Don’t wait until the school sends home a science fair assignment. Doing science projects with your kids is a great way to explore, learn, bond and have fun as a family. They don’t need to be complicated. Here are five you can do at home with items you probably already have on hand.
All you need are two eggs, water, salt, two tall drinking glasses and a timer. Fill the glasses half way with water. Dissolve six tablespoons of salt into one. Then fill both glasses the rest of the way with water, being careful not to mix the plain water with the salted water on the bottom of that glass. Gently lower an egg into the glass of water with salt in it. It will move quickly through the plain water and then slow down when it hits the salt water. Time how long it stays suspended. Then drop an egg into the glass of plain water. It will immediately fall to the bottom.
Teach children about ratios and probability with a favorite treat. Pour out a bag of M&Ms and sort the colors into individual piles. Then count each pile to find out which color is most common. Repeat the experiment with a total of three to five bags of M&Ms and then analyze your results.
Shine up your pennies
Soak pennies in five different liquids: milk, water, soda, coffee and vinegar. Mix a 1/4 cup of each liquid with a teaspoon of salt in a nonmetal bowl. Add three dirty (not shiny) pennies to each bowl. Count to ten slowly, then rinse the pennies with tap water and place them on dry paper towels. Vinegar should be the winner. The salt reacts with the acidic vinegar to remove the gunk.
Grow the world’s smallest lawn indoors
Soak a sponge in water and then wring out until damp. Place sponge on a plate. Sprinkle sponge with grass seeds, then sprinkle with water. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and put in a sunny windowsill. Sprinkle with water until sponge is just damp every few days. Watch the seeds grow into a tiny indoor lawn.
Write a secret message on the mirror.
Place a few drops of dish washing liquid in a cup of water. Stir. Give children cotton swabs and have them write messages or draw pictures on the bathroom mirror using the swabs as their pens and the soapy water as ink. Let the “ink” dry. When someone takes a shower the steam will cause the message to appear.
Do your children enjoy doing science projects? What are your favorites?