Adults who are supervising experiments do not need to be science gurus. In addition to step-by-step instructions for each experiment, the detailed science guide included with this kit provides adults with "mind blowing science secrets" that help to answer questions about what's happening in each experiment. All of the materials and experiments involve basic scientific concepts associated with acidic and basic liquids and are arranged to present these concepts in sequential order. The descriptions included in the science guide give background information related to each reaction and offer questions that adults can ask to help encourage fun learning during experimentation.
There is a clear line between experimenting with a homemade science kit and one that is paid for. I like both, but it is easier for children to use and be left to their own devices with the kits that come boxed up. These have all the equipment needed, usually labeled and comes with clear, distinctive and easy to use manuals for conducting the experiment.
This simple experiment teaches kids about inertia (as well as the importance of seatbelts!). Take a small wagon, fill it with a tall stack of books, then have one of your children pull it around then stop abruptly. They won’t be able to suddenly stop the wagon without the stack of books falling. You can have the kids predict which direction they think the books will fall and explain that this happens because of inertia, or Newton’s first law.
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.
Kids will love shooting pom poms out of these homemade popsicle stick catapults. After assembling the catapults out of popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and plastic spoons, they’re ready to launch pom poms or other lightweight objects. To teach kids about simple machines, you can ask them about how they think the catapults work, what they should do to make the pom poms go a farther/shorter distance, and how the catapult could be made more powerful.
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!
Kids ages 5-8 are at a crucial time in their understanding of science, math, and engineering. They're old enough to grasp how big ideas like the solar system and flight, things that perhaps once seemed magical, have scientific properties that allow us to explore outer space and build rocket ships. Kiwi Crate allows children in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade to begin a hands-on discovery of physics, chemistry, biology, and more, with fun projects that they can assemble themselves.
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
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.
'Tis the season for gumdrops and this classic structural engineering challenge uses just two ingredients: toothpicks and candy. We’re particularly fond of this one from The Homeschool Scientist because it helps you explain what the concepts (engineering, load distribution, physics, shape comparison) are to your kiddos while they are building it. doing it. Visit The Homeschool Scientist to get going. And click here for five more gumdrop-themed challenges.
When these nails and copper wires collide, heat is generated (psst ... heat is a result of expended energy, so you can explain to your little runner why he feels warmer after a race around the house). But with some potato magic, the properties of the nail and copper stay separated, allowing the heat to become the electric energy needed to power up your devices. Build your own potato battery with this tutorial from PBS Kids.
Like the popular baking soda and vinegar experiments, this film canister rocket literally takes it to the next level by using that creation of gas and energy to jet off into the sky. If your explorer has seen videos of mountain tops getting blown off during a volcanic eruption, this science project is pretty much any space lover’s version. Get the building instructions over at kids science activity blog The Science Kiddo.
The products listed here may contain small parts that are choking hazards for children! Toys can pose a hazard to babies and young children – they can choke, suffocate, or otherwise harm the child. Young children explore their world by putting things in their mouths, but children under three years of age do not have a well-developed coughing reflex and will choke easily on small items. All children, regardless of age, need close supervision with any toys to help prevent accidents from happening. Adult supervision is required at all times!
Understanding the different states of water is one of the most simple examples of a science experiment, but it’s also a really great way to bring STEM activities into daily life. Kate combined her son’s love of Batman with science, to create a character ice escape experiment. Using parent stealth mode, find some plastic toys to experience the big freeze and get to work. Let kids discover the tools they’ll need to speed up the process and see how quickly they can set them free.
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.
Ah, slime. It’s the one thing that parents across the UK have been being pestered to make, so why not turn it into a science activity? For our concoction, we mixed shaving foam, PVA glue and a little bit of air freshener (fabric conditioner can work too!), to create a slime that you can swirl, stretch and crack, providing hours of fun. Try changing the quantities to see how the mixture changes, and ask the kids to explain the differences.