Monday, November 3, 2008

Cleaning Pennies


Some cleaning jobs are particularly satisfying because they make such a noticeable difference. (I think washing mirrors fits into this category). Washing pennies is so dramatic that it's actually fun!

If you want a fun rainy-day activity to do with your kids that makes them feel that they are doing something (semi) useful- try this:

1. Send your kids on a mission to find all the dirty pennies in the house. (Have them look in the car, the bottom of your purse, under seat cushions, etc).

2. Find a big glass or plastic bowl and have your kids measure 1 cup vinegar and 10 tablespoons salt into it.

3. Let a younger child mix the salt into the vinegar with his hands.

4. Drop the pennies into the bowl and have your kids mix them around with their hands.

5. Watch as the pennies "magically" lose their tarnish and become wonderfully shiny. For older children, you can even turn this into a science experiment. Why did they become shiny?

--Pennies get dull over time because the copper reacts with the air to form copper oxide. Salt and vinegar form an acid that erodes the copper oxide (but doesn't hurt hands in case you were wondering)--

6. Make sure you take before-and- after-pictures that they can show their dad when he gets home!My toddler and I did this activity this morning. She isn't old enough to appreciate science behind it or to measure out ingredients, but she thoroughly enjoyed mixing the vinegar and salt together and dropping the pennies into the bowl (Of course, closely supervised because the pennies might be a choking hazzard).And yes, she does smell like a pickle right now, but it was worth it! :-)

1 comment:

Katey said...

We did this for Science today and we had so much fun. All the kids could get involved and have fun. Thanks so much for the idea.