Science experiments that kids can do at home:

These are fun, cool science experiments that use common, household materials, very easy for kids to do...

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Site last modified: 2013-May-22-12pm



These experiments are all easy to do with common household materials. Have fun and discover, explore, learn!
Note: All of these experiments are pretty safe, but it is best if parents are around to observe and help out. But let the kids perform the actual hands-on experiments for maximum learning/fun potential. 

Mixing Colors/Diffusion:

4 small clear glasses
water
food coloring: red, blue, & yellow
a spoon

Fill 3 of the glasses with water.
Add a single drop of red food coloring to the 1st glass.
Add a single drop of blue food coloring to the 2nd glass.
Add a single drop of yellow food coloring to the 3rd glass.

An interesting thing to watch is the dye diffusing around into the water. It makes neat cloud-like formations.
Stir the dye in each of the glasses with the spoon until it is thoroughly mixed.
You should now have a glass of red water, one of blue water, and one of yellow water.

Now, pour a small amount of yellow water into the 4th glass.
Then, pour a small amount of blue water into the 4th glass.
The water in the 4th glass should now be green!

When you are ready, empty the 4th glass.
Now, pour a small amount of yellow water into the 4th glass.
Then, pour a small amount of red water into the 4th glass.
The water in the 4th glass should now be orange!

When you are ready, empty the 4th glass.
Now, pour a small amount of red water into the 4th glass.
Then, pour a small amount of blue water into the 4th glass.
The water in the 4th glass should now be purple!

RainbowLine

Density of liquids-What floats on what?
:

a small clear glass
water, vegetable oil, maple syrup, dish detergent
ice cube
other?


Add small amount of water to the glass, approx 1/3 full.

Now about the same amount of vegetable oil.
The vegetable oil is less dense than water, and should float on top!

Now about the same amount of maple syrup.
The maple syrup is more dense than water, and should sink to the bottom!

You should be able to see 3 distinct layers, syrup on the bottom, water in the middle, and oil on top!

Another variation is to pour in the syrup, put oil on top, and then slowly add the water.
The water will sink past the oil, but float on the syrup - effectively filling in the middle.
In the process of sinking through the oil, it will make water "bubbles", which will eventually burst and make the middle water layer.

Continuing the experiment, now place a small ice cube in the mixture. It should float not on top, but within the oil layer, above the water layer. As the ice melts, water will form on the outside of the cube, and eventually fall through the oil and into the water! If the ice cube is oblong, it will make one side heavy and the ice cube will tip so that the light part of the ice is on top and the heavy water-coated part falls to the bottom of the oil.

Other variations would be to add dish detergent to the mix. With the one that I used, it floated above the syrup, but below the water.

Salt added went to the bottom, but sugar cubes floated on the syrup.

RainbowLine

Density of stuff-What floats, what sinks?
:

a small clear glass
water
a small rock
a small piece of pumice (a type of porous volcanic rock)


Add small amount of water to the glass, approx 1/2 full.

Drop the small rock into the water. It should sink, since most rocks are more dense than water.

Drop the pumice into the water. It should float! Pumice is less dense than water, even though it is a type of rock.
Pumice is sometimes used as a "skin-scraper" to remove calluses, and might be found in the toiletries section of a store.

RainbowLine

Surface tension of water
:

a kitchen pan
a clean toothpick
water
pepper
liquid dish detergent, like Palmolive


Fill the pan about 1/2 full with water.
Sprinkle pepper onto the surface of the water. Most of it should float.

Now, touch the tip of the clean toothpick to the surface of the water. Nothing should happen.

Now, touch just the tip of the toothpick into the dish detergent. You only need to get a very tiny amount of detergent on the toothpick.

Now, touch just the tip of the toothpick to the surface of the water for just a moment. The pepper particles should run away!
Touch the surface again just for a moment in a different place. You should be able to make little "islands" of clear water.
If you leave the tip in for a long time, the pepper should all get pulled to the edge of the pan.

The detergent weakens the surface tension of the water where the tip touches it, allowing the strong section to pull the pepper.

RainbowLine

Bending  water with static electricity!
:

a sink & faucet with running water
a plastic comb
clean, dry hair

Turn on the cold water in the sink so that a small, thin stream of water is flowing. The stream of water will ideally be about the diameter of a toothpick. It may take a little adjusting to get it just right.

Charge up a plastic comb by combing through clean, dry hair on your head. Keep combing until you can feel the static charge.

Now, place the comb near the stream of water, but not touching it. The water will bend toward the comb!

This experiment is really neat, because it really should not work! The water is not charged. It is electrically neutral. However, the water molecule is polar. It is kind of "V" shaped. Even though it is neutral overall, there are more electrons on one side than the other. The slight separation is enough for one side to be attracted just a little bit more than the opposite side is repelled. Thus, the stream of water will bend toward the charged comb.

RainbowLine

Making carbon dioxide gas - sort of like a volcano!:


a tall, thin glass
a big mixing bowl
baking soda
vinegar


Put the glass upright into a mixing bowl.
Pour a small amount of baking soda into the bottom of the tall glass.
Pour a small amount of vinegar into the baking soda.

The vinegar will react with the baking soda, creating fizz (carbon dioxide gas), and exploding up the glass like a volcano!
The bowl should catch the mess, if you got a big enough mixing bowl.
It is fun to watch but kind of smelly and messy to clean up if it overflows.

It reacts this way because the baking soda is slightly basic, and the vinegar is slightly acidic. Acids and bases react in this manner.

RainbowLine

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