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TiffToff88

Science experiments for kids at home?

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I want to help my sister keep her kids entertained and educated during the school closures, has anyone got any ideas of any fun experiments you can do with everyday household items that would be suitable for primary school kids?

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"The Rotten Experiment": one I did with my daughter when she was much younger & she still occasionally mentions it....

 

- Put a range of items in small containers: e.g. bread, milk, a potato, fruit, juice, leafs, meat, cheese, duplicating a few of the items

- Place most of the containers on a surface at room temperature

- Place the duplicates in a warmer location (e.g. airing cupboard)

- Compile a simple chart with kids for them to record findings day by day: e.g. appearance, smell

- Get them to look at the items once per day to record any changes they see on the chart

 

Your sister might not thank me/you for this suggestion, but I suspect most kids will love seeing things become shriveled, mouldy, stinky and/or disgusting....and it is vaguely educating!

End experiment before it becomes a health hazard, though. :D

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The pendulum.

 

Just needs:

 

- a coin (or some other even weight)

- a piece of string

- a stopwatch

 

Attach the weight to the string and the string to somewhere sturdy, and then pull back the string and let it go to swing. Get the kids to try to pull back the string different amounts before letting it go and using the stopwatch time how long it takes the pendulum to get back to where they let it go from. They should find out that no matter how much or little they pull the pendulum back, the amount of time should be exactly the same each time!

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I remember my son coming home and telling me about a bottle of coke and some type of mints you pop into the bottle. He omitted to mention to do it outside and not the lounge. 

 

Tip;- Do it outside. (And probably more of a fun thing than experimental.)

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Yes - a very simple experiment involving regular readily available household items. All you will need is some toilet roll, hand sanitiser, some dried pas...oh **** it. 

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2 hours ago, leicsmac said:

The pendulum.

 

Just needs:

 

- a coin (or some other even weight)

- a piece of string

- a stopwatch

 

Attach the weight to the string and the string to somewhere sturdy, and then pull back the string and let it go to swing. Get the kids to try to pull back the string different amounts before letting it go and using the stopwatch time how long it takes the pendulum to get back to where they let it go from. They should find out that no matter how much or little they pull the pendulum back, the amount of time should be exactly the same each time!

Not gonna lie, I might try this myself

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2 hours ago, Suzie the Fox said:

I remember my son coming home and telling me about a bottle of coke and some type of mints you pop into the bottle. He omitted to mention to do it outside and not the lounge. 

 

Tip;- Do it outside. (And probably more of a fun thing than experimental.)

This is actually a good prank we got my mate with at uni. Tie a mento and hang it in a fresh bottle of coke, so the lid of the coke traps the string and the mento is suspended (but can't be seen). Cut off the end of the string so that it doesn't look like anything is there. Give coke to unsuspecting child.

Done

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To OP, there are some good 'volcano' experiments. Give them a google as not sure how they work, just remember doing them as a kid.

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not strictly a science experiment but on Monday we made a water filter with my son, stones, sand, charcoal got some water, mixed a bit of soil in it to make it dirty then filtered it a few times, boiled the water then drank it. no one died!! 

 

I might add that it’s more fun to boil the water outside- on a little campfire if you have the space for it, but in a saucepan on the oven is fine too.

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I understand that mixing concentrated nitric acid, concentrated sulphuric acid and glycerol is quite dramatic :whistle:  Might fail the household items test though.

Edited by WigstonWanderer

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Maybe give this a go. Should only need some paper/card/any material really, some scissors and a few paper clips. You can use the stopwatch on your phone to time the fall of the ‘helicopter’.

 

Not sure how old your sister’s kids are but I’d do this with a year 5/6 class (9-11 years old) personally under normal circumstances. However if you’re doing it in a controlled, non time-restricted manner at home then the age of the children won’t matter as much!

 

The rationale for doing it is detailed in the video, but the main learning outcomes are understanding how to conduct a fair test, understanding surface area/air resistance and how and why an item’s mass can affect its fall time :thumbup:

 

 

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All day hide and seek is a good game to play 

 

The children go and hide after breakfast and if you haven’t found them by 6pm then they are the winners 

 

 

Edited by Mike Oxlong
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What about growing cress on cotton wool on a window sill?

 

I remember doing that as a young kid.  Obviously doesn't give the immediate gratification or entertainment, but once it starts you can see progress after each day and there is a bit of a sense of achievement.

 

 

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