What is the easiest way to get your children or students actively engaged in learning about science? Make it fun! There are so many really awesome and easy science experiments that you can do at home or in the classroom with everyday materials you already have on hand. Whether you are trying to engage a classroom full of inquiring young minds or are just trying to keep the kiddos busy on a rainy Saturday afternoon, these science experiments are just what you need.
This experiment is sure to keep your kids entertained for hours and it is super easy too! Here’s what you will need:
Clean plastic bottle with a lid
Fill your clean plastic bottle most of the way with vegetable oil and fill the bottle the rest of the way (not quite to the top) with water. Add a few drops of food coloring, and break your Alka-seltzer tablet into a few small pieces and drop it in the bottle. Voila, you have a homemade lava lamp! Want to watch your lava lamp glow in the dark? Put a flashlight behind the bottle for a cool night light!
Hot Ice experiment
Here is another experiment that is sure to intrigue your kids. Instead of using frozen water to make ice crystals, what about making ice that is hot to the touch? Here’s what you need:
Heat safe glass measuring cup or jar
4 cups of vinegar (acetic acid)
4 tablespoons of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
Pour the 4 cups of vinegar into the saucepan. Add your 4 tablespoons of baking soda to the saucepan, one tablespoon at a time. There will be fizzing! Stir your fizzing mixture together until the baking soda is dissolved and it stops fizzing. Now you have made sodium acetate, but it’s not ready to make hot ice just yet! You will need to boil the solution over a medium flame for about an hour until there is only ¾ of a cup to one cup of the solution left. There should be white or yellow powdery crystals on the sides of the pot above the liquid. Save those because you are going to need them later. Pour the concentrated solution into a heat-safe glass jar and place it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Now scrape the crystals off of your pan and place them on a glass plate. Very slowly begin pouring the liquid over the crystals on the plate and watch them grow. Keep pouring and your “ice” will continue to get taller and thicker. When you are done growing your “ice,” touch it and see what you find! Your kids or students will find that the finished product is hard like an ice cube, but it is warm to the touch.
Have you ever tried making a volcano out of a lemon? Probably not, but here’s how so you can try it for yourself. You will need:
Use the knife to cut a little bit off of the lemon so that it will sit up on its own. Now cut the other end of the lemon off so that you can squeeze the juice out. Squeeze the lemon juice into the bowl. Now use the spoon to mix inside the lemon, this will release more juice and give you room to add the other ingredients. Now put the lemon on the plate and add a couple of drops of food coloring and a drop or two of dish-washing liquid. Pour the lemon juice back into the lemon. Now add a spoonful of baking soda and watch your lemon volcano erupt.
These are just three of the many science experiments that you can find to encourage a love of science in your kids. As you can see from these simple experiments, you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment or materials to make learning fun!