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Keeping the kids entertained and learning is no small task, but with these easy science experiments to do at home, you can all have fun!
We know that home schooling during the lockdown has been a real headache for parents. Trying to balance work, home schooling and keeping everyone happy indoors is hard. These easy science experiments make use of common household items and don’t require lots of preparation time.
Take a look at some of our suggestions and get inspired!
Tornadoes in a bottle are great fun and look amazing. All you need is two plastic bottles, some water, glitter or food colouring, a metal washer, and strong tape.
The experiment itself is really easy. Your first job is to fill one of the bottles so it is three quarters full. Add in some drops of food colouring, washing up liquid, glitter, and anything else you have to hand to show the vortex in action.
Now, balance the washer on top of the bottle with the water. Carefully balance the empty bottle on top so the two openings are connected – you’ll need some steady helping hands for this bit. Securely tape the two together to make sure no water can escape.
Once you’re sure no water will trickle out, it’s time to make your tornado. Flip your bottles upside down so the empty one is resting on your surface. Gently move the water filled bottle in circle motions and watch as the twister appears and the water drains into the bottom bottle.
Kids love to watch the coloured bubbles dance around in their homemade lava lamps. They’re really easy to make too, so we really recommend this fun science experiment. All you’ll need is an empty bottle or jar, vegetable oil, water, food colouring and a fizzy tablet like alka-seltzers.
Fill your bottle or jar two thirds full with vegetable oil, and one third water, but make sure to leave a little room at the top. Watch as the water slips through the oil to sit at the bottom of the container thanks to its different density.
Next, add some droplets of food colouring. This will only react with the water – another fun thing to point out to your child. Break your Alka-seltzer tablet into four pieces and when you’re ready, drop them one at a time into the mix. Things will start fizzing and your kids will love to watch how the bubbles of colour move through your bottle.
You can have lots of fun with your kids and invisible ink. Juice half a lemon and add a few tea spoons of water to dilute the juice a little. Now, use a cotton bud or tooth pick as your pen and write out some messages.
You’ll still be able to see the note while the “ink” is wet, so put it somewhere secret to dry. Once it has, the message will be invisible. Hold it over a lamp bulb and you’ll be able to read the hidden words on the page!
Treat yourself to some beautiful white flowers that can also double up as an easy science experiment. Rather than putting the flowers in a vase of plain water, use food colouring to stain the water different colours.
As the flowers drink, they’ll take on the hue of the water. Divide your bunch into different vases and colours to see which are the most vibrant at the end.
We know a lot of parents are put off making slime at home because of the mess, but this homemade putty recipe is non-stick and really easy to make! It uses only 2 tablespoons of corn flour and 1 ½ tablespoons of washing up liquid. Mix them together and you’ll have a stick free, putty your kids will love.
First, spend time decorating shells or stones with numbers in preparation for your measurements throughout the day. Once your timing markers are ready, you can head outdoors.
With a stick and some play dough (if you don’t want to dig into your ground) find a spot that gets the sun for most of the day. When your stick is stable, you can start measuring the time. Every hour, return to you stick and place your shell/stone in the shadow’s path to mark the time.
Homemade volcanoes are so much fun. For the body, you’ll need a plastic bottle, newspaper strips, craft glue and a pot to mix it in. Then it’s time to get creative! This fun science experiment can fill two or three days if you take your time with it.
Paper Mache your perfect volcano shape around your bottle, being careful to leave the top free for your eruption later.
Once you’ve got your volcano shape, you’ll need to let it dry. After the glue has hardened, you can paint and decorate your volcano as you like. This is a good time to get kids to do a bit of research on what volcanoes look like.
When you’re happy with the decoration and it’s had time to dry, it’s eruption time. Mix some red, yellow or orange food colour into a jug of white vinegar (250ml). Next, add 4 table spoons of bicarbonate soda into your volcano bottle and head outside!
Once you’re in an open space, you can pour your vinegar into your volcano and watch the reaction. To make it even more impressive, you can add a little washing up liquid into the vinegar before you pour for some extra bubbles in the eruption.