Valentine’s Day Science

This year we decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day in an unusual way…with science!! This program was designed for children between Kindergarten and 3rd Grade.

Program Plan

-Welcome and Introduction

-Group Science Experiment

  • Conversation Heart Activity
    • Explore the different reactions that conversation candy hearts would have in different substances.
    • Materials: conversation hearts, bowl with hot water, bowl with cold water, bowl with salt water, bowl with vinegar, bowl with honey, bowl with bleach, hypothesis/result sheets.
    • Process: Make predictions about how candy hearts will react to each substance.
      Place candy heart in substances (hot water, cold water, salt water, vinegar, honey, and bleach) and record initial reaction.
      Check every ten minutes to see changes.
      Make final observations then compare to initial predictions.
    • More details about the experiment at Coffee Cups and Crayons

-Individual Experiments

  • Roll to Fill
    • Explore estimating, counting, and probability while filling up heart-shaped cookie cutters!
    • Materials: cookie cutters (heart-shaped and circles), pom poms, large dice, result sheets.
    • Process: Pick a cookie cutter.
      Estimate how many pom poms it will take to fill the shape.
      Roll the dice, then place that many pom poms in your shape.
      Record what number you rolled on the dice.
      Repeat until the shape is filled.
    • More details about the experiment at Modern Preschool.
  • Heart Rate Investigation
    • Explore how our heart rate responds to varying levels of activity
    • Materials: stopwatch, result sheets.
    • Process: Record your resting heart rate.
      Do jumping jacks for 1 minute.
      Record your heart rate.
      Rest for 1 minute.
      Record your heart rate.
  • Marshmallow and Toothpick Structures
  • Secret Messages
    • Use chemistry to make secret messages with baking soda.
    • Materials: white paper, baking soda, water, paint brush, small spray bottle with lemon juice.
    • Process: Mix the baking soda and water together to create the “paint”.
      Paint your message on the white paper.
      Allow to dry.
      Once dry, brush off any excess baking soda.
      Spray the lemon juice onto the paper to reveal the message.
    • More details about the experiment at Inspiration Laboratories
  • Fizzing Hearts
    • See how vinegar reacts to baking soda!
    • Materials: paper, white glue, baking soda, vinegar, red food coloring, fine motor dropper.
    • Process: I prepped the paper so that there were two hearts made from white glue with baking soda sprinkled over the glue.
      Mix vinegar with red food dye.
      Children can use the fine motor droppers to apply vinegar to baking soda hearts.
    • More details about the experiment at Powerful Mothering.

-Wrap Up Discussion and Goodbyes


I was really happy with the outcome of this program! I had a large group because an entire girl scout troop attended. I was expecting it to be mass chaos, but it was actually very quiet…hopefully because everyone was so focused and not because they thought it was boring!
During the group activity, they made some great predictions. Throughout the program, some of the children (maybe three or four) wandered up to the table to see how the candy hearts were reacting.
Of the individual experiments, the marshmallow/toothpick structures and secret messages were the most popular. The heart rate investigation was the least popular, but I believe that was because most of the students had done something similar to this recently.
During the wrap up discussion, we pulled the candy hearts out of the substances and talked about the changes that had happened to them. They were really excited to see this, and I was happy that some of the candy hearts looked quite different.


Reference Questions, Part 1

While working on the youth desk at a public library, I get a lot of interesting reference questions. Here are some of my favorites!

Patron:  Hello, we are looking for a DVD. *nudges daughter to tell me the DVD name*
Patron’s Daughter:  I think it’s called America-less.
Me:  Hmmm…let me take a look. *finds nothing*
Me:  And it’s called America-less?
Patron’s Daughter:  I think so.
Me:  Can you tell me anything about it?
Patron’s Daughter:  Well, I could, but I don’t want that one, I want a different one.
Me:  Oh, it’s a TV show? If you tell me about the one that you already saw, it will help me find the one that you are looking for now.
Patron’s Daughter:  Well, it’s about a girl who is going to school and she is a secret superhero.
Me:  Cool! Is it about real people or is it animated?
Patron’s Daughter:  What’s animated?
Me:  It’s like a cartoon.
Patron’s Daughter:  It’s a cartoon.
Me:  Is it DC Super Hero Girls?
Patron’s Daughter:  No.
Me:  Can you tell me about what her superhero costume looked like?
Patron’s Daughter:  It was red and black like a ladybug.
Me:  Oh! Is it Miraculous?
Patron’s Daughter: YES! I can never remember how to say that word.


Purple Unicorns
Patron: We are looking for another book. It’s about a purple unicorn.
Patron’s Daughter: No, it’s not a purple unicorn. It’s a unicorn, and the cover is purple.
Me: Oh, is it Heavenly Nostrils?
Patron: What?
Me: The name of the book is Phoebe and Her Unicorn. The unicorn’s name is Heavenly Nostrils.
Patron: That’s….interesting.

Story Time at the Museum: People of the World

People of the World

Story Time Plan


  • We Clap and Sing Hello
  • The More We Get Togethersame same but different


  • Same, Same but Different / Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw

-Action Song

  • Wake Up Feetbarefoot book of children


  • The Barefoot Book of Children / Tessa Strickland


  • Hands are Clapping

-Flannel StoryFlannel Story, baby faces


  • Dance Your Fingers Up
  • I Put My Hands Together

-Bookeverywhere babies

  • Everywhere Babies / Susan Meyers


  • Open, Shut Them
  • I’ve Got Peace Like a River


  • We Wave Goodbye Like This


Back-Up Books

  • People / Peter Spier
  • He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands / Kadir Nelson
  • Whoever You Are / Mem Fox
  • Children of the World
  • Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes / Mem Fox



It was quite cold, so there was a smaller crowd today. And they were very young…so The Barefoot Book of Children was a bit much. I should have read a different book, but I thought I could make it work. I ended up skipping many sections and only reading some of the pages. I also had enough time to read one of my back-up books, so I read Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes.

Flannel Story: Baby Faces

This is a great flannel that I found Mel’s Desk. She has another rhyme that she posted on her website, but I just used the two listed here.

To make these, I ended up making a Microsoft Publisher page with shapes for the face, eyes, and mouths. That way they were pretty similar in size.

Flannel Story, baby faces

5 Little Babies

Five little babies sitting in their cribs.
The first one said, “I need another bib.”
The second one said, “I wish I had my ball.”
The third one said, “I wish that I could crawl.”
The fourth one said, “Oh, when can we play?”
The fifth one said, “It’s been a busy day!”
Then “Shhhhhhhhh” went the mommies, and out went the lights.
And five little babies said goodnight.

10 Little Babies

One little, two little, three little babies.
Four little, five little, six little babies.
Seven little, eight little, nine little babies.
Ten baby girls and boys.