In the past, science could be a pretty dry subject, but with all of the advances in technology, it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. Gone are the days of just reading the textbooks and testing on what you have learned. Now science can be interactive with computer simulations, video tutorials of experiments, and so much more. But how do you get younger children interested in science? By letting them participate, of course! There are tons of simple science experiments that even young scientists can explore, many of them with household items you already have on hand.
Here are just a few examples of science experiments for young children that you can do at home or in the classroom.
Make ice grow
So, do you have a Disney’s Frozen fan, or perhaps a classroom full of them? Here is a super simple experiment where your child (or students) can make ice grow just like Elsa did in the movie. For this experiment, you don’t need anything more than ice, a cup or bowl to put the ice in, and several bottles of almost frozen water.
Before you begin this experiment, you will need to place the unopened water bottles in the freezer for approximately three hours. You don’t want the water in the bottles to be frozen solid, and you will need to remove the bottles from the freezer gently to keep them from turning into ice before you are ready. Now place some ice cubes in a bowl and start pouring a steady stream of water from the bottles on top of them and watch your ice grow. Your kids will be amazed at their “frozen” powers as they make ice towers.
Exploding sandwich bags
Okay, this experiment is fun but messy, so you might want to take this one outside. For this experiment, you need sandwich bags that zip to close, but for this experiment you want them to be thin, so maybe go for the off-brand instead of the name-brand ones. You will also need white vinegar, baking soda, and a square of toilet tissue or thin paper towel. You can also use a little food coloring if you want to. If you do, just add a few drops of food coloring to the vinegar.
Now that you have your supplies let’s get started! Note: Experimenting with different amounts of vinegar and baking soda is part of the fun of this explosive experiment. Your kids will definitely want you to do this more than once, so be prepared for an encore!
Take your sandwich bag and fill it one third to halfway full with vinegar. Go ahead and add your food coloring here if you want it. Now make little packets for the baking soda out of the toilet paper or paper towels. You are going to want a good spoonful of baking soda in your packet. While you keep the vinegar at one corner of the bag, drop your baking soda packet in the other corner of the bag. Try to leave a good amount of air in the bag and seal it quickly. Now set it down and watch what happens! As the vinegar and baking soda mix, they will begin to foam and expand the bag until eventually…BANG…it pops!
The above are just two of the hundreds, if not thousands, of super simple science experiments that you can do with your little scientists at home or in the classroom. It’s amazing to watch kids’ faces light up as they make connections in their minds while participating in hands-on learning!