Life Parenting
  • Facebook
    Facebook
  • Twitter
    Twitter
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest
  • +
  • Linkedin
    Linkedin
  • WhatsApp
    WhatsApp
  • Email
    Email
SHARE THIS
  • Facebook
    Facebook
  • Twitter
    Twitter
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest
  • Linkedin
    Linkedin
  • WhatsApp
    WhatsApp
  • Email
    Email

There’s no secret here: Science is fun. (And not just for kids, either.) The beauty of do-it-yourself experiments, aside from hours of hands-on entertainment your kids will be drooling over, is that most of the items and equipment required can be found in your home.

We’ve rounded up 17 awe-inspiring experiments that you can do with your kids right now—from the super simple to the super messy. Some of them might require adult assistance and direction, but we’re willing to bet that your little scientists will, for the most part, be happy to take the lead. Now go on, get science-ing!

1. Watermelon burst

Placing rubber bands around the middle of a watermelon seems harmless enough. But when the pressure gets to be too much? KABLAMO! It’s fun, it’s messy, and your kids will love it! (We suggest you try this one outside though.)

What you need

  • One large watermelon
  • 500 rubber bands (you may require less, depending on the size of the watermelon)
  • Safety glasses

What you do

  1. Place rubber bands, one at a time, around centre of watermelon
  2. Be prepared as the rind begins to crack and eventually explode
WatermelonExplosion
giphy

2. Floaty eggs

Amaze your kids with this basic example of how salt can change the density of water. Eggs sink in water, right? But watch what happens when salt is added to the equation!

What you need

  • Three eggs
  • A cup of salt
  • three drinking glasses
  • Jug of water
  • Measuring spoon

What you do

  1. Fill each glass with equal amounts of water
  2. Add 4 tsp of salt to two of the glasses and stir until dissolved
  3. Put one egg into each of the three glasses
  4. Observe how eggs float in the salt water
  5. Slowly pour more clean water into one of the saltwater glasses and watch as diluting the saltwater causes the egg to sink again

3. Volcanic eruption

Everyone loves this science-fair classic! You’ll be surprised at how simple it is to create your own erupting volcano. Just be prepared to contain the warm spewing mess (that your kids will thoroughly enjoy making)!

What you need

  • Empty pop or juice bottle
  • Warm water
  • Baking soda
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Vinegar
  • Optional: red food colouring (or powdered drink mix)

What you do

  1. Fill most of the empty bottle with warm water
  2. Add a squirt of dishwashing liquid
  3. Add a few tablespoons of baking soda
  4. To cause the eruption, start pouring vinegar (add food colouring to vinegar in advance, if using) into the bottle
  5. Be amazed by your volcanic eruption
volcano
giphy

4. Glowing water

You’ll have a whole new way to impress your kids (and their friends!) with this glowing water experiment. As long as you have a black light and tonic water, there is basically zero effort required for this very cool trick using fluorescence!

What you need

  • Black light
  • Tonic water (containing quinine)
  • Bottle/container of choice

What you do

  1. Pour tonic water into bottle/container of choice
  2. Turn off regular lights (or go in dark room) and turn black light on
  3. Watch as your drink glows

5. Use a straw to stab a potato

It’s all about getting your hands on a magical straw in order to make this work. Or, follow the simple steps below and mysteriously turn the strength of any normal straw into super strength with the power of compressed air!

What you need

  • Raw potato
  • A few straws

What you do

  1. Let your kids try jamming a straw into the potato with no instruction
  2. Have them try again while using their thumb to completely cover the hole at one end of the straw
  3. Gasp in awe as the straw now pierces easily through the potato
tumblr
tumblr

6. Musical water

While it might only require minimal set-up, the hours of musical fun that result make this experiment a huge hit for the kiddos. Encourage your little musicians to make up tunes using their unconventional “instrument”!

What you need

  • Drinking glasses (at least five to be effective)
  • Jug of water
  • Wooden spoon
  • Optional: food colouring

What you do

  1. Pour varying amounts of water into each drinking glass–you want each glass to have a different amount (arrange glasses in order from least filled to most filled to mimic a musical scale)
  2. Tint the water with food colouring, if using
  3. Enjoy your water symphony by tapping the wooden spoon on the sides of each glass to hear its unique tone

7. Invisible ink

Is there anything cooler than spy accessories? We think not! Write notes with invisible ink using a couple basic ingredients, then prepare to blow minds when you use a candle to reveal the secret messages! (Be sure to have a parent present for this one. Only you can prevent forest science experiment fires.)

What you need

  • Piece of paper
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp of water
  • Cotton swab
  • Candle
  • Matches/lighter

What you do

  1. Pour water into lemon juice and stir with cotton swab
  2. Use the wet end of the cotton swab to write a secret message on paper
  3. Let your message dry so the “ink” is completely invisible
  4. Light candle and hold paper above the candle (careful to keep the paper a safe enough distance away)
  5. Watch as the heat causes the lemon juice to oxidize and turn brown, revealing the secret message
invisibleink
giphy

8. Lava lamp

Your kids might be too young to know what a lava lamp is, but it won’t stop their jaws from dropping when you try this groovy experiment together!

What you need

  • 2 litre pop bottle and cap
  • Canola oil
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • Alka-Seltzer
  • Food colouring
  • Funnel

What you do

  1. Pour water into empty bottle
  2. Use funnel to pour oil in, almost to the top of the bottle
  3. Let the water and oil separate before adding about 10 drops of food colouring to the bottle
  4. Let the food colouring settle in the bottom of the bottle before adding half an Alka-Seltzer
  5. Watch as the reaction creates moving bubbles in the bottle
  6. Put the cap on and move the bottle around gently to form one big blob with the coloured oil
  7. Try adding a few Alka-Seltzer tablets at a time to see how it affects the reaction
lavalamp
giphy

9. Carnation rainbow

There is simple science behind creating a rainbow of carnations, but it will seem like magic when you try this with your little ones! The results aren’t instant but they’ll leave a lasting impression and teach a pretty neat lesson about how flowers absorb water.

What you need

  • Four carnations
  • Four glasses/vases of water
  • Four different colours of food colouring
  • Scissors/knife

What you do

  1. Add different coloured food colouring to each glass/vase and stir (keep adding until colour is very rich)
  2. Trim ends of flowers with scissors/knife
  3. Place a flower in each of the four glasses and leave glasses somewhere with sun exposure
  4. Check back one to two days later and be pleasantly surprised by the results

10. Sticky ice

It’s time to go fishing for sticky ice cubes, and you’ll only need the help of a couple items to make it happen. Get ready for a simple experiment that will amaze over and over again!

What you need

  • Piece of string
  • Bowl of water
  • Bowl of ice cubes
  • Bowl of salt

What you do

  1. Place a few ice cubes into the bowl of water
  2. Lay part of the string on one of the ice cubes in the water
  3. Sprinkle salt over the string where it is in contact with the ice cube
  4. Wait one minute before lifting the string to reveal the “sticky” ice

11. Expanding balloons

We can think of a ton of fun things to do with candy (you know, like eat it) but this neat experiment might just top the list!

What you need

  • Balloon
  • Pop Rocks candy
  • Bottle of pop
  • Funnel

What you do

  1. Place funnel in the mouth of the balloon
  2. Empty packet of Pop Rocks into the funnel and tap to help empty them into the balloon
  3. Place balloon over the mouth of the bottle, careful not to let any Pop Rocks out of the balloon just yet
  4. Tip the balloon so Pop Rocks empty into the bottle of pop
  5. Sit back and watch as the reaction causes the balloon to expand

12. Magic plastic bag

It’s all about the power of polymers with this awe-inspiring magic-bag experiment. Try it with your kids (you will be just as impressed as they are) and then let them show off to their friends!

What you need

  • Plastic sandwich/freezer bag
  • A few pencils
  • Jug of water

What you do

  1. Pour water into bag until it’s about two-thirds full, then seal it
  2. Poke pencils, one at a time, through one side of the bag and out the other
  3. Wow those around you as water stays contained in the bag with no leaks

13. Tornado in a bottle

The best thing about this tornado is that it’s completely contained inside a bottle–woohoo! No mess here. But there will be wide eyes all around as this spinning vortex unfolds.

What you need

  • Water bottle (with cap) filled with water
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Glitter

What you do

  1. Add a few drops of dishwashing liquid to the bottle of water
  2. Add some glitter to the bottle (as much or as little as you want)
  3. Put lid back on bottle
  4. Stand bottle on table/countertop and quickly spin it around
  5. Let go and admire the spinning vortex that has formed inside the bottle
tornadoinabottle
giphy

14. Walking water

A bit of adult help might come in handy when prepping for this experiment but it’s SO. WORTH IT. This is hands down one of the coolest ways you can teach your kids about water absorption and mixing colours at the same time!

What you need

  • Seven small, clear glasses
  • Paper towels
  • Red, yellow and blue food colouring
  • Jug of water

What you do

  1. Line up all seven glasses in a row
  2. Fill every other glass with water, starting with the first in the row
  3. Add red food colouring to each of the two end glasses
  4. Add yellow food colouring to one of the remaining glasses
  5. Add blue food colouring to the last remaining glass
  6. Make long folded strips from individual sheets of paper towel
  7. Stick one end of a folded strip of paper towel into a glass with water, and the other end into the empty cup beside it
  8. Proceed to add folded strips of paper towel until each cup is “connected” to the one beside it
  9. Wait for a couple hours and then check back to see how the water has “walked” up and down the paper towel to create some additional colours in the extra glasses

15. Flying Popsicle stick chain reaction

It’s like dominoes 2.0 when you try weaving Popsicle sticks to demonstrate potential and kinetic energy. In other words, build, build, build and then release! The instant Popsicle stick show will entertain just about anyone!

What you need

  • Large Popsicle sticks (coloured are more fun)

What you do

  1. Weave Popsicle sticks together just right, as shown here
  2. Build the chain as long as you want, careful to keep pressure on the end sticks as you build (additional hands may be helpful)
  3. Release pressure and watch the instant flying popsicle display that results
popsiclestick
giphy

16. Naked egg

This egg-cellent experiment might not seem super interesting at first, but after your egg takes a nice bath in vinegar for a couple days, the strange bouncy result will blow your kids’ minds!

What you need

  • One egg
  • Vinegar
  • Drinking glass

What you do

  1. Place egg in glass
  2. Gently pour vinegar in glass until the egg is fully covered
  3. Leave egg in vinegar for one to two days and then remove egg
  4. Observe the naked egg now that the shell has completely dissolved

17. Bending water

A simple and fun experiment for kids of all ages. Wow them with your abilities to magically bend water with only a balloon!

What you need

  • An inflated balloon
  • Narrow stream of water from a tap
  • Dry hair

What you do

  1. Turn the tap on so that there is a narrow, steady stream of water
  2. Rub the balloon on hair to create static
  3. Slowly move the balloon toward the water (without touching it)
  4. Be amazed as water bends toward the balloon
bendingwater
giphy