Need more intellectual stimulus then puzzles and crafts can provide? How about trying some science experiments with materials you more than likely already have on hand!
Not only are these activities entertaining, but they’re also a great way to sneak in some extra schooling in for all the little ones.
- A Volcano
A classic that won the hearts at every science fair, making a volcano is an incredibly simple way to make your kids excited to try even more experiments!
Now, this simple chemical reaction can easily be done in a glass or on a plate. But, if you’re feeling extra ambitious, consider grabbing some extra cardboard – or other sturdy materials you may have lying around – and create the volcano itself! Make sure the volcano is as tall (but not taller than) the opening. Then encourage your children to research volcanoes and paint their mock-up according to their favorite one.
– 4 tbsp Baking Soda
– 1 cup White Vinegar
– Food Coloring (Optional)
Start by placing the Baking soda inside of the container and then slowly add the vinegar. Then watch the excitement on your children’s face as “lava” begins to pour from the volcano!
This chemical reaction occurs due to the creation of carbon dioxide from the combination of vinegar and baking soda. As the production of carbon dioxide bubbles increases so does the pressure in the mixture until the bubbles pour out.
- Secret Messages
Want to feel like a secret agent? Send one another messages with invisible ink!
Another simple activity, all you need is lemon juice and a hair dryer (you can use an oven at a low setting as well).
– Lemon Juice
– Paint Brush
All you have to do is squeeze the juice from a lemon, write your message, and allow it to dry. That’s it!
Afterwards, apply heat to the paper and the oxidation of the juice will make it turn brown; revealing the message (or drawing) for all to see.
A silly name for a very silly substance, Oobleck is made from combining water and cornstarch to create a material that feel solid to the touch but acts like a liquid when you attempt to hold it! Officially this is known as a Non-Newtonian liquid.
– 2 cups Corn Starch
– 1 cup Water
– Food Coloring (optional)
Simply add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix it up! Then let the fun start!
A deep rectangular food storage container is the perfect way to play with Oobleck, as it can get pretty messy. Have your child poke and prod at the seemingly solid material then watch to their amazement as it flows through their fingers when they attempt to pick it up!
- Naked Eggs
Ever wonder what the inside of a RAW egg would look like if it kept its shape? Now you can!
– White Vinegar
Take a clear glass and place a raw egg inside, then fill the glass with enough white vinegar to completely cover the egg. This process takes roughly 24 hours so observe the egg every few hours. Notice those little bubbles around the egg? That’s a chemical reaction!
An egg shell is made out of Calcium Carbonate whereas White Vinegar contains a substance known as Acetic Acid. As the acid eats away at the shell it combines with Calcium Carbonate to create Carbon Dioxide, which is why you see those little bubbles!
Interestingly enough, the vinegar does not dissolve the thin membrane surrounding the inside of the egg. Thus you’re left with a “naked egg” after the shell has fully dissolved.
- Expanding Soap
To do this last little interetin experiment you’re going to need a bar of Ivory soap; any other brand simply won’t do. Why is that? Well, because Ivory is made by whipping the soap, which adds very tiny air bubbles into the mixture. This will become important for the end result.
– Ivory soap bar cut in half
Cut the bar of soap into quarters and microwave on high for one minute. Watch as the soap begins to expand to a size far larger than it was to begin with! What was once a simple bar of soap has transformed into a large piece of expressionist art. But why?
This experiment demonstrates Charles’ Law, which states that as the temperature of a gas increases so does its volume. Simply speaking, all those little pockets of air trapped within the soap expand as they’re heated, which makes the soap appear to grow!