Leprechauns are tricky when it comes to hiding their gold. Hiding at the end of the rainbow is not enough. So even if you get to the end of the rainbow, you won't find a pile of gold. Nope, they would never make it that easy. But if you search about you might discover some suspicious green rocks. With this Leprechaun Rocks Science Activity you will learn the secret science behind how to get the Leprechaun to reveal their gold.
When I told my kids this Leprechaun story they were wide eyed with wonder! They couldn't wait to uncover the science secret and discover some gold.
This activity is a lot of fun and kids love it. It also incorporates some fantastic fine motor strengthening for your younger children. For a variation on this activity, you can hatch dinosaur eggs.
St Patrick's Day Activities
Leprechaun Rocks - The Super Secret Science
- Baking Soda
- Green Food Coloring
- Small syringes (think of the type that come with baby medication) or pipettes
- Plastic coins
- Dish soap
- Large dish
- Parchment paper
- Access to a freezer
You may also want to consider rubber gloves and safety glasses. The vinegar can sting any little owies on the fingers and you definitely don't want to get it in the eyes.
Science Behind Leprechaun Rocks
This is a traditional baking soda and vinegar reaction that causes the release of CO2. The reaction mixes with the soap which creates a wonderful foam that is a great sensory exploration.
Making The Leprechaun Rocks
Start by adding one box of baking soda to a bowl. Carefully add a few drops of green food coloring.
I highly recommend you wear gloves for this part as you will color your hands!
Mix in the green food coloring until the baking soda is evenly colored. Add more as necessary.
Add in a bit of water, just half a teaspoon at a time, and mix until you create a thick paste. It should just start to stick together without crumbling.
Now cup your hand and add a scoop of the paste, place some coins in the middle, then add a bit more paste to cover the coins and shape it like a rock. Place it on the parchment paper.
Once all your rocks are made, place them in the freezer for at least 2 hours so they can set. Note they will look blue when frozen but will turn back to green once the reaction starts.
Once you are ready to do the activity, I recommend draping the area with a plastic cloth, this can get messy!
Place a large dish or bowl on the table, dribble some dish soap in the bottom and place your rock in the dish.
Provide a cup of vinegar and the syringe. Have the child carefully start to squirt the rocks and watch what happens! Continue squirting until all the coins are revealed.
Taking the experiment furtherThe resulting foam and searching through it for the coins and treasures is a fantastic sensory experience, but it does get messy!
Continue adding vinegar and see how much foam you can create!
Then maybe send your Leprechaun for a little swim. He did work hard collecting all that treasure!
Even more great chemistry for young scientists!Kids love these reactions and there are so many exciting variations. A few of our favorites are Bottle Rockets and making Lava Toffee.
Looking for more science?
- 100 Science Projects, Lessons, Worksheets & Games
- crushing bottles without touching them
- Anti Gravity Ping Pong Ball Experiment
- Melting Science Snowman Activity
- engineer an ice lantern
- How to Make Plastic from Milk
- FREE Habitat Adventure Game
Shelley is a former communications manager with a BSc in Psychology specialization. Since starting a family ten years ago, she has been a full-time writer in both fiction and non-fiction, and on her site: STEAM Powered Family. She is passionate about quality education and childhood mental health, and last year started homeschooling her two children who both have special needs. Follow along on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.