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.
Homemade Kits – There are probably loads of objects around your home already, which can be used to set up your own science experiments. These include things like salt, baking soda, vinegar, soap, cornstarch and of course food dye to make things more interesting! You’ll also need some basic equipment like tweezers, ramekins or small tubs, a funnel and a dropper for example. There are too many home science experiments to discuss here, but with these basic supplies you’ll find you can perform some really cool experiments to amaze the kids!
Chemistry Kits – Perhaps the most classic of the science kit options, these are great for kids who are interested in learning about how things work. There is a huge range of kits in this bracket, ranging in features and suitability. There is a chemistry kit for just about any child, and with a bit of research it’s easy to find one to suit your child’s age and ability.
Children aged 9+ start to want more detailed experiments and activities, which shows they are ready to begin real-science. Whether they have interests in physics, chemistry or robotics there is always something to get them started on their way. Some tops are harder than others and make sure you read all the features and facts so that you find the ideal gift for your child.
The droid can be dismantled and put back together in new, different ways giving your child endless possibilities. This kit is compatible with other kids from littleBits, meaning you can combine them to give even more fun opportunities. The droid can be controlled via a remote control available on the app, or it can be set to self-navigation mode. Your kids will be amazed to see their creation roll around the room by itself without crashing into any objects in its path.
Ever got an electric shock off something? Demonstrate the science behind the shocks with this jumping frogs experiment. With just a balloon, some sugar paper and a woolly jumper, you’ll have frogs leaping in no time demonstrating the power of static electricity. It doesn’t have to be frogs either, let your imagination run wild to create some other jumping stars of this easy science experiment!
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.
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 solar energy science experiment will teach kids about solar energy and how different colors absorb different amounts of energy. In a sunny spot outside, place six colored pieces of paper next to each other, and place an ice cube in the middle of each paper. Then, observe how quickly each of the ice cubes melt. The ice cube on the black piece of paper will melt fastest since black absorbs the most light (all the light ray colors), while the ice cube on the white paper will melt slowest since white absorbs the least light (it instead reflects light). You can then explain why certain colors look the way they do. (Colors besides black and white absorb all light except for the one ray color they reflect; this is the color they appear to us.)
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.
This is the most kid friendly and fun lab kit you can get. My kids are ages 2 and 4 and cannot get enough of this. Everything in the kit is high-quality, and this kit lasts a very long time. We have done these experiments over and over for 3 months and only recently have used an entire bag of something. I admit to even being impressed by how cool the activities are. This is worth every single penny. I will 100% be ordering another kit when we deplete all the things in ours.
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?
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.
With a combination of a solid fuel source and a liquid oxidizer, hybrid rocket engines can propel themselves. And on a small scale, you can create your own hybrid rocket engine, using pasta, mouthwash and yeast. Sadly, it won’t propel much, but who said rocket science ain’t easy? Check out this video from NightHawkInLight on how to make this mini engine.
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.
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.
Scientific Explorer is the industry leader in fun and educational activity-based science kits for children. Appreciated by parents for their educational value and loved by children for their hands-on fun, Scientific Explorer kits help develop critical thinking skills, inspire imagination, and encourage exploration through interactive experiments and activities that help make learning fun. Scientific Explorer is a member of the Alex Brands Family.
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.
Have fun exploring science around your house and backyard. Take pictures of your experiment steps and make a science experiment notebook to record your findings. It’s safest to work with a parent or other adult when performing science experiments, though. Always get permission before you work like a scientist, and ask an adult to help you with the experiment steps.
I believe all children have the potential to be the next latest and greatest scientific inventor, but they just need to get things started. Holistic learning and hands-on approaches to teaching complex ideas make the difficult a lot less so. Absorbing information and fine-tuning their ability to sit and focus on one project will help set the foundation for them to become able to learn in a coherent and disciplined way, while also being fun.
You’ve probably seen the label that says “fortified with iron” on your cereal box, but how much iron is actually in your cereal? Is there enough to cause a magnetic reaction? This super easy experiment doesn’t require too many fancy ingredients (cereal + magnet) which means you and the kiddos can try it right away. The results may surprise you! Get the how-to at Rookie Parenting and get started!