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.
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.
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).
There is a wide range of price and quality, which is normally reflected on each other and the higher the price the better the quality. However, kids are surprisingly happy with what they get and if the budget is low to make sure you’re enthusiasm is high. Kids love when you get involved and make the science magic happen, so ideally get enthusiastic.
Be careful: The water only has the power to make the sugar crystals “invisible” when it’s piping hot. After the water cools down and evaporates, the sugar turns back into a solid. And with a little help of your sugar-soaked string, the crystals will find a home to grow upon and become rock candy. Learn how to make your smart sweets with these instructions from the Exploratorium.
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.
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.
You don’t need a storm to see lightning; you can actually create your own lightning at home. For younger kids this experiment requires adult help and supervision. You’ll stick a thumbtack through the bottom of an aluminum tray, then stick the pencil eraser to the pushpin. You’ll then rub the piece of wool over the aluminum tray, and then set the tray on the Styrofoam, where it’ll create a small spark/tiny bolt of lightning!
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.
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.
It happens to the Statue of Liberty and it happens to the change in your pocket! Create your own home lab with just a few household ingredients (this experiment will literally cost you just pennies). It’s also a chemical reaction with very non-toxic ingredients, so it’s safe and fascinating even for young kids. Click over to Buggy and Buddy to get the simple how-to.
Tinker Crate develops kids' natural creativity and curiosity using STEM ("Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math") principles while saving time for busy parents. Our mission is to help kids use STEM as a key to creative problem solving, a foundation for critical thinking, and a pipeline to innovation. Your monthly crate includes all the materials and inspiration for science and engineering projects such as: trebuchet, paper circuits and zoetrope.
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.
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.
Baking soda volcanoes are one of the classic science projects for kids, and they’re also one of the most popular. It’s hard to top the excitement of a volcano erupting inside your home. This experiment can also be as simple or in-depth as you like. For the eruption, all you need is baking soda and vinegar (dishwashing detergent adds some extra power to the eruption), but you can make the “volcano” as elaborate and lifelike as you wish.
Making an electromagnet at home is fun and easy. Most magnets, like the ones on many refrigerators, cannot be turned off; they are called permanent magnets. This one can be and is therefor called an electromagnet. They run on electricity and are only magnetic when the electricity is flowing. The electricity flowing through the wire arranges the molecules in the nail so that they are attracted to certain metals.
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.