Science Experiments for Kids
If you’re looking for simple yet fun and educational science experiments to do together with your kids - we’ve got you covered! These 3 science experiments for kids are quick, fun and (most importantly) require minimal mess.
There’s no better way to get kids interested in learning than to make it fun! Science experiments are a great way to peak kids' interest and get them excited about the mysterious world of chemistry. These 3 easy and fun science experiments involve food coloring and are also a great way to teach kids about primary colors as they mix to create secondary colors.
Before beginning any of the experiments, be sure to ask your kids what they expect will happen (their hypothesis) and why they think that. Have them write down their hypothesis and then once you’ve finished the science experiment(s) have them compare it to the outcome!
What you’ll need:
- Clear cups of equal size (we used 7 small plastic cups)
- Food coloring in primary colors
- Paper towel
- Place 7 cups in a row. You can also add less or more cups, so long as you have an odd number of cups.
- Pour water into the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th cups, and be sure to leave the remaining cups empty. The fuller the cups, the better!
- Add a few drops of red food coloring to the 1st and 7th cups.
- Add yellow food coloring to the 3rd cup. Tip: we found that the red food coloring overpowers the yellow, so you might want to add a couple extra drops of yellow food coloring to ensure they mix to create orange.
- Add blue food coloring to the 5th cup.
- Stir the cups to mix the water and food coloring.
- Fold 6 sheets of paper towel lengthwise, and then lengthwise again.
- Be sure to trim the length of the paper towel (this will also make the experiment a bit quicker!).
- Place the paper towel in the cups. Each piece of paper towel should be positioned so that each end is in a separate cup. The towel will act as a bridge transporting the colors between cups.
- Watch the magic happen! The experiment will take at least 30 minutes for full results, but you’ll be able to see the water ‘walking’ as soon as you place the paper towel in the cups.
This experiment is a great opportunity to talk to your kids about the process of capillary action. Similar to the way in which water moves up the roots of a plant to its leaves, the colored water will move up the gaps between the small fibers of the paper towel, transferring the liquid from one cup to another. Essentially, the gaps in the paper towel act like capillary tubes, pulling the water upward!
Fireworks in a Jar
What you’ll need:
- Glass jar
- Food coloring
- Cooking oil
- Pipette (or a straw)
- Warm water
- Fill your jar ¾ full with warm water.
- Add oil (about 4 tablespoons) to your water. The oil will naturally separate to form a layer on top of the water.
- Add a few drops of each food coloring to your jar using a pipette or straw.
- Gently stir the top layer of oil, until you see a few drops of food coloring penetrate the water.
- Watch the fireworks explode! Once the color settles, you can repeat step 4 for another explosion of color.
This experiment is all about liquid density. Just like solids, liquids also have measurable densities. Because both food coloring and water have higher densities than vegetable oil, we see that they sink to the bottom. The food coloring will sink below the surface of the oil, mixing with the water and creating an explosion that resembles fireworks!
What you’ll need
- Milk (either full cream or 2%)
- Food coloring
- Dishwashing liquid
- Plate or shallow bowl
- A skewer or cotton tip (optional)
- Pour about a cup of milk into your shallow bowl or plate.
- Add a few drops of each food coloring to the milk. The more colors, the better! To keep it simple, try using primary colors so you can watch them mix (you can also take this as an opportunity to talk about primary colors with your kids).
- Now for the fun part! Add just a dash of dishwashing liquid into the centre of the milk and watch the magic happen.
- For extra fun, you can give your kids a cotton tip or skewer so they can mix the milk and watch the colors interact.
Although milk is mostly water, it also contains vitamins, minerals, proteins, and a little bit of fat. It’s these fats and proteins that are particularly sensitive to changes in their environment, and which react to give this super cool reaction!
Much like other oils, milk fat doesn’t dissolve in water. But when we add dishwashing liquid to milk, the oil portion of the dish soap works to break up the fat molecules in the milk. As this process happens, the food coloring shows us the rolling, bending, and mixing that occurs as the soap races to join up with the fat in the milk-making for quite an impressive show!
We hope you enjoyed these super cool science experiments for kids! If you decide to give them a go at home, be sure to tag us @babysits so we can see your awesome creations. Looking for more experiments your kids are sure to enjoy? Click here for more STEAM-related activities!