Science is everywhere, from the air we breathe to the food we eat to the electricity that powers just about everything in our homes. So why is it sometimes so hard to get our kids excited about it? The key to getting kids interested in science is to make it entertaining and relevant. Are your children interested in spy and detective work? Do their ears perk up when they hear about something gross? Try one of these amazing experiments to get them engrossed in exploring the wonders of science:
Invisible Ink: You’ll need half a lemon, water, a cotton swab, white paper and a lamp or light source. Squeeze some lemon juice into a bowl and add a few drops of water. Mix the water and lemon juice with a spoon. Then dip the cotton swab into the mixture and write a secret message onto the white paper. Wait for the juice to dry so it becomes completely invisible. Kids can decode the message by holding the paper close to the heat of the lamp. So how does it work? Lemon juice is an organic substance that oxidizes and turns brown when heated. Diluting the lemon juice in water makes it hard to notice when applied to paper until it is heated and the secret message is revealed.
Fake Snot: For this experiment you’ll need boiling water, gelatin, corn syrup a fork—and a strong stomach! Fill a mug halfway with boiling water. Add three teaspoons of gelatin to the boiling water and let it soften a bit before stirring with a fork. Add a quarter cup of corn syrup and stir the mixture again. As the mixture cools, slowly add more water. Then check out the long strands of gunk that have formed! Yuck! Since mucus is made mostly of sugars and protein (found in the gelatin and corn syrup), that is all you need to make fake snot. The long, fine strings you see inside your fake snot are protein strands. Protein strands make real snot sticky and stretchable, to protect the inside of your nose and help collect germs.
Egg-xperiment: All you need for this experiment are two eggs, one hard-boiled and one raw. Make sure both are around room temperature. Spin the eggs and watch what happens: one egg should spin while the other wobbles. But which egg does what? The raw egg’s center of gravity changes as the fluid white and yolk move around inside the shell, causing the wobbling motion. And if you try to touch the shell to stop it, the egg continues moving due to inertia (the same type of force you feel when you stop suddenly in a car—your body wants to keep going even after the car stops). The hard-boiled egg stops much faster, since it is one solid mass. Test your friends and family and see if they can tell the difference!
Once kids understand the role that science plays in their everyday lives, they won’t look at it as learning—they’ll just look at it as fun!
Author Bio: Erin is a writer for the MindWare blog and resides in Bloomington, Minnesota. MindWare is a company that offers educational toys for kids that promote brainy thinking and family fun! Erin loves cooking and movies and is expecting her first child in a few months.