With the cold weather we’ve had to find endless indoor activities to fill the days. I pulled out the old science experiments for kids books I had lying around. I found them at book sales and from my mother (who likely found them at book sales). They never out date themselves so it’s the best kind of book to scout out at sales. I consider this to be a free activity since it was with supplies found around our house.
We decided to be scientists for the day and picked out 3 experiments to run.
Experiment 1 – environment
supplies: clear bowl, water, oil, washing soda
Fill clear bowl with water. Have your child add the oil and ask them to observe whether it floats or sinks. Birds feather have some oil on them which help them from sinking.
Have them add the washing soda and observe what happens to the oil. Adding detergents to the rivers etc keeps birds from being able to float properly.
Experiment 2 – magnets
supplies: cardstock, paperclip, cardboard, strong magnet
Fold cardstock and cut out paper dolls using a tutorial such as this one. Tape dolls together to form a circle. Tape a paperclip to one doll’s foot and sit circle on the cardboard. Hang the cardboard over the edge of a table and place magnet underneath moving it from side to side. Watch the dolls dance.
Experiment 3 – forensics
supplies: graphite pencil, paper, clear tape
Rub the graphite pencil on a piece of paper. Firmly press a finger onto the rubbing. Take a piece of clear tape and place on fingertip. Remove and stick onto paper. Have the child look closely at their fingerprints and compare others.
(my daughter loved this one and did her brother’s prints. We then labeled the fingers above the prints. This is also a great way to have a record of your child’s fingerprints!)
For some more ideas here’s a great site that will help you start science at home.
Danielle is mom to a 4 year old daughter and 2 year old son and always looking for fun things to do with the kids. She blogs over at fourdayshome.