If you don't have a chemist living in your neighborhood you really should think about getting one.
Luckily, we have one who is readily available and also incredibly willing to share his insight and chemical know how with our family.
And we eat it up!
(Well, not literally. He doesn't always tell us what the chemicals are and we don't want to chance it.)
Over the last couple years we have had looooots of fun when our dear friend sends us home with a baggie of this and a tells us to add a bit of that and then watch what it does. Sometimes it changes color. Sometimes it makes things move. Often it bursts into flame. That's my children's favorite!
Seriously. Get yourself a chemist. You won't be sad you did.
(Our latest fun.)