3 Science Experiments to Try At Home With Your Children
Conducting science experiments at home is a great way for kids to learn about the world. Experiments are not only enjoyable, but they also teach children about cause and effect and help them develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
You don’t have to be an expert to try science experiments at home with your child. Learning together is part of the fun and very beneficial for kids. It’s helpful to use the correct vocabulary and encourage kids to make predictions. Talk about what they’ve learned and do some research to find out more.
Here are three easy experiments you can do together using household items.
Egg & Toothpaste Experiment
This experiment is not only fun, it also teaches kids about the importance of brushing their teeth. All you need are some sticky notes, lemon juice, cola, eggs and toothpaste.
- Write Juice 1, Juice 2, Cola 1 and Cola 2 on sticky notes and place them on the counter.
- Fill 2 glasses to halfway with lemon juice and 2 with cola and place next to corresponding sticky notes.
- Place one egg in a bowl and squeeze a generous amount of toothpaste onto the egg. Rub toothpaste over the egg until it’s covered in a thick layer. Add another egg to the bowl and repeat.
- Place one egg into a glass with lemon juice and one into a glass with cola.
- Place another two eggs (without toothpaste) into the remaining glasses.
- After 12 hours remove eggs, rinse and pat dry. Place the eggs back with the correct sticky note.
- Observe the texture and colour of the eggs. Why do they look and feel different?
The eggshells in this experiment represent tooth enamel. The purpose of this experiment is to demonstrate the protective properties of toothpaste. The eggs covered with toothpaste will still be white and strong while those which weren’t protected will be discoloured and weak.
This reflects the role toothpaste and fluoride play in preventing stains and cavities. Lemon juice is acidic and wears away surfaces, including enamel, which explains why the eggshell in juice has become very soft. The egg in cola will be much darker.
Coin Gravity Trick
All that’s required for this experiment with gravity is a glass of water, a small piece of cardboard and 5 coins.
- Ask kids to select 5 coins of the same size (10-cent coins work best).
- Fill a cup to 3/4 with water.
- Place a small piece of cardboard over the cup with some overhang at the front.
- Stack the 5 coins on the cardboard over the centre of the cup.
- Flick the cardboard hard (kids might need to practice this without the coins first)
This experiment teaches kids about gravity and inertia. Newton’s first law of motion is that objects in motion will stay in motion, while objects at rest will remain at rest unless they are acted on by an outside force. In this case, both the cardboard and coins are at rest until an outside force (the flick) propels the cardboard into motion. Because the flick is exerted on the cardboard and not the coins, gravity will cause the coins to drop straight into the cup of water.
What child won’t jump at the chance to make a rocket? You’ll need a film canister or an M&M mini’s tube, cardboard, baking soda, tape, scissors, safety goggles and water.
- Roll a piece of cardboard around the canister or tube for the body of the rocket and secure it with tape. Make sure you can still easily get the lid on.
- Make 3-4 fins for the rocket out of cardboard and tape to the bottom.
- Create a cone and tape it to the front of the rocket.
- Put safety goggles on and add one teaspoon of baking powder to the canister, add a little water, and put the lid back on (for a faster take-off add a crushed Alka-Seltzer table to the water).
- Shake the canister and set it on the ground outside.
The rocket should launch into the air. Like the previous experiment, this simple activity demonstrates Newton’s laws. It’s the unbalanced force created by the build-up of gas that pushes the lid off. This then propels the rocket upwards, demonstrating that for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.
Tutoring and STEM Skills
Another very effective way to help your child develop STEM skills at home is by hiring a tutor. Our tutors are highly trained in all science subjects and can assist your student to understand the scientific method and concepts.
One of the difficulties students have with science is that it requires them to process large amounts of information. Our tutors work with students in the comfort of their own home to fill knowledge gaps and give them the support they need to retain learning.
Contact us for a free consultation.