Science is an exciting subject to tackle as it reveals many things about the world we live in. Little kids, though, often have a hard time relating many concepts to the real world. Luckily, you can do many fun and exciting science projects at home, which can provide your little ones a better grasp of these ideas.
Of course, safety counts, given that they’ll be dealing with something new and extraordinary! So, be sure to start with those activities that are simple and safe enough for your toddlers to try. To get you started, here’s a collection of science experiments and activities that will keep your toddlers busy and amazed while ensuring that they learn and that there’s no harm done!
1. Milk Magic
Milk magic is one of the easiest and safest experiments you can do with your kids (just make sure they don’t drink the milk after the activity.) All you need to prepare is a shallow dish, milk, food coloring, and liquid dish soap. Fill the dish with milk and drop different hues of food coloring apart from each other. Afterward, carefully drip one drop of the liquid dish soap in the middle of the dish. Let your kids witness how the colors will begin to move or swirl as if guided by magic! Discuss to your kids that the soap breaks the surface tension, and the soap molecules bind with the milk’s fat molecules. Thus, causing the “magical” movement.
2. Apple Oxidation
Once apple slices have been exposed to oxygen, the fruit’s enzymes convert polyphenols to melanin, giving it its brown color. While the reaction usually happens in a few minutes, your little ones may challenge themselves in slowing down the process. Let them soak apple slices in different liquids and lay them on a dish or tray. See what happens to the apple slices in three-minute intervals and determine which fluid can be the most effective. It can help them learn about the oxidation process and the properties of the various liquids.
3. Seeds Life Cycle
After consuming any vegetable or fruit, keep the seeds, dry them out, and save them to teach about the plant’s life cycle. Let them know what are the functions of the seed then plant them in a homemade germinator. Allow them to witness how seeds turn into a sprout and a plant. Once ready, transfer the new into a pot and backyard so your kids can continue learning more about its fascinating life cycle.
4. Sink or Float?
Your little ones will undoubtedly have fun in this science experiment that will help them understand more about density. Let them gather any small objects in the house that can fit a glass of water. List down all the things collected and let them build their hypothesis on which ones will sink or float in the glass of water. Now, test out each object and compare the results with their assumptions. This activity will let them know more about density and establish their foundation in following the scientific method.
5. Smell Challenge
Get small, lidded solid-colored plastic containers and poke holes through. Next, collect different stuff with a strong odor, such as garlic, pepper, vinegar, perfume, mint, rose, ginger, chocolate, or orange peels. Place them inside the containers and label them at the bottom for easier identification. Once ready, gather your little ones, blindfold them and have them guess what’s inside the containers. Are they able to guess it right? Which smell do they love? Which ones do they find gross? What’s certain is that your toddlers will have a fun time exploring the power of their olfactory senses.
6. Make a Homemade Sundial
Let your kids fathom the mysteries of time with this low-prep science experiment. All you need is a straight stick or straw, a paper plate, and a marker. Poke a hole in the middle of the paper plate and push the stick or straw. Be sure to tape it beneath to keep it in place. Now, set up your homemade sundial outside, preferably starting at noon. Let your kids track down the position of the shadow every hour and get your chance to tackle Earth’s rotation and the passage of time!
7. Shiny Pennies
Do you have dirty pennies in your wallet or around the house? Collect them for another easy science experiment about oxidation. Coins are made of copper, and they get dull or tarnished over time as the copper reacts with oxygen, allowing the formation of copper oxides which makes the pennies dark. Some liquids are capable of dissolving the copper oxides, but some are not. Test it out!
Get paper cups, vinegar, dish soap, and other liquids available. Have your kids guess which of the liquid can turn the coins from dirty to shiny. Once they have their guesses, have them place the pennies in different cups. Pour vinegar into one cup, dish soap on the other, and any other liquids you may have. Make sure that the coins are totally soaked in the liquid. Wait for 10-15 minutes. Rinse and rub the pennies using a towel and see which one is the cleanest!
8. Walking Water
Now, it’s time to teach your kids about capillarity! Collect six clear containers: fill three with clear water and the remaining three with coloring (red, blue, and yellow). Make a circle by alternating the clear and colored containers. Once done, fold paper towels and create bridges between the containers. As paper towels are a porous material, capillarity does its magic. Your kids will undoubtedly be fascinated as the water starts to work and as the colors begin to mix!
9. Tornado in a Bottle
This experiment is extremely safe and won’t need much. Just fill a 2-liter soda bottle with water. Turn the bottle upside-down and give it a spin. Now, your kids can watch the creation of the tornado and its distinct shape. Teach your kids about the vortexes, and how it applies to natural phenomena, such as whirlpools, hurricanes, and typhoons. You can even add tiny objects to demonstrate their power and how they can whip everything they pass through.
10. Bend Water with a Comb
Time to do some water bending with your little kids! Open the faucet just enough for it to release a thin stream of water. Then, let your little ones run a comb into their hair about 20-30 times. Place the comb beside the stream of water and see how the comb “bends” it! You now have an easy way to explain the concepts of electrical currents and static electricity.
All these safe science experiments will help your little kids better understand different scientific ideas and make discoveries about the things around them. As they grow, you can start moving into more complicated projects to further enrich their knowledge about the real world.