Science Experiment for Kids to Watch


  • Medium size lump of coal
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 2 Tbsp. laundry bluing
  • Mercurochrome
  • Food coloring (opt.)


Place a lump of coal in bowl and sprinkle 1 Tbsp. salt over the coal. Carefully pour 2 Tbsp. water over salt. In the same manner, pour 2 Tbsp. of laundry bluing. Then add 2 or 3 drops of mercurochrome. Repeat with food coloring. After several days, you should have a colorful mosslike growth. If not, add a few more drops of water. This is something small children really enjoy!

By Robin from Washington, IA

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these were called depression roses, back in the old days, you can use a regular rock too instead of coal but it doesn't look nearly as good

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What is mercurochrome and where can I get it?

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Ask the pharmacist or chemist. It is an antiseptic.

Susan from ThriftyFun

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Is that coal from the BBQ? and do you know where to get bluing? Thanks for any feed back.

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The bluing is usually found in older style dime stores or pharmacies. I also found it in WalMart.

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In This Article
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Make Your Own MiscellaneousOctober 27, 2005
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