By Jodie Kieliszewski
4 Easy Home Science Experiments For Kids
For our budding scientist’s 11th birthday party, we invited five friends over and did a few experiments. In this article, I’ll share the four easy science experiments that you can complete with your children too!
Experiment 1: Disappearing Ink
The first order of business was lab safety. Everyone was given a pair of vinyl gloves and safety glasses. After donning the proper safety wear, our first experiment was to prepare some disappearing ink to write the birthday scientist a secret message. We discussed acid and base reactions and how they make great science experiments at home. To make the ink we dissolved phenolthalein in alcohol and added it to some water. We then added just enough of a weak sodium hydroxide solution to turn the indicator pink. The budding scientists were given a tube of “ink,” a paintbrush, and paper to write a message.
To their surprise the ink disappeared before their eyes. The water in the ink reacts with the carbon dioxide in the air and forms carbonic acid and lowers the pH of the ink, rendering it colorless. For our birthday boy to develop his secret message, we took a paper towel with ammonia and lightly rubbed it on the paper and the ink reappeared.
Experiment 2: Creating a Foam Monster
Our next experiment was to show the rapid evolution of hydrogen peroxide using potassium iodide. For this experiment, we took 20 mL of hydrogen peroxide and added 5mL of any type of dish soap and food coloring. We then added 5mL of a 5M solution of potassium iodide. The iodide in the solution quickly strips off the extra oxygen for the peroxide and bubbles out with the soap. The food coloring makes a cool looking foam monster.
Experiment 3: Homemade Slime
Every party needs some homemade slime, which is the polymerization of polyvinyl acetate. This experiment is always a hit with just about any age group and is easy and inexpensive. For the experiment, we used 1/2 cup of Elmer’s School Glue and added it to 1/2 cup of water and some food coloring. We stirred the mixture with craft sticks. Once it was homogeneous, we added 1 cup of a borax solution that was made by adding 1 tsp of borax to one cup of water.
Slime time! Using their fingers, they kneaded the mixture until the polymerization took place. The borax cross-linked the polyvinyl acetate molecules to form a mass of slime.
Experiment 4: Homemade Ice Cream
And of course, no science party is complete without proving the freezing point depression of salt on ice by making homemade ice cream. The scientists put 1 cup of half and half, 2 Tbsp. of sugar, and 1/2 tsp. of vanilla into a quart Ziploc bag. The quart bag was then put into a gallon freezer bag with two quarts of snow and 1/4 cup of ice cream salt. They shook, rattled, and rolled their way to a delicious treat. This was all topped off with an Erlenmeyer Flask cake bubbling over with sixlets.
Jodie Kieliszewski and her husband, Josh, live in Michigan, where they raise three boys, and bees. They were blessed with a swarm of bees, which flourished into their business, Bee Lovely Botanticals, LLC. They are grateful for God’s provision in such rewarding ways and look forward to sharing their passion for honeybees and the bounty of the hives at www.beelovelybotanicals.com.