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.)
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.
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.
How are some dinosaur tracks still visible millions of years later? By mixing together several ingredients, you’ll get a claylike mixture you can press your hands/feet or dinosaur models into to make dinosaur track imprints. The mixture will harden and the imprints will remain, showing kids how dinosaur (and early human) tracks can stay in rock for such a long period of time.
In this quick and fun science experiment, kids will mix water, oil, food coloring, and antacid tablets to create their own (temporary) lava lamp. Oil and water don’t mix easily, and the antacid tablets will cause the oil to form little globules that are dyed by the food coloring. Just add the ingredients together and you’ll end up with a homemade lava lamp!
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!
Hi Jean, I too just love doing science experiments with the kids. I ran a science party for my son’s 6th birthday and I’ve also run science art workshops during the holidays. If you send me your email address I’m happy to email you my notes and experiments. Here’s the link to my post about the party last year : http://sunnysidearthouse.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/mad-science-party.html
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.