An exciting activity to test for elements!!
Let your students do a little research (with direction as needed) on the colors each will produce (John Hudson Tiner's Exploring the World with Chemistry, ch 5, will help if you have it). Or just show them the website.
Might want to first see what materials you're able to obtain, and which elements your child has learned, then go from there.
--Chemistry 101 (Wes Olson), chapter 6 mentions when elements are exposed to fire, their gases give off a distinct "fingerprint" of color.
--We will be reading Tiner's ch. 5 along w/ Chem 101, ch. 3 because of the scientists mentioned and what they discovered. This will be a good time for us to do this experiment! And watch some Periodic Videos as well!! http://periodicvideos.com/
(I also want to be learning some of the elements ahead of Chem 101 because he introduces them almost all at once, and because, well, I just don't want to wait, lol.)
More tips about colored fire here: http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howtos/a/aa052703a.htm
We will probably just sprinkle the substance on the fire, but from something with a long handle.
You can also have your child to do a lab report on this. Have him fill out the initial part of a lab report, including materials, his predictions, etc (make a chart), then fill in what actually happened and if he had better results for some substances than others, and why he thought that happened.
If you're not sure how to do a lab report, instead of copying one person's method, the best way to learn something is to google and compare several samples so that you know what you want. =)
Any ideas or thoughts on this experiment?