Science activities for kids do not have to be complicated in order for children to learn. Kids of all ages will find the following activities interesting. Most use items you probably have on-hand.
All of the science activities 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. Many times children see science in the same way they see magic tricks. There is fascination and amazement. Use the science activities for kids listed below to enhance the curriculum in your home based daycare.
Water and Oil Fun
Fill a clear plastic bottle (with lid) ¾ full of vegetable oil. Mix water with food coloring and add to fill the rest of the bottle. Make sure the cover is on securely. Tip the bottle in different ways. The water will go through the oil in blobs because oil and water never mix. Water has more density than oil.
See the Air Molecules in an Egg
Place an egg in a bowl. Fill the bowl with hot tap water. When the egg is heated up the molecules expand and many will push themselves out of the egg. You’ll see lots of tiny bubbles rising up.
Use Light Rays to See
Place a coin in the center of a non-clear bowl. Walk backwards slowly, just until you can no longer see the coin. Have someone pour water into the bowl. Keep watching the bowl and you’ll be able to see the coin again. When water is placed in the bowl, the light rays bend over the edge making it possible to see the coin.
This science activity for kids is a little tricky to do because the kids want to stand on tippy-toes and peek. Once they understand what to do, there is amazement.
Place a magnet on top of miniature toy car and secure with a rubber band. Take a second magnet and hold it behind the car (without touching the car). This will make the car move forward.
Hot/Cold Water Mix
Fill one clear glass with hot water and another with ice cold water. Put a few drops of food coloring into each glass. The food coloring will quickly mix with the hot water but not with the cold. How come? Because the tiny molecules in the hot water are moving faster. You’ll see the hotter water at the bottom of the glass will whirl up to the top and take food coloring with it.
Make Curds and Whey
What exactly was Little Miss Muffet eating when that spider came along? Mix one cup of milk with 1/3 cup vinegar in a clear jar. Vinegar turns the milk sour and separates its parts. You’ll see a thick substance on the bottom (the curds) and a watery liquid on top (the whey). Curds are a combination of fat, minerals, and a protein called casein. Curds are used to make cheeses, and the casein is used to make white glue.
*This is one of the science activities for kids that can be used with a nursery rhyme theme.
The Moving Coin
Place an empty 2 liter plastic bottle in the freezer for about five minutes. Place a quarter in a cup of water at the same time. After five minutes take the bottle out of the freezer and immediately cover the top of the bottle with the wet coin. Make sure you completely cover the top. The coin will start moving by itself. This happens because the air molecules inside the bottle moved closer together when the bottle cooled. That left room for extra air to enter the bottle. As soon as the bottle was removed from the freezer, the air molecules warmed up and spread out, leaving no extra room in the bottle. It’s that extra air being pushed out that makes the coin move.
Fill two clear glasses half full of water. Mark the water line on each glass. Leave one glass on your kitchen counter out of direct sunlight. Place the other glass outside in full sun. Leave for several hours. Bring the glass in full sun inside and compare to the glass left inside.
Place two glasses of water outside, one in direct sunlight, the other in the shade. After about an hour, have the children place their finger in each glass. Ask them which one is warmer and why?
Your Eyes and Distance
Make a circle on a blackboard. Have the children look at a circle from across the room, then slowly move forward until they are close enough to touch the circle. How does the circle change?
Look inside Rocks
Cover a rock with a heavy type cloth (twice is better), then hit it with a hammer (adults only!) Be careful of any flying pieces. Show children what the inside of rocks look like.
Salt Water Floating
Find several pairs of identical items. Fill two bowls with water. Make one plain water and the other salt water. Place one pair of items in the two bowls. Find out what will float in salt water.
See Air Space
Crumple a piece of paper and put in into a glass. Turn the glass upside down and push it into a bowl of water. Remove the glass. The paper will stay dry because the air trapped in the glass did not allow water in.
This science activity for kids will produce amazed looks until you tell them why it works.
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