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!
London Science Museum | ThinkTank - Birmingham Science Museum | Aberdeen Science Centre | Glasgow Science Centre | Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester | Life Science Centre (Centre for Life), Newcastle | National Science and Media Museum, Manchester | Techniquest, Cardiff | Museum of Victorian Science, Whitby | Whipple Museum of the History of Science, Cambridge | Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
These sound like big words for our little ones, but there’s an easier way to break it down. Water and oil won’t mix because they’re not the same “weight” or substance (just like clay and LEGOs won’t become one). Now add a drop of food coloring (which is heavier than oil) and a fizzy tablet and watch the air bubbles take coloring with them to the top. Head on over to S. L. Smith’s blog to see how it’s done.
Penguins, and many other birds, have special oil-producing glands that coat their feathers with a protective layer that causes water to slide right off them, keeping them warm and dry. You can demonstrate this to kids with this penguin craft by having them color a picture of a penguin with crayons, then spraying the picture with water. The wax from the crayons will have created a protective layer like the oil actual birds coat themselves with, and the paper won’t absorb the water.
As you wonder and ask questions, experiments will let you watch chemical reactions as they happen. Even something as simple as writing a secret message on the bathroom mirror with a cotton swab and dish detergent can teach you about science. When the bathroom fills with warm steam from a shower, your message will appear like magic on the mirror. It’s not really magic, though. The dish detergent on the mirror is preventing water molecules in the steam from sticking together, so you can see the letters you wrote earlier.
Dry ice is already cool enough on its own (yes, pun intended) but it takes science to turn them a rad overflow of bubbles. When you add water, it changes the temperature of the dry ice, causing the ice to go from solid to gas. That’s where the fog and bubbles come from! Head to crafty blog Simply Modern Mom to get the full tutorial. But be careful: Dry ice can cause serious skin burns, so make sure your kids are well supervised and know not to touch the ice.
This experiment teaches kids about weather and lets them learn how clouds form by making their own rain cloud. This is definitely a science project that requires adult supervision since it uses boiling water as one of the ingredients, but once you pour the water into a glass jar, the experiment is fast and easy, and you’ll be rewarded with a little cloud forming in the jar due to condensation.
Adults and kids will learn amazing new things about basic and acidic solutions with the Mind Blowing Science Kit. Whether erupting a color-changing volcano, creating a sunset in a test tube, or growing colorful, jiggly crystals, this science kit mixes learning with experimentation in a fun and colorful way for a wide range of ages. Each of the hands-on activities in the science guide is intended to be performed by a young scientist under adult supervision, although these activities can be adjusted to accommodate a range of ages and capabilities while still maintaining the educational excitement of the original experiments. In addition to providing detailed instructions, the science guide makes it possible for those adults who might not have a background in science, or even any exposure to scientific experimentation, to knowledgably perform experiments successfully. The dynamic, colorful nature of the experiments included in this kit make it great for pleasing a crowd at family gatherings, parties, or science fairs.
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.
Disgusting Kits – These kits are great for young boys especially, who love everything gross! They will love to create horrible slime and sludge to gross out their friends, and parents! They tend to feature things like brains and snot – sure to be popular with little ones! Parents will love that their kids can explore disgusting substances in a fun, safe and educational way.
My First Mind Blowing Science Kit also comes with cool scientific tools like test tubes, pipettes, stirring sticks, and measuring scoops that will make your child feel like a real chemist. Not only will they learn important skills in conducting experiments, they will also learn the basics of acids and bases. While none of the experiments are particularly messy, it’s safer to perform them on a flat surface with adult supervision.