Children aged 9+ start to want more detailed experiments and activities, which shows they are ready to begin real-science. Whether they have interests in physics, chemistry or robotics there is always something to get them started on their way. Some tops are harder than others and make sure you read all the features and facts so that you find the ideal gift for your child.
By creating an articulated hand model, you can teach kids about bones, joints, and how our hands are able to move in many ways and accomplish so many different tasks. After creating a hand out of thin foam, kids will cut straws to represent the different bones in the hand and glue them to the fingers of the hand models. You’ll then thread yarn (which represents tendons) through the straws, stabilize the model with a chopstick or other small stick, and end up with a hand model that moves and bends the way actual human hands do.
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!
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.
Refraction is when light changes direction and speed as it passes from one object to another. Only visible objects reflect light. When two materials with similar reflective properties come into contact, light will pass through both materials at the same speed, rendering the other material invisible. Check out this video from BritLab on how to turn glass invisible using vegetable oil and pyrex glass.
Can you make water float? We bet you can. No, you don’t need to be a wizard or a witch. You don’t need to cast a spell. There’s nothing magic about it at all, in fact. You can make water float using good, ol’ fashioned, awesome science. The “trick” to this experiment is air pressure. Get everything you need and the how-to, right here, thanks to Mike Adamick and his book, Dad's Book of Awesome Science Experiments.
The droid can be dismantled and put back together in new, different ways giving your child endless possibilities. This kit is compatible with other kids from littleBits, meaning you can combine them to give even more fun opportunities. The droid can be controlled via a remote control available on the app, or it can be set to self-navigation mode. Your kids will be amazed to see their creation roll around the room by itself without crashing into any objects in its path.
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.
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 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.
This simple experiment teaches kids about inertia (as well as the importance of seatbelts!). Take a small wagon, fill it with a tall stack of books, then have one of your children pull it around then stop abruptly. They won’t be able to suddenly stop the wagon without the stack of books falling. You can have the kids predict which direction they think the books will fall and explain that this happens because of inertia, or Newton’s first law.
Ever got an electric shock off something? Demonstrate the science behind the shocks with this jumping frogs experiment. With just a balloon, some sugar paper and a woolly jumper, you’ll have frogs leaping in no time demonstrating the power of static electricity. It doesn’t have to be frogs either, let your imagination run wild to create some other jumping stars of this easy science experiment!
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.
If you’ve ever wondered why someone can measure and pour ingredients into a bowl, mix them up, and then bake the batter in the oven to make a cake, you’ve thought about science. The process of mixing certain ingredients together and adding heat causes the ingredients to react and change. For example, baking powder or baking soda in a cake recipe will react with acidic or wet things in the batter to puff it up and make the cake light and fluffy. Scientists tested these reactions so many times that they learned what would happen every time. This is called experimentation, and you can do it, too.