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!
My nieces are seven years old and into science. The experiments were easy and straightforward - easily read and done by the kids but adult supervision is probably a good idea. Mind blowing? Not so sure about that but very cool for the budding scientist. Perfect kit to start with. I think it's a cool way to encourage girls to love science and math. Boys will love it too - an exploding volcano! - so it really is great for the whole family. Younger kids could definitely participate with the aforementioned supervision. We LOVED it!
This mechanical weathering experiment teaches kids why and how rocks break down or erode. Take two pieces of clay, form them into balls, and wrap them in plastic wrap. Then, leave one out while placing the other in the freezer overnight. The next day, unwrap and compare them. You can repeat freezing the one piece of clay every night for several days to see how much more cracked and weathered it gets than the piece of clay that wasn’t frozen. It may even begin to crumble. This weathering also happens to rocks when they are subjected to extreme temperatures, and it’s one of the causes of erosion.
For this saltwater density experiment, you’ll fill four clear glasses with water, then add salt to one glass, sugar to one glass, and baking soda to one glass, leaving one glass with just water. Then, float small plastic pieces or grapes in each of the glasses and observe whether they float or not. Saltwater is denser than freshwater, which means some objects may float in saltwater that would sink in freshwater. You can use this experiment to teach kids about the ocean and other bodies of saltwater, such as the Dead Sea, which is so salty people can easily float on top of it.
If your snacker has noticed how their apples have turned brown after being left out for too long, then they’ve seen oxidization in action (loss of electrons and nutrients when in contact with oxygen). Fortunately, lemon juice only oxidizes when in contact with heat. This method works with baking soda and milk too. Click here to find out how to write secret messages with your little spy.
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.
Each of our crates presents kids with a multi-faceted experience that can last for hours, or even days! Our crates include a magazine with additional science experiments and activities, and lots of rich content to dig deeper into the theme. We also provide online resources and video content for every project, all designed to allow kids to explore further.
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.
This light refraction experiment takes only a few minutes to set up and uses basic materials, but it’s a great way to show kids how light travels. You’ll draw two arrows on a sticky note, stick it to the wall, then fill a clear water bottle with water. As you move the water bottle in front of the arrows, the arrows will appear to change the direction they’re pointing. This is because of the refraction that occurs when light passes through materials like water and plastic.
Your whistler has the basics of air pressure down just by using their mouth to blow. And now you can amaze them with this egg-cellent experiment. There is a little fire play involved (dropping a lit paper into the bottle), but that’s what causes the unbalanced air pressure, which pushes the egg into the bottle. Want to test it out? Head over to The Scientific Mom and get the step by step.
Be careful: The water only has the power to make the sugar crystals “invisible” when it’s piping hot. After the water cools down and evaporates, the sugar turns back into a solid. And with a little help of your sugar-soaked string, the crystals will find a home to grow upon and become rock candy. Learn how to make your smart sweets with these instructions from the Exploratorium.