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.
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.
If your kids are learning about genetics, you can do this edible double helix craft to show them how DNA is formed, what its different parts are, and what it looks like. The licorice will form the sides or backbone of the DNA and each color of marshmallow will represent one of the four chemical bases. Kids will be able to see that only certain chemical bases pair with each other.
This is an easy experiment that’ll appeal to kids of a variety of ages. Just take a zip-lock bag, fill it about ⅔ of the way with water, and close the top. Next, poke a few sharp objects (like bamboo skewers or sharp pencils) through one end and out the other. At this point you may want to dangle the bag above your child’s head, but no need to worry about spills because the bag won’t leak? Why not? It’s because the plastic used to make zip-lock bags is made of polymers, or long chains of molecules that’ll quickly join back together when they’re forced apart.
Put the pencil across the top of a jar so that the string hangs down the middle of the jar. If it hangs down too far, roll the string around the pencil until the string is not touching the sides or bottom of the jar. The string will act as a seed for the crystal. Any type of jar will do, but canning jars are best since they can endure the hot temperatures. Tall skinny olive jars are also nice because they don’t use up so much of the liquid.
You could even step into the living room to have more scientific fun. Learn about static electricity with some tiny scraps of paper and a balloon. Blow up the balloon and tie it closed. Make a small pile of paper scraps on the floor, and rub the balloon back and forth several times on your hair or on a sweater. Immediately move the balloon to the paper and watch as the paper scraps cling to the balloon. Rub the balloon on your head or sweater again and then place it against the wall to see it stick there. This surprising sticking happens because you have moved electrons around and the balloon now has more of a negative charge, while the paper or the wall has more of a positive charge. Putting the two surfaces together makes the opposite charges stick to each other.
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!
Have you ever gone into a cave and seen huge stalactites hanging from the top of the cave? Stalactites are formed by dripping water. The water is filled with particles which slowly accumulate and harden over the years, forming stalactites. You can recreate that process with this stalactite experiment. By mixing a baking soda solution, dipping a piece of wool yarn in the jar and running it to another jar, you’ll be able to observe baking soda particles forming and hardening along the yarn, similar to how stalactites grow.
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.
Every child has different tastes and interests, but the products shown here were consistently popular with kids of all ages. We researched and reviewed over a hundred science kits and kids science experiments (and yes, had way too much fun doing it) and selected the very best ones. So no matter what kind of science lab kit for kids you're looking for - we've got you covered!
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.
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.
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?
But the point is, I had not done any of these experiments with my daughter until we got this box. This has everything in one box, with all the equipment-- including a stand for the test tubes, which another review didn't have for some reason. (And get a little bag superabsorbent polymers, too. Those little buggers are fun but somehow end up everywhere). It's fun, it's easy, there are some experiments that require patience, which is really good for this age group. We are most of the way through the kit, doing maybe three experiments a week, and now I am shopping for more kits. Because even though I have the equipment, the books, and the education to diy the whole thing... the kit is easy, fun, and we actually DO it.
Wonderful ideas! As a former science teacher, science department chair and system-wide science supervisor,; I salute you! It is mothers like you who keep the spark of investigation going in the eyes of our children. I love, love love hands-on science! You are training the scientists of tomorrow…or maybe the artists…doesn’t matter, we need both! Suggestion: let them see how many drops of water they can get on a penny. All you need is a penny, a medicine dropper and water. Oh, and a very steady hand and table that doesn’t shake. Then fill a jar with water (almost to the top) and predict how many pennies they can put in until the water overflows. Good lesson in surface tension and cohesion. You will need a steady hand, sturdy surface and a lot of pennies! I have some others, but no enough space.
Did you know that a simple potato can produce enough energy to keep a light bulb lit for over a month? You can create a simple potato battery to show kids. There are kits that provide all the necessary materials and how to set it up, but if you don’t purchase one of these it can be a bit trickier to gather everything you need and assemble it correctly. Once it’s set though, you’ll have your own farm grown battery!
Learn interesting science and technology facts by experimenting with different materials that react in surprising ways. You'll find a lot of experiments can be done using simple ingredients found around your house (with adult supervision of course). Basic materials can help you perform experiments that are simple, safe and perfect for kids. Enjoy our fun science experiments, make cool projects with easy ideas for children, show friends & family what you've discovered and most importantly, have fun!
Lightning is essentially electrons moving uber fast between the sky and the earth—and with a few simple materials, you can use homemade static electricity (the reason behind your hair sticking up when you rub a balloon or go through a tunnel slide super fast) for DIY lightning. Figure how to recreate a family-friendly version of this spark by visiting activity blog Learn Play Imagine.