked about the science outlined above and then just explored our materials that were set out on the table.
It took Meatball a little bit to figure out these particular eye droppers because they were harder to squeeze.
He jumped right in to coloring his clouds.
At first he just explored how the colors absorbed into the microwaved soap.
And what splashes looked like from different distances.
It didn’t take long for him to start filling up two eye droppers at once.
To see what happens when colors were mixed together at the same time.
He did get slightly frustrated over colors dripping off of his microwaved soap cloud but it didn’t take him long to figure out to mix his colors in crevices and flatter surfaces.
And of course he had to tear into his soap cloud to see just how far the colors had saturated.
It was such a unique texture! Kinda crunchy, kinda soft, and definitely squishy!!