Are you looking for cool science experiments for kids at home or for class? We’ve got you covered! We’ve compiled a list of 37 of the best science experiments for kids that cover areas of science ranging from outer space to dinosaurs to chemical reactions. By doing these easy science experiments, kids will make their own blubber and see how polar bears stay warm, make a rain cloud in a jar to observe how weather changes, create a potato battery that’ll really power a lightbulb, and more.
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.
Penguins, and many other birds, have special oil-producing glands that coat their feathers with a protective layer that causes water to slide right off them, keeping them warm and dry. You can demonstrate this to kids with this penguin craft by having them color a picture of a penguin with crayons, then spraying the picture with water. The wax from the crayons will have created a protective layer like the oil actual birds coat themselves with, and the paper won’t absorb the water.
What better way to teach your kids about science than with more than 70 experiments in a big bag? The Big Bag of Science contains scientific ingredients and a book of 30 pages filled with experiments like soda geysers, twisting tornadoes, growing jelly marbles, vanishing liquids, and more! The instructions are easy-to-follow and color-coded so your child will easily complete the experiment without any trouble. The book explains what’s going on in each experiment so they understand why and how things work.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These sound like big words for our little ones, but there’s an easier way to break it down. Water and oil won’t mix because they’re not the same “weight” or substance (just like clay and LEGOs won’t become one). Now add a drop of food coloring (which is heavier than oil) and a fizzy tablet and watch the air bubbles take coloring with them to the top. Head on over to S. L. Smith’s blog to see how it’s done.
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.
Don’t be crodsquinkled, as these dream potion experiments are the best way to bring the bizarrely brilliant world of the BFG to life. These easy to make concoctions will whizz, fizz and pop before your eyes, creating exciting chemical reactions that will have all kids squealing with delight. Again made using things you’ll find at home or can pick up from the supermarket, this is an easy project to try with the kids. Be warned though - this is one of the messiest science experiments for kids on the list!
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If you do this sidewalk constellation craft, you’ll be able to see the Big Dipper and Orion’s Belt in the daylight. On the sidewalk, have kids draw the lines of constellations (using constellation diagrams for guidance) and place stones where the stars are. You can then look at astronomy charts to see where the constellations they drew will be in the sky.
Ah, slime. It’s the one thing that parents across the UK have been being pestered to make, so why not turn it into a science activity? For our concoction, we mixed shaving foam, PVA glue and a little bit of air freshener (fabric conditioner can work too!), to create a slime that you can swirl, stretch and crack, providing hours of fun. Try changing the quantities to see how the mixture changes, and ask the kids to explain the differences.
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.
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.
We have categorized by age to make things really easy when deciding which type of experiment kit to go for and start experimenting with. There is everything from geology rock experiments, ocean discovery kits, volcano boxed experiments, butterfly and insect garden kits, robotics activities and kits, human biology box sets and chemistry sets that bring the obscure into light making learning loads of fun and super exciting for everyone involved. These mentioned are only in the 3 years old and over a section, but we also have a 6 years old and above, because we understand the capabilities of children. The section for 8 years old and above come under one section to help make a clear distinction.
By building a lung model, you can teach kids about respiration and how their lungs work. After cutting off the bottom of a plastic bottle, you’ll stretch a balloon around the opened end and insert another balloon through the mouth of the bottle. You’ll then push a straw through the neck of the bottle and secure it with a rubber band and play dough. By blowing into the straw, the balloons will inflate then deflate, similar to how our lungs work.
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.