Curiosity is the starting point for great science.

– Philip Kotler, Kellogg School of Management

 

Children are natural explorers who love to discover the world around them during play.

Here are 3 super easy science experiments to try out at home.

1. Fizzle and Pop!

They explode, they erupt, they are messy and boy, are they fun! What could cause so much excitement? That’s right, baking soda and vinegar experiments!

 

Materials needed:

  • Balloon
  • Small bottle (cleaned beverage bottle will work well)
  • Small funnel
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Small clothes peg

Instructions

  1. Using the funnel, pour the baking soda into the balloon (you may wish to prepare this beforehand if you want to avoid a mess).
  2. Carefully clip the neck of the balloon with the clothes peg to prevent the powder from falling out.
  3. Pour the vinegar to fill a third of the bottle.
  4. Carefully fit the balloon over the bottle opening.
  5. Once the balloon is fitted snugly on the nozzle, release the clothes peg and hold up the balloon to allow the baking soda to fall into the vinegar. (Tip! If your balloon does not cover the mouth of the bottle tightly, just hold it tight with you fingers to prevent the gas from escaping.)
  6. Observe the chemical reaction and effect on the balloon. 
Infographic on how to do the baking soda and vinegar mixing experiment

Thought Questions

  • What do you think will happen when baking soda and vinegar come in contact (what will be produced)?

Answer: Bubbles will form. During this chemical reaction, the vinegar reacts with the baking soda to form a gas. Carbon dioxide is the gas that causes the bubbling during the reaction.

  • What do you think will happen to the balloon attached?

Answer: The gas produced is pushed into the balloon, causing it to expand and become bigger.

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Lava Lamp

It is very simple to set up this activity. You only need a few supplies that you probably already have around the house.

Materials Needed:

Instructions

  1. Put water in several cups and add food colouring to the water.
  2. Stir to combine.
  3. Place a pipette in each coloured cup of water.
  4. Fill a bottle with oil until it is two-thirds full.

Now let the kids have fun exploring oil and water!

Thought Questions

What do you think will happen when we mix the coloured water with the oil?

Answer: Oil and water do not mix together. Oil molecules are only attracted to other oil molecules and water molecules are attracted to water molecules. So they don’t mix together. The reason the oil floats on top is because the oil is less dense than water.

Tip! When you are done with this experiment, you can screw on the bottle cover and get your child to shake the bottle to see what happens again!

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Leak proof bag

The leak proof bag is always a hit with kids, and it’s so easy to do!

 Materials needed:

  • Sharp pencils
  • Plastic ziplock bag
  • Water

 Instructions

1. Fill the bag with water and seal it up tight.

2. Hold the bag up and tell the kids to poke a pencil through.

Tip! Make sure your pencils are really sharp. If they aren’t, you might get leaks in the bag anyway.

3.Poke the pencil through both sides of the bag with a swift and firm motion.

It doesn’t leak!

 

Thought Questions

What do you think will happen when you poke the pencil through the plastic bag? What happens when you take out the pencil? 

Flexible plastic is made of polymer chains. When the pencil is poked through the bag, the molecules in the polymer chains surround the pencil, sealing it up tightly and preventing leaks. But when you remove the pencil, the hole still remains allowing the water to escape.

Did your child enjoy these simple experiments? Looking for more ways to pique their interest?

Come experience The Eton Academy’s Junior Scientist programme where your child will engage in hands-on activities and craft, learn about the Why, What and How of the world around us, and be challenged to question and uncover the science behind it all.