Potter's Potions: Harry Potter inspired potions to make at home!
My 10 year old devoured the Harry Potter books a couple of years ago, but remains a huge fan and I’ve just started reading the books to my 8-year-old who is a slightly less enthusiastic reader, but I’m hoping that if I start reading the series to her she might be so excited about the stories she’ll start to read alone.
If you read Science Sparks, you’ll know how much we enjoy science experiments. Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda) and vinegar reactions are great fun to watch and a wonderful introduction to chemical reactions. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter book being published, we combined these ingredients with a Harry Potter theme to make these easy potions, perfect for every fan who’s dreamed of spending time in Professor Snape’s potion lab.
Fizzy Cauldron Cordial
- Small containers
- Pipettes or spoons
- Bicarbonate of Soda
- Food colouring
- Glitter - optional
To make magical, fizzy potions all you need to do is mix a combination of coloured water, vinegar and baking soda in a container. The potion will fizz as soon as the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar react together. This is because a neutralisation reaction occurs between the acidic vinegar and alkaline bicarbonate of soda, releasing carbon dioxide.
- Try adding a little washing up liquid, you should find this thickens up the bubbles.
- Experiment with different colours and amounts of bicarbonate of soda and vinegar.
Colour Changing Bat Broth
This magical potion changes colour depending on what you add to it. Acidic substances will turn it pink while alkaline substances turn it green.
The potion is actually red cabbage juice, which acts as an indicator as it contains a pigment called anthocyanin, it is this pigment which changes colour when added to an acid or alkali.
- Red Cabbage
- Bicarbonate of Soda
- Lemon Juice
- Place chopped red cabbage and water in a pan and heat gently until the water turns purple. Make sure an adult helps with this step.
- Leave to cool.
- Add lemon juice to a small amount of the red cabbage juice, the red cabbage indictor should turn pink.
- Add bicarbonate of soda to a small amount of red cabbage indicator, this time it should turn green.
- Other substances to try could be: water, vinegar, milk, fizzy drinks and soap.
Adding a theme to an activity always makes it much more appealing to children, although these two experiments are impressive on their own, the Harry Potter theme adds some extra sparkle. My girls’ have spent hours writing recipes and creating different coloured fizzy liquids, pretending to turn their soft toys and sometimes even each other into frogs and bats.
How many different coloured potions can you make and how long can you get each to fizz for?
Goblin Snot Juice
This magical potion has two layers, you can even shake it and they will separate again!
- Food Colouring
- Vegetable oil
- Add a little food colouring to your container and top up to about half full with water.
- Pour oil on top, you should find the oil floats on top of the water.
- Can you think of something else you could add that would give a third layer? * Hint - How about honey? You’ll need to add this first.
Please do not drink these potions, and make sure you've got an adult supervising!