Simple Science for Kids

I’ve had the honor of entertaining my nephews this week.  Unfortunately for them, my house is full of pink princesses and baby dolls and absolutely nothing for boys.  Well, we do have a few cars, a few little dinosaurs and one hot wheels toy that I bought for my girls in an effort to broaden their horizons…but a 7 year old boy needs a bit more than that to get excited.

So, what’s an Aunt to do?  First, I suggested we make paper airplanes.  Well, he made one, threw it in the air once, and then he was bored again.  So, I had to bust out of my girl-Mom comfort zone and google “simple science experiments for kids”.  I was specifically looking for ideas that I could execute with things I already have around the house.  Oh, and things that I could even remotely imagine myself doing…as I’m not all that into science.

So, here’s what we did!  He had so much fun!  And I have many more ideas for next time, once I’ve shopped for a few other supplies.

Baking Soda and Vinegar “Volcano”
What you’ll need:
  • Baking Soda (make sure it’s not baking powder)volcano200
  • Vinegar (believe it or not, I used Rice vinegar and Red Wine vinegar because that’s all I had around, and they
    worked just fine!)
  • A container to hold everything and avoid a big mess!  I used a large tupperware bowl.
  • Paper towels or a cloth (just in case)
We chose to do this outside on the driveway, in case it was really messy, but it actually wasn’t a big deal.  We could have done it in the bathtub or on the kitchen counter.
  • Place some of the baking soda into your container.
  • Pour in some of the vinegar
  • Watch as the reaction takes place!

The activity is called “volcano” but really it’s just referencing the volcanic-type reaction, and there is no crafting of a volcano.  Although you could do that!  I let them use food coloring to add to the mixture.  It was colorful briefly, but then everything turned gray.

Swirling Colors Milk
What you’ll need:
  • A flat tray (I used a cookie sheet)swirling-colors-milk-experiment
  • Food coloring (at least 3 different colors)
  • Whole milk – low fat milk will not work for this experiment
  • Liquid soap used for washing dishes
What to do:
  • Carefully pour the milk into the tray so that it just covers the bottom
  • Add about 6-8 drops of different colored food coloring onto the milk in different spots
  • Add about 5 drops of the liquid soap onto the drops of food coloring and watch the show!
  • To clean up, simply pour the colored milk down the drain. (don’t drink it!)

This milk experiment is also often referred to as Color Symphony.  If you look for it online, you’ll find many references to it with varying instructions…each pretty similar, though.

Lava Lamp
DIY-Lava-LampMy daughter recently attended a science camp, where among other things, they made lava lamps. I loved it– so cool! And probably easy to make, I thought. So, I googled that, too, and found these great instructions. There are many “recipes” out there… Here’s a sample. Super fun!

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