Science Sparks: 5 Easy DIY Experiments for Curious Minds

The world is fascinating, brimming with wonders waiting to be explored. We keep discovering something new daily, even as adults, so what more for kids? Especially for them, curiosity is a superpower! It fuels their desire to learn, understand, and experiment. We believe in nurturing this curiosity and fostering a love for exploration, not just through science but also through creativity and resilience.

In this blog, we will be focusing on child-friendly science experiments. We have curated a collection of five experiments for kids at home.  Simple yet captivating DIY experiments for kids that utilise readily available household items. They make for a perfect rainy day activity or any time your little scientist needs inspiration. Get ready for fizzy reactions, colourful explosions, and a whole lot of fun! These experiments can also serve as a springboard for further exploration and learning, building resilience in children by encouraging them to ask questions, solve problems, and persevere through challenges.

1. The Fizzy Fun Volcano

Volcanoes are awe-inspiring natural wonders. With this baking soda volcano experiment for kids, they can simulate their very own erupting volcano, minus the piping-hot lava!

What you need:

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Dish soap (optional)
  • A small tray or baking sheet
  • Construction paper
  • Red and orange paint (optional)
  • Cardboard or playdough (optional)

What to do:

  1. Making the volcano: If you are using cardboard, help your child form a conical volcano shape. Playdough can also be used to create a base and cone shape. Decorate the volcano with construction paper and paint for an extra touch.
  2. Eruption time! Place a generous amount of baking soda inside the volcano’s crater. Carefully pour a small amount of vinegar over the baking soda. Observe the fizzing reaction! Add a few drops of dish soap before pouring the vinegar for a dramatic effect.

The science behind the fun:

The fizzy volcano experiment demonstrates a chemical reaction between an acid (vinegar) and a base (baking soda). The reaction produces carbon dioxide gas, causing the fizzing and bubbling.

2. Rainbow Milk Magic

This colourful experiment creates a beautiful display of colours using simple kitchen ingredients.

What you need:

  • Whole milk
  • Dish soap
  • Food colouring (various colours)
  • Cotton swabs
  • Shallow dish

What to do:

  1. Pour whole milk into the shallow dish.
  2. Add a few drops of different food colouring around the edge of the milk, creating a colour wheel.
  3. Dip a cotton swab into the dish soap and gently touch the centre of the milk.
  4. Now watch the rainbow explosion!

The science behind the fun:

Dish soap disrupts the fat molecules in the milk, causing them to move and spread the food colouring outward. The different colours travel at slightly different rates, creating a beautiful rainbow effect.

3. Dancing Raisins

Can raisins dance? Let’s find out through this experiment, which explores the concept of density and buoyancy in a fun and interactive way.

What you need:

  • Glass of clear carbonated soda or clear carbonated soft drinks (club soda or seltzer water works best)
  • Raisins

What to do:

  1. Fill a glass with clear soda.
  2. Drop a handful of raisins into the glass and observe what happens!

The science behind the fun:

The carbon dioxide gas bubbles in the soda are denser than the raisins when they first sink. As the bubbles attach to the raisins, they become less dense and float to the surface. Once the bubbles pop, the raisins sink again, only to repeat the cycle. This is a great edible science experiments for kids (great for safety-conscious parents!)

4. Walking Water Experiment

Raisins dance, and now water walks? This mind-bending experiment demonstrates the power of capillary action.

What you need:

  • Two glasses of the same size
  • Paper towels
  • Water
  • Food colouring (optional)

What to do:

  1. Fill one glass with water. You can also add a few drops of food colouring for a visual effect.
  2. Fold a paper towel into a long, thin strip. Make sure it is wide enough to touch both the water and empty glass.
  3. Place one end of the paper towel in the filled glass and the other end in the empty glass, creating a bridge between the two.

The science behind the fun:

Water molecules are attracted to each other, creating a surface tension. The paper towel fibres act like tiny tubes, drawing the water up and over to the empty glass through a process called capillary action.

5. Crystal Growing

With this experiment, you can get a glimpse into the fascinating world of crystal formation and growth.

What you need:

  • Glass jar
  • Pipe cleaners (optional)
  • Salt or sugar
  • Hot water
  • Spoon

What to do:

  1. Preparing the solution: Boil some water and dissolve a generous amount of salt or sugar into it, one spoonful at a time, until no more dissolves, creating a saturated solution.
  2. Crystal seed (optional): Bend a pipe cleaner into a desired shape and dup it into the hot solution. Let it cool slightly, then suspend the pipe cleaner in the jar by resting it on the rim without touching the bottom. This will act as a seed for your crystals to grow on.
  3. Crystal growth: Carefully pour the hot salt or sugar solution into the har, leaving some space at the top. Place the jar in a cool, undisturbed location. Over several days, crystals will begin to form on the pipe cleaner. If you did not use any seed, you will see the crystals form on the bottom and sides of the jar.

The science behind the fun:

As the hot water cools, it becomes saturated with salt or sugar. This means it can no longer hold as much salt or sugar, so the excess starts to come out of the solution and forms crystals. The crystals grow slowly as more and more salt or sugar molecules attach themselves to the seed or the jar.

Beyond the Experiment: Building Resilience through Science

These experiments are just a starting point for scientific exploration! Encourage your child to ask questions, make observations, and experiment further. Here are some tips to help build resilience in children through science experiments.

Consider mistakes as part of the journey:

Scientific discovery is rarely a linear process. More often than not, discoveries and breakthroughs form through trial and error! There will be times when experiments don’t go as planned. Help your child view these as learning opportunities by discussing what went wrong and brainstorming ways to try again.

Encourage patience and acknowledge effort:

Focus on praising your child’s effort and patience throughout the experiment – in the whole process and the outcome. This helps them develop a growth mindset and the belief that they can earn and improve through hard work and perseverance.

Connect science to the real world:

Talk about how the scientific concepts explored in the experiments relate to the real world. For example, discuss the role of volcanoes in shaping our planet’s landscape or how crystals are used in everyday objects like jewellery and electronics.

Let’s Make Learning Fun and Engaging

If you are looking for more ways to spark your child’s curiosity and nurture a love for learning, you may want to enrol them in engaging art classes for kids. Look for classes and workshops that provide a fun and supportive environment where children can explore their creativity, develop new skills, and build confidence. Art and experiments are powerful tools for fostering imagination, problem-solving skills, and emotional expression – aspects of building resilience in children. Consider workshops to build resilience in children, equipping them with the tools they need to navigate challenges and setbacks throughout their lives. Check out our workshops and resources for free creative ideas and activities for kids.

Children are always curious about the world around them. Don’t hesitate to encourage their exploration! These easy “DIY science experiments for kids” are a fantastic way to ignite their curiosity and excitement about learning. Science is all about asking questions, experimenting, and discovering new things. Provide them with opportunities to explore and learn to help them develop a lifelong love of science and build resilience that will benefit them as they grow older.