Science experiments can be great fun for kids! Experiments range from the simple to the more elaborate, but the three science experiments for kids below all have two things in common: they’re messy and they’re a blast. Remember – safety first. Make sure that whenever you do any of these experiments with your little ones that you take any necessary safety precautions, and that you always supervise them throughout the experiment. But it’s good to let them take part when they can – getting messy and trying things out is an exciting way to learn.
Classic Experiment for Kids: Bubble Bombs
One of the all-time classic science experiments for kids is bubble bombs. Bubble bombs draw on the power of baking soda and vinegar to explode a plastic bag and leave your kids in awe. As this is a particularly messy experiment, it’s advisable to set them off in the bathtub.
You will need:
Zipper-lock plastic bags
Tear your paper towel into a small square and place 1 ½ tablespoons of baking soda into the centre.
Fold the towel into a little parcel (your slow-release bag bomb).
Pour ½ a cup of white vinegar and ¼ of a cup of warm water into the bag and you’re ready to go.
Now comes the tricky part: put the parcel of baking soda into the bag and zip it shut before the fizz gets out of control – oh and stand back!
Baking soda is alkaline, while white vinegar is an acid – when these substances are combined, they react, creating carbon dioxide gas. This means that once you’ve added in the baking soda parcel and closed the bag, the pressure caused by the gas will make it explode.
Ideally, it goes off with a bit of a bang – it’s best to warn smaller kids so that they’re not frightened by the noise.
Fun Science Experiment: Cola Explosion
Let your child play the part of a mad scientist by trying out one of the most explosive science experiments for kids to do at home. Just follow these three simple steps:
Buy a large bottle of diet cola
Remove the cap and insert a roll of rough textured mints, like Mentos (available from most newsagents)
Move away from the bottle
Caution: This experiment causes a jet of cola to spray into the air, so this is definitely one fun science experiment for the garden.
Explain that the roughness of the mints (the small pits in the surface of the sweet) give the carbon dioxide little grooves in which to produce bubbles, causing the spectacular cola eruption.
By providing a surface on which carbon dioxide bubbles can form more easily, many more are produced, while the aspartame in diet cola lowers the water surface tension, making it much easier to foam up.
Lumpy Liquids and Squidgy Solids
You will need:
Cornflour – around a ¼ of a cup
Water – around a ¼ of a cup
A mixing bowl
This one is one of the most fun science experiments for kids at home, but it can get a little messy, so start off by placing a double layer of newspaper on the table.
Next, add the cornflour and half your water to the bowl.
Stir slowly until the powder is wet.
Continue to add water until the mixture feels runny when you stir slowly but hardens up when you tap it.
If it’s too runny, then add more cornflour.
Make sure to stir the mixture slowly to get a feeling for when it’s ready.
Your kids will love handling the mixture and pressing the cornflour goo into balls.
Watch what happens when you stop applying pressure: It turns back into a runny, gooey liquid.
Try throwing cornflour balls to each other outside – the trick is to catch them before they lose their shape and splat!
The tiny particles of cornflour are floating, suspended. When you handle the goo slowly and gently, they have time to slip past each other, and the mixture is runny. If you use a little quick force, however, the water flows away and the flour remains, acting like a solid. This makes it great fun for kids to play around with – squishing it, squeezing it, and stirring it can fascinate them for hours.
Fun Science Experiments at Home: Scientist Birthday Party
Why not consider throwing a scientist-themed birthday party for your child, including some of the fun science experiments above?
Guests could come dressed as scientists, and you can make fun themed snacks! Try making jelly in plastic beakers as a dessert – suspend a gummy snake in each for a fun biology theme. If you have a sleepover, you could even try a spot of stargazing as a relaxing way to end the evening.