10+ Cool & Easy Science Experiments For Kids

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There are many science experiments for kids that can be done at home. Remember, in one of our posts, Games for 4-Year-olds, we established that the brain learns best during play. 

These experiments will teach kids important science lessons and principles that will help them in school and life, especially if they choose a career in science. 

We’ve got you covered in this post as we have a long list of educational science experiments you can do with your kids in the comfort of your home. 

Please note that the experiments we label hard are still doable, the only difference is that they take more time and need more materials than the others. 

Easy Science Experiments For Kids

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1. Baking soda volcanoes 

Difficulty level: Easy-medium 

Messiness level: High 

Teaches kids about: Earth science and chemical reactions 

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Materials needed 

  • A dish, platter, or plate for the base 
  • A soda bottle or 1-quart mason jar 
  • Nature items like pebbles, leaves, sticks, and flowers 
  • Playdough, you can use salt dough or aluminum foil 
  • Lava (we will tell you how to make your own lava)

Instructions 

You start by building your playdough volcano. First, shape the volcano by wrapping lavender playdough around a soda bottle or a quart glass mason jar. 

You can make this out of paper mache or use a no-cook play dough. Or you can mix a quick batch of salt dough or crumble aluminum foil around a soda bottle to serve as the mountain. 

After you’ve molded your lavender playdough around the jar, cover the platter with the rest of the play dough. Then add the nature landscaping to the foot of the mount. 

Then make the baking soda volcano lava, you will need the following materials: 

  • Warm water 
  • Vinegar 
  • Red food coloring 
  • Dishwasher detergent 
  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda 

First, mix the red food coloring with warm water. Pour it inside the hidden jar inside the volcano. Add six drops of dish soap, two tablespoons of baking soda, and then vinegar. 

After pouring it in, watch as it erupts. Kids love this and find it captivating. Note that the eruption might overflow. 

The science behind baking soda volcanoes 

You can now use this opportunity to explain natural phenomena like earthquakes, volcanoes, etc. to your kids.  

2. Tornado in a jar 

Difficulty level: Easy

Messiness level: Low

Teaches kids about: Weather 

Materials needed 

  • A mason jar 
  • 3 cups of tap water 
  • 1 teaspoon of vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoon of dish soap 
  • Glitter (optional) or other small objects 

Instructions 

Fill the mason jar with water but leave about an inch of space at the top. Pour in the dish soap and vinegar and then close the lid. 

Double-check the cap to ensure that your tornado won’t get free and make a big mess. 

Hold the top of the jar with one hand and place the second hand below and then swirl the jar for 5 seconds. Put it down on the table and watch as the tornado does its thing. 

To wow your kids the more, you can add some glitters or mini legos to the jar. 

The science behind tornado in a jar 

You teach your kids that when you spin water in the jar, a vortex is created in the center. When the water spins, the centripetal force makes the water spin around the vortex to cause a mini-tornado. 

Hurricanes have a vortex too. 

3. Colored celery experiment 

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Difficulty level: Easy

Messiness level: Low

Teaches kids about: Plants 

This experiment teaches kids about plants and makes transpiration real for them. 

Materials needed

  • Celery stalks that still have their leaves on to show the colors 
  • Jars 
  • Food coloring 
  • Water 

Instructions 

Get about 6 jars and pour water up to half of its height. Add different food colors to these jars and allow your kids to put the celery stalks in the colored water. 

Get a science notebook for them where they are to record their observation, this will help them to think like scientists and learn the act of tracking changes. 

Leave the celery stalks in the colored water overnight. The next day, your children will observe that the celery stalks have picked the color of the water they were left in. 

The science behind colored celery experiment 

You explain to your children that this is the process of transpiration in which the xylem in the plant sucks up the water like a straw and the water moves through the plant, from the roots to the leaves. 

One amazing thing about this experiment is that your kids can see the capillaries once they are colored. 

Allow your kids to record their observations in their science notebooks. They will notice that the celery stalks with more leaves drank more of the colored water than the ones with fewer leaves. 

The conclusion is that leaves need water too. 

Fun Science Experiments For Kids

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1. Rain cloud in a jar 

This super fun experiment will teach your kids how clouds are formed. It will help them understand from a young age the physical changes and reactions that happen when clouds form in the atmosphere. 

They will also learn new weather vocabulary and the types of clouds and where they form in the sky. Adult supervision is needed since boiling water is required in this experiment. 

Difficulty level: Medium

Messiness level: Low

Teaches kids about: Weather

Materials needed 

  • Ice cubes 
  • Aerosol hair spray 
  • Boiling water 
  • Glass jar with lid (use pint mason jar) 
  • Food coloring (optional) 

Instructions 

Pour one cup of boiling water into the glass jar, if you are using the food coloring, add the dye to the hot water before pouring it into the jar. 

Although this is not compulsory, it will help set a difference between the cloud and the water in the jar. It will also make the water look like the sky. Besides, kids love colors. 

Quickly spray hairspray into the jar and cover it immediately with the lid. Have the lid handy and do this step quickly. Put 3 to 5 pieces of ice on top of the lid of the jar and observe what happens. 

The kids should carefully observe and write their observations in their science notebooks. As time passes, the children will see the cloud begin to form. 

After the kids have finished their observation, remove the lid and watch as the cloud moves out of the jar. Ask them if they know why the cloud formed? 

The science behind rain cloud in a jar 

You explain to your kids that clouds are formed from water from the earth’s surface. 

When the earth’s surface is heated, the water evaporates (changes from liquid to gas) and rises into the atmosphere where it cools and condenses (changes from gas to liquid) on microscopic particles like ash, dirt, or dust in the air. 

2. Edible Rock Candy Experiment 

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Difficulty level: Medium

Messiness level: Medium

Teaches kids about: Crystal formation

Kids will love this experiment because it is fun and easy and it also combines a yummy treat. 

Materials needed 

  • 2 to 3 cups of sugar 
  • 1 cup of water 
  • Skewers 
  • A glass or jar
  • A large saucepan 
  • Clothespins 
  • Candy flavoring (Optional)
  • Food coloring (Optional)

You can double or triple the recipe above.

Instructions 

Combine equal parts of sugar and water in a saucepan heat it until all the sugar dissolves. Add more sugar slowly and mix until the sugar no longer dissolves in the water. 

The water should look a little bit cloudy, that’s when you know that no more sugar is dissolving and you have reached the perfect sugar saturation. 

Add candy flavoring if you want and continue to heat the water until it comes to a simmer. Remove the sugar water from the heat and allow it to cool. 

Prepare the candy sticks by: 

  • Cut the skewers to a desirable size for the jars you are using. Then dip these sticks in water and roll them in sugar. 
  • Put the sugar-coated sticks aside and allow them to dry. 

Prepare the jars by: 

  • Pour the cool sugar water inside the jars. Use one jar for each color of rock candy that you want to make. 
  • Once the sticks are dry, place them carefully inside the jars. Make sure the sugar-coated sticks are completely dried before putting them in the jars. 
  • The rock candy requires the sugar on the sticks to grow, if the sugar isn’t well-dried, it will dissolve in water. 
  • Ensure that the sticks are not touching the sides or bottom of the jars. 

Now, let your children sit back and observe the jars. They should check it each day and write down their observations in their science notebook. 

After 3 days, you should start to see growth. By day 5, your children will be eager to eat their rock candy, lol. This experiment also teaches them patience and observation skills. 

After a week, their rock candies should be almost ready, you can now remove them from the jars and give your kids or you grow your candy for a longer period. 

If your kids are ready to eat the rock candy, remove the candy sticks from the jars and place them on a clean surface to dry. Once dried, they can eat. 

The science behind edible rock candy 

Kids learn many things from this experiment: 

1. They learn the chemistry behind candy making 

2. They learn the science of crystal formation

3. Water xylophone 

Difficulty level: Easy

Messiness level: Low

Teaches kids about: Sound waves

Materials needed 

  • Water 
  • 4 or more mason jars 
  • Wooden sticks (you can use bamboo skewers) 
  • Food colorings 

Instructions

Fill the jars with varying levels of water. More water will give a lower sound or pitch and less water will give a higher pitch or sound. 

You can add food coloring in each jar ) use a different color for each jar) to help make different colors for each note. 

Make sure your kids tap the empty jars first to have an idea of the starting sound and you can also leave an empty jar so that they can compare later when the experiment is over. 

Make them predict what they think will happen when they add water, they should write their predictions in their notebooks. 

Now add different amounts of colored water in each jar and have the kids tap and note the difference in sound or pitch. The kids will notice that the more the water, the less the sound, and the less the water, the higher the sound. 

The science behind water xylophone 

This simple experiment teaches kids that sound waves are vibrations and they travel through a medium and in this case, the medium is water. 

When the amount of water in the glasses or jars is changed, the sound waves also change. 

Science Experiments For Preschool and Kindergarten Kids

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1. Glowing water beads experiment for kids 

Difficulty level: Easy

Messiness level: Low

Teaches kids about: Chemistry 

Materials needed 

Instructions 

Take 3 clean glass cups and arrange them in a row. Pour tonic water into each glass cup but don’t fill them, they should be half-filled. This will create enough space for the water beads to bulge. 

Ask your children to drop a few non-toxic water beads in the glass cups. They shouldn’t put too many so that the cup won’t be too tight for them. 

Put only one color of water beads in each cup, don’t mix colors. Leave the glass cups and their contents to settle for one hour or more. Make sure the beads have developed a nice round shape and have stopped absorbing water. 

Now ask your kids to tell you the difference between the regular and tonic water beads and they should write it down in their notebooks. You explain to them that the tonic water beads are smaller slightly than the regular ones and they are also stickier. 

The sugar in the tonic water is responsible for this change. 

Once the water beads are ready in the glass cups, drain the excess tonic water if any is left in the glass cups. Then turn off the lights or take the cups to a dark room and turn on your blacklight or UV light. 

Your kids will be amazed by these beautiful glowing beads. 

The science behind glowing water beads 

This experiment is teaching young kids about the role of quinine. Tonic water does not glow or shine under normal light but shines when exposed to UV light because quinine is present in tonic water and it is a strong fluorescent compound. 

When UV light is shone on tonic water, the phosphorus in quinine absorbs the invisible light and reflects the light energy back and this reflection is visible to the human eye. 

Please note that water beads are not edible, so kids have to be supervised during this experiment. 

2. Fizzy lemonade 

This simple and fun experiment teaches preschoolers the chemical reactions and what happens when an acid is mixed with a base. 

Difficulty level: Easy

Messiness level: Low

Teaches kids about: Chemistry 

Materials needed 

  • 1 to 2 lemons 
  • A teaspoon of baking soda (Bicarbonate of soda) 
  • Cold water (same amount as that of the lemon juice)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar 
  • Juicer 
  • Spoon 
  • Measuring spoon 
  • And glass 

Instructions

Slice the lemons and give your child to extract the juice. Then sieve the juice into the glass. Let your kid add the teaspoon of baking soda, stir, and watch in amazement, as the bubbles form and rise. 

Then your kid should add sugar to the cold water and pour it into the lemon juice and baking soda in the other container. Stir and drink their lemonade. 

As they drink it, ask them what they notice, what they feel on their tongue, and why isn’t the second reaction as big as the first one? 

The science behind fizzing lemonade 

Kids learn chemical reactions that produce carbon dioxide which are the bubbles present in fizzy drinks. 

From this experiment, you teach kids that lemon juice (an acid) reacts with baking soda (a base) to form a chemical reaction called acid-base reaction. 

This reaction produces carbon dioxide which creates bubbles and the process is called carbonation. 

3. Ice and salt experiment 

Difficulty level: Easy

Messiness level: Low

Teaches kids about: Chemistry 

Materials needed 

  • Bowls 
  • Paintbrush 
  • Coarse salt 
  • Watercolors or food coloring 
  • Blocks of ice 

Instructions 

You start with the ice, remember to swill the ice with warm water before letting your children play with it. It will start the melting process and prevent their fingers from sticking in the ice. 

This experiment needs adult supervision all through. 

Place the ice block on your granite chopping board, you can place some towels at the side if it is slippery to keep it in place. Use several bowls to add the food coloring or watercolor.

Set aside an extra bowl of water to swill the color off the paintbrush. 

Once you’ve set everything, pour the coarse salt on the ice. Your kids will hear the ice cracking as the salt starts making tiny carters before their eyes. 

They will see all the little channels that are beginning to form. This is a very interesting scene to watch and kids will love it. 

Now, give them the paintbrush to start painting the salt. They will notice that the color sits on the salt brightly before they are soaked down and through the craters in the ice. 

As the salt sinks through the colors, the colors on top of the ice will begin to fade. The colors will work their way through the ice and create beautiful and colorful water trails. 

The science behind ice and salt experiment 

This experiment teaches kids the chemistry of water and explains why all these happened and why the ice melted. 

Water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius to form ice, this is called the freezing point of water. When you add salt to ice, it lowers the freezing point and prevents the ice from forming. 

This reaction happens because the molecules of salt are moving faster than that of water. 

Then you let them know that this is why grit is sprinkled on roads when it’s snowy and frosty. It prevents the ice from forming and makes it safer for cars and people to move.  

Cool Science Experiments For Kids

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1. Insect hotels 

An insect hotel is also known as an insect house or bug hotel. According to Wikipedia, an insect hotel is a manmade structure made to provide shelter for insects. 

Kids will love this experiment, and if you have a garden, it will be beneficial to it as it will boost insect pollination in your garden. 

An insect hotel also attracts helpful insects that prey on pests thereby reducing your use of pesticides which are dangerous to humans and soil. 

Difficulty level: Medium 

Messiness level: Medium 

Teaches kids about: Zoology 

Materials needed

  • A wood box, you can make yours if you have woodcraft skills or buy this
  • White glue 
  • Hot glue gun and glue 
  • Bug-friendly nesting materials like burlap, wool, yarn, straw, dried flowers, leaves, rocks or pebbles, bamboo, bark, sticks, and newspaper scraps. 

Instructions 

Explain the whole aim of this experiment to your kids and ask them to go and hunt for buggy materials. Gather the materials and break them into smaller pieces. You can use a hacksaw to cut a bamboo stick down. 

Make sure that your materials fit tightly in a compartment before gluing them in. Put a layer of white in each compartment and glue it to the objects. Use hot glue for heavy objects like a  rock. 

Repeat the steps above, glue the materials into each compartment and allow the glue to dry for a few days. When it dries thoroughly, hang it and open it for business. 

Place your insect hotel near a vegetable garden to attract lots of pollinators like bees, and even pest controllers like ladybugs and earwigs. 

Tips for insect hotels 

  • Don’t add food scraps, nuts, or acorns or else you would attract flies 
  • If your insect hotel will be exposed to rain and snow, then apply a satin finish so your boxes don’t deteriorate. It is best placed on a covered porch. 
  • Warn your kids not to stick their fingers in the compartments to see if any insect has moved in because they can be biters there like black widows. 
  • Avoid plastic materials, they harbor mold which is dangerous to insects 
  • Small is better, big holes increase the risks of parasites moving in and their larvae will destroy that of other insects
  • It is possible to design your insect hotel to suit specific insects. All you need to do is research the materials they need to nest and use them in your designs. 

The science behind insect hotels 

With this, you can discuss the importance of insects in the ecosystem with your kids. You can teach them the job of each bug in the garden, talk about the food chain, food webs, and how each animal including the insects plays an important part in the ecosystem. 

You can also teach your children where each insect goes during winter; some migrate to warmer locations, some lay eggs, while some go into hibernation or they overwinter as larvae so they can survive. 

You can watch this interesting documentary with your kids about insect lives during winter. 

2. DIY Lava Lamp 

Difficulty level: Easy

Messiness level: Medium 

Teaches kids about: Chemical reactions 

Kids will love this super cool science experiment involving colored water and oil. 

Materials needed 

Instructions 

Get 2 glasses and pour water in each cup until it gets to half. Add food colorings like these gel food colors to make the colors vibrant and the experiment more interesting for kids. 

Break the Alka seltzer tablets into 2 or 3 pieces and put them in a small container or cup. 

Then pour vegetable oil in a glass cup (about ¾ ) and then pour in the colored water, stop when the liquid is about 1 to 2 inches away from the top. 

Don’t make the experiment messy and a way to do that is to prevent overflow. 

Now allow your children to take turns adding a piece of Alka seltzer tablet to the cup. Don’t allow them to put the tablet in their mouth. 

The science behind DIY lava lamp 

This experiment will teach your kids from a young age that oil and water do not mix and the oil does not change color because the food coloring is water-soluble. 

The bubbles attach themselves to the blobs of colored water and bring them to the top of the glass. The blobs of colored water fall back to the bottom of the glass when the bubbles pop. 

This experiment wows kids and they will disturb you to do it over and over again. 

3. Magnetic slime 

Please note that this is not a project for kids who still put things in their mouths. 

Difficulty level: Medium

Messiness level: High (the black slime will dye your fingers slightly but it is easy to wash off)

Teaches kids about: Magnets  

Materials needed 

Instructions 

All kids love this experiment because there is something fascinating about watching a liquid move without touching it. 

To make the magnetic slime: 

Pour ¼ cup of white PVA glue into the mixing bowl and use the spoon to scrape all the glue out of the measuring cup. Add 2 tablespoons of iron oxide powder and stir well. 

The mixture will look solid black but it would look like Oreo cookie crumbs. Pour in 1/8 cup of liquid corn starch. And stir the glue and starch mixture very well to make sure it is well mixed. 

As soon as you start stirring, the starch and glue will react to form the slime. Then knead the slime with your hands to form a semi-solid shape. 

If the starch is too much, you will know by seeing unmixed starch in the bowl and on the slime, then rinse the slime under cold water for a few seconds. 

If your slime is too sticky, knead in a little starch and it is too stringy, add in a little glue. 

Also, if the slime doesn’t respond to your magnet, then the problem is from your magnet. It means the strength of the magnet is weak. 

If you don’t want to make the slime, you can purchase already-made magnetic silly putty, it comes with a magnet and does the same thing. 

However, the homemade slime responds better to the magnet than the bought one. 

When your slime is ready, give your kid the magnet to catch fun. 

The science behind magnetic slime 

This experiment teaches children about magnetism and its principles. Plastics, rubbers, and other non-magnetic substances won’t attract the slime but only magnets will and this happens because the slime contains iron. 

Conclusion 

We hope this post helps you know various science experiments you can do with your kids from the comfort of your home. 

Lily & The FBM Team
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