Science Experiments for Kids   Recently updated !


Science Experiments for Kids

Science experiments for kids should be fun and entertaining, as well as educational. The best projects use materials you already have on hand at home and inspire children to wonder about the world around them and how it works. Here is a collection of safe and interesting projects.

Chemical Reactions

Vinegar and Baking Soda Volcano

Chemical Volcano

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Food coloring
  • Clay, homemade dough, or empty bottle

The classic chemical volcano uses safe and non-toxic vinegar and baking soda. However, there are alternative recipes, such as one using yeast and household peroxide. Whichever “recipe” you choose, the resulting eruption mimics how a real volcano forces lava to the surface and erupts.

Blue Borax and Glue Slime

Make Slime

  • Borax
  • School glue
  • Water
  • Food coloring

Slime is a great example of a polymer. There are a few different recipes for making it, although the borax and glue version is the classic. This is a safe project for kids, providing they don’t eat the slime and they wash their hands after using it. For younger explorers, try the edible slime recipes instead.

Elephant Toothpaste Demonstration

Elephant Toothpaste

  • Yeast
  • Household peroxide
  • Food coloring

The yeast and peroxide version of the elephant toothpaste reaction is safe enough for young kids, but not as spectacular as the potassium iodide and peroxide reaction. There are instructions for both versions of this exothermic decomposition reaction.

Egg in Vinegar Experiment

Rubber Bouncy Egg

The acetic acid in vinegar reacts with the calcium carbonate of an egg shell and dissolves it. Meanwhile, it pickles the egg. If you use a hard-boiled egg, the resulting egg bounces like a ball. The project also works with a raw egg, but the yolk does not harden. What do you think happens if you bounce the egg?

Turn Milk Into Plastic

Turn Milk Into Plastic

  • Milk
  • Vinegar

Milk contains the protein casein, which polymerizes or forms a plastic when you mix it with an acid, such as vinegar. Explore the chemistry of the process and see way of turning the project into an experiment.

Bubbles

Twist together pipe cleaners to make a giant bubble wand similar to this store-bought plastic version.

Make Giant Bubbles

  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Corn syrup

There are two key elements for making giant bubbles. First, you make a bubble solution that produces sturdy bubbles. The other part is making a bubble wand that produces giant bubbles. This project includes a few different bubble solution recipes, plus instructions for making your own wand.

Colored Soap Bubbles

Colored Soap Bubbles

  • Bubble solution
  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Phenolphthalein (red) or thymolphthalein (blue)

An adult prepares the bubble mixture because it involves sodium hydroxide (a strong base), but the resulting solution is safe for handling. Really, these are disappearing ink bubbles. The bubble start out either red/pink or blue and become transparent as their pH changes with air exposure.

Crystals

Rock Candy or Sugar Crystals

Grow Sugar Crystals

  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Food coloring (optional)

Sugar crystals are edible, so another name for them is “rock candy.” You want adult supervision starting the crystals because it involves boiling water. After setting up the experiment, kids monitor crystal growth and get sparkling crystals to keep or eat.

Borax Crystal Snowflake

Borax Snowflake

  • Borax
  • Water
  • Pipecleaners

Stir borax into hot water until it stops dissolving and then watch it crystallize around a pipe cleaner shape. Snowflakes are great for holiday decorations, but other options include hearts and stars.

Salt Crystal Geode

Crystal Geode

  • Egg shell
  • Salt
  • Food coloring

Use any type of salt for this project, including inedible ones like Epsom salt or borax. A plaster of Paris shape is an option instead of egg shell, if you prefer. In most cases, the food coloring dyes the shell and not the crystals. However, the color shows up well with transparent crystals. Making the geode glow in the dark is easy, too!

Potassium Alum Crystal

Grow an Alum Crystal

  • Alum
  • Water

Alum finds use in making pickles. It also makes stunning large single crystals. All you need is alum, hot water, and about an hour.

Green Glowing Geode

Glow in the Dark Geode

  • Eggshell or Plaster of Paris
  • Crystal Salt (e.g., Alum, Epsom Salt)
  • Glow Paint
  • Food Coloring (optional)

Since most crystals do not incorporate phosphorescent molecules into their structure, this project works by coating the interior of the geode. Then, the clear or colored crystals glow from within.

Physics

The density of water depends on temperature and purity.

Density Column

  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Food coloring

Mix different amounts of sugar and water and color them. Layer them in a narrow glass for a non-toxic density column. For even more layers, older scientists introduce oil, alcohol, and syrup.

Cartesian Diver science experiment

Cartesian Diver

  • Water bottle
  • Ketchup or soy sauce packet

The Cartesian diver is a simple physics experiment that illustrates the relationship between pressure, volume, and buoyancy.

How to Make Colored Flowers

Colored Flowers

  • White daisies, mums, or carnations
  • Food coloring
  • Water

Explore how osmosis and capillary action deliver food coloring to flower petals, forming stripes and tie-dye effects. Once you master the basics, make rainbow roses or glow-in-the-dark carnations.

Dry Erase Marker Experiment

Floating Dry Erase Marker Shapes

  • Dry erase markers
  • Water
  • Shallow dish

Draw on a plate or dish using a dry erase marker. Carefully add water and watch as your words or pictures detach from the dish and float. This project illustrates the principles of adhesion, density, and solubility.

Boil Water at Room Temperature

Boil Water at Room Temperature

  • Plastic disposable syringe
  • Water

The boiling point of water (or any liquid) depends on the pressure. This is why water boils at a lower temperature in Denver (in the mountains) than it does in Los Angeles (at sea level). Use the biggest syringe you can find so observing the water is easy.

Magic Milk Science Experiment

Magic Milk Science Experiment

  • Milk
  • Food coloring
  • Dishwashing liquid

Adding drops of food coloring to milk is pretty boring. But, adding detergent to the mix creates a swirl of color. This project illustrates diffusion and emulsification. If you choose your colors carefully, it’s a great way of exploring the ways colors mix and form new ones.

How to Make an Electromagnet

Make an Electromagnet

  • Wire
  • Battery
  • Iron nail (optional)

Make a homemade electromagnet with this easy science project and discover ways of making the magnet stronger.

Egg in a Bottle Experiment

Egg in a Bottle

  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Glass bottle
  • Either a match and paper or else hot and cold water

Discover the relationship between temperature and pressure in this classic science experiment. Also learn ways of getting the egg out of the bottle.

Weather

Shaving Cream Rain Clouds

Shaving Cream Rain Clouds

  • Shaving cream
  • Water
  • Food coloring

See how density makes rain fall as water from water vapor clouds. This is a fun and colorful science project for younger explorers.

Making Science Experiments for Kids an Experiment

There is a difference between a science project and a science experiment. A project involves instructions that you follow that yield a desired result. Meanwhile, an experiment applies the scientific method. You make observations, form a hypothesis or make a prediction about what happens if you change a variable, and then test this hypothesis with an experiment.

With these science experiments for kids, think about changing recipes or other factors. Many of the instructions include tips for turning a project into a true experiment. Have fun!