Doing cool and fun science experiments with kids is a great way to keep them entertained while they learn. What’s more, a lot of them can be done with stuff you probably have around the house anyway. If you don’t have the necessary materials, or aren’t comfortable doing the experiment yourself (or it’s a bit too messy), you can show your kids one of the videos below.
Make rock candy
Making rock candy teaches kids about the process of crystallization – then they get to eat the results.
Make edible glass
Teach kids how opaque substances become transparent glass. Also show them how actors break glass in films.
Make butter at home
Show kids how liquids can turn into solids through agitation and let them serve their own home-made butter.
Let kids see how plants grow and teach them about the importance of sustainability and avoiding waste.
Make ice cream at home (in 10 minutes)
Teach kids about freezing points and how salt can change them by making some yummy ice cream.
Keep apple slices white
Have kids learn about oxidation as they figure out how to stop apple slices from going brown.
Dissolve an eggshell with vinegar
Show kids how acids work by dissolving an eggshell with vinegar.
Open a watermelon with rubber bands
This one teaches kids about the power of pressure. It’s straightforward but very messy so this might be one to watch on video.
Challenge your kids to identify foods without seeing or smelling them
Show your kids how their sense of smell is linked to their sense of taste by having them try to identify foods they can’t see or smell.
Make a DNA model out of soft sweets
Explain DNA to your kids with the help of soft sweets like liquorice and marshmallows
Make a solar oven
Teach your children the basics of solar power and heat transfer by making a solar oven.
Freeze water instantly
Show children the power of agitation by freezing water instantly. You can use this experiment as a way to make ice for slushies.
Make frost in a can
Show kids how salt can alter the freezing point of water by having them make frost in a can, not matter what the time of year.
Make tea bag rockets
Let kids see the effect of warm air rising and how it can pull physical objects up with it.
Extract DNA from fruit
Teach your children about the building block of life by having them extract it from fruit.
Give kids a hands-on demonstration of the fermentation process by growing yeast and see how the ethanol produced can inflate a balloon.
Grow your own mould
Teach children about fungus by growing mould on bread.
Turn milk into plastic
Teach kids about structure, the properties of matter and chemical reactions by turning milk into plastic. You can put the milk plastic into biscuit cutters to make ornaments.
Making slime teaches kids about polymers and chemical reactions. There are loads of recipes and instructions out there. Here’s our favourite video.
Teach your kids about non-Newtonian fluids with the help of Oobleck.
Microwave ivory soap (or any soap that floats)
Teach your kids about Charles’ Law. This states that as the temperature of a gas increases, so does its volume. Any soap that floats has pockets of air inside it. When the soap is heated, the molecules move more quickly with the result that they move further away from each other and the soap expands.
Make a lava lamp
Making a lava lamp teaches kids about liquid density.
Make invisible ink
Making invisible ink teaches kids all about oxidization.
Make a walking rainbow
Making a walking rainbow teaches kids about capillary action
Show the power of soap
Teach kids why it’s important to wash their hands with this fun experiment which explains the surface tension of water and shows the power of soap!
Fill a balloon with carbon dioxide
Kids learn about acid base reactions by filling a balloon with carbon dioxide.
Make a marshmallow catapult
Kids learn about physics while flinging food about!
Make a parachute (for a light toy)
Kids learn about gravity by making a parachute for a (light) toy.
Turn a penny green
Teach kids about oxidation at the cost of just a penny!
Make flowers change colour
Show kids how flowers take up water (through capillary action) by making flowers change colour.
Make art with a coffee filter
Give your kids a basic lesson in chromatography with the help of a coffee filter
Make magic arrows
Show your kids the power of refraction by making arrows change direction through a glass of water.
Make a rainbow with oil and water
Teach kids about density by making a rainbow out of oil and water.
Make a rainbow with fire
Give your kids a lesson in chemical reactions by showing them how different substances produce flames of different colours when they are burned.
Make a fire water balloon
Show kids how water can absorb heat by letting them see a balloon float above a burning candle.
Mix lights of different colours
Let kids see how primary colours interact to form secondary colours. You can take this as an opportunity to teach older kids about the properties of light.
Make fizzy drink fireworks
Technically this is a display of nucleation in which the carbon dioxide in the fizzy drink is attracted to the Mentos. In practice, this is one of the world’s most classic kids’ science experiments.
Make colours disappear
Teach kids about chemical reactions by using bleach to make colours disappear.
Make music with jars of water
Show your kids how jars with different amounts of water in them produce different sounds
Make pan pipes/a pan flute with drinking straws
Teach your kids about how air makes sound and give them a fun toy.
Cut ice with a fishing line
Pressure reduces the melting point of ice and makes it easier to cut. The technical name is regelation.
Fish for ice
Show your kids how salt influences the melting point of ice.
Make rainbow instant ice
Show your kids crystalization in action and make some cool art.
Make a paper airplane
Talk your kids through aerodynamics with the help of a paper plane.
Make a paper windmill
Use this to teach children about energy transfer and about the importance of sustainability.
Make a bottle of rice float
Have fun teaching your kids about friction
Balance forks on a toothpick
Let your kids see how you can balance anything as long as you can find its centre of gravity.
Make a sundial
Show kids how the sun moves round the earth with the help of a sundial. You can do this at any time of year as long as there’s light for a part of the day.
Make a compass
Teach kids about magnetism (and anything related to travel, mapmaking and direction) by making your own compass.
Make a thermometer
What better way to teach kids about temperature than to make your own thermometer and use it?
Build a tower of paper cups
This experiment combines physics and engineering with a whole lot of fun.
Make a lemon volcano
Teach kids about chemical reactions with a lemon volcano!
Make your own water filter
Teach your kids how to clean dirty water. Older children can learn about the importance of preserving fresh water resources.
Put an egg into a bottle
Show kids how suction can pull an egg into a bottle
Float an egg in salt water
Teach kids about density and buoyant force by making an egg float in salt water
Make a potato battery
Teach kids about chemical reactions by making a potato battery. Then try making batteries with other vegetables and fruits (lemons are good) and see what works best.
Make a rain storm in a jar
Teach your kids about the weather with this easy experiment.
Create a tornado in a bottle
This is a great way to show your kids how gravity works.
Make fake blood
Teach kids about the properties of blood while they get messy.
Make a volcano
This may be the classic kids’ science experiment. It includes earth science, chemistry and geology. It’s also a lot of fun!