Reflections on Growth

What you need:

  • Empty plastic bottle
  • Aluminum cake pan
  • Funnel
  • Food coloring
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Quick-rise yeast


What you do:

  1. Ask your child, "What have you learned over the past few months? What are all of the ways you have grown over the past few months?"
  2. Ask them to think about school work, friendships, sports, and the things they have learned about themselves.
  3. Explain that growing is a part of life, for young people and old people alike.
  4. Ask, "Why do you think it is important to keep learning and growing?"
  5. Ask, "What would happen if we did not continue to learn and grow?"
  6. Ask, "How can we remember that it is important to be willing and open to learn and grow?"
  7. Explain that this is called a "beginner's mind," being open to living in the present moment and taking on a new task or activity with an open mind and ready to learn.
  8. Offer them praise for how you have seen them learn, as well as how they have used a beginner's mind over the past few months (such as taking on a new task without judgment).
  9. Explain that when you add ingredients—like a beginner's mind and willingness to learn—your mind can expand, just like the activity they are about to do.
  10. Together with your child, place the empty plastic bottle in the center of the cake pan.
  11. Place the funnel on top of the bottle.
  12. In a separate cup, pour a small amount of hydrogen peroxide.
  13. Place 4–5 drops of food coloring into the peroxide.
  14. Pour the peroxide substance into the bottle.
  15. Next, pour dishwashing liquid (3–4 tablespoons) into the bottle.
  16. Pour the yeast into the bottle and watch the foam rise! 
  17. As you watch the foam rise, remember that your mind is always expanding and growing, too!
  18. You may play with your foam, and you may also try this experiment again with different amounts of each ingredient to compare the results.

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