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.
London Science Museum | ThinkTank - Birmingham Science Museum | Aberdeen Science Centre | Glasgow Science Centre | Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester | Life Science Centre (Centre for Life), Newcastle | National Science and Media Museum, Manchester | Techniquest, Cardiff | Museum of Victorian Science, Whitby | Whipple Museum of the History of Science, Cambridge | Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
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.
This blood model experiment is a great way to get kids to visual what their blood looks like and how complicated it really is. Each ingredient represents a different component of blood (plasma, platelets, red blood cells, etc.), so you just add a certain amount of each to the jar, swirl it around a bit, and you have a model of what your blood looks like.
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.
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.
Biology is an important area of science because it teaches us about our bodies and the environment around us. With this Thames & Kosmos Biology Genetics and DNA Kit, your child will jump into the world of heredity and variation of organisms by using a test tube to isolate tomato DNA. This in-depth kit is fun and it covers so many areas of biology that most kits don’t cover.
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.
Dry ice is already cool enough on its own (yes, pun intended) but it takes science to turn them a rad overflow of bubbles. When you add water, it changes the temperature of the dry ice, causing the ice to go from solid to gas. That’s where the fog and bubbles come from! Head to crafty blog Simply Modern Mom to get the full tutorial. But be careful: Dry ice can cause serious skin burns, so make sure your kids are well supervised and know not to touch the ice.
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.
Find out how plants “drink” water with some food coloring. Use carnations, roses, or stalks of celery submerged in the colored water and watch the liquid slowly seep through the plant’s “veins” and towards the leaves. Keep an eye out -- you could have a very colorful bouquet just after the first day. Get the rundown by Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments over here.
You won’t want to do this experiment near anything that’s difficult to clean (outside may be best), but kids will love seeing this “elephant toothpaste” crazily overflowing the bottle and oozing everywhere. Pour the hydrogen peroxide, food coloring, and dishwashing soap into the bottle, and in the cup mix the yeast packet with some warm water for about 30 seconds. Then, add the yeast mixture to the bottle, stand back, and watch the solution become a massive foamy mixture that pours out of the bottle! The “toothpaste” is formed when the yeast removed the oxygen bubbles from the hydrogen peroxide which created foam. This is an exothermic reaction, and it creates heat as well as foam (you can have kids notice that the bottle became warm as the reaction occurred).
While The Big Bag of Science included some fun chemistry experiments, My First Mind Blowing Science Kit focuses solely on chemistry and chemical reactions. Want to witness a sunset in a test tube? What about a color-changing (or even underwater) volcano? This kit includes ingredients your child will need to conduct these colorful experiments over and over again—or at least until the powders, polymers, and oils run out.
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.
Science is a wonderful thing for kids! There is so much to learn and discover right around us. Many science concepts start in the kitchen with simple materials you already have on hand. Fill a plastic tote with easy to find supplies and you will have a homemade kids science kit filled with learning opportunities that are sure to keep them busy all year long!
There are many different types of children’s scientific equipment and learning activities and here we will review some of the best and feature the highlights and reasons to choose one over the other. Some like to use home-made diy type science activities and others prefer the box sets that come all prepared. Both are fantastic and we applaud the parent willing to spend the time going through kitchen worktops and cupboards to make learning enjoyable for their kids.
Kids will love shooting pom poms out of these homemade popsicle stick catapults. After assembling the catapults out of popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and plastic spoons, they’re ready to launch pom poms or other lightweight objects. To teach kids about simple machines, you can ask them about how they think the catapults work, what they should do to make the pom poms go a farther/shorter distance, and how the catapult could be made more powerful.
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.
The latest science kits come kitted with all sorts of lab equipment like utensils, beakers, test tubes, filter funnels, safety glasses and a range of devices to make learning and experimenting exciting. One of my favorite ones is how to grow and watching how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly, which is very beautiful. With so many to choose from, one is definitely going to fit your child’s needs.
Chemistry Kits – Perhaps the most classic of the science kit options, these are great for kids who are interested in learning about how things work. There is a huge range of kits in this bracket, ranging in features and suitability. There is a chemistry kit for just about any child, and with a bit of research it’s easy to find one to suit your child’s age and ability.