The best way to teach science to kids is through experiments. Science activities for kids boost the understanding of the concepts and their application in real world, further building the roots of STEM learning for kids.
Effort to understand science by simply reading is not only boring but also highly ineffective. Both physical and mental involvement is extremely important. And the best way to do that is to indulge in science activities for kids!
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But before you dive into the exciting world of hands-on science activities for kids and gear up to try all the exciting science experiments, it is a good idea to dedicate a space for science exploration. Even a small room can suffice to be a Home Science Lab for Kids!
Ensuring a designated space for science experiments will keep your home away from mess and give your child a safe space to explore and unleash their creativity.
Use of a science lab and kid-friendly lab equipment positively influences learning and engagement, forging neural pathways that lead to better learning and retention.
Besides, home science lab for kids and child friendly lab equipment ensure their safety while they are busy with their science experiments.
“ Tell me and I forget,
Teach me and I may remember,
Involve me and I learn ”
~ Benjamin Franklin
Our great list of child-friendly, easy to do science activities for kids can be easily done at home and are full of wonder! Let’s get started…
34 Science Activities for Kids
1. Magical Coin
This is a great science activity for kids of all ages. Take a coin and place it on a table. Put a clear plastic glass over the coin. Look at the coin from the side of the glass.
Can you see it?
2. Bending Water
You will be able to see it. Now fill water in the glass and try to spot the coin again from the side. Is it still there? Ta-da!! The coin has disappeared.
Amaze your child by asking if they can bend water from a tap?
Take a balloon and inflate it. Rub the balloon on a blanket vigorously.
Now bring this balloon near the stream of water flowing through the tap (Make sure not to touch the balloon with water).
The water will bend towards the balloon. A simple but exciting STEM activity for kids, indeed!
3. Paper in the Bottle
This one is endless fun for kids. Take a small piece of paper (~2”X2”) and crumble it into a ball.
Now put this crumbled paper ball on the mouth of a plastic bottle, while holding the bottle parallel to the ground.
Ask your friends to blow the paper into the bottle, without touching their mouths on the bottle. Can they do it? The paper ball will fly out instead of going inside the bottle.
4. Huff and Puff
Take a rectangular paper sheet and fold it into half, width-wise. Now place it on a table resembling an inverted V. Blow through the paper.
What happens? Magical right?
Simply awesome science activity to amaze your children and friends!
5.Egg Experiment In a Bottle
This is magical science activity for kids. For this super cool trick, you will need an empty glass bottle and a boiled egg.
Place the bottle upright on a table and peel off the shell from the egg. Now try to see if you can put the egg into the bottle. The egg goes only halfway through.
Now light a few matchsticks and drop them into the bottle. Wait for a few seconds, before putting the egg on the mouth of the bottle again.
As the fire goes off, the egg magically slips into the bottle.
6. Sticky Water
What happens when you turn a glass full of water upside down? It falls, right?
Make the water stick to the glass with this awesome STEM activity. Take an old playing card or cardstock big enough to cover the mouth of a glass.
Fill your glass with water and cover it with cardstock. Pressing onto the cardstock firmly, rotate the glass till it is upside down in one quick motion.
Now, take your hand away without disturbing the cardstock. The water will not fall but stick to the glass and cardstock.
7. Magical Milk
This is endless fun though does lead to wasting milk. So, you might want to be mindful here.
Take some milk in a wide mouth bowl. Add food coloring to the milk using a dropper…you would want to use different colors for a better effect.
Now, take a cotton swab and dip it’s end in a dish soap. Touch this tip on the milk.
You will be amazed to see what happens. No wonder, this science activity for kids is favourite with everyone!
8. Bouncy Egg Activity
Make an ordinary egg into a bouncy ball with this simple STEM activity for kids. Take an egg and submerge into a jar of vinegar.
Make sure the vinegar completely covers the egg. You will observe bubbles forming on the shell almost instantly. That’s acetic acid reacting with the calcium of the egg shell.
Leave the egg in vinegar for a week.
After a week, take out the egg. Gently rub off the egg shell to reveal it’s inside.
You will find that the egg has turned rubbery and soft. Try dropping it from a short distance…it bounces!!
All you need for this experiment is a balloon. Inflate the balloon and tie a knot. Ask your friend to make a tapping noise with fingers.
Now holding the balloon close to your ear, ask your friend to make the same sound on the balloon. You will be able to hear it louder this time.
10. Floating Eggs Activity
This is a really cool experiment that amazes children every time. Take a tall glass and pour water in it.
Drop a raw egg to see if it floats. Any normal, fresh egg will sink to the bottom. Now, can you make the same egg float?
Try this. Take out the egg from the water and keep it aside. Add around 5-7tablespoons of salt in the water and stir till it dissolves.
Now place the egg in this salty water and see what happens – It floats!!
11. Make Your Own Soda
Ever wondered how cola manufacturers add bubbles (fizz) to their soda? Well, you can do it too. All you need is a lemon, baking soda and some water.
Squeeze lemon juice in a glass. Add water to the juice in the same quantity as the juice. Do not over dilute.
Finally, add a teaspoon on baking soda to your mixture and stir. See that fizz? Your own soda is ready!!
12. Flying Paper Clips
This is fun! Gravity defying experiment requires a strong neodymium magnet and lots of paper clips.
Take a sheet of card stock and hover it above (2 to 3 inches) the pile of paper clips. Now, put the neodymium magnet on the cardstock and move it above the paper clips.
The paper clips will fly and stick on to the cardstock.
13. Witch’s Cauldron
This one is loved by all children. All you need is dry ice and hot water.
Take a pot resembling a cauldron. If you don’t have one, take any container of your choice. Put dry ice in the container and pour hot water over it.
Be amazed as the cauldron starts bubbling and giving out clouds of fog.
14. Dancing Stick Man
A simple science experiment for kids that can keep them busy for hours. All you need is a glass plate and a dry erase marker.
Draw a stick man on the plate with the dry-erase marker. Pour water on the plate and gently swirl the water. Watch your stick man dance as the water swirls.
15. Floating Paperclip
This is an awesome experiment but it may require some practice to get it right. Take a paper clip and try floating it in a bowl of water. It will sink.
Now, take a tissue paper about the size of 3”X2”. Gently put the tissue on the water surface. Carefully put the paper clip on the tissue without disturbing the water.
Here is the tricky part. With a help of a pencil that has an eraser on the top, try pushing the tissue in the water using the eraser end.
With a few trials, the paper tissue will sink leaving the paper clip floating on the surface.
16. Quick Sand
Make your own quick sand at home and teach your kids a hands-on, minds-on lesson in states of matter.
All you need is corn flour and water. Mix corn flour with water in a big deep dish. The quick sand is ready.
If you stir it, it becomes liquid and flows. Punch it, it will act as solid.
Take it in your hands and press it between your fingers…it will solidify and once you release it, it will flow like water. Crazy!
17. Dancing Ghost
This one is sure to spook out your children, in a fun way! Take a face tissue and cut out a small ghost shape from it.
Make sure to use single ply of the tissue paper. The lighter the paper, better it is. Using a market, make spooky eyes on the ghost cutout.
Next, blow up a balloon and tie it. Rub the balloon on your hair really fast for about 20seconds. Bring this balloon close to the ghost.
You will see your ghost fly towards the balloon. Spooky indeed!
18. Make Gross Gunk
Make disgusting snot with this easy experiment and let your children have some dirty, filthy fun.
You will need gelatin, corn syrup and boiling water to make fake gunk. Add three teaspoons of gelatin to half a cup of boiling water.
As the mixture begins to cool, stir it with a fork. Add quarter cup of corn syrup to this mixture and stir it with a fork.
Snot will start to form now. Add water as the concoction to cools and stir it to get desired consistency. Freak out your friends with this fake, yucky snot!
19. Make Lightening at Home
This is one experiment we all did as kids. All you need is a dark room and a blanket, preferably velvet or fur.
Invite your child inside the blanket in a dark room. Ask them to rub their nails fast on the blanket. They will be able to see sparks…that’s lightening!
20. Keep Paper Dry Under Water
A really fun water experiment for kids, this one just needs paper, a transparent bowl and a glass. Ask your children if they can keep a paper dry in water.
Take up the challenge and show them how you can keep paper dry in water. Scrunch a sheet of paper and put it at the bottom of the glass.
With a quick motion submerge the glass to the bottom of the water container, keeping the glass straight all the time.
Pull the glass out and check the tissue – It is absolutely dry!
21. Wash the Germs
Teach children the basics of hand hygiene with this super fun ‘Wash the Germs’ experiment.
This experiment is a great hit with kids as they really get to see the magic of the 20-second hand wash rule.
According to this golden rule, you must rub soap on your hands for at least 20 seconds to get rid of all the germs.
But kids are always in a hurry and this experiment teaches them how the 20-second rule works and why they must follow it.
What you will need:
- A Plastic Glove
- Dry Erase Markers
- Elastic band
How to do it:
Step 1: Take a plastic glove, blow it like a balloon and tie its mouth.
Step 2: On the glove, randomly draw some germs with a dry erase marker.
Step 3: Ask your child if she/he could wash the germs, off the glove with soap, without following the 20-second rule. Are the germs still there?
Step 4: Try again to wash the glove, only scrubbing it nicely with soap and counting till 20 this time. Boom! The germs are gone.
Looking for more fun ways to teach hygiene to kids? Check out Hygiene Activities for Kids.
23. Blow Your Jack-O-Lantern
This is a clever chemistry experiment for kids that is super easy, takes less than 5 minutes to set up and is always certain to amaze kids.
What you’ll need:
- Empty plastic bottle
- Baking Soda
- Black marker
- Orange balloon
How to do it:
Step 1: Using the black marker, draw the eyes and mouth of your jack-o-lantern on the orange balloon.
Step 2: Clean the plastic bottle and fill it one-fourth with vinegar.
Step 3: Place the funnel in the mouth of the balloon and add one tbsp baking soda. Twist the neck of the balloon to secure the baking soda inside.
Step 4: Carefully slip the mouth of the balloon into the bottle top and untwist the balloon.
As the baking soda slips into the bottle, it reacts with vinegar kicking off a chemical reaction and realising bouts of carbon dioxide gas.
This gas rises up and inflates the balloon, bringing your jack-o-lantern to life.
23. DIY Sundial
Sundial is a great math-cum-engineering activity to do with kids. With some basic supplies and a bright sunny day, you are all set for this hands-on STEM activity.
What you will need:
- Craft paper
- Clay/ Dough
How to Make a Sundial:
Step 1: Draw a big circle on the craft paper and cut it out using scissors. This will be your dial.
Step 2: Paste the dial on the cardboard to make a firm base.
Step 3: Poke a pencil at the center of the dial and secure it using clay or dough. Make sure the pencil is upright.
Step 4: Now place this arrangement in a sunny spot where you expect the Sun to be all day long.
Step 5: Using pen and scale, mark the shadow of the pencil on the dial. Write the hour corresponding to the shadow.
Step 6: Once this is done, you have to mark the shadow corresponding to every hour on the clock. We used a timer to help us keep the track.
By the end of the day, you should have at least six markings ready. These markings can then be used to trace the other half of your sundial.
That’s it! Your Sundial is ready! Notice the gaps between the markings. Each gap signifies an hour on the Sundial.
Put your sundial at the same spot in the sun, you can make out the time by looking at the shadow of the pencil.
24. Sink or Float
Experiment with buoyancy with this simple, easy to do science activity. This sink or float science experiment for kids is a wonderful way to demonstrate how air helps in making the objects float.
What you will need:
- 2 Oranges
- Tall Glass Vessel
How to do it:
Step 1: Fill the glass vessel three-fourth with water.
Step 2: Peel an orange and drop it into the vessel. This will sink to the bottom of the flask.
Step 3: Next, put an unpeeled orange in the water flask. This orange will float.
By common logic, unpeeled orange should float, as it is lighter! But in this case, it is the lighter object that sinks! Why?
Well! There is a cool science at play here. An orange peel is porous and packs in many air pockets, which give it the necessary up-thrust to make it float.
When the orange is peeled, these air pockets are removed thus sinking a peeled orange. So cool!!
25. Leaf Chromatography
This is a simple plant science activity to do with children to pique their interest in plants.
Chromatography is a scientific technique used by chemists to separate two or more substances present in a liquid.
This chromatography experiment for kids is an easy demonstration of colour pigments present in leaves and requires material easily available at home.
You will need:
- Kitchen Paper towel
How to do it:
Step 1: Take a leaf and grind it to make paste.
Step 2: Make a 1:1 solution of water and alcohol in a cup. Mix the leaf paste in the solution.
If you don’t have rubbing alcohol, you can use nail paint remover with increased concentration in the solution.
Step 3: Cut a long strip of kitchen paper towel with scissors.
Step 4: Roll the paper towel around the middle of the pencil so that one end of the kitchen paper towel hangs loose.
Step 5: Place the pencil across the cup so that the loose end dips into the solution. Make sure not to dip more than 3-4cms of the paper towel.
Now, let the paper towel sit still. After a few hours, you will notice different colour pigments on the paper towel strip. This happens due to alcohol and capillary action.
Rubbing alcohol breaks the colour from the leaves and dissolves it in the solution. Capillary action on the other hand is responsible for the liquid climbing up the paper towel.
You will also notice that your leaf will be almost bleached after some time because of the rubbing alcohol.
All in all, a simple yet very enlightening experiment to do with kids at home.
Engaging in such activities help children to ask questions, think beyond the obvious and observe. Exactly what learning should be like!
26. Bubble Tower
Bubble towers science experiment is a super hit with not only children but also adults. A great boredom buster, this is one experiment that will get your entire family excited.
This is a cool surface tension activity for kids. Also they can spot rainbows over their bubbles.
What you will need:
- Dish soap
How to Make a Bubble Solution:
Step 1: Take six cups of warm water and mix it with a cup of dish soap.
Step 2: Add 1tbs of glycerin to the soap solution and let it sit overnight or rest for 4-5 hours.
How to Make Bubble Towers
Step 1: Clean your kitchen counter (or any smooth surface) so it is dirt free. This is very essential to prevent soap bubbles from bursting.
Step 2: Pour a tablespoon of the bubble solution on the cleaned counter and spread it.
Step 3: Dip the tip of the straw into your bubble solution and blow on the cleaned, soaped counter, keeping the straw close to the surface.
Make it big enough to plant another bubble inside it.
Step 4: This step will need little patience. To plant a smaller bubble into the bigger bubble, dip the straw again into the bubble solution and pierce it through the big bubble and blow into it to make a smaller bubble inside.
With a little patience and practise, you should be able to make your bubble towers. We managed to get a tower of four bubbles after many trials.
27. Density Tower
This is a magical experiment where children get to stack liquids. Yes! You read it right…Liquids! The trick is using liquids of varying density.
What you will need:
- A tall glass/flask
- Dish soap
How to do it:
Step 1: Add honey to the glass till it is one-third full. Since honey is the densest among dish soap and oil, it will form the bottom layer.
Step 2: Using a syringe/pipette, carefully add dish soap above the honey. The trick is to add the liquid along the side of the glass so it gently slides down without disturbing the bottom layer.
Step 3: Finally, add oil through pipette to the liquid tower.
Owing to their different densities, these three liquids will layer above each other forming a density tower.
To add more science fun to the experiment, we dropped a small ball into our density tower.
To children’s amazement, the ball sank below the top layer and floated above the middle layer.
28. Plant Vascular System
Turn your kids into little biologists as they investigate the plant vascular system with this plant science activity.
The vascular system of plants consists of conducting tissues and supporting fibers, which transport nutrients and minerals to different Parts of the Plant.
With this cool science experiment, your kids (and you!) will be able to see the vascular system in all its beauty and that too with naked eye, without any microscope.
How to do it:
What you need is cabbage leaves. That’s all! We choose red cabbage owing to its season, availability and the lovely colour.
Take the outer leaf of the cabbage and boil it in water for roughly 5-6minutes till you see the colour draining out of it.
Take the leaf out and let it cool off. Once cooled, hold it in between your fingers towards light to see the amazing vascular system of plants.
This is such an amazing activity to see a vascular system that is otherwise hidden from the naked eyes.
You can also draw similarities between the plant’s vascular system and animal circulatory system. The web of vessels is somewhat similar.
29. Finger Piano
This cool musical science activity for kids is just what you need to explore the science of sound while encouraging the hidden composer in your child.
You will need:
- Container Lids – Metal & Plastic
- Jenga Blocks
- Bob Pins
How to do it:
Step 1: Pull each bob pin apart so as to get a gap of 3-4” between their two ends.
Step 2: Take a plastic lid and stick the linear end of the bob pins with the sticky tape.
Step 3: Repeat step 2 with a metal lid.
Step 4: Take 3-4 jenga blocks and join them using sticky tape. Finally add bob pins to the block to make a wooden finger piano.
Strum the loose ends of the pins for musical sound.
You can adjust the distance between the respective pins to see how it influences the sound that the finger piano makes.
Also try to differentiate between the sound that emanates from metal, plastic and wooden finger piano.
Keen on experimenting with sound? Check out Sound Activities for Kids for fun ideas!
30. Moon Craters
Got a space geek at home? Then this easy to do space experiment is what you need to further her curiosity and help her learn about space. This activity will let your child make her very own craters on the surface of the moon.
What you will need:
- A box
- All purpose flour
How to do it:
Step 1: Fill the box three-fourth with flour.
Step 2: Gently pat the box so as to level the flour.
Step 3: Drop marbles on the flour from a distance of 5-6 inches.
Lastly, gently lift the marbles to see wonderful and almost perfectly shaped craters.
31. Balancing Egg Activity
This is a fun activity that will ensure lots of laughs and wonder. Invite your child to balance an egg on a flat surface.
Even when the surface is perfectly smooth, it is impossible to balance the egg until you bring in the magic ingredient – Salt.
Yes! That’s the magic ingredient to this trick of balancing an egg. Put some salt (a tiny heap) on the surface and try to balance the egg on the salt.
With a few trials, your egg would be standing up straight! Now, gently blow away the excess salt.
The science behind this trick is the salt structure. Salt crystals are almost perfect cubes, thus providing the much needed support to the wobbly egg.
Have you ever wondered why your potato chip bag is almost half-filled with air? It’s really not a trick to fool you into believing that you are buying more chips.
There is actually a science behind it!
33. Magically Floating Seeds
Magically floating seeds is a great experiment and a hands-on lesson in buoyancy and how air helps things float. With one simple ingredient from your pantry, you are all set for this cool science experiment for kids.
Take a glass of water and ask your child to add a spoonful of cumin seeds to it. The seeds will sink. Now, the challenge is to magically float the seeds.
Let the arrangement sit undisturbed for a few hours or overnight, if your child’s patience permits.
You will observe the seeds start to float and rise up in the glass. Why?
Take a closer look and you will see numerous small bubbles sticking to the seeds.
These bubbles (or air pockets) provide the seeds the upthrust to rise up. Break these air pockets by stirring the water with a spoon and the seeds will be back to the bottom.
34. Ice Fishing
Another great chemistry experiment for kids is ice fishing! This science activity dwells on the interaction of salt with ice and helps children practice some fun ice-fishing at the comfort of your home, all round the year!
This is no-prep, easy to set-up chemistry activity for kids. You just need a few things that are readily available at home:
- Flat Dish/ Plate
How to do it:
Step 1: Spread out ice on the plate and add little water.
Step 2: Lay the twine on the ice cube you want to fish out.
Step 3: Sprinkle a pinch of salt on the ice cube where it is touching the twine.
Step 4: Wait for a minute and then gently pull the twine to fish out the ice!
Salt lowers down the melting point of ice thus making ice melt around the area where it is added.
However, owing to the surrounding temperature, the water from the melted ice refreezes quickly. But this time, binding the twine within it!
Safety Rules for Science Experiments for Kids
There are a few basic safety rules that must be adhered to while performing these scientific explorations.
1. Dressing up like a chemist ensures that most of your child’s body is covered. Thus, preventing unwanted contact with materials that may cause skin irritation.
2. Always Wear Safety Glasses. This will protect your little scientist’s eyes and also make them believe they are real scientists. Thus, building up their enthusiasm to experiment and learn.
3. Always Wash yourHands. It is essential to wash hands after completing any experiment.
4. When experimenting, eating and drinking should be avoided.
5. Long hair should be properly tied away from the face.
6. It is best not to have any music playing when your little ones are experimenting, as it will hinder their ability to hear what’s happening properly.
7. Your science area (or home lab) should always be well lit and clean.
Once your child is well versed with the above safety rules, it is time to begin the science explorations.