Kids love to have fun, and experiments are an excellent way to make science even more exciting for them. They also teach kids about the scientific method while boosting their critical thinking skills and creativity.
To begin, fill two large clear containers with water and ask your children to gather small objects from around the house. Then have them test each item to see if it will sink or float.
1. Make a Rainbow
Creating a rainbow is a fun way to teach kids about the science behind refraction. The rainbow is made up of different colors of light (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet).
Sunlight refracts as it passes through water, separating the colors into their individual wavelengths. The most visible of these wavelengths is red, and the shortest of them is violet.
When you hold a glass of water above a sheet of paper, you can watch the sunlight pass through it and refract to form a rainbow on your paper.
Using just a few simple everyday items, this easy-to-do experiment perfectly explains how rainbows are formed. It’s also a great way to teach kids about refraction and dispersion. Plus, it’s an excellent hands-on activity to do together!
2. Make a Sundial
Sundials are devices that use the sun’s position and movement to tell time. They consist of a rod that casts a shadow onto a platform etched with hour markers.
If you have a stick or dowel lying around your home, you can easily make your own sundial. Just plant the object in a sunny area and mark the shadow at the beginning of the day.
The shadow will move as the sun moves across the sky throughout the course of the day. It will also change as the earth’s rotational axis changes over time.
3. Make Bubbles
Blowing bubbles is a fun activity that can teach kids science concepts without them even realizing it. This is a great activity for kids of all ages!
Bubbles are made from a combination of soap, water, and glycerin. The glycerin makes them thicker and keeps the water from evaporating quickly.
The glycerin also helps the bubbles stay intact longer, which means more time to blow and create more bubbles!
The best part about this bubble experiment is that it’s simple and inexpensive to make. All you need is a straw, a container, dishwashing liquid, and distilled water according to the solution you want.
4. Make a Paper Chain
One of the easiest ways to make science fun is with simple experiments. Paper chains are a perfect example because they involve nothing more than simple paper strips!
You can make a paper chain in many shapes, including people, hearts, and stars. Start by folding a sheet of paper accordion-style to form a rectangle.
Next, draw a person or a heart or star on the top sheet of paper. You can also add a zigzag fold to make it a more complicated shape!
Use the same strips of paper for each shape, but cut them differently. For instance, if you want to make a red and green paper chain to count down Christmas, make sure to cut strips that are 1×5 inches wide and 11 inches long.
5. Make a Cloud
Kids love to see the clouds in the sky and how they form, so this simple cloud experiment is perfect for a spring STEM lesson. It’s also fun for kids to do at home, as it can be done with a variety of household items!
You need a jar, shaving cream, and food coloring for this science experiment. You’ll want to fill the jar about 3/4 full of water and add a thin layer of shaving cream on top.
Then, add a few drops of food coloring to the shaving cream to represent rain. The more food coloring added to the shaving cream, the heavier it gets. When the weather is too heavy to remain in the sky, gravity will make it fall down into the jar!
This is just one of many amazing weather activities to help kids learn about how clouds form and why we have rain. If you’re looking for more ways to teach kids about the weather, check out this 25 Easy Weather Science Experiments list.
6. Make a Magnetic Chain
Using a simple experiment, kids can make their own chain of spherical magnets and see that strength isn’t always in the number of magnets. Rather, it’s in how they are arranged.
Students can learn about spherical magnetic spheres and their unique magnetic poles in this super simple experiment, which uses inexpensive rare-earth magnets to demonstrate the basic properties of magnets.
To measure the force of a chain, tape a disk magnet to the weighing plate of the scale (see photo above). Set the chain over the magnet, and record the reading on the scale.
7. Make a Sundial in a Bottle
One of the best ways to make science fun is to use simple experiments that kids can do at home or school. These simple science experiments use limited materials and teach important scientific concepts.
If you have a jar or bottle, kids can practice their centripetal force skills by making their own sundial in a jar! They will learn about how energy transforms states of matter, and they’ll have fun simultaneously!
A sundial, also known as a Pyrenean dial or cylinder dial, is a type of time-telling instrument that uses the position of the gnomon (pointer) to tell the time. It was first used thousands of years ago and remains an effective time-telling device today.
8. Make a Sundial in a Glass
Sundials have been used to keep time for centuries, and they’re a great way to teach your kids about how we tell the time before they buy their own watches. They can also help them learn about timekeeping, refraction, and light physics.
The key to a successful sundial is to place a shadow stick perpendicular to the base of the dial. The shadow will fall at the same place each hour to tell you the time.
This eye-popping demonstration only requires some simple supplies. It can be a little messy, but kids love it! This experiment also gives them a chance to practice their fine motor skills.
9. Make a Raindrop
Making a raindrop is one of the most basic and fun experiments you can do with young children. This is a great way to show kids how rain builds up in the clouds and what happens when the cloud is full of water.
To make the raindrops, you will need a glass jar that is about half-full of water. Add a thin layer of shaving cream to the top of the water in the jar.
After a few minutes, you will see the water droplets accumulate on the jar’s sides. They will float down the sides of the bottle until they hit the water below!