Crafts & DIY

WHY? Wednesday: Penny Cleaning Science

We have started a new weekly routine schedule at our house.  Ian does best when he has predictable routines, something we have majorly been slacking on since before the holidays.  Every day, he asks, “What do we do today?” So on Wednesdays, we are now doing science! “WHY? Wednesday” has been a big hit the past two weeks. We took pictures of our penny-cleaning experiment and I thought I’d share them with you.

We started off our morning exploring and doing all kinds of fun, active games, which somehow led us to counting money and playing store, which led to noticing how some pennies were shiny and some were dull.  Ian said, “I have an idea! We need to do an experiment with baking soda and vinegar and water!”  After discussing what he had in mind, we gathered our supplies and went to work.

Penny Cleaning Science

First, we got out some small bowls and put two pennies in each one and added a label so we would know what to put in the bowls to clean the pennies.  Ian said we needed vinegar in one bowl, baking soda in another, water in a third and one more for both vinegar and baking soda.

We made a prediction about what would happen before we added any chemicals to the bowls.  It said, “Vinegar and baking soda will clean best.”

 Penny Cleaning Science

Then we waited a few (very few- impatient little scientists!) minutes to let the cleaners do their work.

  Penny Cleaning Science

Isaac wanted so badly to do something besides watch, so he added another penny to the water. 

After those brief few minutes, we took the pennies out and dried them a bit with the towel.  We took pictures to compare them.

Penny Cleaning Science Penny Cleaning Science Penny Cleaning Science Penny Cleaning Science 

Ian wrote his observations (which I translated for those of us who don’t read 4 year old script well yet). 

Penny Cleaning Science

We didn’t really have a conclusion for which makes pennies the shiniest, but because baking soda and vinegar explode together, Ian was convinced those pennies were just a bit shinier than the others. I felt that maybe the ones cleaned with just vinegar were a bit shinier.  What do your young scientists think? Maybe if your scientists are a little more patient than mine, you can give this experiment a try with more time for the cleaners to work and have a definite answer for us!


About the author


Mindy is a homeschooling mom to two active boys and wife to a computer geek. Reading is such a passion, she dreams of lounging in library like the one from My Fair Lady. Since that is not likely to happen, she shares her love of books with her children. As much as she would like to be a kitchen goddess, cooking means dishes and washing dishes is a thorn in her side; frankly, you will probably never see a recipe post from her, unless it involves making play dough. When not busy homeschooling and playing with her two boys, ages 1 and 4, Mindy spends time browsing Pinterest for new DIY ideas, books to read, organization tips kids' activities, and sewing projects.

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