By: A.Marie Silver
Whether your children are learning from home due to the pandemic, or you’re in need of something to keep them entertained during the weekend, nothing is better than combining fun with education. We picked out a selection of fabulous science experiments. The good news is, each of these experiments is easy. The bad news is, adult supervision will be required for most of these experiments. Check out these science projects designed for a homeschool classroom
At-home chemistry experiments are always fun and educational. But sometimes, they can also be a mess which is why they should be done in either a kitchen or a bathroom.
CALM DOWN JAR
Patience. It’s a hard concept to learn and very easy to lose. Kids are born with the extreme talent of testing their parents’ patience. For those parents who need to teach their children a lesson in patience, calm them down, or just need a few minutes to breathe, My Crazy Blessed Life came up with the perfect solution for a homeschool classroom. They refer to this as the “Time Out Timer,” but other blogs refer to it as the calm down jar. Whatever you call it, give it a try with your small children.
The author of My Crazy Blessed Life stated that the ultimate goal was to help her daughter self-soothe without needing a timer. Instructions for how to put together the time out timer are listed on her website but the ingredients are fairly basic and easy to acquire. For this timer you will need:
- A water bottle
- Clear gel glue
Help your kids mix the ingredients together for a super easy chemistry experiment and then save the bottles for a time when your kids need help calming down.
FORENSIC SCIENCE PAINTING
For older kids, this next homeschool classroom chemistry experiment will be a huge hit! Bring crime scene television right into your kitchen (minus the actual crime). The Orlando Science Center uses paint and paintbrushes to teach kids about bloodstain pattern analysis. All that’s needed for this project is either a canvas, poster board, or butcher paper; paint, paintbrushes, and old clothing you won’t mind getting messy. From this experiment, kids will learn all about the stains that are cast when blood drops from a moving object, wiped onto another surface or spattered on the walls.
For geology – otherwise known as the study of the Earth, there are a neverending amount of activities parents can use to engage their children from sensory activities like filling up two different bucks with soil and sand and letting their toddlers feel their way through each bucket, to more advanced activities like studying soil composition. We found two very fun Geology lessons for your homeschool classroom.
HOMEMADE QUICK SAND
Science Kids came up with a clever idea for kids: homemade quicksand. They do recommend that this science experiment be done outdoors because of the potential mess that it can make. The ingredients for homemade quicksand are maize cornflour, water, a plastic container, and a spoon. Kiddle has a list of interesting facts about quicksand that parents can use with this experiment to help kids understand what quicksand is and some of the myths surrounding quicksand.
And then there’s the classic DIY volcano experiment seen on just about every family sitcom of the 1980s. If you’ve ever wondered how to create a homemade volcano, the people at Arm & Hammer have the perfect recipe. The ingredients are a little more involved because of the need to make the actual volcano but putting together the lava is a little simpler. All that the lava requires for this homeschool classroom experiment is vinegar, baking soda, a few drops of dishwashing liquid, food coloring, and water. Just in case you need it, National Geographic Kids has a list of volcano facts on their website that parents can use to enlighten their children’s minds while putting together the volcano.
Oceanography lessons don’t have to be restricted to studying the oceans and marine life. For toddlers, lessons in oceanography can start simple using sponges. For older kids, we have just the eye-opening seek-and-find game. Check out these homeschool classroom ideas.
Kindercare came up with several different homeschool classroom experiments that can all be done in the bathtub. Water reactions are just one idea they came up with. The idea is for parents to collect items that will react to water, like sponges or towels and other items like plastic toys or kitchen utensils that will not. Let your children watch as sponges and towels absorb water while the other items do not and discuss those differences with them.
So the title of this section is really just a fun play on words. We’re not suggesting that seaweed is secretly lurking throughout your house. We are, however, suggesting that algae (and seaweed is a type of algae) is not only lurking in your house but can also be found in your favorite snack foods and other common household items.
Education World came up with this seek-and-find game that will make an excellent project for your homeschool classroom. NASA has generously provided a list of items that contain algae in it to make this homeschool classroom lesson even more exciting. When discussing algae with your kids, go over each item on the list and then send them on a seek-and-find game to help them reinforce what they just learned.
Acoustics, like oceanography, doesn’t have to be complicated and technical. Homeschool classroom lessons on acoustics can be as simple as taking your preschooler or kindergartener outside, having them close their eyes and listen to and identify all the sounds they hear. But for older kids, we have some other acoustic lessons parents can try.
Scholastic has some other ideas about teaching sounds to young children by having them play “Sound Jeopardy.” Parents will collect different digital sounds and place them into categories: animal sounds, vehicle sounds, musical instruments, etc., and then have the kids play a round of jeopardy, trying to identify the different sounds they hear. There are various websites that have free sound effects for parents to download sounds from. Freesound.org is one of them.
Explore Sound has an experiment listed on their website that includes the use of a tuning fork, ping pong ball, and string to help teach kids about vibrations. Tuning Forks, like the one featured above, can be purchased on Amazon. If this experiment seems too complicated for your homeschool classroom, scroll down to the part where it talks about having your kids place their fingers against their throat while they’re talking so they can feel the way their throat vibrates when they’re speaking.
For older children who need more challenging lessons on sounds, there are a number of websites that offer free instruction and lesson plans. Ducksters is one of those websites.
Science is so much more than what’s inside of a textbook. Bring science to life for your kids by introducing them to one or more of these experiments to your homeschool classroom. They’re fun and entertaining for the whole family.