Science Experiments For Kids

This is completely off-topic. No knitting here.

My four-year old is one of those inquisitive types. She likes to cross-examine me about any topic that springs to mind. The other night she decided it was “the olden times” so I had to turn out the lights and we got ready for bed by candlelight. And then she asked me “what did people do for cars?”, “what about television?”, clothes, toys, heat, cooking… the works. May the history Gods forgive me, my answers were a jumbled mess of Prehistoric to Regency to WW2. All while sitting in the dark looking at a single candle flame (the wax was apple scented, in case you needed to know).

Another thing she loves to do is “science experiments”. I occasionally have a brain wave for a new one to try, but I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel. Please, if you have good ones, let me know!

Measuring Liquids

You need a measuring jug, glasses of different widths and heights and food dye (cos everyone loves food dye. Have fun getting it off their tiny little fingers!)

Measure the exact same amount of liquid into two different glasses – a fat one and a skinny one. While measuring, get the kid to shout out if you have too little or too much water for a certain measurement.  Don’t forget the food dye. Then ooh and ah over the different heights of the liquid in the fat and skinny glasses.

Pour into different glasses and see what happens.

Then try to make the glasses “sing” by rubbing the rims.

Then clean up the mess.

Safety yadda yadda, glass, young kids, supervision required.

Miscible Liquids

You need oil, water, squash or coke or another liquid that mixes with water and is preferably coloured, a fat straw (or funnel, pipette etc), 2 food dyes and washing-up liquid.

Mix the water and the squash: what happens?

Mix the water and the oil

Try 2 drops food dye in water/oil once it’s settled again (This one’s quite cool, I didn’t realise it would go that way).

Now insert a straw through the oil layer and drop the other food dye directly into the water.

Now ruin it all by adding the washing-up liquid.

:) Minutes of fun, simply minutes!

States of Matter

This is more of a lecture, cos they can’t go around messing with steam.

Get some ice, some water and a kettle.

Let them play with the ice, dunk it into water, see what happens.

Boil some water and show them (from a distance) the steam.

Solid, Liquid, Gas. Voila!

Mystery Ingredients

Take 4 kitchen ingredients that look the same and get the kids to try to identify what they are. We just happen to have coloured ramekins that are perfect for this. Get them to shut their eyes and count. In the red bowl went a teaspoon of flour, pink: teaspoon of table salt, green: icing sugar, yellow: bicarbonate of soda. So you have 4 white powders. Try to identify them by looking closely, mixing in water, mixing in vinegar (this will show up the bicarb), smelling, tasting (this will get the salt and sugar) and then do whatever you have to do to get them to guess flour. Safety note: stress the importance of (especially) not tasting anything mysterious without adult supervision. Also, don’t taste the bicarb. It’s disgusting.

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