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.
The products listed here may contain small parts that are choking hazards for children! Toys can pose a hazard to babies and young children – they can choke, suffocate, or otherwise harm the child. Young children explore their world by putting things in their mouths, but children under three years of age do not have a well-developed coughing reflex and will choke easily on small items. All children, regardless of age, need close supervision with any toys to help prevent accidents from happening. Adult supervision is required at all times!
The good news is that your white lab coat doesn’t have to sit in the closet collecting dust. There are a lot of fun, simple, and hands-on science projects families can do together to learn and understand some of the basic principals of the natural world. And they’re not just for kids: even moms and dads will get a kick out of these 10 family-friendly science experiments!
You’ve probably seen the label that says “fortified with iron” on your cereal box, but how much iron is actually in your cereal? Is there enough to cause a magnetic reaction? This super easy experiment doesn’t require too many fancy ingredients (cereal + magnet) which means you and the kiddos can try it right away. The results may surprise you! Get the how-to at Rookie Parenting and get started!
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.
My nieces are seven years old and into science. The experiments were easy and straightforward - easily read and done by the kids but adult supervision is probably a good idea. Mind blowing? Not so sure about that but very cool for the budding scientist. Perfect kit to start with. I think it's a cool way to encourage girls to love science and math. Boys will love it too - an exploding volcano! - so it really is great for the whole family. Younger kids could definitely participate with the aforementioned supervision. We LOVED it!
Let’s be honest, we’re all secretly waiting for the hovercraft to be a bonafide mode of transport, but in the meantime why not try this Balloon Hovercraft experiment at home? Using just a balloon, a bottle cap and a CD, you’ll be able to create a hovercraft that glides across the table to move, and with just 3 easy steps to follow, it’s perfect for a quick at-home activity.
In this quick and fun science experiment, kids will mix water, oil, food coloring, and antacid tablets to create their own (temporary) lava lamp. Oil and water don’t mix easily, and the antacid tablets will cause the oil to form little globules that are dyed by the food coloring. Just add the ingredients together and you’ll end up with a homemade lava lamp!
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.
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.
There are many variations on homemade molecule science crafts. This one uses clay and toothpicks, although gumdrops or even small pieces of fruit like grapes can be used in place of clay. Roll the clay into balls and use molecule diagrams to attach the clay to toothpicks in the shape of the molecules. Kids can make numerous types of molecules and learn how atoms bond together to form molecules.
Have fun exploring science around your house and backyard. Take pictures of your experiment steps and make a science experiment notebook to record your findings. It’s safest to work with a parent or other adult when performing science experiments, though. Always get permission before you work like a scientist, and ask an adult to help you with the experiment steps.
You’ve probably tried a salt crystal growing kit at some point in your life (5th grade Science Fair perhaps?) but Schooling a Monkey takes the idea to a new level with these Salt Crystal Feathers. This awe-inspiring project is deceptively simple and inexpensive to achieve, and requires just a wee bit of patience to see the results—kids will love checking in on the progress. Visit Schooling a Monkey now to get started.
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.