If you really want to help your child impress their teacher, then forget about bringing an old apple to school. That is unless you plan to slice that apple open, throw some lemon juice on it to bind it with oxygen and prove that there are sure-fire scientific ways to keep that apple from turning brown. That experiment will likely earn your child an A and will wow your child’s teacher by proving that there are plenty of easy at-home science experiment ideas your child can do to enhance their knowledge of science and make the subject fun and mentally easy to digest. Check out these engaging science experiments that will put your child at the head of the science class.
1. Turn Heavy Cream into Butter – Turning cream into butter is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Literally. Take an empty plastic water bottle, and fill it halfway with heavy cream (you can purchase it from the dairy section of any grocery store). Close the bottle tight and then grab your kids and have them shake the bottle as fast while counting! Count anywhere between 60 to 120 seconds while shaking the bottle vigorously. And voila when done that whipped cream will have been whipped into smooth creamy butter that’s ready for baking! Cut the plastic bottle and taste for yourself!
2. Make an Egg Float in Salt Water – Humpty Dumpty might have had a great fall but if he had the right ingredients he could have floated and not fallen. So prove it! An egg sinks to the bottom if you drop it into a glass of ordinary drinking water right? But what happens if you add some salt? This is a great lesson about density and the results are very interesting and can teach your child some fun facts about density. You’ll need an egg, water, salt and a tall drinking glass. Instructions: Pour water into the glass until it is about half full. Stir in lots of salt (about 6 tablespoons). Carefully pour in plain water until the glass is nearly full (be careful to not disturb or mix the salty water with the plain water). Gently lower the egg into the water and watch what happens.
3. Go with the GLOW – You child can make glowing water with the help of a black light. Tonic water is a clear and unquestionable liquid but how does it look under black light? Does the dye from a highlighter pen do the same thing? Find out what happens and why it happens with this cool experiment that you can do at home. You’ll need: A black light (you can find them at places like Walmart and hardware stores, as well as online stores like Amazon). Tonic water or a highlighter pen. A dark room to do the experiment. Instructions: If you are using a highlighter pen carefully break it open, remove the felt and soak it in a small amount of water for a few minutes. Find a dark room. Turn on the black light near your water, how does it look?
4. Tornado in a Bottle – Bring weather front and center with this really cool vortex activity! Take a little dish washing liquid, water, and a dash of glitter and add to a plastic bottle to create your own mini tornado that’s a lot safer than the ones seen on the weather channel. Follow the instructions and enjoy the cool water vortex you create! Instructions:
- Fill the plastic bottle with water until it reaches around three quarters full.
- Add a few drops of dish washing liquid.
- Sprinkle in a few pinches of glitter (this will make your tornado easier to see).
- Put the cap on tightly.
- Turn the bottle upside down and hold it by the neck. Quickly spin the bottle in a circular motion for a few seconds, stop and look inside to see if you can see a mini tornado forming in the water. You might need to try it a few times before you get it working properly.
5. Bending Water – Here’s an easy and fun science experiment that’s great for helping kids learn about static electricity. Try bending water with static electricity produced by combing your hair or rubbing it with an inflated balloon. You’ll need a plastic comb (or an inflated balloon), a narrow stream of water from a tap, dry hair. Turn on the water so it is falling from the tap in a narrow stream (just a few millimeters across but not droplets). Run the comb through your hair just as you normally would when brushing it (do this around 10 times). If you are using a balloon then rub it back and forth against your hair for a few seconds. Slowly move the comb or balloon towards the stream of water (without touching it) while watching closely to see what happens. What’s happening? The static electricity you built up by combing your hair or rubbing it against the balloon attracts the stream of water, bending it towards the comb or balloon like magic! You’ll look like a mad scientist with this one!
6. Diet Coke & Mentos Geyser Eruption –One of the most popular experiments of modern times is the Diet Coke and Mentos Geyser. Made popular by Steve Spangler, This experiment is all about messy fun that’s truly memorable! And remember do this outdoors! You’ll need
- Large bottle of Diet Coke
- About half a pack of Mentos
- Geyser tube (optional but makes things much easier)
- Make sure you are doing this experiment outddor because Diet Coke will gush everywhere!
- Stand the Diet Coke upright and unscrew the lid. Put some sort of funnel or tube on top of it so you can drop the Mentos in at the same time (about half the pack is a good amount). Doing this part can be tricky if you don’t have a specially designed geyser tube, (I recommend buying one from a local store or online.)
- Now for the fun part, drop the Mentos into the Diet Coke and run like the wind! If you’ve done it properly, a huge geyser of Diet Coke should fly out of the bottle, it’s a very impressive sight. The record is about (29 feet) high! Now see what you can do. Impress your friends but most importantly your teacher will be proud!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kia Morgan Smith is a busy mother of five, wife and blogger at CincoMom.com where she tackles the whimsical journey of parenting. She’s a busy mom managing many things like hectic after school schedules, dinner and world domination.