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Science Should Be Free
I am a member of several parents groups, and I see quite often parents asking what science curriculum they should buy for their preschool and elementary school kids, especially when they end up unexpectedly homeschooling for various reasons. I am a firm believer that in a current day and age parents can create their own custom science curriculum following interests of their children and utilizing resources freely available on the net. Parents who send their children to school also don't have to break the bank by buying expensive science kits. This is why in this post I want to share 52 great science activities for kids age 5-10 that don't require any equipment and use only materials that you are very likely to have in your home already. I will also share links to our favorite YouTube science channels and favorite books with science experiments - you might be able to find these books in your local library.
52 Weeks of Free Science
January (Snow and Ice)
You will need: water, a plastic water bottle, soap, and a couple of disposable diapers.
February (Valentine's Day)
You will need: water, vinegar, baking soda, a balloon, chocolate chips, ice or candy mold, conversation hearts.
March (Rainbows)You will need: water, sugar, food coloring, crayons, paper towels or paper tissues. a narrow glass, and a wide glass.
- Flip a Rainbow from Lemon Lime Adventures
- Sugar Density Rainbow from Little Bins for Little Hands
- Looking for Rainbow here on Planet Smarty Pants
- Walking Water from Coffee Cups and Crayons
You will need: eggs and eggshells, salt, sugar, vinegar, food coloring, recyclables. Borax and Epsom salt are optional.
- Protect an Egg here on Planet Smarty Pants
- Spinning Eggs from JDaniel's Mom
- How Strong Is an Eggshell? from Science Sparks
- Colorful Naked Eggs from Science Kiddo
- Grow crystals in eggshells here on Planet Smarty Pants
May (In the Garden)
You will need: food leftovers, a glass jar, a bucket, scissors or a knife.
- What Do Ants Like to Eat? from Gift of Curiosity
- Make a Snail Habitat from The Powol Pockets
- Make Your Own Wormery from Science Sparks
- Dissect a flower from Gift of Curiosity
You will need: water, food coloring, a straw, different household liquids, a plastic bag, a pencil.
- Predict the Volume of Melting Ice here on Planet Smarty Pants
- What Freezes First? from No Time for Flashcards
- Magic plastic bag trick from Buggy and Buddy
- Watch water molecules attract here on Planet Smarty Pants
July (Colorful Explosions)
You will need: water, salt, vegetable oil, food coloring, sidewalk chalk, vinegar, ziplock plastic bags, tall water containers.
- Hot and Cold Fireworks here on Planet Smarty Pants
- Exploring Density in Liquids from Buggy and Buddy
- DIY Lava Lamps from Hands On: As We Grow
- Exploding Sidewalk Paint from Growing a Jeweled Rose
You will need: a plastic bottle, a plastic bag or plastic wrap, eggs, aluminum foil.
- Science of Clean Water: Make a Water Filter here on Planet Smarty Pants
- Make a Solar Desalination Still from Capri +3
- Make a Paint Out of Berries from Thriving Stem
- Is It Hot Enough to Fry and Egg? from Growing a Jeweled Rose
- Make a Parabolic Solar Cooker from Almost Unschoolers
You will need: apples, pinecones, leaves (fallen leaves and leaves still on trees), water, salt, sugar, baking soda, lemon juice.
- Preserve Cut Apples from Browning here on Planet Smarty Pants
- Why Do Leaves Change Color? from How Wee Learn
- Why Do Pine Cones Open and Close? from Lemon Lime Adventures
- How Do Leaves Breathe? from KC Edventures
You will need: a rubber glove, oil, water, food coloring, tea bags, a balloon, recyclables.
- Make Potions here on Planet Smarty Pants
- Haunted Halloween Melt from Happy Hooligans
- Flying Tea Bag Ghosts from Playdough to Plato
- Self-Inflating Ghost Balloons from Mama Smiles: Joyful Parenting
- Design and Build the Boat that Floats here on Planet Smarty Pants
You will need: a Halloween pumpkin, fresh corn on the cob, corn seeds, beans, soda, vinegar.
- Pumpkin Decomposition from Gift of Curiosity
- Popcorn on the Cob from TinkerLab
- Dancing Corn from Little Bins for Little Hands
- Dissect a Bean from Buggy and Buddy
You will need: candy canes, poinsettia leaves, sugar, coffee filters.
- Bend a Candy Cane from Preschool Powol Pockets
- See How Much Water a Cut Christmas Tree Can Drink from Mama Smiles
- Explore Different Yypes of Evergreens from The Educators' Spin On It
- Make PH Paper with Poinsettia Leaves from Almost Unschoolers
- Make Your Own Rock Candy from Paging Fun Moms.
DIY Lab in a Box
Even though we had our fair share of science kits, Smarty really loves her Lab in a Box that we put together mostly with things around the house and bits and bobs from old science kits. The most important ingredient? Food coloring, of course :)
Books with Science Experiments for Kids
In addition to the wealth of information available on Internet, there are so many great books with science experiments for kids. I listed our favorites in this post, and we actually got many of them through our library first before deciding to purchase them.
Favorite YouTube Science Channels for Kids
I feel that my post about free science would be incomplete without calling out our favorite YouTube science channels:
From my blog:
- Lego Science
- 10 Fun Solar Experiments for Kids
- Think Like a Scientist
- Connecting Science and Writing
Follow my Science Pinterest board
What are some of your favorite frugal science activities for kids?