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.
This experiment is a great way for young kids to learn about static electricity, and it’s more fun and visual than just having them rub balloons against their heads. First you’ll create a butterfly, using thick paper (such as cardstock) for the body and tissue paper for the wings. Then, blow up the balloon, have the kids rub it against their head for a few seconds, then move the balloon to just above the butterfly’s wings. The wings will move towards the balloon due to static electricity, and it’ll look like the butterfly is flying.
Another physics kit that is sure to interest your child if they enjoy the Engino Newton’s Law Kit is the Klutz LEGO Chain Reactions Kit. This one teaches your kids about chain reactions and moving machines while also encouraging creativity and ingenuity by building their own. Plus it uses LEGO bricks they can play with when they’re done experimenting.
How are some dinosaur tracks still visible millions of years later? By mixing together several ingredients, you’ll get a claylike mixture you can press your hands/feet or dinosaur models into to make dinosaur track imprints. The mixture will harden and the imprints will remain, showing kids how dinosaur (and early human) tracks can stay in rock for such a long period of time.
Have you ever gone into a cave and seen huge stalactites hanging from the top of the cave? Stalactites are formed by dripping water. The water is filled with particles which slowly accumulate and harden over the years, forming stalactites. You can recreate that process with this stalactite experiment. By mixing a baking soda solution, dipping a piece of wool yarn in the jar and running it to another jar, you’ll be able to observe baking soda particles forming and hardening along the yarn, similar to how stalactites grow.
It happens to the Statue of Liberty and it happens to the change in your pocket! Create your own home lab with just a few household ingredients (this experiment will literally cost you just pennies). It’s also a chemical reaction with very non-toxic ingredients, so it’s safe and fascinating even for young kids. Click over to Buggy and Buddy to get the simple how-to.
You could even step into the living room to have more scientific fun. Learn about static electricity with some tiny scraps of paper and a balloon. Blow up the balloon and tie it closed. Make a small pile of paper scraps on the floor, and rub the balloon back and forth several times on your hair or on a sweater. Immediately move the balloon to the paper and watch as the paper scraps cling to the balloon. Rub the balloon on your head or sweater again and then place it against the wall to see it stick there. This surprising sticking happens because you have moved electrons around and the balloon now has more of a negative charge, while the paper or the wall has more of a positive charge. Putting the two surfaces together makes the opposite charges stick to each other.
This is an easy experiment that’ll appeal to kids of a variety of ages. Just take a zip-lock bag, fill it about ⅔ of the way with water, and close the top. Next, poke a few sharp objects (like bamboo skewers or sharp pencils) through one end and out the other. At this point you may want to dangle the bag above your child’s head, but no need to worry about spills because the bag won’t leak? Why not? It’s because the plastic used to make zip-lock bags is made of polymers, or long chains of molecules that’ll quickly join back together when they’re forced apart.
In this quick and fun science experiment, kids will mix water, oil, food coloring, and antacid tablets to create their own (temporary) lava lamp. Oil and water don’t mix easily, and the antacid tablets will cause the oil to form little globules that are dyed by the food coloring. Just add the ingredients together and you’ll end up with a homemade lava lamp!
Biology is an important area of science because it teaches us about our bodies and the environment around us. With this Thames & Kosmos Biology Genetics and DNA Kit, your child will jump into the world of heredity and variation of organisms by using a test tube to isolate tomato DNA. This in-depth kit is fun and it covers so many areas of biology that most kits don’t cover.
Geode Kits – For any child who thinks rocks are boring – a kit where they can break open their own geode is a great way to change their mind. National Geographic is a great choice if this is the type of kit you are looking for. Their products include hand-picked geodes and come with safety goggles and a stand for your child to proudly display their treasures. A great choice for children aged around 6 years old and above, they’re sure to be more interested in Earth science after this experiment.