3 Fun Science Experiments That Kids Can Do At Home

by Elizabeth Peters December 26, 2016

3 Fun Science Experiments That Kids Can Do At Home

Many kids find science to be boring, but science is so much more than just a bunch of boring facts in a book. If your child is struggling to stay interested in his science lessons, show him how cool science can be by performing these easy-to-do science experiments with things you probably already have lying around the house.

 

Build a Powered Model Boat

What you need:

  • A foam tray of piece of cardboard
  • A tray, bowl, or cookie sheet filled with water
  • Liquid dish soap
  • A toothpick

Directions:

Cut the foam or cardboard into a boat shape that is about 2 inches long, making a small triangular notch at the back of the boat. Then dip the toothpick into the liquid soap and use it to put soap on the sides of the notch you made at the back of the boat. Place the boat onto the surface of the water and it should glide across the water for several seconds on its own. Each time you wish to make the boat glide across the water, you will need to empty the bowl or tray and fill it with fresh water.

What you learn:

Soap is a surfactant meaning that it breaks down the surface tension of the water. By breaking down the surface tension it creates force strong enough to push the boat across the water.

 

Blobs in a Bottle

What you need:

  • A 1 liter clear soda bottle (clean)
  • ¾ cup of water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Alka Seltzer tablets
  • Food coloring

Directions:

Pour the water into the bottle and then use a funnel to slowly pour the vegetable oil into the bottle until it is almost full. Wait a few minutes to allow the oil and water time to separate then add 10 drops of food coloring to the bottle and watch as the drops pass through the oil and mix with the water below. Break a seltzer table in half and drop it into the bottle. The tablet will sink to the bottom of the bottle and colored blobs will begin to form. You can give the bottle a lava lamp effect by shining a flashlight underneath the bottle.

What You Learn:

The oil stays above the water because the oil is less dense than the water and the oil and water do not mix because of intermolecular polarity. Molecular polarity means that water molecules are attracted to other water molecules while oil molecules are attracted to other oil molecules, but the make-up of water and oil molecules do not allow them to bond together, like the opposite sides of a magnet.

 

Use Static Electricity to Bend Water

What you need:

  • A plastic comb
  • A faucet (indoors)

Directions:

Turn on the faucet and turn down the faucet to make a very thin stream of flowing water. Brush the comb through your hair ten times then slowly bring the comb close to the water, but don’t actually touch the water with the comb. The stream of water should bend towards the comb.

What you learn:

Your hair contains electrons, which are negatively charged (static electricity). The water contains positrons, which are positively charged. Things with a negative charge are attracted to things with a positive charge, so the negatively charged comb’s attraction to the positively charged water is so strong that it is actually able to pull the water towards it.




Elizabeth Peters
Elizabeth Peters

Author

Elizabeth Peters is a mother of two and freelance writer who specializes in the parenting/family niche. When she is not writing for clients she can be found blogging about parenting on her own blog at TheMommyVortex.com. She currently resides in Alabama with her husband and two young children. Connect with her on Twitter: @themommyvortex


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