Making an electromagnet at home is fun and easy. Most magnets, like the ones on many refrigerators, cannot be turned off; they are called permanent magnets. This one can be and is therefor called an electromagnet. They run on electricity and are only magnetic when the electricity is flowing. The electricity flowing through the wire arranges the molecules in the nail so that they are attracted to certain metals.
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.
It takes a few hours to see the results of this leaf experiment, but it couldn’t be easier to set up, and kids will love to see a leaf actually “breathing.” Just get a large-ish leaf, place it in a bowl (glass works best so you can see everything) filled with water, place a small rock on the leaf to weigh it down, and leave it somewhere sunny. Come back in a few hours and you’ll see little bubbles in the water created when the leaf releases the oxygen it created during photosynthesis.
If you’ve ever wondered why someone can measure and pour ingredients into a bowl, mix them up, and then bake the batter in the oven to make a cake, you’ve thought about science. The process of mixing certain ingredients together and adding heat causes the ingredients to react and change. For example, baking powder or baking soda in a cake recipe will react with acidic or wet things in the batter to puff it up and make the cake light and fluffy. Scientists tested these reactions so many times that they learned what would happen every time. This is called experimentation, and you can do it, too.
Making ice cream with a cup of half and half, a teaspoon of vanilla, two tablespoons of sugar in a quart bag. Then in a gallon bag about six cups of ice and half cup of salt, anything but table salt should work. Put the quart bag (sealed) in the gallon bag then seal and shake rattle and roll for about five minutes. Then pull out the quart sized bag with your ice cream and add your favorite toppings. – Heydi
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.)
Ideal for introducing science-based activities to young children, Cassie’s experiment for mixing colours and water is a simple science experiment designed for preschoolers. Let your little one choose which colour to use when, ask them to describe the colourful shapes they’ll see dancing in the water and see what happens when you mix more than one colour together.
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
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.
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.
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.
With just a package of Starbursts and a few other materials, you can create models of each of the three rock types: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. Sedimentary “rocks” will be created by pressing thin layers of Starbursts together, metamorphic by heating and pressing Starbursts, and igneous by applying high levels of heat to the Starbursts. Kids will learn how different types of rocks are forms and how the three rock types look different from each other.
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.
The word “oobleck” comes from a Dr. Seuss story where a young boy must rescue his kingdom from a sticky substance. But the neat part of this experiment is how oobleck reacts to vibrations. Put the oobleck over a subwoofer (on top a cookie sheet!) and watch it dance to difference frequencies. Your dancer will see how sound isn’t just about volume! Check out more of this awesome experiment from Tammy of Housing a Forest.
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.