So the basics. The idea is to gather fun things for your kids to mix together and make "potions." For our first time, I went with 4 colors of jell-o (the cheapest I could find), baking soda, vinegar, and water.
Disclaimer here - my children are not usually slow and methodical. To illustrate, I heard someone say once that when it's time to eat you can tell someone that comes from a small family vs. someone that comes from a large family. Someone from a small family will stand back and slowly make their way to the food. Someone from a large family jumps on it, because they know if they don't, the food is leaving. So yah, that's our family in a nutshell in basically any situation.
In this case, I set out some fun potion making items, four of our five kids jumped in to participate, plus two of my nieces and two neighbors were over. Only so much to go around, right? Eight kids around a few potion making items = lots of scrambling, lots of chaos, and lots of fun.
Again, nothing too high tech was involved, but the kids' reactions were priceless. I didn't tell them what any of the items were, just told them to mix and see what they could come up with. Carolyn was the first to get the baking soda/vinegar mix.
Immediately everyone else wanted theirs to foam, and wanted me to add whatever it was they needed. I told them to keep trying things, but when some still didn't get it to work I helped them out.
One of our extras repeated about four times, "This is so MESSY!" Yessiree!
When the ingredients were used up and they were done mixing their own potions with each others' potions, I asked them what would happen if someone drank their potion. I should have taken video of that, because by the time things were cleaned up and back to normal I couldn't remember what everyone said. One was really green so it was decided that would make them really strong and turn them green like the hulk. One would turn you into a frog or an ogre. One would make people fly. I don't know about you, but I would have a hard time getting this one to my lips, let alone down the hatch.
Next time it would be fun to try red cabbage water, and for sure I've got to include glitter. When we were done with the "organized" activity (I use that term very loosely), the kids took off with the cups and mixed up mud, sticks, leaves, probably bugs, and who knows what else.