These packing peanut fun science activities are the perfect activity for those times when you open a package… and instead of crumpled up paper or those air-filled plastic pouches, you find a bunch of packing peanuts!!
Doing fun science together is a great way to use up random materials around the house– this experiment is one of many where you can reduce, reuse, or recycle something you may have otherwise thrown away. We love watching things change because of a chemical reaction and there is plenty of reacting happening here!
Packing Peanut Fun Science
Even if you don’t have packing peanuts around, it would be worth it for you to get some to enjoy these fun science experiments! Make sure to have a piece of paper handy so your child can record his observations and findings throughout the process.
Keep in mind that kids who aren’t writing well on their own yet might enjoy dictating their observations to you instead of struggling through handwriting them. They can also draw the experiment if that is preferable! Even kids who are writing independently would still benefit from drawing what they see happen.
Packing Peanut Fun Science Experiment #1
Let’s ask the question and discover:
What type of liquid will the peanuts dissolve the fastest in?
Use these three liquids to start:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Choose a standard number of peanuts to place in each liquid (we did 5), working one liquid at a time. Have your child state their hypothesis (explain that a hypothesis is what you THINK will happen) and write it down.
Place all the peanuts in the first liquid and start a timer. Wait until the peanuts are fully dissolved before stopping the timer!
You might need to stir the liquid just a bit, depending on the size of the glass and the number of peanuts.
Write down the results and move on to the next liquid. Repeat until all are finished.
OUR RESULTS: Oil had no affect on the peanuts. After 35 minutes they were unchanged! Vinegar melted 5 peanuts in 54 seconds, and water dissolved 5 peanuts in 37 seconds.
You can add additional liquids if desired, such as milk, coke, juice, and so on. Whatever you or your child is curious about, go for it!
Be sure to go back and look at whether the hypothesis matched the results!
Packing Peanut Fun Science Experiment #2:
How many packing peanuts can you dissolve in 4 cups of water?
First, ask your child to make a guess as to how many cups will fit.
Then, in a large bowl, measure 4 cups of water. With a DRY measuring cup, measure 4 cups of peanuts at a time.
Let your child stir with a spoon as the peanuts dissolve. Add the next 4 cups once the previous batch is dissolved!
It’s pretty fun science to watch something solid go away.. with just water! Keep count on a piece of paper so you don’t lose track of how many cups you’ve dissolved!
Spend some time talking about your packing peanut results: were you surprised by your results? Why or why not?
You might also enjoy:
- Dancing Popcorn Science Project
- Very Simple Apple Volcano Science Experiment
- Magnet Science: STEM Activity for Kids