Fortune Telling Fish Make Unique and Creative Valentines – Let Science Detect Your Love

 By Blog Editor Susan Wells

My girls and I don’t like to hand out the standard paper Valentines from the store. Those are just boring. So each year we look for a different and unique Valentine to hand out. Since I’m known as the Science Mom at my girls’ school, it’s only fitting that we hand out something sciencey for the day of love. My 2nd grader and I have already created a stack of Test Tube Valentines for her class.

My fifth grader and I began a search for a creative science Valentine. We decided on Fortune Telling Fish. This is no ordinary sticker, tattoo or candy Valentine. Oh no. This Valentine can predict the future; detect love or indifference in every single hormonal fifth grader.

There are some crushes and some cooties that still get passed around in fifth grade, so why not make them more giddy when they put a Fortune Fish in their hand and test their love?

We began with a lot of paper and shaped but settled on a rectangle where we attached the Fish package on one side and a little note and chocolate heart on the other.

The fish comes in a plastic envelope where it lives until its time to come out and start detecting the love. Take the fish out and place it in your flat hand. The fish will wriggle and roll. The direction of the roll will tell you how in love you really are -

Moving Head   >   Jealousy
Moving Tail   >   Indifference
Moving Head and Tail   >   In Love!
Curling Sides    >    Fickle
Turns Over   >   False
Motionless   >    Tired
Curls up entirely   >   Passionate

We tested our fish out on a few of my daughter’s friends this weekend. They giggled and had fun trying to test each other to see how much in love they were and with whom. I received a lot of questions about the meaning of “fickle” and about how they could reset it if the fish gave them “indifference” or “false.” Somehow, I think the boys will hope and pray for those two responses more than the others.

Fortune Telling Fish are sold by Steve Spangler Science and come in packs of 50 for $6.99

We also found a cute and easy way to make envelopes from heart cutouts from TinkerLab. You can also put your Fortune Telling Fish in an envelope instead of a card!

Light Ice, Heavy Water – Unfold the Mystery of the Sinking Water

Water floats and ice sinks, right? Frozen water is heavier and denser than when it is in its liquid state. Or is it? This activity is all about experimenting with different liquids and their densities.

In one of our most popular experiments, the 9-Layer Density Column, each liquid is stacked up on the next and do not separate because of their density. Objects sink to different levels based on their density.

Taking a lesson from the 9-Layer Density tower, we tried a new experiment with food coloring, water, an ice cube, baby oil and a mystery liquid. Watch the Sick Science! video and try to guess the mystery liquid before reading further.

Did you figure out the mysterious liquid? It was vegetable oil.

The basis of the Light Ice, Heavy Water experiment relies on density. Density = mass ÷ volume, which essentially equates to how many atoms are within a certain space. It is tough to see, but when you add baby oil to the vegetable oil in the container, the baby oil settles on top of the vegetable oil. This is because baby oil is a less-dense liquid than vegetable oil. That’s where water comes in to the picture.

As you likely know, ice cubes are frozen bricks of water. What you may not know, is that water reacts unlike almost every other material on earth when it freezes – it becomes less dense. That’s right! Other than water and some types of rubber, materials become more dense when they cool and freeze. As you can see in the Light Ice, Heavy Water experiment, however, ice is actually less dense than water and vegetable oil. Pretty, cool, and pretty cool!
To perform this experiment and get the step by step instructions, please visit the Light Ice, Heavy Water experiment page.

Test Tube Valentines – A Science Message in a Bottle

By Blog Editor Susan Wells

I am not incredibly crafty, although I enjoy breaking the paper Valentine mold each year and finding something new and different. This year, my second grader and I are breaking out and making Valentines with test tubes. They are super easy, super fun and super unique. What could be better than a little love, a little science and an activity all wrapped up into one?


  • Test Tube Baby Soda Bottles
  • Candy
  • To, from stickers
  • Valentines stickers, ribbon or anything you want to use for decoration on the outside.
  • Experiment print out
  • Experiment materials

Start out filling the test tubes with Valentines candy. Add the stickers to the outside of the tube to include to and from. Then choose an experiment to include with the test tube. It can be something really simple or something a little more advanced. You can even mix up the experiments and share several. I have included a few test tube experiments that you can add inside the test tube…






When my oldest was in first grade, we made similar Scientific Test Tubes for her class. They were a huge hit, but I quickly learned that including Fizzy Tablets in a Valentine when kids expect candy wasn’t the best idea. (You can include them with the bubbling blobs experiment)  If you put together Test Tube Valentines, make sure they are age-appropriate.

The Best of Steve Spangler Sick Science! Videos January 2013

What a great start to 2013! From Pop Rocks, mystery liquids, folding eggs and even a VIRAL video showing how to remove iron from your breakfast cereal, to newspaper trees, dirty cell phones, and instantly freezing water. Our Sick Science! Video Team works hard to create and develop the best science experiment how to’s every month.  Hope you enjoyed this month as much as we did!

Don’t miss the season two premier of The Spangler Effect on March 6, 2013!

Young Alchemists – Science for Babies, Toddlers and Kids

By Angelique Felix

Young children are always experimenting! If you give your child a cup and a bowl of water, he will fill and pour, push the cup under the surface and watch the water rush in, and investigate why his sleeves get wet when he dips them in.

New theoretical ideas and empirical research show that very young children’s learning and thinking are strikingly similar to learning and thinking in science. (source)

I say that almost all young kids have the fundamental skills of becoming a good scientist!

They Play.

They Explore.


They are CURIOUS.

They want to DISCOVER new things.

They want to know WHY certain things happen.

Every age contributes in its own way of becoming young alchemists.

Explore & Play

During the Baby age (0 to 1) a child explores & plays with what is suitable for its age (click here to see how babies can play). Babies learn about the world through their senses and use their whole body for that investagation. On the picture you see baby girl explore a homemade babypaint (cornstarch, water, food colors).


Do it yourself & observe

When baby grows up to toddler (1 to 3) and preschooler (4 to 6) it will be attracted to do things theirselves with the material being offered. While creating, mixing, making “mess”, they observe and might want to ask you ‘why does this happen’? The picture shows one of my super curious preschoolers making playdough out of flour-water and salt.


Thinking logically & Understand

Getting bigger and being more able to reorganize information a child (6+) shows you that it is ready to use logic and to understand certain processes that are happening. On the picture my daughter pretends to be a witch creating her magical potion. We’ve put out several ingredients and she followed precisely the effects of adding each ingredient separately.

So if we adults stimulate these innate natural abilities, our kids later on will be attracted automatically towards science and technology. What a great new future can lie ahead for the world of tomorrow simply by motivating children to develop their alchemists skills!

Have a look at the video. It’s a compilation of science moments with the kids I work with.




Angelique Felix is the creator of -The Magic Of Play . She’ s on a mission to bring play back in daily lives through bilingual songs, movement & creativity. Angelique teaches 0 to 6 year-olds in Italy, but comes from the Netherlands. She is a single mom passionately loving her only daughter Chanel every day. And she thinks it’s strange to write about herself in the third person :)