Easy Science Experiments for Kids
Imagine blowing the biggest bubbles imaginable — or even making bubbles within bubbles. Or sending vessels — rockets, tea bags, airplanes — soaring through the sky for impossible distances. Now imagine making things explode, or change colors, or reveal hidden messages with just a few simple mixtures.
None of this is magic. It’s all science that you can do at home, most likely with ingredients you already have in your house. So, next time you need a boredom-busting indoor activity on a rainy day or a DIY project to get their minds humming, try one of these best at-home science experiments for kids, which cover topics like cover magnetism, surface tension, astronomy, chemistry, physics and more.
First off, it’s good to start them off with the scientific method. Give them a journal to record their observations, questions, hypotheses, experiments, results and conclusions. As always, safety counts: wear goggles and coats or aprons if need be (sometimes kids get a kick out of how scientific the protective gear makes them look), and always make sure that the kids are supervised when doing them. (Warning: Some of these are messy!)
Milk Bottle Xylophone
No for an experiment in sound!
Arrange six glass jars or bottles, all the same size with no lids, in a line. What will each jar sound like when you tap it with a spoon? Make a prediction, then tap each jar. Record your observations.
Next, put water in each of the jars. Pour 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) of water into the first jar. Add 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) of water to the second jar. Continue in 1⁄4-cup increments, adding 3⁄4 cup (180 ml) of water to the third jar, 1 cup (240 ml) of water to the fourth jar, 11⁄4 cups (300 ml) of water to the fifth jar, and 11⁄2 cups (360 ml) to the sixth jar. Add a couple of drops of food coloring to each jar.
What will each jar sound like? Will they sound the same or different than when the container was empty? Will they sound the same or different from one another? Record your predictions.
Tap each jar with a metal spoon. Write down your observations about each jar’s pitch (how high or low a sound is) in your notebook.
Sound waves are created by vibrations, which are back-and-forth movements that are repeated again and again. Pitch depends on the frequency of the waves — how many are created each second. A high pitch is created by high-frequency sound waves, and can sound squeaky. A low pitch is created by low-frequency sound waves, and sounds deep and booming.
When you tapped the jar, it vibrated. The vibrations traveled from the jar to the water to the air and eventually to your ears. The jars with more water had a low pitch. The sound waves vibrated more slowly because they had more water to travel through. The jars with less water had higher pitches. The sound waves vibrated faster because they had less water to travel through. A jar with no water in it makes the highest pitch because it has the least substance to travel through.
This one will really get them into brushing their teeth once they scientifically prove all the good things that toothpaste can do.
Write on sticky notes: Soda 1, Soda 2, Juice 1, and Juice 2. Place them in a row on a counter.
Fill two glasses halfway with brown soda and place behind the Soda 1 and Soda 2 sticky notes. Fill two glasses halfway with lemon juice and place behind the Juice 1 and Juice 2 sticky notes.
Carefully place one egg in the bowl. Squeeze a big dollop — about one tablespoon — of toothpaste on top of the egg and gently rub the toothpaste all around with your hands until the egg is completely covered in a thick layer of toothpaste. Repeat with a second egg.
Gently submerge the toothpaste-covered eggs into the liquids: one egg in the glass labeled Soda 1 and the other egg in the glass labeled Juice 1. Wash and dry your hands.
Gently submerge the remaining eggs, without toothpaste on them, in the remaining glasses: one in the glass labeled Soda 2 and the other in the glass of juice labeled Juice 2. Wash and dry your hands. Leave the eggs in the glasses for 12 hours.
After 12 hours, remove the eggs from the glasses of soda one at a time. Rinse them in cool water and pat them dry with the towel. Place each egg by the sticky note of the glass it was in. Are the eggs the same or different colors?
Remove the eggs from the glasses of juice one at a time. Rinse them under the faucet and pat them dry. Place each egg by the sticky note of the glass it was in. Feel the eggs gently. Does one feel stronger or weaker than the other?
Write down your observations in your science notebook.
The eggshells in this experiment represent the enamel (outer coating) on your teeth. Toothpaste cleans your teeth and prevents stains: it removes food and drink particles that are stuck on your teeth. Teeth can be stained easily by dark-colored liquids like cola, coffee or tea. The egg without toothpaste will be brown and discolored. The egg covered in toothpaste was protected from turning brown.
Toothpaste also protects your pearly whites from decay (breaking down). The egg without toothpaste left in the lemon juice was worn down and soft to the touch, while the egg that was protected with toothpaste is stronger. The lemon juice is acidic, and those acids broke down the shell just as acidic drinks can wear away your tooth enamel. When a tooth is worn down, a cavity can form more easily. But the fluoride in toothpaste mixes with your saliva to create a protective coating around your tooth enamel. It helps keep your teeth strong and cavity-free.