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.
There is a clear line between experimenting with a homemade science kit and one that is paid for. I like both, but it is easier for children to use and be left to their own devices with the kits that come boxed up. These have all the equipment needed, usually labeled and comes with clear, distinctive and easy to use manuals for conducting the experiment.
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.
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!
Insect hotels can be as simple (just a few sticks wrapped in a bundle) or as elaborate as you’d like, and they’re a great way for kids to get creative making the hotel and then get rewarded by seeing who has moved into the home they built. After creating a hotel with hiding places for bugs, place it outside (near a garden is often a good spot), wait a few days, then check it to see who has occupied the “rooms.” You can also use a bug ID book or app to try and identify the visitors.
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.
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.
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.
Geode Kits – For any child who thinks rocks are boring – a kit where they can break open their own geode is a great way to change their mind. National Geographic is a great choice if this is the type of kit you are looking for. Their products include hand-picked geodes and come with safety goggles and a stand for your child to proudly display their treasures. A great choice for children aged around 6 years old and above, they’re sure to be more interested in Earth science after this experiment.
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
Have you ever gone into a cave and seen huge stalactites hanging from the top of the cave? Stalactites are formed by dripping water. The water is filled with particles which slowly accumulate and harden over the years, forming stalactites. You can recreate that process with this stalactite experiment. By mixing a baking soda solution, dipping a piece of wool yarn in the jar and running it to another jar, you’ll be able to observe baking soda particles forming and hardening along the yarn, similar to how stalactites grow.
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).
Learn interesting science and technology facts by experimenting with different materials that react in surprising ways. You'll find a lot of experiments can be done using simple ingredients found around your house (with adult supervision of course). Basic materials can help you perform experiments that are simple, safe and perfect for kids. Enjoy our fun science experiments, make cool projects with easy ideas for children, show friends & family what you've discovered and most importantly, have fun!
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.
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).
With just some basic materials you can create your own musical instrument to teach kids about sound waves. In this water xylophone experiment, you’ll fill glass jars with varying levels of water. Once they’re all lined up, kids can hit the sides with wooden sticks and see how the itch differs depending on how much water is in the jar (more water=lower pitch, less water=higher pitch). This is because sound waves travel differently depending on how full the jars are with water.
Red cabbage powder (0.25oz/7g), citric acid (2oz/59ml), baking soda (2oz/59ml), 3 color tablets, cross-linked polyacrylamide co-polymer (0.5oz/14g), vegetable oil (2oz/59ml), corn starch (2oz/59ml), paper, 2 cotton swabs, 3 test tubes with caps, test tube stand, 3 plastic cups, pipette, stir 2 sticks, small and medium plastic measuring scoops and activity guide.
Making a borax snowflake is a crystal-growing project that is safe and easy enough for kids. You can make shapes other than snowflakes, and you can color the crystals. As a side note, if you use these as Christmas decorations and store them, the borax is a natural insecticide and will help keep your long-term storage area pest-free. If they develop a white precipitant, you can lightly rinse them (don't dissolve too much crystal). Did I mention the snowflakes sparkle really nicely?
Below are 37 of the best science projects for kids to try. For each one we include a description of the experiment, which area(s) of science it teaches kids about, how difficult it is (easy/medium/hard), how messy it is (low/medium/high), and the materials you need to do the project. Note that experiments labelled “hard” are definitely still doable; they just require more materials or time than most of these other science experiments for kids.
It takes about a week for the crystals of this rock candy experiment to form, but once they have you’ll be able to eat the results! After creating a sugar solution, you’ll fill jars with it and dangle strings in them that’ll slowly become covered with the crystals. This experiment involves heating and pouring boiling water, so adult supervision is necessary, once that step is complete, even very young kids will be excited to watch crystals slowly form.
This solar energy science experiment will teach kids about solar energy and how different colors absorb different amounts of energy. In a sunny spot outside, place six colored pieces of paper next to each other, and place an ice cube in the middle of each paper. Then, observe how quickly each of the ice cubes melt. The ice cube on the black piece of paper will melt fastest since black absorbs the most light (all the light ray colors), while the ice cube on the white paper will melt slowest since white absorbs the least light (it instead reflects light). You can then explain why certain colors look the way they do. (Colors besides black and white absorb all light except for the one ray color they reflect; this is the color they appear to us.)
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.
Invisible inks either react with another chemical to become visible or else weaken the structure of the paper so the message appears if you hold it over a heat source. But we're not talking about fire here. The heat of a normal light bulb is all that's required to darken the lettering. This baking soda recipe is nice because if you don't want to use a light bulb to reveal the message, you can just swab the paper with grape juice instead.
This is an easy experiment that’ll appeal to kids of a variety of ages. Just take a zip-lock bag, fill it about ⅔ of the way with water, and close the top. Next, poke a few sharp objects (like bamboo skewers or sharp pencils) through one end and out the other. At this point you may want to dangle the bag above your child’s head, but no need to worry about spills because the bag won’t leak? Why not? It’s because the plastic used to make zip-lock bags is made of polymers, or long chains of molecules that’ll quickly join back together when they’re forced apart.
Homemade Kits – There are probably loads of objects around your home already, which can be used to set up your own science experiments. These include things like salt, baking soda, vinegar, soap, cornstarch and of course food dye to make things more interesting! You’ll also need some basic equipment like tweezers, ramekins or small tubs, a funnel and a dropper for example. There are too many home science experiments to discuss here, but with these basic supplies you’ll find you can perform some really cool experiments to amaze the kids!
Can you and the kiddos solve the mysterious case of the disappearing egg shell? Following the simple how-to at Go Science Girls, you’ll learn the step-by-step and talking points about the process along the way. Warning! Although it’s totally non-toxic, toddler aged kids will be tempted to squeeze the egg at the end so make sure it’s a supervised experiment. Visit Go Science Girls to get cracking!
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.
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.