There are few things more fun and freeing for kids than concocting their own “potions.” They get to take a bit of water, put it in a small vessel, and mix it with whatever they desire. And that may include a bit of wonderment and magic.
Here are some activities and pretend potions your child can make while they’re building skills at the same time.
This activity is for kids up to eight and promotes creativity, imagination, and sensory skills. You need one glass jar for each child, plus water and a stick or two for mashing and stirring.
While petal potions can be made all year, they’re super suited for spring and summer with everything around you sprouting, blooming, and bursting. Nature’s bounty is rife with potential potion ingredients.
To create a potion, the children will search, gather, mix, mash, stir, shake, and repeat. They’ll examine the potion and take whiffs as the contents change in color, form, and odor. They’ll add a smidge of this and a drop of that, and perhaps start over if they liked an earlier mixture better.
After packing the materials, try setting a goal. Suggest to the little ones that they make a magic potion. They’ll be hard-pressed to resist. You can collect petals for the jars when fallen petals are in abundance, but — any materials can be used. Ask the kids, “What can you put in a magic potion?” Welcome all responses, and tell them that the actual answer is, “Anything you want!”
Next, encourage the kids to put down their jars and look about them for things for their elixir. They can grab a bag or sack and gather ingredients such as leaves, grass, bark, petals from flowering trees, dirt, and more. Once the kids have several items, suggest that they head back for potion making.
You can always bring along or look for a few different materials that could boost kids’ sensory experience. For example, you can pack spices, dried lavender, scented petals, and items that can make potion colors pop.
Kids should add an inch or two of water to their jars, followed by their found ingredients. Then they use whatever they can – sticks, or a sturdy reed, say – to mix up the potions. Get the kids to put tops on the jars and let them shake the containers to their heart’s content.
While they’re being little mad scientists, ask the kids what they notice about their potion. You can ask about the color or texture or have them smell it.
Once the kids seems as though they’re done with potion making, ask them, “How do we make this potion a magic potion?” Accept all suggestions. Suggest to them that just by sniffing the potion, they can pretend to be whatever they want. You go along with it, too.
OTHER PRETEND POTIONS
Here are a few other safe and fun brews your kids can whip up:
Lava Potion Lava Lamp. These glitter lamps are mesmerizing for kids and become a cool science experiment after you discuss with them what happens when you add water, oil, food coloring and an effervescent such as an antacid.
Fizzy Fairy Potion. You only need a few basic ingredients – baking soda, vinegar, food coloring and glitter – plus a magic wand (okay, a spoon will suffice). And it helps to get dressed as a fairy! Think of a fairy wish or spell as the child mixes the potion and watches the magic unfold.
Rainbow Potion. This sweet and colorful mixture comes together with a bit of sugar, food coloring, and a dropper. The fun water density experiment helps teach about the basics of color.
Making potions is a time-worn blast. It’s super fun and educational, and if your kids haven’t done it before, there’s no time like the present. Potion-making will give them a tool for play and discovery they can turn to again and again.