There are so many different kinds of science kits available for kids these days. Here, we will outline the main types so you can make a decision as to what best suits your child’s needs, interests and skill level. Children aged 5 years old want different science experiments and games than a child of 8 to 10 years old. The manufacturing guidelines are usually strict with what age groups can use these kits, so make sure that you don’t get your teen child something that should have been for a younger child.
You don’t need a storm to see lightning; you can actually create your own lightning at home. For younger kids this experiment requires adult help and supervision. You’ll stick a thumbtack through the bottom of an aluminum tray, then stick the pencil eraser to the pushpin. You’ll then rub the piece of wool over the aluminum tray, and then set the tray on the Styrofoam, where it’ll create a small spark/tiny bolt of lightning!
When a substance passes directly from a solid phase to a gas phase without ever becoming a liquid, it sublimates. Add a little dry ice to bubble solution and the contents of an activated glow stick and get ready to rock the glow-in-the-dark scene in your neighborhood. Owlcation whipped up this awesome experiment to create glowing bubbles, and The Maker Mom thought to add dry ice to the same experiment here. The bubbles are out of this world—they glow and rise from the smoke. Naturally, we recommend an adult to handle the dry ice (skin contact can burn) and supervise this experiment.
Younger children are most likely to be interested in something which is very hands-on, and gives results quickly. They probably won’t be interested in growing a crystal, and are probably a bit young for something like a robot building kit. Young kids will be most likely to enjoy a gross science kit, or a volcano kit. Also think about safety features when buying for younger children. Make sure they won’t eat anything they shouldn’t, or there are no small parts which could be dangerous.
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.
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.
Sir Isaac Newton discovered many integral concepts that are important for scientific discovery today, and this kit teaches them all: inertia, momentum, kinetic energy, and potential energy. This Engino Newton’s Law Kit is perfect for the kids who are very hands-on and like to build things. Your kids will understand how classical mechanics works by constructing their own catapult, balloon powered plane, drag racing car, crash car, and more.
Can you and the kiddos solve the mysterious case of the disappearing egg shell? Following the simple how-to at Go Science Girls, you’ll learn the step-by-step and talking points about the process along the way. Warning! Although it’s totally non-toxic, toddler aged kids will be tempted to squeeze the egg at the end so make sure it’s a supervised experiment. Visit Go Science Girls to get cracking!
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.
Have you noticed that science seems to be a hot topic recently? Wondering how you can help at home? As busy moms of three kids and former elementary school teachers we’ve shared over 30 science experiments for you at The Educators’ Spin On It. Our biggest tip is to simply allow time for it. Encourage your child to use those “wh” questions to explore their world through a scientific view…What, Why, How, Where, When. Take a peek below at our science activities and let us know which one you want to do first!
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.