Cupcake Baker Chemistry: Irreversible Reactions



Any friends out there used or heard of Kiwi Crate? No? Yes? We love it!

We were introduced to Kiwi Crate by our Nana, my mom. We have loved every month since. Kiwi Crate is a monthly activity box. For me it was a God-send for the crafty not-crafter. I always wanted to do “crafts” with my kids, but…

Problem 1) I did not want to go pinteresting for kids craft projects. I grew up with a crafter, and I really enjoyed those benefits, but I wasn’t interested in finding things to create on my own.

Problem solved: Kiwi Crate. Each crate has a theme, and there are two specific crafts or activities inside your crate. After your kids have whizzed through those exercises (cause I promise you, they will get good at just knocking those projects OUT), there are extras to keep you going. Kiwi Crate includes a “magazine”, a little booklet of sorts with LOTS and lots of additional information and resources for you to expand the theme for the month into more fun, games, and activities.

Problem 2) I did not want to load up on crafting materials. I have a phobia of collecting too much STUFF. (Doesn’t always apply in the clothing realm, but, go figure.) I have never liked having an excess of stickers, or thought it might be fun if I had every print and texture of scrapbook paper. This is not said to diminish those who have and create beautiful work from their crafting. I just couldn’t ever bring myself to buy it, have a bin of it. I was afraid if I did it would take over my entire house.

Problem solved: Kiwi Crate comes will ALL OF THE SUPPLIES you will need for your projects INCLUDED in your crate each month. And your first crate even comes with a pair of scissors so that when future Kiwi Crate’s call for scissors, BAM! You’ve got ’em. Other than that, they may suggest that you put a paper bag or mat down to protect your child’s workspace if the project is especially messy, gluey, colorful or would otherwise cause damage.

Problem 3) And MESS brings me to my last point. I didn’t ever want to deal with what I saw as the dark side of crafting, MESS and MESSY CLEANUP. Now here, to a certain extent, I simply had to learn that it is a pipe dream to believe that you can live your life and keep your house in the vacuum of CLEAN. Doesn’t exist. Isn’t real. Doesn’t happen. EVER. However…

Problem solved: I have to say that Kiwi Crate is NOT ever overly messy or clean-up intensive. Sure, there are scraps of paper to throw away. There is paint on the table to be washed off. There are rainbow hands to be rinsed. But Kiwi Crate has fantastic kid-friendly media on all fronts.

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This particular crate was all about baking (obviously). The first activity (not pictured) was to make a chef hat and apron for your further baking endeavors. Adorable! We actually haven’t done this activity yet because my boys wanted to make their cakes first, aprons second.

So they got out their foam triangles, taped them together on the their “baking sheet” (that brown piece of paper you see), and then squished and squirted and partially smoothed their clay paint to their fully decorated cakes. Their cakes were FAKE, they were foam and clay. They were craft cakes, which was FUN! However, all this did was make us hungry for the real thing.

Here’s where the CHEMISTRY came on stage. I’ll explain. Maybe a month ago, Miles watched a Sid the Science Kid (fabulous PBS production) show about how COOKING is CHEMISTRY. Sid’s teacher Susie explained to her class that when cooking, there are many steps we take that cannot be undone. (She used the example of pancakes. See YouTube clip below!) So for example, when you mix the water and flour and the eggs, you can NEVER un-mix them. You have created what scientists call and IRREVERSIBLE CHANGE.

Ever since watching this, Miles has been into talking about and labeling all sorts of things as irreversible change– much of it having to do with cooking food and eating it as per Miss Susie. An irreversible change occurs when you COOK or BAKE something– like a pancake or a cupcake– because through the heating process you cannot UNDO the reaction that has taken place. Pancake goes from batter to bready. BOOM– irreversible change. Pancake goes from bready to burned,  you can’t undo that one either! There is no going back! (Who knew that baking could be so existential?)” target=”_blank”>

So there’s Miss Susie’s ditty about pancakes. I also stumbled across this awesome little online experiment to further help kids understand the principle of an irreversible reaction. (Click the link, that image is only a screen capture.)

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Fun, right?!?

Science for the gourmand, who knew!?! (Probably many halfway intelligent people, but this was so fun to walk through with my kids.)

So we thought we’d better have at this irreversible reaction, and make ourself some cupcakes that could actually be EATEN! (Another irreversible reaction/change there, folks!) I’ll leave you with the pictures below. Don’t fail to view the one where Miles has finished pouring the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl and Parker takes over mixing duties. At which point, Miles feels that this is an appropriate time to pick his nose. You know, when your task is done, have some fun.

Yep, I think that about covers it. Science Friday, Kiwi Crate, and Fun Bake!

Hope you’re baking up something delicious this Friday, too!

XX, Megan

A note about gender: I have boys, so I do my crafting and experimenting with boys :). Kiwi Crate is just as girl friendly. When you choose a subscription or a gift you have the option to select the gender of the recipient. Kiwi Crate will then tailor some, SOME (not all) of the activities in your crate to whether a girl or boy is receiving the crate. However, I would say that I haven’t had an activity in my boys’ crate that wouldn’t have been just as fun, engaging, and enjoyable for a little girl.  And certainly science experiments don’t lean toward one gender or the other.

P.S. Most of our Science Friday projects also come from Kiwi Crate, and that information is absolutely FREE!!! You can go to their website. Click the “DIY Ideas” tab, scroll down the “Ideas by Theme” list and click “Science Experiments”. These you WILL have to grab supplies for but they are simple, fun, filled with learning, and maybe a little bit messier than the Kiwi Crate itself.





International sign for cupcake.
This is the picture BEFORE the picture where they actually both look at the camera simultaneously. Miles “Enough already, let’s eat!” Parker, “If I hold real still, mom won’t see this candy in my mouth.”
“Boys, if you look at the camera and smile you’ll both get to eat a cupcake!” AAAAAAAAND cue the eyes and smiles! That’s a wrap!

2 thoughts on “Cupcake Baker Chemistry: Irreversible Reactions

  1. Every year for our anniversary we have a Family Birthday Party because that was the day our family was born and we wanted to make it more interactive with the kiddos. We also get a “big gift” for the family. One year it was a bike trailer etc. I’ve been wracking my brain for what we are going to add for the kiddos as we are getting a family sized tent and I don’t think they will quite appreciate it until this summer. I am loving the Kiwi Crate idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think they (and you) will really enjoy it! I think we’ve had a subscription for 2 years. Haven’t been disappointed yet. I’d love to hear how it goes. (FYI at first we only had a subscription for Parker, but I think when Miles was 3 we “added” him. How old is Adele? Regardless, sometimes when Miles doesn’t want to do the craft Parker will just have the chance to do the activity twice. He’s never complained. And as Miles has gotten older he’s more into it.)


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