It’s natural to have a lot of questions about the world. As you wonder about these things and ask questions, you are learning. Curiosity about science helps you become an explorer finding out how things work and why things happen. Anyone can be a scientist, performing experiments to ask questions and get answers. You can even be a scientist at home, working on experiments with ingredients you probably have in your kitchen or laundry room. Always get a parent’s permission before you conduct experiments. Working as a team with an adult is best for safety.
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.
Below are 37 of the best science projects for kids to try. For each one we include a description of the experiment, which area(s) of science it teaches kids about, how difficult it is (easy/medium/hard), how messy it is (low/medium/high), and the materials you need to do the project. Note that experiments labelled “hard” are definitely still doable; they just require more materials or time than most of these other science experiments for kids.
Insert a little plant science into the mix by re-growing food from scraps. Think onions, potatoes, and lettuces for this one (psst… green onions are a super easy, fast option). Get the low down on all that recycled goodness at Mrs. Happy Homemaker. Since plants need water and sunlight to grow, exposing scrap roots to that winning combo helps them recharge.
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.
This Rainbow Skittles science experiment can be done in seconds, making it a great way to try science at home even with the most easily distracted of toddler-sized assistant. All you’ll need to do is arrange Skittles in a circle on a plate and fill the middle with warm water. Then sit back and watch as the colours drain and mix with the water, creating a cool rainbow pattern in front of your eyes. Plus, any bonus Skittles = a tasty treat for you.
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.
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.
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.
There are a lot of science kits for kids out there, so it can be difficult to work out which brands are the best. Some of our favorites for realistic experiments include 4M and National Geographic. For younger kids, the Kids First brand has a lot of good value kits to choose from. The brand Sick Tricks is also a great choice for kids looking to impress their friends or parents with new tricks and experiments. For robotic science kits, Cozmo and LEGO are great options.
This is one of the quick and easy and science experiments for kids to teach them about weather. It only takes about five minutes and a few materials to set up, but once you have it ready you and your kids can create your own miniature tornado whose vortex you can see and the strength of which you can change depending on how quickly you swirl the jar.
Red cabbage powder (0.25oz/7g), citric acid (2oz/59ml), baking soda (2oz/59ml), 3 color tablets, cross-linked polyacrylamide co-polymer (0.5oz/14g), vegetable oil (2oz/59ml), corn starch (2oz/59ml), paper, 2 cotton swabs, 3 test tubes with caps, test tube stand, 3 plastic cups, pipette, stir 2 sticks, small and medium plastic measuring scoops and activity guide.
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.
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.
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. 
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