Every Child Is a ScientistI was excited to see that this week’s topic for Discover and Explore is “science experiments”. I believe firmly that every child is a scientist wanting to touch, taste, smell, hear, and see the world around them. So many things in our daily life offer natural opportunities for scientific discovery – from taking a bath to cooking a meal, but my daughter always loved “real” science, and over years we conducted many science experiments, read science books and visited science museums. Here are some of our experiments that we’ve done since daughter started kindergarten (she is in the second grade now). I chose not to include experiments requiring special ingredients and science kits.
Simple Science Activities for K-3
- 1 – Start a science journal to record your observations of nature and your science experiments (it’s a great way to encourage writing too!)
- 2 – See with your own eyes how oil is lighter than water.
- 3 – Make your own playdough and play with it.
- 4 – See sound.
- 5 – Why do we use hot water for tea? Test your hypothesis.
- 6 – Recycle paper into new paper (requires some prep).
- 7 – Compare weight and volume of water and ice.
- 8 – Explore a mystery substance.
Let Children Experiment on Their Own
An edible experiment: I gave my daughter sugar, flour, water, milk, and food coloring and let her mix and match these ingredients to her content. She ate some of her colorful “cookie dough” with no ill effects.
Non-edible chemistry: forever popular soda and vinegar, food coloring in milk with detergent, curdling milk, mixing oil, water and food coloring.
Inspiration From Science Experiment BooksDisclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate and the links below are affiliate links. We own all the books in my list of science experiment books, and I especially recommend this older book What Is It Made Of by David Glover for the youngest scientists. It’s targeted for a younger audience and written in a simpler language than most books that are designed for older kids or their parents. My fluently reading preschooler used to read it for pleasure and inserted many sticky notes marking experiments she wanted to do. Many of those experiments could be done rather quickly – a big plus for our busy family.
- 1. 52 Amazing Science Experiments is really a deck of cards. I wouldn’t call suggested experiments “amazing”, but they require little prep and it’s interesting to pull the cards randomly and see what happens. Something to consider as Christmas stocking stuffer.
- 2. 175 Science Experiments to Amuse and Amaze your friends – more suitable for older children, but I like full color illustrations and explanations behind the experiments. I used several of suggestions in the book to explain water, air and movement.
- 3. Usborne Big Book of Science Things – usual high quality of Usborne books, very suitable for more crafty kids and experiments usually involve making something first. So far daughter didn’t choose any experiments from this book.
- 4. What is it Made Of –see above.
- 5. A Little Giant Book of Science Experiments – we got this book as a present from grandparents. It’s somewhat similar to the first book – a big collection of simple experiments with very little explanation about how they work. Good for inspiration and makes a nice stocking stuffer.
- 6. The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science – I haven’t given this book to my daughter, since I prefer for her to have a control over her experiments, and most experiments would require too much adult help supervision. It’s going to be fun when she is about 9 or 10 and can do most of them on her own.
Science Inspiration from Blog Friends
- Almost Unschoolers is an amazing science resource both for older students and for younger grades. Leah teaches a lot of science concepts through yummy cookies. If you are unfamiliar with this blog, you should certainly check it out!
- Ticia from Adventures in Mommydom has a lot of hands-on science as well as great science printables to share. She also has a weekly Science Sunday linky
- Phyllis from All Things Beautiful rocks science for her multi-age crew – check out her Concoctions for Play series.
- Discover and Explore hosts share variety of fantastic ideas in this week’s Science Experiments.
- You are welcome to check my Pinterest boards for additional science ideas: