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.
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.
Volcanoes are made to erupt, and that’s exactly what’ll happen in this fun science experiment for kids! John and his kids show us how to make an erupting volcano, using vinegar, baking powder, washing up liquid and water, plus a splash of red food colouring for dramatic effect. Add playdough or plasticine to turn your plastic bottle into a more realistic volcano scene, especially if you plan to use this as a science project for school!
If your snacker has noticed how their apples have turned brown after being left out for too long, then they’ve seen oxidization in action (loss of electrons and nutrients when in contact with oxygen). Fortunately, lemon juice only oxidizes when in contact with heat. This method works with baking soda and milk too. Click here to find out how to write secret messages with your little spy.
The "volcano" was basically a miniature mound that fizzled. Could get a bigger reaction from dropping an Alka Seltzer in water or mixing baking soda with a little vinegar. The "giant crystals" only grew a couple of centimeters. All the experiments are on such a miniature scale it doesn't have any of the wow factor we were looking for. I will go back to googling fun experiments to do with my son.
This celery science experiment is another classic science experiment that parents and teachers like because it’s easy to do and gives kids a great visual understanding of how transpiration works and how plants get water and nutrients. Just place celery stalks in cups of colored water, wait at least a day, and you’ll see the celery leaves take on the color of the water. This happens because celery stalks (like other plants) contain small capillaries that they use to transport water and nutrients throughout the plant.
For this magic milk experiment, partly fill a shallow dish with milk, then add a one drop of each food coloring color to different parts of the milk. The food coloring will mostly stay where you placed it. Next, carefully add one drop of dish soap to the middle of the milk. It’ll cause the food coloring to stream through the milk and away from the dish soap. This is because the dish soap breaks up the surface tension of the milk by dissolving the milk’s fat molecules.
Another physics kit that is sure to interest your child if they enjoy the Engino Newton’s Law Kit is the Klutz LEGO Chain Reactions Kit. This one teaches your kids about chain reactions and moving machines while also encouraging creativity and ingenuity by building their own. Plus it uses LEGO bricks they can play with when they’re done experimenting.
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.