Are you looking for some fun ways to introduce your children to the world of science? No matter if you’re looking for a fun educational activity for your preschooler or trying to come up with an idea for your child’s first science project, these science experiments are a great way to have fun together and learn something new. Most of the items needed for these science activities are not only inexpensive but probably things you have in your cabinets. And how’s this for a bonus? They are all really fun!
1.Make Ice Cream in a Bag
Everyone loves ice cream, so this is a great experiment for kids of all ages. It will require some adult supervision for younger children, and even with older children, you can help guide the scientific process to help get the “science part” into the fun.
Ingredients you will need:
- Gallon and quart-size zip-top bag(s)
- ⅓ cup kosher or rock salt
- 3 cups ice
- 1/2 cup half and half
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- Toppings such as sprinkles, chocolate sauce, and fruit
Directions for making the ice cream:
- Place the salt and ice in the gallon-sized zip-top bag
- Add the half and half, sugar, and vanilla to the quart-size zip-top bag. Seal the bag tightly, and give it a little shake to blend the ingredients.
- Place the bag with the ice cream ingredients inside the gallon-sized bag that has the ice and salt in it.
- Put on gloves, and shake the bag vigorously until the milk is solid. This should take around 5-10 minutes.
- Pour your ice cream into a bowl, add topping and enjoy your experiment.
- For more science fun: See what happens if you use different types of milk. What happens if you don’t use salt?
2. Pop Rocks Expander
What you will need:
- a package of Pop Rocks candy
- a 16 oz soda (plastic bottle preferably)
- a balloon
- a small funnel
- Using a small kitchen funnel, pour the entire contents of the Pop Rocks package into your balloon. Tap the funnel to be sure it is empty.
- Place the balloon opening over the open mouth of the soda bottle. Make sure the candy doesn’t spill into the bottle. The balloon will hang to the side.
- Grab the balloon at the point farthest from the opening, and dump the Pop Rocks in the soda. Observe what happens in the bottle. Watch the balloon inflate.
- For more science fun: try it with a different brand of soda and compare the release of carbon dioxide. Does the result change depending on soda temperature?
3. Salt Water Density Experiment
What you will need:
- Warm water
- 3 tablespoons of Salt
- 2 Tall glasses large enough to hold the egg
- Fill a glass 2/3 full with warm tap water. Ask the question- What happens if I drop the egg in the water? Add the egg to the water.
- Fill a second glass with the same amount of water, and add the salt, stirring until it is completely dissolved. Ask what will happen this time you add the egg. Place the egg in the glass, and watch it float.
For more science fun, try the experiment using other lighter small plastic items, then try heavier items. Learn more by changing the salt ratio.
Encourage Lifelong Learning
Sharing fun science experiments such as these with your children is just one more way you can nurture a love for learning for both today and the future.
Here are a few sites or articles to help with more ideas.