In this guest post, Benjamin Turner brings us some science experiments that kids can do without expensive equipment or ingredients!
Kids love to get their hands dirty doing experiments. Anything that has them active, building something, or getting instant gratification works well for them. Using their powers of observation, asking questions, and looking for solutions will help them in every area of life. Here are five fun experiments kids can do at home and they’ll learn something in the process.
1. The Wonders of the Magic Ketchup Packet
This is an experiment that teaches kids about buoyancy and density. The best part is that the supplies are inexpensive and easy to find. Kids need kosher salt, a ketchup packet, and a liter bottle. The bottle is filled with water, a ketchup packet is added, and the cap is put on. The packet may float at first. When the bottle is squeezed, it will sink. If it sinks at first, salt is added until the packet rises to the top. From that point, the cap is placed on the bottle and it is squeezed, making the packet sink. The salt comes into play by changing the density of the water. The reason this experiment works is because of the bubble of air trapped within the packet. When pressure is applied on the bottle, it adds pressure to the packet, shrinking that pocket of air and making it sink. Release the pressure and it expands once more. Another variation of this experiment is using an egg instead of a ketchup packet. Kids experiment with the amount of salt in a glass of water. Add the egg next. If they use enough salt, it will float!
2. The Amazing Egg Drop
Kids love this experiment! They need to build a container that will protect an egg when it is dropped from high places (see image above). This is a great way to be creative and try to defy gravity. Of course the fun part is the actual drop, whether the egg goes splat and makes a mess or the contraption is a success, it’s a blast!
3. Don’t Forget That Homemade Volcano
Kids love the volcano experiment. Whether they build a volcano out of paper mache or use a bottle, watching the eruption always has the wow factor. Kids use baking soda, vinegar, and dish soap. Add food coloring for that visual effect. Everything but the vinegar should be added first. Once the vinegar is added, the contents will be rising up in a glory of foam and pouring out of the top. The great part about this experiment is the fact that kids can dabble with different amounts to see what happens. This is a science fair favorite. No one gets tired of watching the eruption and others can help. It’s actually caused by a chemical reaction to act like a volcano.
4. Blow up a Balloon with Yeast
Kids will need a small soda bottle, a packet of yeast, sugar, warm water, and a small balloon. When yeast is added to warm water, followed by sugar, it will become activated. Place the balloon on top, watch, and it will inflate. It works because carbon dioxide is released when the yeast activates.
5. The Floating Paperclip
Use water, a paper clip, and tissue paper to make this minor miracle happen. The tissue paper is placed on the surface, then the clip. Use a pencil eraser to poke the tissue and make it sink. The clip should float. Surface tension is what keeps the clip afloat.
Science teacher Benjamin Turner enjoys sharing educational projects and interesting science tidbits with his readers. Benjamin was also happy to help with finding the Top 10 Best Online Masters in Teaching Degree Programs for others interested in a rewarding job in education.
- License: Creative Commons image source