A Fun Approach to Science for Kids
Struggling to come up with activities to occupy your kids? Sick of watching them waste away in front of a screen? What to spend some quality fun and educational time together as a family? Check out some of the following classic science experiments you can do at home. They are easy and fun, and are also hands-on and educational, so not only are you all having fun working together, but you will also be learning about science.
MAKE INVISIBLE INK
What You Will Need:
- A lemon
- Cotton buds
- White Paper
- A lamp/ Oven
Step One: Mix a few drops of water a the bowl with the juice of half a lemon.
Step Two: Dip the cotton bud into the lemon juice, as using it like you would a pen or pencil, write a message on the white paper. Be sure not to use to much lemon juice, as it will blot and run over the paper.
Step Three: Wait for the lemon juice to dry, so it becomes completely invisible.
Step Four: When you want to reveal your secret message, simply heat the paper by either holding it close to the light bulb of the lamp, or alternatively, heat it in the oven on a low heat.
The juice of the lemon is an organic substance that when it is heated, oxidizes and turns brown. Because it dries clear on paper, it makes the perfect ink to use when writing secret messages. Other substances you could try include honey, milk, vinegar or orange juice.
BLOW UP BALLOONS
What You Will Need:
- A balloon
- 40ml of water
- A soft drink bottle
- Drinking Straw
- A tablespoon of vinegar
- A teaspoon of baking soda
Step One: Stretch the balloon so it is easier to inflate.
Step Two: Pour the 40ml of water into the drink bottle.
Step Three: Add the teaspoon of baking powder, and stir the mixture with the straw until it has completely dissolved.
Step Four: Pour in the vinegar and then quickly seal the top of the bottle by putting the balloon over the opening, sealing it over the top.
Step Five: Watch as the balloon begins to inflate on the top of the bottle.
By mixing the vinegar and baking soda, with the acid in the vinegar mixing with the baking soda, causing a chemical reaction that creates carbon dioxide. the gas rises up and tries to escape through the opening of the bottle, but instead fills up in the balloon. The vinegar can also be substituted for lemon juice.
MAKE A LAVA LAMP
What You Will Need:
- A clear plastic bottle
- Vegetable Oil
- Food Colouring
- Alka-Seltzer (or other tablets that fizz)
Step One: Fill the plastic bottle up with water until it is a quarter full.
Step Two: Pour in the vegetable oil until the bottle is nearly full.
Step Three: Wait until the water and oil have separated.
Step Four: Add around a dozen drops of any food colour that you like.
Step Five: Watch as the food colouring falls through the oil and mixes with the water.
Step Six: Cut an Alka-Seltzer into smaller pieces (around five or six) and drop on of them into the bottle. Things should start getting bubbly, just like a real lava lamp.
Step Seven: When the mixture settles down, add other piece of Alka-Seltzer and let the bubbly science happen all over again. If you want to save your lava lamp, simple put the lid on the plastic bottle and put it away. When you want to use it again, just cut up more Alka-Seltzer and add it to the mixture again.
Oil and water don't mix, as oil has a lower density than water, meaning that it will always sit on water, forming a barrier. The food colouring falls through the oil and mixes with the water, because they have the same density level. When you add the piece of Alka-Seltzer, it releases small bubbles of carbon dioxide that fizz up to the top, forcing some of the coloured water with it, breaking through the oil barrier. When the gas escapes at the top, the coloured water falls back down, creating the lava lamp effect.
For another cool science experiment to do with your kids, or for big kids at heart, check out the Diet Coke and Mentos science experiment, it is guaranteed to be a lot of fun!