Sometimes it takes a little extra spark to ignite a child’s interest in science. Many parents will read or draw with their kids, but much fewer are comfortable exploring scientific concepts. However, there’s no reason you can’t make science a part of everyday play. You don’t need to be a science wiz yourself, and you definitely don’t need to know the answer to every question your child may have. Simply having fun experimenting will introduce your child to the fascinating world of science.
Here are some fun experiments that are easy, kid-friendly, and relatively mess-free to perform at home:
Taste Testing: Explore the connection between taste and smell with this simple experiment. Blindfold your child and have them try a small piece of red apple then an equally sized piece of green apple. They should be able to taste the difference. Now try the same thing while they pinch their nose shut. Suddenly tasting the difference is a real challenge! Use this experiment to talk about the five senses and how they interact (learn more here).
Baking Soda + Vinegar: Mixing baking soda and vinegar to create a fizzy eruption is a classic science experiment for good reason; it illustrates so many scientific concepts! Mixing two ingredients shows your little chemist a basic reaction. Make things a little more complicated by mixing the ingredients in a lightly corked bottle. Watch the cork fly off and explain the buildup of force behind the impressive pop (learn more here).
Making a Rainbow: A CD, a glass with some water in it, or a crystal – these are some of the household items you can use to create a homemade rainbow. Shift the light to see how it affects the size and colors of your rainbow. Make sure to use natural sunlight. Reflecting onto a white piece of paper is the easiest way to see the vivid results. Use this experiment to explore the light spectrum, and explain how all light contains these colors (learn more here).
Egg Parachute: The goal is simple: use household items to design a parachute that can float an egg to the ground from a given height (a roof or 2nd floor window should be sufficient). This is a great group activity because everyone can try their own design. It also serves as a launching pad for discussing physics – and making omelets.