Impromptu Science

This evening Ani wanted to play a board game (Risk or Clue) but it was almost 9. She was moving toward angry-mode when we told her it was too late. Then I had an idea. I told Ani and Cameron to get the dining room table all the way cleared off and we’d do a couple science experiments.


They were intrigued by that so they complied quickly and I grabbed two diapers, a measuring cup, a towel, and scissors. I quickly reviewed the steps in the scientific method and got the first experiment set up.


Our problem was to find out how much liquid a size 4 Pampers Cruisers diaper hold. Ani’s hypothesis was 2 cups (16 ounces). Cameron’s was 1 cup (8 ounces). And then we started pouring on the water.


We did one cup first. It held it no problem. Then we started 1/4 cup at a time. Even Fritz wanted in on the experiment. In the end we discovered that the diaper holds 3 1/2 cups (28 ounces!) before it starts to leak. We all agreed it wouldn’t hold that much on a baby, though, because they’d move and stuff.


For the second experiment, I cut a dry diaper open and showed the kids the SAP (super absorbent polymer) in it and put it in a bowl. Cameron added water and we watched the SAP grow as it absorbed the water.


Then I cut open the diaper we had filled with water and the kids played with the fully expanded SAP. They were both simultaneously grossed out and enthralled with how it felt to squish it around with their hands.


So there you go. Impromptu science on a Sunday night. There was no more mention of playing board games! Science beats board games in our house any day.

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