Kids often have a lot of questions about many of the things that adults take for granted. Frequently, these questions have answers that are based on science. Depending on the complexity of the question and the age of the child, it can be a challenge to answer these questions in a way that they can understand. Fortunately, teaching kids about science can be fun and fascinating. In fact, parents may find that a great way to explain some of the common questions that kids have is engaging them in science experiments. There are many science experiments that can be done at home, right in one's kitchen, backyard, or bathroom.
When looking for educational and fun science projects for kids, there are a few things that parents or guardians should keep in mind. Naturally, the age of the child is one's first consideration, as experiments should be age-appropriate for better understanding. Additionally, age-appropriate projects allow children to be hands-on participants rather than simple observers. The most important consideration, however, should be whether the experiment is safe enough for home. Experiments, which can often be found online, should always be done carefully, with every precaution taken to ensure the safety of the children and adults who are taking part in it. Safety issues may frequently require participants to wear gloves and safety goggles to protect their skin and eyes. Surfaces should also be covered, depending on the experiment, to avoid damaging furnishings.
Creating a biodome is an interesting project for children. This is a safe project that doesn't require any protective equipment. The purpose of building a biodome is to show children how the water cycle works. The wonderful thing about this project is that most of the supplies needed can be found around one's house and yard and it is simple to do. Kids will need a clean glass jar, a layer of gravel or rocks, a layer of sand, and a layer of soil. A small plant is added and the soil moistened. Once the jar is closed, place it outside or in a window that is warm. Parents can then explain the evaporation and condensation that is occurring in the jar and how it relates to the water cycle in nature.
For kids who wonder how plants drink water, cut off a few stems of a white or very light-colored flower. The stem should then be placed in a cup of water that has food coloring added. The flower will take in the water and the color of the dye through its stem. In approximately 24 hours, kids will see that the flower petals have taken on the color of the dyed water.
People who live near hurricanes or tornadoes may find themselves explaining how a vortex is formed. This, too, can be illustrated with the help of a simple science project and is a good choice for elementary- and middle-school children. To create a vortex, have children fill a plastic bottle three-quarters of the way full with water and add liquid dish detergent and a few drops of either food color or glitter. Spin the bottle once the lid has been tightly secured and watch as the colored or sparkling vortex forms.
Other projects that can spark an interest in science include making crystal geodes with alum powder, plastic or real eggshells, food color, and glue. It can take roughly 15 hours for the formation of crystals, but the results are both amazing and beautiful. Another experiment, this one to teach kids about gas molecules and surface tension, involves the use of Mentos and diet soda. The experiment results in a geyser that is best created outdoors and with the use of safety goggles.