Kids are natural scientists; they love experimenting and finding out how stuff works, and it’s important to let them have some freedom to do this. Letting them try out fun science experiments is great for their development. No matter what the end result, it’s the working out that really matters. Sometimes all you need to do is give them a selection of objects and materials, and some ideas to get them off the starting blocks. That’s the idea behind this colour mixing activity, a great way for them to spend time and build their skills and confidence.
Fun Science Experiments for Kids: Colour Mixing Station
Encourage your kids to become scientists conducting experiments at their own colour mixing station. You can play the part of their customer, briefing them to create various colourful potions and concoctions for you.
Some ideas for materials to use:
- Shaving foam
- Coloured sprinkles (the sort you use in cooking and baking)
- Plastic bottles with lids
- Plastic funnel
- Spoons for mixing
- A muffin tin/tray
- 4 different concentrated food colourings
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 4 large tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda (or baking powder)
- 1 cup full-cream milk
- Washing up liquid
- A medium sized bowl
- Mud and grass from the garden if you’re doing this outside
Once you have your selection of ingredients, the possibilities for fun science experiments are endless. To help you get started here are a selection of ideas you can have a go at, depending on whether you’re outside or inside and what materials you have to hand.
- Spread out any of the materials you’ve collected from the list above. If you’re in the kitchen, put down some newspaper on the table to catch any mess.
- Start the kids off by having a go at the shaving foam and sprinkles science experiment. On a tray, squirt out some shaving foam. Now shake some coloured powder over the top. Watch how the colours mix as the powder dissolves into the foam.
- This next activity is all about teaching your kids to experiment with colour and translucency. Ask them to mix up a colourful liquid for you in one of the plastic bottles. What food colouring will they choose? Can they make a liquid in another bottle that’s a paler colour? Watch them work out how much water and colouring to mix in to get different intensities of colour.
- How about they make some colourful fizzy ‘muffins’? Using a muffin or cake tray , fill each muffin cup with vinegar. Put one drop of each food colouring into a different cup of the muffin tin. Then add one heaped teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda or baking soda into each cup and watch the colours fizz, they will be fascinated to see every day products transform into magical wonders before their very eyes.
- Let them have a go at creating dreamy ‘colourful milk swirl’ experiments. Pour some milk into a bowl. Place one drop of each of your food colourings or coloured powders into the milk (keeping the drops close together). Add a drop of washing up liquid to the mix. Watch the colours swirl around.
- If you’re outside, why not get them using the environment around them and ask them to mix up a special brown or green potion in a bottle or jug. This will get them thinking about different colours and what they will they mix together from their environment to create their potion.
Stain removal tips: Well, if there isn’t a lot of mess at the colour mixing station, you’re doing it wrong! It’s a good idea to get kids to wear aprons and even goggles – they are playing the role of scientists, after all – but if they do get food colouring or powder on their clothes, rinse the garment thoroughly with cool water and leave it to soak in a mix of water and Persil – and then wash later as normal. Shaving foam, cream and milk should also all be rinsed off straight away. And if you’re outside and they get grass on their clothes, rub the stain gently with methylated spirits (available at chemists) and rinse with warm soapy water, then wash the garment with Persil small and mighty biological detergent.
The results of fun science for kids
The point of all the fun experiments your kids try at their colour mixing station is that they are working it out, solving problems, and making bold decisions in mixing things together. It’s great fun for them but also hugely beneficial to their development. Share your experiences if you have a go at being a customer at your kids’ colour mixing station. Are there any more fun experiments for kids that you think other parents and children might like to try?