Everyone knows how to create a volcano out of baking soda and vinegar, but what if you’re looking for something more exciting to teach your kids about science? You don’t need to be enrolled in an MLS online program to teach your kids about science. Here are just a few fun experiments that can be done with objects around the house.
1. Spark Some Lightning
Do you have a spoon and a balloon handy? Then you’re ready to create homemade lightning. Have your child blow up the balloon and rub it on their head for at least 2–3 minutes. Then slowly move the spoon to the outside of the balloon. The static electricity will create a “lightning” effect that’s exciting but completely harmless. For more dramatic results, turn off the light before making contact between spoon and balloon.
2. Blast Off
Send a rocket into the sky with nothing more than water and Alka-Seltzer tablets. The traditional version mixes the ingredients in a film canister, but any plastic container with a snap-open top will work. Simply fill a two-liter soda bottle with water, drop in a couple of Alka-Seltzer tablets, and let chemistry do the rest. Stand back to ensure that the rocket doesn’t launch up your nose!
3. Create Your Own Polymer
This slimy experiment will gross out your children in a fun and educational way. By combining glue, water and some borax from the laundry detergent aisle, you can create a thick, reality-warping goo that’s neither solid nor liquid. It will serve as a lesson in polymers and the molecules that define them, and it’ll be weird to play with, too.
4. Dye Your Plants
If you have any white flowers around the garden, pluck a few and bring them inside for a laboratory experiment. Since plants can take on the properties of the water that they “drink,” you can actually dye them different colors by putting food coloring in a glass of water. Your child will learn about chemistry, botany and fluid dynamics all at once. This can also be done with celery.
5. Create Invisible Ink
Have your child write a message on plain white paper with a paintbrush dipped in lemon juice. After it dries, hold the paper up to a heat source like a lighter or clothes iron. Since lemon juice is acidic, it weakens parts of the paper so that they burn or turn brown before the rest of the paper does. Your child’s white words will suddenly turn brown. Their secret message will be revealed, and their lesson in oxidization will commence!
These are just a few DIY science experiments that will delight kids of all ages. Who knows? They might work on lightning today and cancer research a few years from now!