Weekend Wonder: Simple Science Experiments For The Kids With Everyday Home Items


Edible Crystals / Hallmark Channel; Invisible Ink / Cochichi; Pencil Magic / Cleverly; Lava Lamp / Our Best Bites


Science is everywhere, all around us. The many wondrous things and happenings around us are due to science. Teach and nurture your little scientist at home with some fun experiments that are not only easy and fun to conduct, it’s a great way to introduce this subject to them!


Rock Crystals

When a science experiment involves food, or in this case, candy, the young ones at home are going to go crazy over it. Rock candy makes for a delicious experiment to learn about crystallization that you can do in the kitchen. You can also add colours and flavourings to customize your candy in any way you fancy.


Materials

  • Sugar

  • Drinking water

  • Clothespin

  • Pot

  • Wooden sticks (e.g. bamboo sticks)

  • Colour food dye

  • Flavouring

  • Jars

Method

  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a large pot on the stove.

  2. Stir in 4 cups of sugar.

  3. Boil and continue stirring until sugar appear dissolved (This creates a supersaturated sugar solution. This is also the time to add in any flavour enhancement, such as vanilla or peppermint and so on).

  4. Allow the solution to cool for 15-20 mins.

  5. While waiting for the solution to cool, prepare your wooden sticks for growing the rock crystal.

  6. Wet the wooden sticks and roll them around in granulated sugar.

  7. Dry the sugared stick completely before moving to the next step (one stick per jar).

  8. Once the sugar solution is cool, add in food colouring and/or flavouring to create rock candy of your preferred colour.

  9. Pour the cooled solution into a glass jar (or jars) and insert the sugar covered wooden stick into the centre of the glass. (Make sure the stick is not touching any part of the jar. If it does, the candy crystal could get stuck to the bottom or both sides).

  10. You can divide the sugar solution across several smaller jars or use one large mason jar, depending on how many sticks of rock candy you’d like.

  11. Secure the stick in place using a clothespin.

  12. Cover the top of the glass with a paper towel (You may have to poke a hole in the paper towel for the wooden stick to poke through).

  13. Place the glass in a cool and quiet place (Loud noises and a lot of movement can disturb the crystal making process).

  14. Every day, the candy crystals will grow larger. They will reach their maximum growth potential by 2 weeks.

  15. When you have a good amount of rock candy crystal, remove the stick and place it on a sheet of wax paper to dry before eating.

Invisible Ink

When your kids are role-playing spies or secret agents in the house, introduce this cool experiment to them, showing how you can write and send secret messages and codes to each other! All you need is some basic household objects and the power of lemon juice.

Materials

  • A piece of paper

  • A cotton swab

  • A heat source (a lamp or electric stove works)

  • Lemon

Method

  1. Squeeze lemon into a glass and mix a bit of water.

  2. Dip your swab into lemon juice and start writing your message. Let your message dry completely.

  3. Once dry, an adult should hold the sheet over a heat source. You may also use a lamp light or blow-dryer.

As the milk or lemon “ink” heats up, it will oxidize and turn brown. You can try this experiment with other substances such as vinegar, honey, or orange juice.


Lava Lamp

A good way to get your children excited and interested in Science is through experiments and making a lava lamp from scratch has always been a go-to, fail-proof entry point for parents because it’s so easy to make and the outcome almost never disappoints. This experiment teaches about density of various liquids.

Materials

  • A clean plastic bottle

  • Water

  • Vegetable oil or baby oil

  • Fizzing tablets such as Alka-Seltzer

  • Food colouring

Method

  1. Fill the bottle with 1 quarter of water.

  2. Pour the vegetable oil until it’s almost full, leaving some room at the top for a little bit of bubbling.

  3. Add a few drops of your favourite food colouring. Watch as the colour sinks through the oil.

  4. Break your tablet in half and drop it in the bottle. Watch it fizz and bubble to the top.

Pencil Through Water Illusion

Turntable


Not all magic are tricks that play with your mind. Some ‘magic’ are actually science experiments, like this experiment where you poke a sharp pencil through a plastic bag of water. We would most probably think that water will definitely leak through the holes… or will it not? Put on your magician hat and try this out at home with the kids to learn more about polymers and molecules.


Materials

  • Ziplock / storage bags

  • Sharp pencils

  • Water

  • Water tray (just in case)

Method

  1. Fill the bag with water.

  2. Hold it tightly with one hand while inserting sharp pencils through it (it has to be straight through, no crazy angles allowed).

  3. Repeat the same pattern repeatedly with more pencils.

Walking Water Rainbow

Create your own mini rainbow with household items. Use this chance to teach your child about capillary action, as well as colour mixing! Do note that this splashy experiment takes about an hour or so to see the result, but preparing it only takes a few minutes.


Materials

  • 7 jars or drinking glasses (preferably transparent)

  • Food colouring (3 primary colours: red, yellow and blue)

  • Water

  • Scissors

  • Paper towel (thicker is better)

Method

  1. Arrange the 7 jars in a line.

  2. Fill every other jars with ¾ amount of water.

  3. Add the colouring only to the jars with water (Add red to the first and last; yellow to the third, and blue to the fifth).

  4. Fold 6 paper towels in half then in half again so you have long, snake-like towel. Then fold it in half.

  5. Place one end of the paper strip into the coloured water and the other into the empty glass. Repeat until you have a zigzag of paper towels going from the first jar to the last.

Make Your Drawings Float

Have you always wanted your drawings to come to life? While this experiment won’t be as magical like Cinderella’s fairy godmother turning a pumpkin into a carriage, but we can make your masterpiece float on water. This is one experiment even the adults are going to enjoy.

Materials

  • Dry erase markers (e.g. whiteboard markers)

  • Glass dinner plate or dish

  • Water

Method

  1. Draw a simple picture on the glass such as a stick figure or shapes.

  2. Pour water onto the plate or bowl and slowly life up the drawing.

  3. Swirl the water around to make the picture dance and move.

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