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.
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.
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.
For this saltwater density experiment, you’ll fill four clear glasses with water, then add salt to one glass, sugar to one glass, and baking soda to one glass, leaving one glass with just water. Then, float small plastic pieces or grapes in each of the glasses and observe whether they float or not. Saltwater is denser than freshwater, which means some objects may float in saltwater that would sink in freshwater. You can use this experiment to teach kids about the ocean and other bodies of saltwater, such as the Dead Sea, which is so salty people can easily float on top of it.
Sometimes classroom learning leaves out the fun and resources and funding limit the options, especially with crowded classrooms. This is why here we aim to highlight the importance of one to one teaching and a good student comes usually from a patient teacher. Wisdom and guidance combined with excellent equipment could save lives in years to come and what seed is planted today with creating the foundation for life to come in the future.
With just some basic materials you can create your own musical instrument to teach kids about sound waves. In this water xylophone experiment, you’ll fill glass jars with varying levels of water. Once they’re all lined up, kids can hit the sides with wooden sticks and see how the itch differs depending on how much water is in the jar (more water=lower pitch, less water=higher pitch). This is because sound waves travel differently depending on how full the jars are with water.
Insect hotels can be as simple (just a few sticks wrapped in a bundle) or as elaborate as you’d like, and they’re a great way for kids to get creative making the hotel and then get rewarded by seeing who has moved into the home they built. After creating a hotel with hiding places for bugs, place it outside (near a garden is often a good spot), wait a few days, then check it to see who has occupied the “rooms.” You can also use a bug ID book or app to try and identify the visitors.
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.
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.