As the weather cools and the days get shorter, you’ll likely find yourself looking for new ways to entertain stir-crazy kiddos (aren’t parents always?). Why not expand your children’s understanding of the world around them—and have some good old-fashioned fun in the process—by conducting a few of these simple science experiments? They are sure to keep your little bundles of energy focused for at least a few minutes, and you may even convince them that you have magic powers!
1. Layered Drink
With just a narrow glass and three different types of juice, you can create a layered beverage that is sure to elicit some “oohs” and “ahhs.” Make sure that you add the liquids slowly by using an eye dropper or turkey baster. This will guarantee the greatest differentiation between the layers. For more tips on how to conduct this density experiment, check out Dennis Regling’s Wonder Shows.
2. Walking Water
Okay so maybe it doesn’t exactly walk, but it definitely travels. You can set up a whole row of colors by “walking” the water in two different directions. If you use the primary colors in the original cups you will be able to see the waters combine into entirely new colors. The process is clearly laid out at Kidspot, where you can also unlock the science behind it.
— Amy Masters (@amyymasters) September 8, 2016
3. Make Licorice Disappear
This experiment is truly magical. Your little one will be amazed at your sorcery as you bend light to make it look as if you’ve made the center of a piece of licorice vanish. Truly even the science behind this one is alluring. For full instructions, check out Eduworld.
4. Invisible Ink
Every kid loves tricking their friends and family using invisible ink, so why not turn it into a lesson? Your secret agent will need just a little lemon juice and a cotton swab to write out their message. Once the message has dried, hold it close to a heat source to reveal the secrets. To find out why this works, check out Science Kids.
5. Color Symphony
Watch the amazing interaction of colors as milk, food coloring and soap meld themselves together to create intricate designs. To truly turn this project into an experiment, repeat the process adding a variable. For example, you could use different types of soap or different percentages of milk fat and see if the results differ. Science Bob gives a detailed explanation of how to share this demonstration and the science behind what you are seeing.
6. Create Clouds
This experiment is a great starting point for a discussion on the cycle of precipitation. Children can watch as the cloud fills up and then the “rain” begins to fall into the jar. For the most accurate results use blue food dye. Kidspot has comprehensive instructions to get your lesson started.
7. Egg In A Bottle
How in the world does an egg fit into a narrow bottle? Simple science, that’s how. And even if you are able to explain the process, your mind will still be blown when you actually see it happen. To figure out how to get that egg in the bottle, check out The Kitchen Pantry Scientist, where you will find several “egg”ceptional experiments.
Not ready to bring the mess of these experiments into your home? Check out this list from Scholastic that shows you where you can watch cool experiments performed online.
Photo by crimfants