The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
You do not have to be an expert in the field to teach your kids about the wonder of science. You also do not need to enroll your kids in spendy classes or summer camps to learn more about their world. With a little creativity, you can create a host of fun science experiments at home. Here are five cool science experiments that you can do in the comfort of your home while you stimulate those little minds to learn more about the world around them.
This classic science experiment will build anticipation all the way through its climactic end. All you need is an empty plastic soda bottle, dish soap, cold water, white vinegar, and baking soda. You can also add food coloring to add a splash of extra fun. The ingredients combine to create a chemical reaction. By shaking up the bottle, there is not enough room for the gas to spread, causing an explosive eruption that will delight kids of all ages. Be sure to do perform this experiment outside unless you want a big mess on your hands.
This activity is ideal for young children just learning how to make things with simple ingredients that you already have on hand. All you need to make your own playdough is flour, water, oil, salt, and cream of tartar. You can combine different shades of food coloring to make new colors of playdough. Or try experimenting with different scents by adding ingredients such as vanilla extract, cinnamon, or scented essential oils. There is no limit to the fun that you will have making your own soft playdough.
Own Your Copy Today!
Give your child hours of scientific fun by helping them to make a hands-on play table. Young kids will enjoy a water activity table in the backyard that allows them to experiment with the mechanics of water such as how it flows and pours through various objects. Older children will gain a lot of understanding of river formations in varying landscapes by constructing a stream table. When creating this type of table, be sure to add in a wide range of terrains ranging from hills to valleys so that your child can experiment with different topographies.
Make beautiful crystals with just a few ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. All you need to make these crystals is Epsom salt, hot water, and food coloring. Because salt can dissolve better in hot water than cold, it is easy to make crystals as hot water begins to cool. You need Epsom salt to try this experiment because the unique shape of these specific molecules causes them to form long crystals. After the salt has dissolved, transfer the mixture to the refrigerator so that it cools and expedites the crystal formation. If you want to keep the crystals, you can simply scoop them out and put them in a small jar. This is a great use for baby food jars. Create an entire menagerie of colorful crystals to line up on your windowsill.
You can teach your child about weather patterns by making your own water cycle in a jar. For this experiment, you need a glass canning jar, a ceramic plate, ice cubes, and hot water. Pour two ounces of hot water into the jar and then cover with the plate. Wait for approximately three minutes and then place four ice cubes on the top of the plate. The cold plate will then cause the moisture inside the jar to begin to condense and form water droplets. You can explain to your children that this is also what happens in the atmosphere outside. As warm and moist air meets the cooler air at higher elevations, water vapor condenses and forms precipitation that then falls to the ground in the form of rain or snow.
All five of these science experiments will engage your children and pique their curiosity about the natural world. By choose age-appropriate activities, you will reach your child at their skill level while also supporting their learning and keeping them entertained with activities that they can perform.