Summer Water Activities for Kids


Blubber Bags Activity
How long can you keep your hand warm in a blubber bag?
How long can you keep your hand warm in a blubber bag?
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

The blubber bags activity is a fun (if greasy) way for kids to rind out how seals and whales stay warm, even in very cold water.

What You'll Need:

  • Bucket
  • Ice
  • Water
  • Two large plastic bags
  • Vegetable shortening

Do this experiment with a friend for extra fun. Fill a bucket with ice and water; make sure the water is very cold before doing the experiment. Be sure there are no holes in the plastic bags.

Fill one bag about half full with vegetable shortening. Have your friend slip the second bag over his or her hand, like a glove, and slide it into the shortening-filled bag.

Your friend should mush the shortening around until it surrounds the hand. Now plunge your bare hand into the bucket of ice water, and hold it there for 20 to 30 seconds.

After you take your hand out of the water, your friend should plunge his or her blubber glove into the ice water. How long could your friend keep his or her gloved hand in the water?

Why do you think the gloved hand stayed as warm and comfortable as a seal in the winter? Now take your turn with the blubber bag, and see for yourself what a difference the "blubber" makes.

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