3 Science Experiments for Kids to Do at Home (with Adult Supervision)
We love to do cool science experiments with our grandkids. And these days, they actually get excited when it’s time to roll out the supplies!
Our most curious grandkids can really get into it. Over the years, we’ve had to look up quite a few answers to answer all their questions, and sometimes, it seems like our family would really benefit by putting a science teacher on speed-dial. You just never know what they’re going to ask.
With all that curiosity, we’re hoping we might even have the next Neil Armstrong or Marie Curie in the family. It helps when you get them interested about the world around them at a young age. So, it’s not impossible!
With all that said, we wanted to give you a few ideas of how to get your own children involved in science. Pulled directly from Fun For Kidz magazine, here are a few simple experiments to really get them thinking.
Try them out with your family, and let us know how it goes.
Did you know that cooking is really science? Do this kitchen chemistry cooking experiment with your grandmother or any adult family member. You’ll have fun using science to make something delicious to eat!
TRY THIS FIRST: Carbon dioxide is an invisible gas that you can easily make. Put a spoonful of vinegar in a glass. Add a spoonful of baking soda. And WHOOSH! Lots of tiny bubbles form. Each tiny bubble is filled with carbon dioxide. When the bubbles burst, the carbon dioxide goes into the air, and you can’t see it.
Congrats! You’ve just performed a science experiment!
Now head to the kitchen and use science to make Carbon Dioxide Candy.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup dark corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- a candy thermometer
What You Do:
- Stir the sugar, corn syrup, and vinegar together in a heavy pan.
- While stirring, cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Stop stirring. Have an adult clip the candy thermometer to the side of the pan. The thermometer bulb should not touch the bottom of the pan.
- Continue cooking WITHOUT STIRRING, until the candy thermometer reads 300° (brittle stage).
- Remove from heat. Quickly stir in the baking soda and mix well.
- Pour, don’t spread, into a two-inch-deep pan.
- Cool, break into pieces, and EAT!
Vinegar and baking soda are chemicals. Mixing together different chemicals to produce even more chemicals is called “chemistry.” Cooking is also doing chemistry. You mix together ingre- dients to make different things. We don’t call cooking ingredients chemicals, but they are!
Throw the ball up. How high it goes depends on how hard you throw it. As soon as it leaves your hand, the force of gravity begins to slow it down until it stops going up and then falls to the ground. The force of gravity pulls it down.
Now, poke two holes in the top edge of the cup and tie the ends of a 5-foot length of string through the holes. Next, tie a knot about 10 inches above the top of the cup. If you turn the mouth of the cup down, the ball will fall out, right?
Try this: Start swinging the cup and ball back-and-forth, a little higher each time. When it reaches the horizontal position, swing the cup and ball over the top, around and around, making full loops. With practice, you can then slow the cup and stop it without the ball coming out of the cup. Why didn’t the ball fall out when the cup was upside down?
If you let go of the string while the cup and ball are in circular motion, they will fly away in a straight line. As long as you hold the string, you create something called centripetal force toward your hand, which is felt as tension in the string. At the same time, centrifugal force is created away from your hand, pressing along the string against the cup’s bottom.
These two invisible forces work together to overcome gravity, keeping the ball inside the cup. If you suddenly stopped the cup at the top of the circle and held it there, centripetal and centrifugal forces would be gone, and gravity would cause the ball to fall straight down.
It’s physics! Isaac Newton would be proud.
Here is a science investigation you can try while making tasty “juice-icles.” It will help you answer the science question: Which freezes better, orange juice or water?
What You Need:
- an empty ice cube tray
- a freezer
- orange juice and water
What You Do
Fill one-half of the tray with water and one-half with orange juice. Put the tray in the freezer, and leave it there overnight.
The next day, you will find BOTH the water and the orange juice have frozen into ice cubes. Have a parent help you take the cubes out of the tray. Now for the Fun Part!
EAT a water ice cube and an orange juice ice cube. Which one is easier to eat? Did they both freeze solid? You will find that the orange juice ice cube is much softer and easier to eat. WHY?
The Science Secret
Orange juice is mostly water, but it contains other ingredients. Many of these other things do not freeze easily. So your “juice-icle” is made up of fro- zen water and UNFROZEN juice pulp. This makes the orange juice cube softer and more delicious than a plain cube made of water.
Try freezing other liquids in the ice cube tray: other fruit juices, milk, or whatever you like to drink. I’ll bet they don’t freeze into cubes as hard as the plain water cubes!
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