Children often learn a great deal from hands-on experiments, particularly scientific principles, predicting results and being able to come to their own conclusions. Many experiments combine two or more ingredients to create a chemical reaction and a new product, which kids may find fascinating. Easy and safe experiments can be conducted at home in a controlled environment, using common household items.
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In this experiment, kids can observe a volcano eruption. You need modelling clay, baking soda, vinegar or lemon juice and some food colouring, if desired. Mold the clay into the shape of a volcano, with a well in the centre to hold the liquid and baking soda. Put a teaspoon of baking soda into the well and add a few drops of food colouring. Add a small amount of lemon juice or vinegar and watch the two ingredients react and produce foam. This can be a messy experiment, so make sure to do it outside or on a surface that can get dirty.
The soapy foam experiment will create a bubbling foam that gives off a carbon dioxide gas. Gather a bowl, a small amount of vinegar and some washing soda. The soda acts as a base, while the vinegar acts as the acid. Put a spoonful of soda into the bowl and add a few drops of vinegar. A soap-like foam will be created. Once the combination is finished producing foam, there will be a residual salt substance that should not be eaten. You may want to conduct this experiment outdoors as it can become messy.
Kids can have fun with a simple experiment that produces milk curdles. You need a bowl, a small amount of milk, vinegar or lemon juice as an acid and a toothpick or Popsicle stick. Add a few drops of the vinegar or lemon juice to the bowl of milk, and the milk will curdle. Use the stick to pick out the curds to show your child, but make sure not to eat them as they can cause the stomach to become upset.
Pennies are made from copper. Copper will react with oxygen in the air to form green copper oxide. Collect a paper towel, plate, pennies and vinegar. Fold the paper towel so that it is fairly thick and place it on the plate. Add vinegar until the paper towel is soaked and then put the pennies on it for up to one day to observe the reaction taking place. The pennies will turn green.
In this experiment, kids can observe milk with coloured swirls. Gather a shallow dish, liquid dish soap, food colouring and whole milk. Pour the milk into a dish and let it sit out until it warms up to room temperature. Add a few drops of food colouring and then a few drops of the liquid dish soap. The soap breaks down the fat in the milk, causing a swirl pattern in the food colouring.
Salt Crystal Formation
Kids can observe the formation of salt crystals in this kid-friendly experiment. You need a cup, some table salt, warm water, a magnifying glass, small bowl and a sunny area in which to place the bowl. Pour a tablespoon of salt into the cup and fill the cup one quarter of the way with warm water, allowing the salt to dissolve. Pour the mixture into the bowl and place it in a sunny spot for a few days, so that the mixture can evaporate. Use the magnifying glass to see the salt crystals formed by the solution.
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