There are lots of easy science projects for kids. Science activities do not have to be complicated in order for children to learn. Sometimes simple really is best.
All of the easy science projects for kids in this section can be used alone or as part of a theme. Either way, children are fascinated learning about the way the world works. Use the easy science activities listed below to enhance the curriculum in your home based daycare.
See Things Bigger
Make a pinhole in an index card. Close one eye and look through the pinhole with the other eye. Bring a small object close to the pinhole. It will look much bigger. This is because the pinhole cuts down the amount of light that enters your eyes. Because the light waves are concentrated things appear bigger than they are.
*Try looking at the stars through a long tube. Use two empty paper towel tubes taped together. The stars will appear much bigger and clearer.
Create Your Own Rainbow
In early morning or late afternoon (when the sun is close to the horizon), stand with your back to the sun, and make a cascade of water using a garden hose. You should see a rainbow. This is caused by light beams going from air through water.
On a few strips of paper make a large spot of color with a felt tipped marker. Use a different color for each strip. Fill a jar with water and hang the strips around the edge of the jar making sure the strip is partially in the water, and the spots on the strips are hanging over the edge of the jar on the dry end. Wait 30 minutes or so for the water to move up the paper strips to the spots of color. As the water dissolves the colors they will separate. Orange will become red and yellow, purple will become blue and red, etc.
*Black is fun because it separates into several different colors. Black markers of different brands will separate into different colors depending on how they were manufactured.
Air Pressure Magic
Partly fill a glass with water. Hold a piece of stiff cardboard over the opening of glass. Keep holding the cardboard tightly in place and turn the glass upside down. Remove your hand from the cardboard. The upward pressure of the air will hold the cardboard in place and the water will not spill out.
Lightly wet one slice of bread. Lightly rub it on your countertop and then place it in a sealed plastic bag. Place a dry slice of bread in another sealed bag. Place both bags in a dark closet for a couple of days. Mold needs moisture and darkness to grow. After a few days, remove the bread from the bags and examine them with a magnifying glass. The wet slice should have grown quite a bit of mold, the dry slice very little.
Make Pennies Shiny and a Nail Copper
Mix a pinch of salt with ¼ cup of vinegar. Place a few pennies into the mixture. Add a new nail to the mixture. Wait 15 minutes and remove the coins and nail. The pennies will be bright and shiny and the nail will be coated with copper. This happens because the vinegar cleaned the copper. The copper, when combined with vinegar, formed a compound called copper acetate. The copper in the copper acetate covered the nail in copper.
Make a Simple Rain Gauge
Use a large glass jar with a mouth as wide as the bottom. Place it in an area where extra rain or leaves won’t fall into the jar. After a rainfall use a ruler to measure the water. You can measure one rainfall at a time (make sure to dump the water out between rainfalls) or measure the total rainfall for a week or month at a time.
Take Care of a Cocoon
Collect a cocoon, making sure to collect the twig and leaves it’s attached to. Place the cocoon in a glass jar with netting over the top. The jar should be kept in a cool place away from direct sunlight. Add a wet paper towel to keep the air in the jar moist. It shouldn’t take long before you can watch a butterfly emerge.
*As far as easy science projects for kids go... this one is truly a favorite.
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