The good news is that your white lab coat doesn’t have to sit in the closet collecting dust. There are a lot of fun, simple, and hands-on science projects families can do together to learn and understand some of the basic principals of the natural world. And they’re not just for kids: even moms and dads will get a kick out of these 10 family-friendly science experiments!
Wonderful ideas! As a former science teacher, science department chair and system-wide science supervisor,; I salute you! It is mothers like you who keep the spark of investigation going in the eyes of our children. I love, love love hands-on science! You are training the scientists of tomorrow…or maybe the artists…doesn’t matter, we need both! Suggestion: let them see how many drops of water they can get on a penny. All you need is a penny, a medicine dropper and water. Oh, and a very steady hand and table that doesn’t shake. Then fill a jar with water (almost to the top) and predict how many pennies they can put in until the water overflows. Good lesson in surface tension and cohesion. You will need a steady hand, sturdy surface and a lot of pennies! I have some others, but no enough space.
You won’t want to do this experiment near anything that’s difficult to clean (outside may be best), but kids will love seeing this “elephant toothpaste” crazily overflowing the bottle and oozing everywhere. Pour the hydrogen peroxide, food coloring, and dishwashing soap into the bottle, and in the cup mix the yeast packet with some warm water for about 30 seconds. Then, add the yeast mixture to the bottle, stand back, and watch the solution become a massive foamy mixture that pours out of the bottle! The “toothpaste” is formed when the yeast removed the oxygen bubbles from the hydrogen peroxide which created foam. This is an exothermic reaction, and it creates heat as well as foam (you can have kids notice that the bottle became warm as the reaction occurred).
For this magic milk experiment, partly fill a shallow dish with milk, then add a one drop of each food coloring color to different parts of the milk. The food coloring will mostly stay where you placed it. Next, carefully add one drop of dish soap to the middle of the milk. It’ll cause the food coloring to stream through the milk and away from the dish soap. This is because the dish soap breaks up the surface tension of the milk by dissolving the milk’s fat molecules.
There are many variations on homemade molecule science crafts. This one uses clay and toothpicks, although gumdrops or even small pieces of fruit like grapes can be used in place of clay. Roll the clay into balls and use molecule diagrams to attach the clay to toothpicks in the shape of the molecules. Kids can make numerous types of molecules and learn how atoms bond together to form molecules.
Let’s be honest, we’re all secretly waiting for the hovercraft to be a bonafide mode of transport, but in the meantime why not try this Balloon Hovercraft experiment at home? Using just a balloon, a bottle cap and a CD, you’ll be able to create a hovercraft that glides across the table to move, and with just 3 easy steps to follow, it’s perfect for a quick at-home activity.
If you’ve ever wondered why someone can measure and pour ingredients into a bowl, mix them up, and then bake the batter in the oven to make a cake, you’ve thought about science. The process of mixing certain ingredients together and adding heat causes the ingredients to react and change. For example, baking powder or baking soda in a cake recipe will react with acidic or wet things in the batter to puff it up and make the cake light and fluffy. Scientists tested these reactions so many times that they learned what would happen every time. This is called experimentation, and you can do it, too.