Simple science experiments to wow your kids

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Outside of the classroom, trying to keep your kids interested in science can be a difficult task!

But what if you had a few homemade science experiments to hand that’ll keep them engaged and interested in learning? We’ve pulled together four simple science experiments to do at home that will help make your young ones want to do science lessons every day!

The imploding can

With the local pubs all being closed, there’s a chance you may have a few empty drinks cans around the house! So before you pop them in the recycling bin, show your kids a simple trick that demonstrates the science of hot and cold.

What you’ll need:

  • Empty drinks can
  • Frying pan
  • A large bowl of water filled with ice
  • A pair cooking tongs

All you need to do is pour a little bit of water into the cans and place them standing up in a frying pan on your hob. Then, once the cans have heated up a little bit, use a pair of cooking tongs to pick one up and immediately place it upside down in a bowl full of ice. As soon as the can hits the ice, the sides will crush in together like it has been trodden on!

 

The science: Filling the can with steam (created by heating up the water inside) and then exposing that steam to cold water causes it to condense back into water. This leaves no gas particles on the inside of the can to push it outwards into its normal shape.  

Make an egg bounce!

For this next eggs-ellent experiment, amaze your young ones with an egg that bounce back up off a hard surface. Our top tip would be to try this science experiment outside just in case it goes wrong!

What you’ll need:

  • An egg
  • White vinegar

The instructions are eggs-tremely straight forward. Put the whole egg into a cup, then fill the cup with white vinegar. Leave it for between 36-48 hours and then pour out the vinegar. You’ll see all the shell has been removed from the egg and if you drop it on the floor – it will bounce. To prove it is still actually an egg, use a knife to pop the egg and the yolk will pour out.

The science: Vinegar is an acid and egg shell is made of calcium carbonate. When calcium carbonate mixes with acid, it dissolves – which means the egg shell dissolves, but the membrane inside the egg remains and is left feeling rubbery. A simple homemade science experiment!

Inflating a balloon through a chemical reaction

This homemade science experiment will really get your kids saying wow! This is all about using everyday items which react with each other to inflate a balloon.

What you’ll need:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • A balloon/plastic glove
  • A glass bottle/jar

Start this simple homemade science experiment by filling your balloon or plastic glove with a few heaped tablespoons of baking soda – don’t overfill it! Next, pour white vinegar into your bottle or jar until its around a third full. Take the filled balloon or glove and carefully stretch it around the top of the container, without tipping any of the baking soda in yet! When the balloon or glove is sealed around the container, pour the baking soda into the vinegar and watch it inflate!

The science: The reaction between baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and vinegar (dilute acetic acid) generates carbon dioxide gas and causes the balloon or glove to inflate. 

Create your own groovy lava lamp

An art-meets-science experiment, this is one your kids will find very cool! With a few ingredients, you can build your very own lava lamp and how it works is all down to science.

What you’ll need:

  • Water
  • A clear plastic bottle
  • Vegetable oil
  • Food colouring
  • 5 x Alka-Seltzer (or other tablets that fizz)

Fill the plastic bottle with water until it’s around a quarter full, then top the rest of the bottle up with the vegetable oil. Once the water and oil have separated out, add around 10-15 drops of food colouring into the bottle – use any colour you like! Take your Alka-Seltzer tablets, break them into smaller pieces and add the first piece into the mixture. Watch your lava life come to life, then once the bubbles have settled, add another piece of the tablet in!

The science: We all know that oil and water don’t mix too well, so in the bottle the oil will separate from the water at the top of the bottle, as it has a lower density. The food colouring will mix with the water, and the pieces of Alka-Seltzer tablet you drop in release small bubbles of carbon dioxide gas that rise to the top and fizzes up some of the food colouring too. The fizzing from the tablets is caused by acid and baking soda reacting.