Fun Science Experiments for Families

August 4, 2022
Emily Win

August is a time of preparing to go back to school and reconnecting with friends and loved ones. We want to encourage family bonding and enrichment by celebrating all the different ways you and your family can have fun in your own home!

Have you ever tried an at-home science experiment? It’s a lot easier than it sounds and you don’t need many extra materials or ingredients. Check out a few recipes below.

Erupting Volcano
Skills Level: Basic
Messiness Level: High
Skill Practiced: Chemical reactions

What you’ll Need:
* 2 Liter bottle of coke
* Packet of Mentos
* Warm water
* Dishwashing detergent
* Baking soda
* Vinegar
* Empty soda bottle

If using the Mentos method, all you’ll need to do is drop one tablet into the 2 liter soda bottle. Make sure to do this outside and keep your children at a safe distance. If using the baking soda method, place an empty container on a tray and use play dough or foil to create the “volcano” base around it (so the opening of the container is the top of the volcano). Drop remaining ingredients into container and watch it erupt! See here for more info.

Sink or Float
Skills Level: Beginner
Messiness Level: Low
Skill Practiced: Water density

What You’ll Need:
* Sink, bathtub, or large container of water
* Objects of various densities and size (ball, coin, empty bottle, rock, etc.)

This game is best for young toddlers and infants. While bathing your child, give them a variety of objects to try and sink. Let them observe which objects sink (more dense objects) and which objects float (more hollow objects).

DIY Lava Lamp
Skills Level: Easy
Messiness Level: Medium
Skill Practiced: Chemical reactions

What You’ll Need:
* Vegetable oil
* Water
* Empty container (ex. empty water bottle)
* Antacid tablet (ex. Alka-Seltzer)
* Food coloring

Mix water with desired food flooring. Break up the antacid tablets into a few pieces and drop into water. Add vegetable oil and watch the liquids and oil separate into fun globs! See here for more info.

Potion by Steve Jurvetson

Solar Oven
Skills Level: Difficult
Messiness Level: Medium
Skill Practiced: Solar energy

What You’ll Need
* Carboard box (ex. Pizza box or shoe box)
* Aluminum foil
* Plastic wrap
* Food to cook (we recommend s’mores)
* Wooden Skewer or stick
* Plastic wrap

The most basic solar oven can be made with just a box and foil. Simply wrap the box in the foil and set your desired food inside. Then, place the box in the sun for a few hours and watch your food cook (or melt!). For more precision and faster cooking, prop the pizza box up with a stick or skewer and place the food on the base of the box. Cover the bottom part of the box with plastic wrap. The foil from the top of the box will reflect down into the bottom, melting the food faster. See here for more info.

Dinosaur Bones
Skills Level: Medium
Messiness Level: Medium
Skill Practiced: Paleontology

What You’ll Need:
* Flour
* Salt
* Water
* Images of dinosaur bones
* Oven

Mix the flour, water, and salt until you get a thick dough. Shape your dough into different bone shapes. You can leave the bones as clay material to reshape, or you can bake them at 250 degrees for 3 hours to achieve a hard bone-like texture. See here for more info.

Egg Drop
Skills Level: Easy
Messiness Level: High
Skill Practiced: Gravity
What You’ll Need:
* A few eggs (varies on how many you want to use)
* Various objects to wrap/store eggs in (ex. felt, plastic wrap, foil, leftover container, blanket)

Find a high point (such as stairs or a landing) to drop the eggs from. Using the materials gathered, create structure to protect egg from cracking when dropped. Drop protected egg from high point to see if it stays together or breaks!