Most parents (92%) would like their children to know more about science, according to a survey conducted by the global science company 3M. In order for that to happen, kids need to learn about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects not only at school but also at home.
If you’re a parent searching for ideas for science experiments for kids, here are a few fun and educational experiments that you can easily carry out at home.
1. Vinegar and baking soda volcano. This science experiment is a classic for kids. You’ll need 400 milliliters of white vinegar, 100 ml of cold water, 10 ml of dish soap, two drops of food coloring, baking soda, and an empty soda bottle, according to Science Fun For Everyone. Because of the mess, you’ll probably want to create your volcano outside.
First you’ll want to make a baking soda “slurry” by filling a cup halfway with baking soda and then the rest of the way with water. Mix the slurry until it’s all liquid. Then, combine the rest of the ingredients in the soda bottle. Pour the baking soda slurry into the soda bottle, back up and watch the eruption! You can explain to your kids that what they’re watching is a chemical reaction between the vinegar and baking soda that creates carbon dioxide.
2. Vortex in a bottle. Your kids might be excited to learn that they can create a miniature tornado with just a clear plastic bottle with a cap, water, dish soap, and glitter, according to Science Kids. Just fill the bottle up until it’s about three-quarters full with water, add a couple drops of dish soap and some glitter, and put the cap on.
The next step involves turning the bottle upside down, hold it by the neck, and swirl it for a couple of seconds before stopping. You should be able to see a glittery vortex in the water. This teaches children about centripetal force, which directs an object or fluid toward the center of a circular path, Science Kids explains.
3. Green pennies. You can help your kids learn more about chemical reactions with some pennies, white vinegar, a bowl, and a paper towel, according to the parental resource Buggy and Buddy. Fold up the paper towel and put it in the bowl. Next, put the pennies on top of the paper towel and pour vinegar on them until the paper towel is saturated.
Leave the bowl out for a few days, adding vinegar periodically as the towel gets dry. Eventually, the pennies will turn green because the vinegar allows the copper pennies to more easily react with oxygen to form malachite.
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