4 Kid-Friendly Science Experiments To Do at Home

With many Texas schools remaining closed for the time being and a multitude of parents choosing to homeschool rather than virtual learning, I think it’s safe to say we’re all looking for fun ways to keep our children engaged and learning at home…without the eye rolls and teeth pulling. As a former lit major and writer, let me just say that science experiments have never exactly been my strong suit. However, there’s only so many re-readings of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and handprint art crafts one person can suffer through after five months of quarantine, so I went off in search of some fun STEM activities to do with my preschoolers. After some Pinterest scrolling and a nagging all my teacher friends for suggestions, I found a few foolproof science experiments that can be done at home and rated at least three or four shrieks of excitement. Who knows, we may even have a few future mad scientists on our hands.

Walking Rainbow 

Ingredients:: 

Six cups of equal size

Paper towels 

Food coloring 

Directions::

 

Place six cups next to each other in a tight circle and fill every other cup up with water {the other three leave empty}. Use the food coloring to dye the water in the first cup red, the next cup yellow, and the final cup blue, making sure to use the same amount of food coloring in each cup. Take six paper towels and fold them in half lengthwise, and then in half lengthwise a second time, turning them into long strips. Place one end of the paper towel strip into the red cup, and the other half into the empty cup beside it. Take a second paper towel strip and place half in the same empty cup connected to the red, and the second half into the yellow cup beside it. Repeat until all six cups are connected like a chain. Then sit back and watch as the colored water slowly starts to “walk” up the paper towel and eventually begins to fill the empty cup it’s connected to. As the primary colors from the two adjacent water cups begin to fill the empty cups, they’ll mix together and create a the secondary colors, completing the rainbow. 

Elephant Toothpaste 

4 Kid-Friendly Science Experiments To Do at HomeIngredients::

Empty water or soda bottle 

2 tablespoons warm water

1 teaspoon yeast 

1/2 cup 6% hydrogen peroxide 

Food coloring

Squirt of dish soap 

Directions::

For this science experiment, mix 2 TBS warm water and 1 TSP yeast in a separate container and set aside. Pour 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide into the empty bottle, then add a healthy squirt of dish soap. Let the kids pick which color of food coloring they’d like to add, and gently swirl the mixture together. Using a funnel, pour the yeast and water solution into the bottle and watch the chemical reaction commence. {Note of caution, before adding in the yeast and water mixture I’d recommend either taking everything outside or placing the bottle inside a large pan or box. Otherwise you’ll be cleaning elephant toothpaste off your kitchen table for the next twenty minutes…true story.} 

4 Kid-Friendly Science Experiments To Do at Home

Rainbow in a Jar

Ingredients::

4 glasses or cups 

Food coloring 

Sugar 

Tall glass or test tube 

Straw, dropper or baster 

Directions::

Set out four glasses filled with about one cup of water each. Add a few drops of food coloring to each glass. {Note:: you can do six cups of water, one of each color of the rainbow, but it’s significantly easier to work with just four – red, yellow, green and blue.} Measure different amounts of sugar into each cup. For the red do 2 Tbs, the yellow 4 Tbs, the green 6 Tbs, and the blue 8 Tbs. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved {if the sugar doesn’t dissolve completely, microwave the glass for 30 seconds and stir again, repeating the process until the dissolution is complete. Pour about an inch of the blue water into the tall glass or test tube so that it makes up the bottom layer of the rainbow. Using the dropper, baster, or a straw, then start adding the green water into the same glass {it works best to place the dropper against the side of the glass just above the blue layer, adding in slowly and carefully or the two layers will start to mix}. Use the same method to add the yellow water, and then the red. With the different water densities, the colors will remain separated and create a beautiful rainbow in a jar for your kids to admire. 

Volcano Lava Potion

Ingredients::

Small glass jar

Baking soda

Dish soap 

White vinegar 

Food coloring 

Glitter (opional)

Directions::

Fill the glass jar about half full with vinegar, then mix in a few drops of food coloring {and glitter should you like to add a little extra pizzazz}. Add a healthy squeeze of dish soap and mix it in with a spoon. Now, most directions would say add in a tablespoon of baking soda, but we found that the larger the quantity of baking soda, the greater the lava explosion, so I’ll leave that to your discretion. Personally I say go big or go home, but maybe that’s the quarantine crazy talking. As you can see, we did this experiment during our Harry Potter themed week and added in some spell books and dry ice for effect. You could just as easily {or, you know, with time intensive labor} build a paper mache volcano around the glass jar and really push the whole lava effect. If so, be sure to tag Houston Mom’s Blog if you share this, or any of these science experiments, on social media because I for one would really like to see that. 

4 Kid-Friendly Science Experiments To Do at Home

Good luck mini scientists and lab directors. May these science experiments find your kitchen be filled with suds and rainbows and your volcanic explosions spectacular!


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