Put the pencil across the top of a jar so that the string hangs down the middle of the jar. If it hangs down too far, roll the string around the pencil until the string is not touching the sides or bottom of the jar. The string will act as a seed for the crystal. Any type of jar will do, but canning jars are best since they can endure the hot temperatures. Tall skinny olive jars are also nice because they don’t use up so much of the liquid.
The kitchen can be an ideal place for performing science experiments, with an adult’s help. For instance, with a few stalks of celery and some food coloring, you can watch capillary action happen almost before your eyes. Capillary action describes what happens as plants move water up from their roots to their leaves. Get four stalks of celery and cut off the bottoms so each stalk is 10 inches long. You’ll also need four identical cups, each filled with a half-cup of cool water. Decide what color you want to make the water, and then add the same number of drops of food coloring to each cup of water. Stir the water well with a spoon. Place one stalk of celery into each cup. After two hours, remove one stalk and label this one “two hours.” After four hours, remove another stalk and label it the same way. Do the same with the next stalk at six hours and the final stalk at eight hours. After you finish, compare the celery stalks to see how each one changed color, depending on how long it was in the colored water.
'Tis the season for gumdrops and this classic structural engineering challenge uses just two ingredients: toothpicks and candy. We’re particularly fond of this one from The Homeschool Scientist because it helps you explain what the concepts (engineering, load distribution, physics, shape comparison) are to your kiddos while they are building it. doing it. Visit The Homeschool Scientist to get going. And click here for five more gumdrop-themed challenges. 
Did you know that a simple potato can produce enough energy to keep a light bulb lit for over a month? You can create a simple potato battery to show kids. There are kits that provide all the necessary materials and how to set it up, but if you don’t purchase one of these it can be a bit trickier to gather everything you need and assemble it correctly. Once it’s set though, you’ll have your own farm grown battery!
This grow-your-own experiment that lets you grow crystals inside an egg shell. Be sure to get alum powder that contains potassium, or else you won't get any crystal growth. Adding drops of food dye to the growing solution yields some super cool crystals. A perfectly formed geode takes about 12-15 hours to grow, making this a great weekend project. Check out more of Art and Soul's gorgeous eggs over at their blog!
The kit includes components that can be used to breed bacteria and experiment with genetic engineering. If you know a child who’re itching to investigate the field of genetics, then this product might serve as a great gift. The Thames & Kosmos Biology Genetics and DNA kit takes children on a journey through reproduction biology, chromosomes and cell components. 

The Big Bag of Science is filled with all sorts of scientific ingredients and tools for your child to conduct his or her experiments. The bag also helps to teach observational techniques and skills like understanding measurements, experimentation, and analyzation. Note that there are some ingredients not included that can be found in the house (like soda). 

With just a package of Starbursts and a few other materials, you can create models of each of the three rock types: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. Sedimentary “rocks” will be created by pressing thin layers of Starbursts together, metamorphic by heating and pressing Starbursts, and igneous by applying high levels of heat to the Starbursts. Kids will learn how different types of rocks are forms and how the three rock types look different from each other.
A nature journal is a great way to encourage kids to be creative and really pay attention to what’s going on around them. All you need is a blank journal (you can buy one or make your own) along with something to write with. Then just go outside and encourage your children to write or draw what they notice. This could include descriptions of animals they see, tracings of leaves, a drawing of a beautiful flower, etc. Encourage your kids to ask questions about what they observe (Why do birds need to build nests? Why is this flower so brightly colored?) and explain to them that scientists collect research by doing exactly what they’re doing now.
How are some dinosaur tracks still visible millions of years later? By mixing together several ingredients, you’ll get a claylike mixture you can press your hands/feet or dinosaur models into to make dinosaur track imprints. The mixture will harden and the imprints will remain, showing kids how dinosaur (and early human) tracks can stay in rock for such a long period of time.
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.
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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!
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