Easy Science Experiments For Kids – Start Simple
Are Children Science Magnets?
Our children are scientists!
From the moment they can move, we as parents are plunged into a world of protection and guidance, as they start a lifetime journey of interactions and discovery with the world around them.
Children need hands-on experiences and challenging outcomes to satisfy their relentless desire for knowledge.
Keeping it Simple
Easy science experiments for kids, performed at home can be a truly fantastic way for children to acquire science knowledge. More often than not the results of an experiment are not what kids are expecting. This creates a sense of wonder and a desire to repeat what they have seen.
Science experiments don’t have to be complex or flashy to captivate their interest.
Emphasis on the active participation and interaction is far more important than a multitude of props, lights, and smoke! Simple experiments at a young age can become cherished memories, leading to a lifelong affinity with science and it’s experiments.
Easy Science Equipment
The average home is crammed full of items that we all take for granted as we go about our busy lives. Everyday objects such as cups, glasses, chocolate, water and even potatoes can seem pretty mundane. Not so fast….
Household clutter they maybe, but for a budding young scientist, this is prime real estate for experiments.
Time To Experiment – Floating Eggs?
To perform this simple but amazing experiment we will need just a few things from the kitchen.
- An egg (shell intact)
- Table Salt
- A glass big enough to contain the egg
- Water – from the tap
- Small spoon
What are we going to do with this stuff? Well its quite simple really…. Remember this is a safe and easy science experiment, so encourage your child to interact and get as hands-on as possible. Science is fun!
- Fill the glass with water so that it is about 3/4 full.
- Get a child to gently drop the egg into the water.
What happens to our egg?
Does it stand on its end ?….or perform a figure of 8 in the water…….. No!
It sinks like a stone. How boring!!
Okay, let’s move on and see if we can help our egg to do something special.
- Using the small spoon let your child sprinkle a spoonful of salt into the glass.
- Continue to add a spoonful of salt slowly, one at a time until something happens.
What happens to our egg once we add a few spoonfuls of salt?
That’s right! It starts to rise in the water and with a few more spoonfuls it will happily float on top. Eureka!!
Are Easy Science Experiments Easy to Explain?
Science is science and some language used to explain the results of our easy experiments can sometimes be rather tricky for young children to grasp. Whilst it is important to offer an explanation in such a way that is easy for a child to comprehend, please don’t be tempted to change the science vocabulary.
A real benefit to performing these experiments for children is the promotion of new vocabulary and science concepts.
Let’s Try to Explain What Just Happened
Why did our egg float to the top of the water?
The explanation is based on the difference in density between the water and the egg density.
Density is described as the mass of an object divided by its volume.
The mass of an object is determined by the atoms it is made from. For simplicity’s sake, the more the atoms are compacted the greater the mass of an object.
If we imagine 1kg of feathers next to 1kg of iron, we would see that the volume (space) of feathers would be far greater than that of the iron. Therefore, the density of iron is much greater than the density of feathers -Simple!
When we add the egg to the tap water the egg sinks to the bottom because the density of the egg is greater than the density of the water. Adding salt to the water increases the mass of the water, as the salt is absorbed into it
More and more salt was added to the water increasing its mass with every spoonful. Given that the volume of the water solution has not changed much at all, the density of the water increases. Eventually the density of the water increase so much that it becomes greater than the density of the egg. At that point, the denser water sinks to the bottom causing the egg to float on top of it.
This simple experiment can be used to explain why is it easier to float in the sea than in a local swimming pool. The higher the density of the water the easier it is to stay float within it.
This is demonstrated in dramatic fashion with a swim in the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is the saltiest and lowest body of water in the world. In fact, a swim in the dead is probably not a good physical description. From a buoyancy perspective, it is almost impossible to adopt a normal swimming position. The Dead Sea is almost 10 times saltier than a typical sea so humans typically float, much like the egg in our experiment.
Accessible Science – You Have a Role
By utilizing everyday equipment and items from around the home, I want to break down the barriers that make science experiments something that we only read about in books. There is a whole world of tried and tested experiments out there that our children have simply not had the opportunity to experience.
Whether we are recreating experiments from the past or performing new experiments to drive future science initiatives and technological development, we have a duty to enable and encourage new scientists to get involved.
In this series of simple experiments, I want to continue the theme of simplicity and almost instant results. Observing change is fundamental to a child’s positive experience, especially at the outset.
Science experiments can be easy and enjoyable for the whole family.