experiment

The Top 10 Best Science Experiments Ever

Science is such cool fun, and there’s nothing better than fun science experiments for the kids. We’ve got it all here, the best science experiments ever, from potato clocks to growing your own bacteria. The kids will love these. Turn your house into a science lab and prepare for some awesome fun.

Make Snot

fakesnot

Yep, you read correctly but for some reason all things snotty, icky and gooey are highly entertaining for kids of all ages. Who knows why, but it just is. Cool to play some tricks on their friends too. Oops, did we just say that? Have fun making some snot, gross but hey, what we do in the name of kids!

What you need:

  • Boiling water
  • Corn syrup
  • Green food colouring
  • Gelatine

How to make it:

  • Fill ½ a cup with boiling water
  • Add some green food colouring
  • Add three envelopes of gelatine
  • Let it soften and stir it with a fork
  • Add ¼ cup of corn syrup
  • Stir it again with a fork and watch as the icky strands of snot form
  • Add more water slowly as it cools down

Hey presto, some snot! Now just try and hide from the kids in case they play some tricks on you.

How to make a foaming Volcano

foamingvolcano

 

This is one experiment that makes one heck of a mess, so be prepared, but it’s quite something to watch as the volcano bursts!

What you need:

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • A fairly large container

How to make it:

  • Put some baking soda into a container
  • Pour in some vinegar
  • Watch on as an amazing chemical reaction takes place

There, done; one foaming volcano that’s easy and fun.

How to make a tornado in a bottle

tornadoinabottle

Tornadoes in real life, not so cool, but seeing one in a bottle is pretty cool.

What you need:

  • Water
  • Clear plastic bottle with a lid (make sure it won’t leak)
  • Glitter
  • Dishwashing liquid

How to make it:

  • Fill your plastic bottle with water until it’s ¾ full
  • Add a few drops of dishwashing liquid
  • Add some glitter; this makes it easy to see what’s happening
  • Put the cap on tightly
  • Turn the bottle upside down holding it by the neck. Spin the bottle in a circular motion quickly for a few seconds. Stop and look if you can see a mini tornado forming in the water. It might not work properly the first time, so keep trying until you see that tornado take shape.

A close up view of what a tornado looks like is awesome to watch. The kids will love this.

How to make a lava lamp

homemadelavalamp

If your kids enjoy lava lamps, then this is an awesome and super easy experiment to do with them.

What you need:

  • Water
  • Clear plastic bottle
  • Vegetable oil
  • Food colouring
  • Alka-Seltzer

How to make it:

  • Pour water into the bottle until it’s ¼ full
  • Now pour in oil until it is almost full
  • Wait for the oil and water to separate
  • Choose any food colouring and add about 12 drops to the mixture
  • The food colouring will move straight through the oil and mix with the water
  • Break an Alka-Seltzer tablet into a few smaller pieces and drop a piece in. Watch a crazy lava lamp form as the tablet bubbles
  • When the bubbling stops add another piece of the tablet. Enjoy!

How to blow up balloons with CO2

co2balloon

Blow up balloons without using your mouth and watch as a chemical reaction takes place. A lot easier than trying to blow up heaps of balloons.

What you need:

  • Balloon
  • About 3 tablespoons of water
  • Soft drink bottle
  • Drinking straw
  • Lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda

How to do it:

  • First stretch out the balloon to make it easier to inflate
  • Pour the water into the soft drink bottle
  • Add the baking soda and stir with the straw until it’s dissolved
  • Pour in the lemon juice and quickly put the stretched balloon over the mouth of the bottle
  • Watch as the balloon inflates. The mixture of the lemon juice and baking soda creates carbon dioxide which rises up and escapes through the bottle into the balloon, blowing it up.

Your kids will find this experiment quite neat as the balloons magically blow up by themselves. 

How to make a ping pong ball float in the air

pingpongball

 

Sounds pretty dull, but it’s really cool to watch this and it’s super easy. Watch a ping pong ball float in the air like magic to see the role that gravity and air pressure play. 

What you need:

  • 2 or 3 ping pong balls
  • A hair dryer

How to make it:

  • Turn on the hair dryer
  • Put it on the highest setting and point it straight up into the air
  • Place your ping pong ball above the hair dryer and watch as the ball floats gently above the air stream without moving from side to side or flying across the room. This happens because of the air pressure. The moving air from the hair dryer creates a column of lower air pressure, the surrounding higher air pressure forces the ping pong ball to stay inside this column. Amazing!

How to make a flaming fizzy experiment

This is a really interesting fizzing experiment to try as you will see how carbon dioxide works with fire and puts those flames right out.

What you need:

  • Big candle
  • Birthday candle
  • Tall glass
  • Baking powder
  • Matches
  • Spoon
  • Vinegar

How to make it:

  • Light the big candle and drip some wax into the bottom of the glass
  • Stick the birthday cake candle in the wax so it stands upright
  • Make sure the glass is taller than the candle
  • Add spoons of baking powder to the glass. Make sure you keep it away from the flame
  • Pour in some vinegar and watch as the powder fizzes
  • After some time the candle flame will go out. This happens as the baking powder and vinegar makes carbon dioxide. The flame doesn’t burn in carbon dioxide.

How to make a Miniature Hovercraft

What kid doesn’t want a hovercraft? Or for that matter, you might find Dad stealing this while no one’s watching! This is really neat experiment, but of course it’s not going to house the whole family, it will be somewhat smaller than that, but awesome at the same time.  

What you need:

  • Cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Glue
  • Paper
  • Thread Spool
  • Balloon

How to make it

  • Cut a 10 centimetre square out of the cardboard.
  • Punch a hole in the cardboard but make sure it’s right in the middle. The hole should be the same size as the spool, so just check it.  
  • Glue the spool to the cardboard on top of the hole, but make sure it’s glued on nice and strong and that the holes are lined up. Basically you want to make sure that no air can escape between the two.
  • Cut out a piece of paper the same size as the spool and punch a hole in the centre. Again check that all the holes line up. Then cover the top of the spool with the circle shaped piece of paper. Wait until the glue is dry.   
  • The hole should run through the paper, spool, and cardboard with no obstructions.
  • Blow up the balloon and twist the end to keep the air from escaping. Stretch the balloon over the top of the spool.
  • Set the hovercraft on a level table. Let go of the balloon.

Watch in wonder as your new hovercraft takes to the skies, or should we say roof! 

Homemade Electromagnet

Making an electromagnet is super fun and super easy. Most magnets can’t be turned off and they’re called permanent magnets. This one can be turned off which is why it’s called an electromagnet. How awesome is that. They run on electricity and are only magnetic when the electricity is flowing. The electricity flowing through the wire arranges the molecules in the nail so that they are attracted to certain metals.

What you need:

  • A large iron nail about 8 centimetres long or close to that
  • About 1 metre of THIN COATED copper wire
  • A fresh D size battery
  • Some paper clips

How to make it:

  • Leave about 20 centimetres of wire loose at one end and wrap most of the rest of the wire around the nail. Try not to get the wires overlapped.
  • Cut the wire if you need to so that there is about another 20 centimetres loose at the other end.
  • Now remove about 2 ½ centimetres of the plastic coating from both ends of the wire and attach the one wire to one end of a battery and the other wire to the other end of the battery. It’s best to tape the wires to the battery, but be careful the wire will get really hot.  
  • Now experiment by picking up paper clips and other small items.

Cool, an electromagnet to pick up things for the kids, or should we say, they can now pick up stuff for you. 

Potato Clock

potatobattery

Have you ever heard of a potato clock? Well now we’ll go one step further and show you how to make it. This is a very cool experiment to make a live working clock. Whatever you don’t have at home you’ll find at hardware or home supply stores. 

What you need:

  • 2 potatoes
  • LED clock
  • Two copper electrodes
  • A 10 centimetre length of thick copper ground wire (about 0.64 centimetres thick)
  • Two zinc electrodes
  • Large galvanised nails
  • Three alligator-clip wires

How to make it:

  • First open the battery compartment of the clock and remove the button battery.
  • In the compartment, you’ll notice that there are two connections for the battery marked plus (+) and minus (-). You’ll connect the potato battery to these two places.
  • Let’s call the potatoes 1 and 2. Connect 1 and 2 to the clock like this:
  • Insert a copper electrode and a zinc electrode into each potato. Make sure they’re fairly far apart.
  • Use an alligator-clip wire to connect the copper electrode of potato 1 to the plus (+) connection in the clock.
  • Use an alligator-clip wire to connect the zinc electrode of potato 2 to the negative (-) connection in the clock.
  • Use an alligator-clip wire to connect the zinc electrode of potato 1 to the copper electrode of potato 2.

Seriously, it’s that simple. And amazingly if the potatoes are really fresh the clock will last for months. What an awesome experiment. Now decide who gets to keep it. 

How to grow your own bacteria

growbacteria

 

This is a great experiment and it’s fascinating to see this bacteria grow. Watch as it grows and how quickly it reproduces. Compare the original sample with others so you can see that bacteria really is everywhere without us even knowing it. 

What you need:

  • Petrie dish of agar
  • Cotton buds
  • Some old newspaper (to wrap the petrie dish in when getting rid of it)

How to make it:

  •          Prepare your petrie dish of agar
  •          Using the cotton bud, swab a certain area of your house. Collect a sample from any surface you want to
  •          Rub the swab of the cotton bud over the agar with a few gentle strokes.
  •          Put the lid back on and seal the petrie dish  
  •          Let the dish sit in a warm place for 2 or 3 days
  •          Check on it each day and make some notes or observations describing how it’s changing
  •          Carry out the same process with a new petrie dish and swab under your finger nails or between your toes. Yes, just do it.
  •          Once you’ve seen what’s happening make sure you wrap up the petrie dish in old newspaper and without opening the lid place it in the rubbish

Warmth is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and the kids will see all the microorganisms on the plate grow into individual colonies, which are each a clone of the original. Fascinating stuff.

The bacteria grow quite quickly which is cool for the kids as they don’t have to wait for ages to see their experiment take shape. Different samples give different results which is why it’s cool to try different things like the surface and the icky place between the toes.

It’s interesting to see how widespread bacteria are and the kids can keep doing this with loads of different things and watch the results to see what happens. 

 

Do you have any cool science experiment to share? Why not sign up as a junior detective and take a video of you doing a science experiment to share with everyone?

About the Author

Lisa Steyn (51 Posts)

I’m a marketer by profession and a writer by nature. I discovered writing as my passion years ago, and have loved every bit of it, particularly writing for families in order to help them have fun and improve their lives. I’ve travelled the world extensively, lucky me! To make me happy put me next to the raging sea, or the calming mountains, and to get me firing on all cylinders send me on a wildlife safari!


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