Checking The Basis
Conducting science experiments for kids is as important as investing billions of dollars into graduate school research…
If a cultural practice would not fade off; then the younger generation must have a clear understanding of the norm of that culture. The same rule applies to science.
Science experiment for kids is very essential if we intend to keep the pace of innovations and discovery at its peak. Currently, we are not doing a good job in that department, and as a result we have a lot of kids aspiring to be rock stars…
While I have nothing against such aspiration, I think it is important to expose our kids to sciences as much as we expose them to the world of entertainment and other socially dominant activities.
Only if kids get to learn about the beauty of science at very early stage of life; maybe it would influence their career choice when the time comes.
We use cell phones and other amazing product of science research everyday, how about showing the kids how it is done and hopefully they can make something better than what we have now in the nearest future.
If you agree with me on this, if you think science experiments for kids is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly, then take a stand today and educate a kid in your vicinity about science.
The main aim of this article is to discuss the nitty-gritty of science as it applies to kids, the importance of science education to kids and how to show children the beauty of science through various science experiments designed specifically for kids.
Let’s start from the basis…
What is Science?
Science is the concerted human effort to understand, or to understand better, the history of the natural world and how the natural world works, with observable physical evidence as the basis of that understanding. It is done through observation of natural phenomena, and/or through experimentation that tries to simulate natural processes under controlled conditions.
As defined here.
The understanding of the true definition of science shows that the field revolves around us, we live in science, as a matter of fact everything we do is all about science…
If our live revolves around a particular field, it’s a pointer that we need to do our best to make sure coming generation learn about this field… Check the referenced link to see more reason as to why you should study science.
…. the observation of natural phenomena through experimentation…. is what really caught my attention.
It’s such a shame that we teach science to kids with little effort in showing what science really to them. The experiment part is either inadequate of missing.
This page would contain series of information about various science experiments for kids. The aim is to gear kids interest towards science and in all bring science to their level of understanding.
Who this guide is meant for?
The guide on science experiments for kids is meant for three categories of people; the science teacher in elementary, middle and high school, parents and kids themselves.
In some cases, the instruction would be written specifically towards the teacher or parent, while in others; especially on specific pages about science experiments, the instruction would be written for kids.
Take for instance, the introductory part is written as a challenge and call to action towards parent and teachers.
How to use this guide?
It’s pretty straight forward. Just follow the instruction specifically and see science come to life in your school, your backyard or wherever you choose to practice the experiments shared on this websites.
I have added internal links to make navigation through pages very easy.
Guideline For Science Experiments For Kids.
For Parents and Teachers:
Agreed, Science is a very interesting subject of study, but it’s very easy to get things wrong when it comes to science experiments. This makes it very important to take note of the following precautions and guidelines when conducting science experiments for kids.
- Safety First: Your safety and that of the kids is very important. Although a larger percentage of the experiments discussed on this website does not pose any significant threat to personal safety.
Nevertheless, it’s important to make children understand how “ritualistic” the safety precautions must be attended to when conducting any experiment.
The only way to make them understand this is by telling them the precaution that should be taken before any experiment. No matter how “insignificant” it may seems to you.
Take for instance, in my high school days; It was my first time at the acid lab and we were working with diluted hydrochloric acid during a titration chemistry experiment.
While listing out the safety precaution; he warned us to refrain from pouring water into acid, but we should rather pour acid into water. As simple as the instruction sounds; it saved my life during a biochemistry class experiment as an undergraduate.
The morale of the story is that; basic instruction goes a long way; either now or later in the future.
Tell kids the importance of wearing a lab coat when they’re in the laboratory. Tell them the importance of labeling their experimental apparatus.
- Language and Scientific Expression: The aim of conducting science experiments for kids is to show that that science is not a boring subject as assumed by most people. This is why I have compiled a long list of fun, cool and easy experiments for kids.
It is equally important that you demonstrate to them in a fun, easy, simple and cool way. Not in a super professional scientific way. Telling a five (5) years old about Archimedes principle would further complicate the issue for them.
How about explaining the flotation principle using simple terms and something they can relate to, and give them the opportunity of figuring out Archimedes principle when they’re ready for it?
If the teacher, parent or instructor fails to present the experiments discussed on this blog in a fun and easy way; then the overall aim of conducting science experiments for kids would be forfeited.
- Don’t Show Them; Let Them Do It:
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin. Really, there is no better way to put it than using Benjamin Franklin’s quote.
Let the kids do the actual experiment. You can have two setup; one for yourself and one for the kids; depending on the number of kids; you can divide them into smaller groups for proper demonstration.
When they do it themselves and it really worked; just like the way you say it will, then you’ve instill a greater sense of curiosity in them. And as far as science is concerned; curiosity is all that is needed to be the best amidst one’s peers.
Science is beautiful, but if not done properly, it can equally be harmful. This makes it very important for you to follow the guidelines strictly.
- Don’t ever conduct any experiment that has to do with the use of acid without direct adult supervision. You wouldn’t find such experiment on the website anyway.
- Sometimes, I like to play pranks on my friends when I was a little boy, I still do till today. It’s a good thing; but don’t try to play pranks on them using dangerous sciences experiment. It might simply get out of control and the consequences may be higher than what both parties can bear.
- Instruction matters a lot. Don’t commence any experiment if you don’t understand the instruction provided. If you find it difficult to understand the instruction; seek the help of an adult. You don’t get scolded for asking intelligent questions; on the contrary, you get applauded for being inquisitive.
Planning Science Experiments For Kids
Be it for a science fair project, or a birthday science experiment event to excite the kids. Here are basic things that should be done when planning science experiments for kids.
- Choose a Science Experiment: There are varieties of science experiments for kids. You can check our archive and choose the ones that you find suitable for the proposed event.
Some factors to consider when choosing your experiment includes but not limited to; finance, age range of the children, availability of space, time allocation and availability of materials.
- Pre-Show Experiment: Make sure you understand the basis of the experiment yourself, and practice the experiment once or twice before the real showcase to the kids.
We both know science is a tricky subject, and it might cause you lots of trouble if you don’t get the procedure right. In light of this, you want to make sure everything is in the right order before bringing it out to the kids.
You don’t want to be caught sweating before then do you?
- Lessons: Create a series of questions to test the knowledge of the kids after each experiment. You can ask them questions that is closely related to the what you’ve just demonstrated. That way, it won’t be all about fun alone; but they would also learn from each experiment as well.
Now that we’ve covered the basics; it’s time to get on to the fun stuff.
Compilation of Science Experiments For Kids
For kids, science might be a very boring subject; the only way to make it interesting is by showing them various experiments that would make them curious about the process involved.
By so doing, science would not just be another boring thing that kids have to learn, but rather, they would enjoy every bit of it and hopefully grow up to become the next Einstein or somebody better.
For most part in high school, I hated physics classes, simple because I don’t understand the basis of what I was learning. However, reverse is the case for my biology classes. I simply enjoyed every bit of it, and this explains why I ended up studying biomedical sciences in the university.
A larger percentage of the experiments discussed in this article would expose kids to basic principle of science, however in a way most kids would consider cool. The idea is to teach while having fun. You would agree with me that this method of teaching would ensure the kids get the lesson and also recall them several years late.
I have created several categories for each and I would explore each category one after the other and hopefully, you would find an experiment of your taste before you exhaust the list.
Simple Science Experiment
The experiments listed in this category are simple, and can be completed within 10 to 15 minutes. You don’t need to be in a standard laboratory and household items can be used in carrying out the experiments.
I have carefully selected them such that, kids are not exposed to any hazard while carrying out the experiment. This means, a larger percentage of the experiment listed under the simple science experiment category can be done by kids within the age range 4 (four) and above.
Enjoy the list!
Making Egg Float
AIM: The aim of this experiment is to show kids the principle behind density. Telling them density is mass/volume is basically boring. This experiment is a better way to teach them that.
MATERIALS NEEDED: Tall Drinking cup (Maybe plastic or glass), table salt, water, an eggs (un-boiled).
(a). Pour clean drinkable water into the cup, half way filled.
(b). Add 5 or 6 teaspoon of salt in the cup and stir until the salt dissolves completely.
(c). Allow the water to settle, then CAREFULLY pour clean water to fill up the cup
(d). carefully, place an egg in the cup.
OBSERVATION: If everything is done properly, the egg would float in between the layer of the water in the glass cup.
THE SCIENCE: Adding salt to the water increased the density of the water, and as such it becomes “heavier” than the weight of the egg. This explains why the egg did not sink when it got to the area of the salt water.
Water Bending Experiment
AIM: The aim of this experiment is to show kids the principle behind static electricity. How positive electron and negative electron interact with one another.
MATERIALS NEEDED: A dry plastic comb, Indoor running tap (faucet), The hair on your head.
(a). Turn on the tap and keep the water running.
(b). Reduce the flow of water to the smallest volume, so that you have thin stream of water flowing from the tap.
(c). Use the dry plastic comb on your hair. Comb through your hair for at least a minute.
(d). Carefully bring the comb close to the thin stream of water running from the tap. Make sure the comb is close enough but not touching the water.
OBSERVATION: If everything is done properly, the thing stream of water should bend towards the direction of the comb.
THE SCIENCE: Brushing the comb through your hair ultimately transferred negative electron to the comb. The positive electron in the water is automatically attracted to the negative electron on the comb; hence the “bending” of the water towards the comb.
Water Moving Experiment
AIM: The aim of this experiment is to show kids what capillary action means, and how it is beneficial to plants growth.
MATERIALS NEEDED: Three glass bottles (preferable with narrow mouth opening), Food coloring (two primary colors; yellow and blue) and two paper towels.
(a). Place the three glass bottle side by side. Very close to one another.
(b). Fill the first glass bottle with water, leave the second bottle empty, and fill the third bottle with water as well.
(c). Add the food coloring (blue) to the first bottle. Stir appropriately
(d). Add food coloring (yellow) to the third bottle. Stir appropriately.
(e). Carefully fold a paper towel in two folds or three and insert inside the first bottle, such that one end of the paper towel is inside the colored water, and the other end is placed inside the empty middle bottle.
(f). Repeat the above procedure for the third bottle.
(e). Leave the setup for an hour or more.
OBSERVATION: If done properly, the water from both bottle should have migrated into the bottle in the middle, and it should change color to green.
THE SCIENCE: Capillary action is the science behind this experiment. It is responsible for the movement of water from the water bed down the soil to the leaves and other part of plants. The same mechanism is responsible for movement of nutrient to the root of the plant.
The change in color is a result of mixing yellow and blue together, which would always give green color. You can play around by changing color as well.
Floating Paper Clip
AIMS: The aim of this simple science experiment is to show kids the real life meaning of surface tension.
MATERIALS NEEDED: A paper clip, tissue paper, small bowl filled with water, A pen or any lightweight pen-like object pencil).
(a). Tear some piece of tissue paper, make sure it’s big enough to accommodate about two paper clips.
(b). Place the tissue paper on the surface of the water gently.
(c). Carefully place the paper clip on the tissue paper
(d). Use the pen to push the tissue paper down the water. (Be careful not to tamper with the paper clip while doing this. Gently)
OBSERVATION: All things being equal, the paper clip should float on the water surface without sinking to the bottom. Taking note that the paper clip would normally sink in water. Try doing the same experiment without tissue paper.
THE SCIENCE: Surface tension is an invisible force that holds the topmost particles of an object together. In this case, the water particles are held together by some invisible force.
Colored Water Layers
AIM: This is another density science experiment. It would show kids the difference in density between four different types of colored water.
MATERIALS NEEDED: Five glasses of water, four different food coloring, lots of sugar or salt, warm water.
(a). Fill four of the glasses with warm water. (You can use cold water as well, but warm is better to quickly dissolve the sugar/salt)
(b). Add food coloring of different color to each of the cup. A color for each cup.
(c). Stir properly to ensure the color is evenly distributed.
(d). Add a teaspoon of sugar to the first cup. Repeat the procedure for the remaining cups, while doubling the number of sugar teaspoon.
(e). Stir the content of each cup to make sure the sugar or salt is completely dissolved.
(f). Starting with the cup that has the highest amount of sugar, in that order, pour small fraction of each cup in the fifth empty cup. Do this as gently as you can.
OBSERVATION: With a little luck, and all things being equal, the water should have four different layers based on the difference in the density of the water with varying amount of impurity (sugar).
THE SCIENCE: Impurity increases the density of water. Salt/Sugar serves this purpose in the experiment. The higher the amount of impurity, the higher the density. What this means is that, the water with high density would stay below the cup.
List of 31 Most Popular Science Experiments For Kids
Here is a compilation of the top 31 most popular science experiments for kids. I hope you enjoy surfing through them and trying out the ones you can.
- Floating Egg Experiment: This experiments compares the density of water to density of salt water. If done properly, you would end up having a floating egg inside the middle of a glass cup.
- Melting Chocolate: This experiment would show you the importance of temperature in relation to melting point. We used chocolate as our experimental material.
- Soda and Mentors Experiment: We would create our own ocean tide inside a bottle. With the experiment, you would learn the importance of pressure and surface area.
- Egg Bubble: Do you know that egg shells are not as hard as they look? In fact they contain some small holes around them. Try out this experiment to see what I mean.
Taco Sauce Cleaner: Have some few dirty pennies and you’d like to clean it up and make them look neat and sparkling? This experiment would show you how. It’s fun! Turning dirty pennies into neat ones.
Sink or swim?: This experiment would show you the importance of varying density of substances. HINT: The more closely packed the particles of a substance, the more dense they are. Have a look at yourself and see how items sink or swim through various liquid layers.
- Straw Bending Experiment: What if you could bend a straw without touching it? More interestingly is the fact that you can bend a straw or any other item with your eyes! Cool huh? Check out how it is done
- Glowing Water: Learn how to make your water glow using four different methods.
- Lung Doctor Experiment: Be the doctor in this experiment and measure the volume of air present in your lung. With this cool science experiment, you would learn about the function of the lung and benefits of exercise.
- Flying Ping Pong Experiment: Let’s put some ping pong ball in the air and let’s defy the effect of gravity force. In this experiment, you would learn about the relationship between pressure and gravity as you balance ping pong ball in the air.
- Parachute Maker: The astronaut to be would definitely love this. If you’ve seen people fly out of air planes with parachute in movies, then it’s time to make your own parachute as well, and most importantly learn the principle behind the functionality of a parachute. Let’s go make some parachute.
- Oil and Water Experiment: Have you ever tried mixing oil and water before? What was your observation? Do you know why oil and water react the way they do? Learn all about this by carrying out this fun science experiment
- Egg Test: Can’t tell if an egg is boiled or raw? Seriously? It’s one of the easiest thing to do, when you master the “trick” discussed in this experiment. Have fun!
- Small Bottle Tornado: You’ve probably seen tornado on weather channel before; agreed those ones are scary. How about creating a tornado you can control?
- Volcano Experiment: Let’s create an artificial volcano. This experiment would teach you some basic chemistry lesson.
- Bath Salt: Have you ever used a bath salt before? If yes, then let’s create our own and see what it looks like. If no, then it’s time to know how it is done.
- Seed Germination: This experiment is fun, you get to watch the process involved in seed germination into plant.
- Balloon Sound Amplification: Learn the principle behind sound amplification in this simple experiment using ordinary balloon.
- Taste and Smell Test: Understand the basis of how your sense of taste and sense of smell functions using this fun science experiment.
- Rainbow Maker: Let’s make our own rainbow on a sunny day!
- Bucket Spinning Experiment: Ready to get wet and soaked in water? Or Maybe not… Let’s see how this ends. Learn about centripetal force and circular motion in this fun science experiment for kids.
- Magic, Invisible Ink: Let’s make ourselves some Hogwart pen with invisible ink. Using lemon and other household materials, we would create a invisible ink for your diary.
- Bouncing Ball Experiment: Do you know that energy cannot be destroyed? They can only be transformed from one form to another. Let’s check a classical example of energy transfer with this experiment.
- Ice Melt and Water Overflow: If you have a cup full of ice cubes, full to the brim, such that the ice is a little bit above the top of the glass. When the ice melt will the water overflow? Let’s try and see.
- Orange Float Experiment: If you place an orange in a bucket of water, would it float or sink?
- Potato and Straw Experiment: Is it possible to pierce a potato with ordinary drinking straw? Let’s see how in this fun science experiment.
- Escaping Water Experiment: Let’s transfer water from one container to another without touching it using a cool scientific experiment.