We’ve been in the middle of spring break for our area this past week. My kiddos are still too young for it to matter, but our nephew was off school and stayed with us for a few days! He mostly just wanted to do “guy stuff” with my fiance, but we did do some cool science experiments for kids too!
The ones we did were a lot of fun for everyone! They had enough *wow* factor to interest our nephew, who is 10, but were mostly simple enough that Lulu could participate as well. I was excited about this because so many of us have kids with bigger age gaps and it can be hard to find activities that interest everyone involved.
Another thing that was pretty awesome is how easily available all the materials were. I didn’t plan super far ahead that we would be doing these activities, so we pretty much stuck to experiments using stuff I already had around the house. Science experiments for kids made easy- bam!
1. Mad Scientist Brew
This one is similar to a baking soda and vinegar type mixture, but more foamy. To make this mAd ScIeNtIsT bReW (oooOooOOoO… yes I’m a nerd), all you’re doing is having hydrogen peroxide react with active yeast. It’s a very simple supply list; all you need is:
Put hydrogen, dish soap, and food coloring into the beaker. Activate the yeast by mixing it with the ratio of 1 teaspoon yeast to 2 tablespoons of warm water. I used 2 tsp yeast/4 TB water. Pour your activated yeast into the vase, and watch the foam build up and out of the beaker! This is where the tray is helpful, as it will likely spill over the sides.
2. Runaway Pepper
This was a favorite for both my daughter and nephew! They must’ve done this one 20 times over. This one is pretty basic too. All you need is:
Color your water and put it on a plate. Sprinkle pepper all over the water- however much you’d like. Then all you have to do is dip your finger in the dish soap and stick it in the pepper mix! The pepper will quickly “run away” to the edges of the plate.
3. Make Your Own Geodes
It’s always extra cool when you can physically take something away from a project. These little DIY geodes were so easy but had such a cool result! Here’s what you need for this one:
First step is to crinkle up your pipe cleaner around an end of the string. Measure out how much string is needed so that the pipe cleaner ball hangs low enough to be in the liquid, but not touching the bottom or sides. Tie the other end of the string to a skewer and set aside.
Boil 1 cup of water and then pour that into your jar. Mix in 3 TB of Borax. Really make sure it’s mixed in good, I think some of our less “crystalized” geodes were due to under-mixing. If needed for a larger jar, you can double these amounts. Hang your pipe cleaner in the liquid with the skewer over top.
Cover it all up with a dish towel and… wait! Give it at least 5 hours, preferably overnight. When you take the towel off you’ll have a beautiful geode 🙂
Nope, that wasn’t a typo haha! Have you ever heard of oobleck?? I hadn’t played with it since I was a kid, but it sounded like such a fun idea to try this week!
What makes it different from slime or silly putty is it’s what’s called a non-Newtonian fluid. So when you ball it up in your hand, it actually feels like a hard ball. But when you let go, it melts into your hand!
This is incredibly entertaining and could not get any easier to make. It’s just 2 parts cornstarch to 1 part water. You might need to fiddle around with the ratios a bit, but just add more cornstarch if it’s too liquidy, or add water if it’s too crumbly.
Beside that, just drop in some food coloring if desired! Once it’s time for cleanup (this one can get pretty messy), just wait for it to dry and the cornstarch can be vacuumed up.
5. Mixing Order
This tried and true combination of oil and water is always a winner. Kids are always amazed at watching different liquids separate from each other! In this experiment we tested how order can effect the outcome.
First we put water in a jar and mixed the food coloring and baby oil. We slowly poured the oil mixture over the water and watched the color droplets slowly sink into the water- giving a colorful rain storm effect. Next, we put plain oil into the jar and colored the water.
When we dropped the water into the oil, it quickly pushed it’s way through to the bottom. It was fun guessing how switching the order would change the liquids’ behaviors.
We had a lot of fun testing out some science experiments for kids this week. It’s such a great opportunity to learn as well, so I’ve included some Scientific Method printables for you and your kiddos to fill in!
They can be used for science experiments like these, or even to just get them thinking critically about everyday things. Filling it out based on what they think the weather will do, what it actually did, and why, is a simple example for the variety of ways you can use it!
For more ways to learn and play at the same time, check out some of our sensory bin posts such as this one. Otherwise, sign up below for your printable!