If you do this sidewalk constellation craft, you’ll be able to see the Big Dipper and Orion’s Belt in the daylight. On the sidewalk, have kids draw the lines of constellations (using constellation diagrams for guidance) and place stones where the stars are. You can then look at astronomy charts to see where the constellations they drew will be in the sky.
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.
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.
The "volcano" was basically a miniature mound that fizzled. Could get a bigger reaction from dropping an Alka Seltzer in water or mixing baking soda with a little vinegar. The "giant crystals" only grew a couple of centimeters. All the experiments are on such a miniature scale it doesn't have any of the wow factor we were looking for. I will go back to googling fun experiments to do with my son.
Invisible inks either react with another chemical to become visible or else weaken the structure of the paper so the message appears if you hold it over a heat source. But we're not talking about fire here. The heat of a normal light bulb is all that's required to darken the lettering. This baking soda recipe is nice because if you don't want to use a light bulb to reveal the message, you can just swab the paper with grape juice instead.
This is one of the quick and easy and science experiments for kids to teach them about weather. It only takes about five minutes and a few materials to set up, but once you have it ready you and your kids can create your own miniature tornado whose vortex you can see and the strength of which you can change depending on how quickly you swirl the jar.
Find out how plants “drink” water with some food coloring. Use carnations, roses, or stalks of celery submerged in the colored water and watch the liquid slowly seep through the plant’s “veins” and towards the leaves. Keep an eye out -- you could have a very colorful bouquet just after the first day. Get the rundown by Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments over here.
Education and science go hand-in-hand and one without the other is a sad time for any child indeed. There are loads of ways to get your children into science and the sooner the better. One way is to have fun with scientific experiments that use hands-on learning techniques. The hands-on approach is ideally what young scientists want to do and the less theory the better, especially when they are so young.
Making a borax snowflake is a crystal-growing project that is safe and easy enough for kids. You can make shapes other than snowflakes, and you can color the crystals. As a side note, if you use these as Christmas decorations and store them, the borax is a natural insecticide and will help keep your long-term storage area pest-free. If they develop a white precipitant, you can lightly rinse them (don't dissolve too much crystal). Did I mention the snowflakes sparkle really nicely?
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.