So I’ll admit it, I’m a bit of a “Pinterest” mum…. with such great ideas out there, who has time to come up with their own original ideas right ? With it being “holiday season” with various mid year breaks coming up its perfect timing to get some new ideas on how to spend time with your kids.
My eldest (3 turning 4) is really getting into a “reaction” phase, he loves to see things coming together causing a reaction, everything from plants growing, cars crashing (really) to materials reacting. I too, have a slight “science” obsession, though my High School teachers may beg to differ (or that might have been laziness), I love to play and see chemical reactions, or grow your own crystals etc. I actually can’t wait for him to get older and we can start playing with more complex ideas.
Here’s a list of my favourite “Science experiments” to do with my kids. I would say age appropriate from about 18 months through to 6 years old?
All courtesy of Pinterest, of course 🙂 I bought all containers used from Plasticland and everything else is everyday household items.
1. Make your own lava lamp
Simple, Quick and easy. Often most effective in a really tall jar or bottle.
Eno Sachets/ Disprin
Fill the Jar/Vase about 1/3 full with water and add a drop of food colouring. Top up the jar (leaving a little breathe room at the top) with Oil. You can use baby oil or vegetable, I used vegetable. Add the reactor 🙂 I used a sachet of Eno (In the USA they use Alka-Seltzer which of course contains a little aspirin) so in addition to the Eno I crushed half a disprin as well. Sit back and watch in amazement at how the bubbles react with the oil
2. “Magic Milk”
This SIMPLE experiment held my boys attention for at least 15 minutes.
Pour the milk into a bowl (I used a nice long one for more surface area). Add in drops of food colouring all around, I mixed up the colours to add some interest. Then simply dip your ear bud (Q-tip) into some dishwashing liquid and touch the milk. Voila! The milk molecules are repelled off of the dishwash and magically bounce away. It’s fantastic!
3.Fizz reaction – Age old favourite of Bicarbonate of soda mixed with vinegar.
Also a favourite with my boys made with two simple ingredients to create a fizzy bomb. This has to be one of the most classic “Science experiments” and a great entry to the concept.
Food colouring (optional)
Bicarbonate of Soda
Medicine Droppers/ Syringe
Place the Bicarbonate onto a tray/ roasting pan, get the kids to suck up the vinegar with the medicine dropper/ syringe (great for fine motor skills) and squeeze it out onto the Bicarb. I mixed up a couple of different colours with food colouring (just make sure the littlies know that it’s not “juice”). Most of the time they will carry on until the plate is one messy paste but it’s fantastic to see the level of concentration involved.
The simplest way to explain the concept of rain to little minds.
A Vase/ tall jar
Fill a vase about half way – three quarter full with water and create a big “cloud” on top with shaving cream. Use the dropper to “fill” the cloud with Food colouring. Watch how the food colouring “falls” through when it gets too heavy for the cloud.
5. The ever popular slime
See previous blog post here Slime recipe for full recipe, but it’s basically art and craft glue, water, borax and food colouring. So simple and hours of fun!
Enjoy all the free time with your kids, this time goes so quickly and before we know it we will be begging them to spend time with them! I love to do these experiments and crafts with my boys, to see how children learn through play and how young minds comments!