Sometimes you just happen upon the most perfect reason for a simple science experiment. Just this week, we had the honor to get an advanced copy of an incredible book for little scientists (more on that later) and we were all hooked. Not only were we hooked, we were inspired to create an experiment much like the main character in the book needs to do to solve her biggest problem. This simple science experiment for kids is perfect for all ages and will allow kids to use their own pets and interest to find out the answer to “What does my pet like to eat?”
Every single night for the last week, my son (9) has begged me to read our new copy of Dragons and Marshmallows (Zoey and Sassafras) by Asia Citro. In fact, the first night, he kept pushing for more and more chapters. He didn’t want to stop. He was immediately drawn into the story of a curious little girl that finds a magical creature in her barn. Immediately there is a problem Zoey has to solve… her magical creature is sick. She has to determine the cause of the sick creature by performing science experiments.
This is the first in the series of Zoey and Sassafras and we will 100% be buying the rest of the series and following along for any more that might come along. Zoey is the perfect main character for any child to fall in love with. Her sense of curiosity mixed with Citro’s uncanny ability to paint a clear picture of Zoey’s feelings, allow kids (like my son and daughter) to get sucked in immediately. Add in the adorable and irresistable Sassafras (Zoey’s partner in exploration) and this book is a true winner.
Okay, okay… I will stop fawning over this book, but seriously it is such a great series! Now on to the experimenting.
In a world where “experiments” are more often glamorous demonstrations, Zoey and Sassafras get it right! Zoey meticulously goes through the entire scientific process to figure out exactly what is wrong with her magical creature. Along the way, she teaches the readers how to do it too (which is exactly what we did).
What Does My Pet Like to Eat? – A Simple Science Experiment for Kids
This experiment is super simple to set up and even more fun to do. My son thought of this experiment after we finished the last chapter of Zoey and Sassafras. Since I was on the launch team for the book, I had a special surprise for him… I was able to use drawings from the book to create a printable data sheet for his experiment. It was like I brought the book to like for him.
What you need to find out “What My Pet Likes to Eat?”
Pencil (or markers)
Printable Data Experiment Sheet (download here)
Paper Plates (4)
Various Foods (different depending on the pet)
Your own pet (we used our turtle, Sandy)
Dragons and Marshmallows (Zoey and Sassafras) by Asia Citro
How to set up your experiment:
After you have decided which pet you are going to experiment with, choose 4 foods that you think your pet will like to eat and prepare them on 4 different plates.
When my daughter (3) did the experiment, she chose grapes, snap peas, kale and pear. When my son did the experiment, he chose carrots, celery, banana, and cucumber.
If you haven’t already done so, print out the Printable Science Experiment Data Recording Sheet to go along with your experiment.
Next, fill out your data sheet with your question (what you want to learn) and your hypothesis (what you think will happen) and draw the foods you have chosen to test.
Download your FREE Printable Data Sheet Here
Now it is time to make your observations and run your tests. It is important to keep everything constant (the same) and only change the foods.
To do this, we put the same amount of each food in the tank and waited to see what the turtle would do.
Now, sit back and observe your pet and what your pet does with the foods. For us it was pretty easy to see our pet’s favorite food.
He ignored almost all the choices but was very curious about the grape (in experiment #1) and went crazy for the carrot (in experiment #2).
Finally, record your findings and determine if more experiments are needed. In our case, we realized the turtle was not very hungry and the experiment might be better if we did it in the morning. We have decided to set up the experiment again very soon, but do it in the morning instead.
Both of my kids loved this experiment just as much as they loved the book, Dragons and Marshmallows (Zoey and Sassafras) . They can’t wait for the next book to come so we can do another awesome experiment just like Zoey.
I love hearing what your favorite science experiments are! If you have a science experiment you want us to try out for you or a book that inspired your last experiment, simply respond and let us know! We love exploring!
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