Elementary Science Activities

girl looking at grass

Elementary science activities are the most basic of experiments. Sometimes simple really is best.

All of the elementary science activities 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.


Tent Cave-In

Fold a sheet of paper in half like a tent. Place the open “tent” near the edge of a table, with the open side facing you. With your mouth level with the edge of the table, blow air through the tent. Doing so will cause the tent to fall down because blowing air under it causes the air pressure to drop. When that happens, the higher air pressure above the tent causes it to cave in.



The Egg in the Bottle Trick

This trick is simple. You’ll need a small necked jar (slightly smaller than the egg), some hot water and a peeled hard boiled egg. Pour boiling water into the jar. Shake it around and pour it out. Place the egg on the opening of the jar and watch it drop into the bottle.


Matter Doesn’t Share Space

No two forms of matter can share the same space at the same time. This simple experiment proves it. Fill a glass about half full of water. Use masking tape to mark the water level on the outside of the glass. Next, tip the glass slightly and add some solid matter, such as rocks or marbles. Tip the glass upright again and you’ll see the water level is higher than it was before.


Find the Fat in Food

Divide a sheet of paper into nine squares. Choose several foods and rub a small amount of one food in each square. Label each square with the food used. Wait ten minutes and then examine the paper. The fatty foods will have left a greasy stain.

*Try using potato chips, banana, butter or margarine, peanut butter, or milk.


Where’s the Salt?

Fill a glass with warm water to the brim. Very slowly, add ½ cup of salt to the water, stirring very slowly. You should be able to add all the salt to the glass of water without having it overflow. Why? Molecules of water have space between them and the salt simply fills in the spaces.

*Another way to show this is to use a jar of rocks and pour sand into it. The sand will fill up the spaces between the rocks.


Ice Cube on a String

Place an ice cube in a glass of water. Place a string so that one end is on the ice cube and the other end is hanging over the edge of the glass. Sprinkle salt on the ice cube and wait 5 minutes. You’ll be able to lift the ice cube out of the water using the string. This happens because the salt lowers the temperature of the water and the ice cube melted a little. When the ice refroze the string was trapped.


Make a Plant Picture

Fill a large flat cake pan with soil. Use a knife tip (adults only) to draw a picture in the soil. Plant radish seeds in the grooves you made with the knife. Make sure to follow the package directions for depth and distance apart. Cover the seeds with soil. Place in a sunny location and water regularly. After a few days the seeds will sprout and form the drawn picture.


See Your Bones

Hold the palm of your hand over a good bright flashlight. You should be able to see your own finger bones and joints when light waves pass through your hand.

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