We like to have an annual science playgroup with my kids and their friends, but we don’t limit their science exposure to just that one playgroup. We have developed our own science kit so that we can do experiments at any time.
If you are interested in buying a science kit for your kids, the Primary Science Set is a pretty complete start or this Lab-in-a-Bag has everything you need to start experiments right away and then you can ease your way in to doing those listed below. There are plenty of ways to make a science kit without buying a kit. Other items in our kit include water tubes from flowers, droppers and bottles from infant medicines, small plastic bowls from prepackage individual fruit cups, and other items we had around the house that were not in use including a magnifying glass, funnels and measuring tools.
Have some simple science fun trying out these 6 ideas:
Make a Volcano
- 2 T baking soda
- 4 drops of food coloring
- ½ T (approx.) dish soap
- ¼ C vinegar
Place baking soda in the bottom of the cup. Top with food coloring and dish soap. When ready, pour on vinegar and watch the fun! Point out how the baking soda & vinegar caused a chemical reaction that makes the two liquids turn into a gas (the soap is just for added effect.)
- 1/3 C Water
- 5 drops of food coloring
- ¾ C Cornstarch
Mix together water and food coloring in a dish. Slowly add the cornstarch to the water mixture. Do not stir! Let mixture stand for 2 minutes. Then pick up and play with it. Add a couple more drops if the mixture doesn’t turn from a solid into a liquid.
Point out that this can be both a solid & a liquid. Tell them that corn is a polymer and polymers make it hard for liquids to move, so it acts like a solid until it is able to move and act like a liquid again.
- ¼ C Starch
- 3 drops Food coloring
- ¼ C White Glue
In a plastic bag, pour in starch, put in drops of food coloring and squeeze to make starch colored. Next pour in white glue. Seal bag and begin squeezing the 2 ingredients together. When it makes a solid, you can take out slime and pour out excess liquid (which should be minimal). Have fun playing with your stretchy slime. Point out that when these two liquids are mixed together they form a solid.
Water Soluble Packing Peanuts
(Lots of companies have been using these now, just get them wet and see if they dissolve rather than throwing in the trash.)
Tell them how water soluble means it can be dissolved in water. Demonstrate.
Melting Ice Experiment
- 1 tray of ice cubes (left as is)
- 1 tray of crushed ice
- 1 tray of ice cubes
- 1 solid tray of ice
Leave one tray of cubes as it is. Sprinkle salt on top of the other 3 kinds of ice. Tell how salt lowers the melting point of ice, so it makes it melt faster. Watch to see if different sizes of ice melt more quickly than other or in different ways when ice is applied.
- 1 piece of construction paper
- Various items that will lay flat on paper
Lay items on top of construction paper (darker colors work best) for 1-4 hours. Remove items and see the prints left behind. Talk about how the UV rays from the sun cause a chemical reaction in which the dye in the paper breaks down and causes it to fade in the spots that were not colored.
Your turn: Do you do science experiments with your kids? What fun lessons have you done?
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