Fun Science Experiments For Children

Picture it… It’s 5 PM and you’re trying to get dinner ready. But the kids are hanging around alternating “I’m hungry!” “I’m bored!” and “Can I stir the pot? Can I? Can I?” If they’re going to be underfoot, you might as well bring out some fun distraction. In the kitchen. Like this coolKitchen Science Experiments.

experiment3

 

OOBLECK DOUGH

Have you tried oobleck with the kids? It’s a cool messy science experiment because sometimes it feels like a liquid and sometimes it feels like a solid. Usually, you make it with water and cornstarch. But if you replace the water with some Dawn Platinum Advanced Power you can turn your oobleck into a totally unique play dough.

OOBLECK DOUGH1

For the full description and instructions, click on over to the Oobleck Dough video.

What’s the Science Behind Oobleck?

Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid, a fancy name for a material that changes viscosity (thickness) with pressure. Give it a hard push, it feels solid. Be more gentle, and it flows like a liquid. Oobleck and slime are examples of shear thickening non-Newtonian fluids, meaning they get thicker with more pressure. Nail polish and ketchup are examples of shear-thinning non-Newtonian fluids, meaning they get thinner with pressure.

 

WALKING WATER PAPER TOWEL SCIENCE EXPERIMENT

First up is a very cool color experiment using paper towels.  Here’s what you need:

WALKING WATER PAPER TOWEL SCIENCE EXPERIMENT1

  1. Lay out your six glassed in a circle. Add yellow watercolor into one glass, skip a glass, pour red watercolor into one glass, skip a glass and pour blue watercolor into the last one. Add water to the glasses with color.
  2. Cut each of the three paper towels into half the long way. You can use any kind of paper towels you want, but Bounty Advanced really works the best because it picks up so much water.Drape one piece of paper towel over the tops of two glasses.
  3. Now wait! Immediately, you’ll see colored water wicking up the paper towel. After many hours, you’ll see colored water make it into the empty glasses. After a day or so, you’ll see the secondary colors of the color wheel show up.

WALKING WATER PAPER TOWEL SCIENCE EXPERIMENT2

WHAT’S THE SCIENCE BEHIND WALKING WATER?

This color wheel gets created thanks to capillary action, the same action that helps plants move water from the ground through its roots into their leaves. It allows the water to defy gravity and move upwards inside small gaps in the Bounty Advanced paper towel.

The leftover Bounty Advanced paper towels are so gorgeous too! We’re busy scheming how to use them in other art projects.

 

WALKING WATER PAPER TOWEL SCIENCE EXPERIMENT3

Mixing Oil And Water

This a common experiment to teach kids about the mixture of the two liquids. Some things just do not get along well with each other. Take oil and water as an example, you can mix them together and shake as hard as you like but they’ll never become friends…..or will they? Take this fun experiment a step further and find out how bringing oil and water together can help you do your dishes.

A beaker filled with water to which oil has been added, demonstrating insolubility of oil in water.

A beaker filled with water to which oil has been added, demonstrating insolubility of oil in water.

What you will need:

 

Instructions:

  1. Add a few drops of food coloring to the water.
  2. Pour about 2 tablespoons of the colored water along with the 2 tablespoons of cooking oil into the small soft drink bottle.
  3. Screw the lid on tight and shake the bottle as hard as you can.
  4. Put the bottle back down and have a look, it may have seemed as though the liquids were mixing together but the oil will float back to the top.

 

What’s happening?

While water often mixes with other liquids to form solutions, oil, and water does not. Water molecules are strongly attracted to each other, this is the same for oil because they are more attracted to their own molecules they just don’t mix together. They separate and the oil floats on the water because it has a lower density.

If you really think oil and water belong together then try adding some dish washing liquid or detergent. Detergent is attracted to both water and oil helping them all join together and form something called an emulsion. This is extra handy when washing those greasy dishes, the detergent takes the oil and grime off the plates and into the water, yay!

Static Electricity Experiment

They say opposites attract and that couldn’t be truer with these fun static electricity experiments. Find out about positively and negatively charged particles using a few basic items, can you control if they will be attracted or unattracted to each other?

Static Electricity Experiment

What you’ll need:

  • 2 inflated balloons with string attached
  • Your hair
  • Aluminium can
  • Woolen fabric

 

Instructions:

  1. Rub the 2 balloons one by one against the woolen fabric, then try moving the balloons together, do they want to or are they unattracted to each other?
  2. Rub 1 of the balloons back and forth on your hair then slowly it pulls it away, ask someone nearby what they can see or if there’s nobody else around try looking in a mirror.
  3. Put the aluminum can on its side on a table, after rubbing the balloon on your hair again hold the balloon close to the can and watch as it rolls towards it, slowly move the balloon away from the can and it will follow.

 

What’s happening?

Rubbing the balloons against the woolen fabric or your hair creates static electricity. This involves negatively charged particles (electrons) jumping to positively charged objects. When you rub the balloons against your hair or the fabric they become negatively charged, they have taken some of the electrons from the hair/fabric and left them positively charged.

They say opposites attract and that is certainly the case in these experiments, your positively charged hair is attracted to the negatively charged balloon and starts to rise up to meet it. This is similar to the aluminum can which is drawn to the negatively charged balloon as the area near it becomes positively charged, once again opposites attract.

In the first experiment both the balloons were negatively charged after rubbing them against the woolen fabric, because of this, they were unattracted to each other.

 

10 comments

  • Yvonne

    I love this site! The dough looks like something my girls would love to get their hands dirty on. Lol! They love anything that’s squishy, slimy and doughy.

    The other experiments look interesting and fun too. I think it is a great way to get kids discover the science behind the things around them.

    What age group would you recommend this science experiments for kids?

    • Efi Azulay

      Hi Yvonne,

      You right about dough experiment, my daughter loved it is messy but fun.

      My daughter is 3 years old, so I think it is a great age to start.

      Age group 3 -8 will love this activities.

  • Nothando1

    Being a mom of 4 kids 4 years and younger…sometimes it even sounds easier then it is in reality. Keeping them entertained while I cook…not so easy. I usually end up doing my cooking in the middle of the night and just warming it up the next day or using the crockpot. I love the ideas on this page. I am definitely going to be trying to implement them! Thanks so much!

  • Matt's Mom

    Maybe I was a bad mom, but I didn’t have play dough in my home and didn’t want the mess. I guess I am a bit of a clean freak, and to me, that is a huge disaster waiting to happen. The Oobleck looks pretty cool, and now that my kids are grown I can have this for my grandchildren to play with 😀 and then send them home with some!

    • Efi Azulay

      Hi,

      I don’t think that you was a bad mom, becuse my mom also didn’t play dough at her home when I was a kid.

      And I turned out fine 🙂

      Try it on your grandchildren at your children house!

  • Gerleene G.

    I love the oobleck goo idea! I remember doing this myself as a young child. I also have done this many times with younger siblings and children at camps i have worked at in the past. Is food coloring the best option for coloring your goo, or are things like crayon wax, glitter and chalk powder good too? I really would love to try the crayon wax, because of the crazy color combination, but i’m afraid it might change the consistency of my goo? what do you think?

    • Efi Azulay

      Hi Gerleene,

      I used with food coloring as the recipe guide me 🙂

      But I belive crayon was is second best choise to do that.

      I think that you will try it and let me know if it’s was O.K. 🙂

  • Liz

    I’m not a mom and neither are any of my friends, but I just showed my boyfriend the Oobleck idea and he is going to pick up some cornstarch after he works out tonight! Haha!

    Definitely fun ideas for kid grown-ups too!

  • My aunt’s kids loved the Walking Water. I made it with them the other day after reading this, because I didn’t want to just watch tv all day. Just messed around with water, food coloring and bounty. Easy stuff. Great experiments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *