We’re showcasing activities inspired by Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson this week for the Virtual Book Club for Kids. We experimented with a fizzy potions juice lab and made our own witchy concoctions. Be sure to check out all of the witch and potion themed ideas at the end of the post. I get commissions for purchases made through the affiliate links in this post.
Room On The Broom by Julia Donaldson
Julia Donaldson is one of my favorite children’s authors. We had the privilege of attending one of her author events at a local library earlier this year. She acted out the stories with the kids and sang songs. It was so much fun. After The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom is probably Donalson’s most popular book. It’s a fun little story about a witch and her cat flying through the air. When the witch loses her hat, bow, and wand, a dog, a bird, and a frog help her out. And then along comes a dragon. Will the witch be eaten or will the animal friends help her out?
View all of our Julia Donaldson activities here.
Fizzy Potions Juice Lab
We love making potions. Sometimes our potions are edible and sometimes they are just for fun. Today’s fizzy potions are made with fruit juice and are definitely taste safe. Whether or not they taste good is up to the potion maker!
Did you know that fruit juice reacts with baking soda similar to vinegar? When you add baking soda to fruit juice, you’ll get carbon dioxide (bubbles), water, and a salt. This is what will make our potions fizzy.
Did you also know that some fruit juices change color depending on their pH? They are one color when acidic and another color when basic. Cherry juice, blackberries, and grape juice (especially blue grapes) are three that exhibit a similar color change. When in acidic conditions, they are red; when in basic conditions, they are blue or purple. (Check out our Valentine potion and tasting experiment where we experimented with these color changes more.)
Today we’re using grape juice (because it’s the least expensive option) to see a color change. We’re also using orange juice and powdered drink mix (like powdered lemonade or Kool-Aide) that has citric acid. The citric acid will react with baking soda to get our fizzy bubbles. However, you won’t get a color change for this one. Here’s a list of ingredients to get you started. Use whatever you have available and make it work for you. We added candies and chocolate for extra witchy fun.
- Fruit juice (grape juice or cherry juice for color changing potion)
- Other fruit juice (like orange juice or lemon juice)
- Powdered drink mix with citric acid (like powdered lemonade or Kool-Aid)
- Baking soda
- Candy eyeballs
- Sprinkles (we had rainbow stars and gold sprinkles)
- Chocolate (we had white chocolate pumpkins and chocolate bats and spiders)
For the color changing fizzy potions:
Start with grape juice or cherry juice in a clear glass. Allow your child to add different ingredients to make a tasty potion. Add a little candy and/or chocolate. When you’re ready to make it fizzy, add a little baking soda (like a 1/4 teaspoon). Stir and watch the bubbles form. Did you notice a color change? How does your potion taste? (It probably tastes like sweet grape juice. If you added too much baking soda, it might be a little salty. If it’s to salty, definitely don’t keep drinking it.)
Now add some acid to your potion (orange juice, lemon juice, or powdered drink mix). Your juice should change to a new color. Continue mixing different juices together and adding ingredients until your happy with the product. You can always start over and try again.
For fizzy potions that don’t change color:
Start with water in a clear glass. Add some powdered drink mix to the water. (Here we used black cherry Kool-Aid.)
Allow your child to add different ingredients to make a tasty potion. Add a little candy and/or chocolate. When you’re ready to make it fizzy, add a little baking soda (like a 1/4 teaspoon). Stir and watch the bubbles form. (There won’t be a color change this time. The cherry is artificial flavoring.) How does your potion taste? (It probably tastes like extra sweet Kool-Aid. If you added too much baking soda, it might be a little salty.)
Witch’s Potion Sensory Play
At the end of Room on the Broom, the witch fixes her broom by making a potion. Each character in the book contributes something to the cauldron. The bird adds a twig, the cat adds a cone. The frog adds a lily, and the dog adds a bone. Check out the fizzy potion we made with similar ingredients.
More Activities from the Virtual Book Club for Kids
See more witch and potion themed activities inspired by Room on the Broom:
Alphabet Activity: Room on the Broom Sequencing – Growing Book by Book
Witch Potion Alphabet Printable Worksheet – The Moments at Home
Witch Themed Alphabet Hide and Seek Game – The Educators’ Spin On It
Room on the Broom Witches Potions Measuring Volume – Rainy Day Mum
Room on the Broom Preschool Math – My Storytime Corner
Edible Witches Potion – Clare’s Little Tots
Edible Witches Brew Slime – Teach Beside Me
Bubble Games – Blowing Bubbles in a Brew by JDaniel4’s Mom
Cauldron Drawing Activity – Mama Smiles
Also stop by the Virtual Book Club for Kids Facebook group to see what others are sharing!
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