No matter how your children feel about Science class at school, science at home can be a lot of fun! Home science experiments are a great way to keep the kids entertained and off of screens on snow days or sick days. Here are ten of our favorite at-home experiments that utilize ingredients you probably already have. Many of the recipes also explain the science behind the experiment, so your children– and you– can learn something along the way.
Make Your Own Quicksand
This recipe from Science Kids requires maize corn flour and water. Stir the “sand” quickly, it becomes hard and can be hit or poked, but when it’s stirred slowly, it’s like a liquid that drips.
Fireworks In a Jar Science Experiment
This density experiment from the Kidspot site creates a vibrant display of colored oil in water. You’ll need warm water, vegetable oil, food coloring and a see-through container.
The Preschool Powol Packets blog offers this experiment for some foamy fun. (It really does look like toothpaste for an elephant!) It’s a bit messy so be sure to do it in a baking pan or in the sink. You’ll need Hydrogen Peroxide of 6% or greater, food coloring, dish soap, and a clear bottle so that you can see all the action.
Slime has made a comeback recently and children can make their own. The go-to recipes online contain Borax, but because Borax is considered toxic, you might not be comfortable allowing your children to play with it, especially if they are unsupervised. This Borax-free recipe from the Mom’s Minivan blog is easy to make, and it is accompanied by a video. All you’ll need is white school glue (Elmer’s or generic) and liquid laundry detergent.
Since experiments aren’t always perfect, try this slime recipe from Instructables.com if Slime 1 isn’t a smashing success. You’ll need white school glue, baking soda, eye drops or contact lens saline solution, and shaving cream. Foaming face or body wash and food coloring are optional. Once you find a slime concoction that produces the perfect sliminess, experiment with different colors and add small objects, like marbles and plastic toys and more.
This recipe from EntertainKidsonaDime.com is messy, so you might want to do it outside. You’ll need a large ziplock plastic freezer bag, a ziplock sandwich bag, baking soda, warm water and vinegar. Follow the instructions, step back, and watch the bags expand and explode!
How to Blow Up a Balloon…Using Yeast!
Kids will love watching a balloon inflate with this experiment from Planet Science. All you’ll need is a packet of yeast, a small plastic soda bottle, sugar, warm water and a balloon. The experiment takes about 20 minutes to do so you can clean up and then watch the magic happen.
Baking Soda & Vinegar Volcano
With this experiment from Science Kids, you can create a volcano in a bottle! All you’ll need is baking soda, vinegar, and a bottle to hold the solution. It can be messy, so do it outside or in the sink or tub.
Make an Easy Lava Lamp
Another fun one from Science Kids, this experiment helps kids make their own lava lamp in a clear plastic bottle. You’ll need water, vegetable, food colors and Alka-Seltzer — or any tablets that fizz– for this groovy experiment.
If your children are wondering what an egg looks like without its shell, try this experiment from Steve Spangler Science. It takes up to a week to really work, but the video and photos provide a sneak peek. All you’ll need is an egg, white vinegar, a glass jar with a lid, and some patience!
Enjoy the experiments! And remember to have some Tickle Water on hand so everyone stays hydrated. Being a scientist is hard work!