Nurture the crazy scientist in your kids with these kitchen science experiments. Grow their brain, feed their curiosity, and help them see that learning is fun!
Learning through play starts when your little explorer is just a few months old. Getting the children in your life excited about learning does not need to break the bank, nor does it call for signing up for extensive extra-mural courses. And no, it doesn't have to involve screen time either. Sometimes the best tools for learning are simple things you'll find in the garden or the pantry!
Your budding science expert can have the time of their lives with the help of kitchen ingredients! Head to the pantry with your kid for some exciting science experiments in the kitchen. We've compiled a list of kitchen experiments that your little Einstein will love (and you will too).
Maybe you've tried this classic experiment before - a reaction between vinegar and baking soda that results in a fizzy chemical eruption. Add washable paint or food coloring to the "volcano" or tub for an explosion of color that your kid will love.
For a quicker set-up, use a muffin pan with a spoon of baking soda and coloring in each hole. Your child can use a medicine syringe to squirt vinegar over the soda and witness the thrilling chemical reaction and fizz.
The lesson: Bicarb is a base, and vinegar is an acid. When combined, they create carbonic acid, making the bubble reaction we see.
Amaze your child with this egg-cellent experiment. You'll need one fresh egg, water, salt, and a tall clear vase or glass.
Add half the water with about six tablespoons of salt to the container. Slowly fill the rest of the container with fresh water. Gently place the egg into the water and watch it float in the middle of the glass.
The lesson: Salty water is denser than freshwater making the egg float above the dense salty liquid, holding it in place.
Let your child write a secret message or drawing on some paper with a solution of lemon juice and water, using a cotton swab as their pen. Once it's dried (and invisible), heat the paper over a lightbulb. This will reveal the secret message or image.
The lesson: Lemon juice turns brown or oxidizes when heated. Out of lemons? This kitchen experiment will also work with orange juice, vinegar, onion juice, or milk.
Fill a glass of water about 3/4 of the way up. Grab a white paper and head outside on a sunny day. Hold the glass above the paper (where the sun can shine through) and watch the rainbow colors spread on your sheet of paper. Move the water and paper to see the light move and display different effects.
The lesson: Sunlight bends (or refracts) as it passes through moisture. As it does this, it separates the light rays into rainbow colors, making them visible to us on rainy days or through this experiment.
What is faster? Hot water or cold water? We didn't know either, but this experiment teaches curious kiddo about the speed of water molecules at different temperatures.
Fill one glass with cold water and another with hot water. Place a drop of food coloring into both glasses simultaneously and observe which glass spreads the color quicker.
The lesson: You'll notice that the hot water will change color quicker. This teaches us that molecules in hot water move at a faster rate than cold water molecules.
Soak some thin chicken bones in vinegar for 1-2 days. Your kid will notice that the bones that were once hard have become rubbery and bendy.
The lesson: Eat your leafy greens! Calcium in our diet makes our bones strong. In this experiment, the vinegar (acid) dissolves the calcium in the bones, making them flexible and soft. Our bones can become weak and brittle if we don't eat calcium-rich foods regularly.
Mucus in your nose serves an important purpose. Although we know your kid doesn't see it that way, boogers are hilarious and gross to them. Now they can make boogers in the kitchen.
The lesson: Proteins and sugars make up your boogers. In this kitchen experiment, you've created a similar combination. The long, sticky booger strands in your experiment are protein strands.
In this kitchen experiment, you'll be making ice even colder! How? With salt.
The lesson: Ice melts when it absorbs energy from surrounding sources (heat, your hand, etc.). You added salt to the bag to slow that melting point, resulting in freezing point depression. This is when a compound (like salt) lowers the freezing point of a liquid (like water or ice).
Now that we've dabbled in some science experiments in the kitchen, hop over to our Save blog to learn how to ignite your child's other interests. From Fun Glow in the Dark Activities, Easy Recipes for the Holidays, How to Encourage Your Children to Read, and No Spend Weekend Ideas, you'll find a scope of fun, affordable ideas for the whole family.
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