Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Dozen of Our Favorite Science activities

My boys LOVE science.  They always have and that love has grown tremendously since we started homeschooling.

Science is one of those subjects that best lends itself to hands- on experiments, real life observations and lots of trial and error.  The boys have an inherent interest in nature and how things work so even when I don't plan science experiments I feel like we're learning about science.  Many of our field trips revolve around science too-- trips to zoos, nature centers, hikes, children's museums, and even the beach lend themselves to nicely to science exploration.

For those times we're home and I'm planning actual experiments we use books, Pinterest, and Google to help us find extra fun experiments.

Here is a list of some our favorites that we've tried (I know the boys loved them because they still ask to do them all again!). 




1.  Volcanoes!  We have done many experiments with baking soda and vinegar to make various volcanoes.  We made a volcano in an ordinary drinking glass.  We made model volcanoes and filled them with baking soda and vinegar.  We  filled disposable tin trays with baking soda and used droppers to drop colored vinegar onto them; watching them bubble and foam.  We've made snow and sand volcanoes.  We've made fizzing alphabet letters using baking baking soda and water, letter trays and vinegar.  The reactions are endless fun for my three boys to watch and experiment with. 




2.  Make ice cream-- in a bag.  YUM!   It's a simple science activity that yielded a yummy treat; need I say more?? 

3.  Homemade Lava Lamp-- This one was lots of fun and so easy!  We took a plastic jar and filled it part way with colored way and part way with oil and then we dropped Alka Seltzer tablets.  Easy, fun and fascinating! 


4.  Freezing bubbles-- One very cold winter morning we brought our bubble solution outside and blew bubbles.  We got to watch them freeze right before our very eyes.  It was amazing even to me! 


5.  Tornado in a bottle-- My husband drilled a small hole in two soda bottle tops.  We filled one bottle 3/4 of the way with water and put the tops onto two bottles and glued/taped them together.  If you twirl the bottles slowly as you flip them over the water funnels out the holes and into the waiting bottle.  It is very neat to watch that funnel form. 

6.  Bag of Blood (great at Halloween!).  When I saw this on a website at Halloween time I had no idea how much fun it would be.  We filled a Ziploc bag with colored water and using long wooden skewers we poked them all through the bag.  We were amazed at how many skewers we could put through the bag before it started leaking. 


7.  Oil and Water experiments-- We have made an ocean in  a bottle using blue colored water and vegetable oil.  We have filled disposable vegetable trays with oil and dropped colored water into it, watching the water bead up and stick together.  My kids love trying to mix oil and water; it never gets old. 

8.  Ivory Soap Clouds-- We love watching the Ivory soap bars puff up into a huge cloud of soap flakes in our microwave.  The air and water pockets inside Ivory soap, in particular, lead it to puff up into a huge mound.  It's so fun to watch it get bigger and bigger.  Then the boys have fun playing with the flakes afterwards.



9.  Making Goop, Silly putty, snow dough, flubber, etc..  We love making all the fun "play dough" we find on Pinterest and the internet.  Many use normal household items and it's amazing to see how one ingredient change makes a huge difference.  The boys love that these experiments are fun to play with for weeks to come since we save what we make. 



10.  Kitchen Science-- we call any baking activity Kitchen Science.  The kids love to make and eat new delicious creations.


11.  Melting Plastic-- we have tried everything from using Shrink Dinks, making our own Shrinky Dinks using plastic take- out containers and melting pony beads to make Christmas ornaments.   It makes the house a bit stinky but it's still neat to watch the plastic shrink and take on a new shape. 



12. Make Your Own Water Fountain-- We used a soda bottle to make our own water fountain. It was really neat to see the water pouring out into the kitchen sink!  It wasn't all that hard to put together either.  

  

Linking Up With: The Homeschool Nook 

“Mrs.AOK,

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