When I was a kid one of my favorite toys was a little plastic scuba diver that would magically dive up and down in the water. Apparently this was modeled after a popular cereal box submarine toy from the 50s. Since our kids don't get toys in their cereal boxes, I figured maybe we could make something like this so they could experience the magic of childhood before flappy bird. Not only is it pretty easy to do, there's some neat science learnin' to be had along the way.
1. Slice a baby carrot in half lengthwise so you have a long, flat bottom. Using a screwdriver or a pointy knife, drill a hole in the middle of the carrot from the flat bottom almost all the way to the top.
2. Cut two toothpicks in half and stick all four halves into the top ends of the carrot.
3. Pack the hole with baking powder, then set your submarine on the bottom of a bowl or tub of water.
To make your submarine work you'll pack the hole with baking powder and set it on the bottom of a tub or bowl of water. The water will react with the baking powder to create carbon dioxide bubbles. The bubbles will get trapped under the submarine and make it come to the surface. Then the bubbles will escape and the submarine will fall back to the bottom and repeat. We expect things to sink or float, so seeing the submarine float up and dink and float again is pretty magical.
Troubleshooting: If your submarine rolls to the side, the bubbles will escape and your sub won't float, it will just look like an old man letting out a fart. To fix this try adjusting the positioning of the toothpicks which can act kind of like ballasts to help the carrot float more evenly.
If you try this WeeWork project, share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag @mommypoppins so we can see your creations too!
This idea was inspired by Cool Science Club
Kids' work is to play. WeeWork is a Mommy Poppins series offering an easy daily activity for grown-ups and children to do together, making kids' work an important part of your day. We aim to inspire together time, creativity and fun using only your imagination and things around the house. You can see all our WeeWork activity posts here.
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