Tuesday, February 23, 2016

How do you react when your child tells you that he or she wants to "do more science?" Are you rushing to buy another science kit, reach out for baking soda and vinegar or shudder thinking of inevitable mess? Science for kids does not have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, science for elementary school kids can be practically free!
Save money on science curriculum with these 52 science activities for kids that won't break your budget

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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

Free Science Activities for Kids to do in Winter

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.

Free Science Activities for Kids to Do in Spring

March (Rainbows)

You will need: water, sugar, food coloring, crayons, paper towels or paper tissues. a narrow glass, and a wide glass.

April (Eggs)

You will need: eggs and eggshells, salt, sugar, vinegar, food coloring, recyclables. Borax and Epsom salt are optional.

May (In the Garden)

You will need: food leftovers, a glass jar, a bucket, scissors or a knife.
Free Science Activities for Kids to Do in Summer

June (Water)

You will need: water, food coloring, a straw, different household liquids, a plastic bag, a pencil. 

July (Colorful Explosions)

You will need: water, salt, vegetable oil, food coloring, sidewalk chalk, vinegar, ziplock plastic bags, tall water containers.

August (Outside)

You will need: a plastic bottle, a plastic bag or plastic wrap, eggs, aluminum foil.
Free Science Activities for Kids to Do in Summer

September (Fall)

You will need: apples, pinecones, leaves (fallen leaves and leaves still on trees), water, salt, sugar, baking soda, lemon juice.

October (Halloween)

You will need: a rubber glove, oil, water, food coloring, tea bags, a balloon, recyclables.

November (Harvest)

You will need: a Halloween pumpkin, fresh corn on the cob, corn seeds, beans, soda, vinegar.

December (Christmas)

You will need: candy canes, poinsettia leaves, sugar, coffee filters.

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:

Your Turn

What are some of your favorite frugal science activities for kids?
Frugal and easy science activities for Kids for each week of the year.

28 Days of STEM

We are participating in the 28 Days of Hands-On STEM activities for kids! Check out its homepage to see a list of all the great STEM activities you can look forward to this month.

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Chhaya said...

Thats an amazing list of science projects! Thank you for compiling it and sharing it!

shelah moss said...

This is an amazing resource! It is so useful for parents and educators. You are right when you say that people "can create their own custom science curriculum following interests of their children and utilizing resources freely available on the net."

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

This is amazing! Very well organized.

Crystal said...

This is a really great post! I love how you listed all the required materials for each month. Such a great idea to make STEM activities simple and accessible for everyone!

Ticia said...

Food coloring is super cool, my kids would recommend vinegar and baking soda as the most important. Fun list of themes.

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

This is such a wonderful resource!! Thanks so much for putting it together!!

Jeanine H said...

wowzers! You've got our year covered! Thank you so much! I have found my youngest is getting more and more into science and away from art ;( during her recent elementary years. Providing her with enough science fun has been difficult because I've always used the art. This is such an incredibly useful list and I thank you so much for taking the time to put all the ingredients and every source together this way! Happy Summer 2016 to you