15 Easy Science Activities For Kids

15 easy science activities for kidsI hope you have been enjoying Science Week as much as I have. Here are some of our favorite and very easy science activities for kids we have done on No Time For Flash Cards. For even more ideas from all over the web check out our Science For Kids Pinterest board.

Color Mixing Lab
Frog Life Cycle
Squirt Gun Science
Solar Powered Crayon Melt
Ice Cream Taste Test
Sink or Float?
Which Will Erupt – Simple Experiment
Will The Egg Break?
DIY Light Box & Exploration
Glow In The Dark Constellation Canvases
Mad Scientist Lab
Magnetic Sensory Play
DIY Weather Station
Puffy Paint Moon
Snow Science – Where will it melt first ?

Science week

I hope you enjoyed Science Week . I had fun hosting great guest bloggers and focusing on only one subject for a whole week. What other weeks would you like to see us tackle?

Creating Little Scientists – Mom With A Lesson Plan

Science! How exciting to be here for science week. I’m Jillian, A Mom with a Lesson Plan. Just about any type of learning for kids gets me jumping for joy but I’ll admit, science is a fairly new love for me.

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I think what really brought me around was seeing that science ties into so many other aspects of my kids’ growth. Now that they are getting a little older (8 and 6), I can see how they use the basic science method on their own. It’s quite impressive how they are able to predict, analyze and modify their actions easily.

Of course we still enjoy the fun, messy parts of science… but it’s the structure of how to conduct an experiment that I want to come as second nature to my kids. It will benefit them far beyond science class.

Purpose

Before you start an experiment you have to have an idea of what your purpose is, you need a question to ask. Knowing how to ask a question seems simple enough, but it isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone. For most of us, it’s a practiced skill.

Learning how to ask a question

  • Figure out the question. Sometimes a very long conversation boils down to one question. Help your kids learn how to pin point it, by following up with a question about the question. “Are you wondering how roller coasters are attached to the tracks or are you wondering how the roller coaster moves along the track?”
  • Let the question develop. Often times you know what they are going to ask before they ask it. Give them the space to figure out how to ask instead of skipping ahead to the answer.
  • Respect the questions they ask. Show interest and give them sometime to wonder before jumping in with an answer.

Research

Research comes in many, many forms. You can read a book, ask someone who has experience, watch a video, etc. Once your kids know how to ask a question you can teach them how to search out the answer.

Learning how to research

  • On the way to the library, talk about which topics they would like to read about. (or study. ;) ) Remind your little ones about questions they’ve had recently. “Remember how you asked why bugs live under rocks? Maybe you can find some bug books!”
  • Google it. Searching the web is pretty easy when you have a good question to start with. Of course they will also need to learn how to decide what’s valid information.
  • Encourage them to ask around. I can not tell you how many times I’ve said. “You know what, that sounds like a great question for Grandpa.” (He’s kind of a trivia know-it-all.)

 

Hypothesis

A hypothesis is an educated guess. So simple and yet a vital skill. Learning how to make predictions and think about possible outcomes based on past experience is huge! Can you imagine how this skill will help them when they are teenagers?

Learning how to make predictions

  • Predict while reading. Talk about what might happen next in the story. Were you right?
  • Predict while doing a science activity, art activity or just playing outside. “What do you think will happen when you let go of the ball at the top of the slide?”
  • Predict… anything. “What do you think the weather will be like tomorrow?” “Do you think we should expect traffic?” Last week we found a tiny cantaloupe in our garden. Since it wasn’t getting any bigger we decided to pluck it and open it as is. It was a simple thing, but we took a moment before cutting in to talk about what we thought we would find inside.

Experiment

When I think of experimenting there are two big things that come to mind. The ability to bring your questions to life and the ability to be persistent without losing patience.

Learning how to experiment

  • When your little one has a question, help them figure out how to find the answer. Does it involve collecting materials or is it simply trying something that is already set up.
  • Having a space set up with basic art supplies and a junk box will give your kids the space to experiment on their own. (We save toilet paper rolls, lids, boxes and craft scraps.)
  • Encourage patience and persistence by allowing down time and showing the kids that YOU can take on mistakes as a learning experience.

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Analysis

Collecting data can be done in many different ways. It can be as simple as discussing what you find or as detailed as filling out a spreadsheet. Understanding how to observe, examine and consider your findings is at the core of any analysis. When kids understand how to collect results, the way it’s collected will come easy.

Learning how to record data

  • Act like a teacher (because you are!) and set up activities with a little something extra. Ask your kids to draw pictures of what they observe in the garden. Give them a clipboard and a piece of paper to write about the details of a zoo trip. Use simple graphs and charts to have a little fun recording everyone’s favorite meal.
  • Have a place for recording. Lot’s of empty notebooks make it easy for kids to grab and write when they observe something interesting. We have notebooks with lines, without lines and some with grids available anytime.

Conclusion

How do we learn from our mistakes? How do we know what really works for us and use that method again and again? We draw conclusions from our experiences.

Learning how to draw a conclusion

  • Talk! Talk about why things have happened. What could have changed the outcome?
  • Encourage your little scientists to try the experiment or experience again with a little tweak. Did they get the same result?

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And because I know how much you love a good book review here at No Time for Flash Cards. I just have to share a new favorite. We just picked it up from the library yesterday and my Little M has been carrying it around all day. Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly is about a little girl who wants desperately to be known for something. When her class begins studying butterflies and even visits a conservatory she finds just how to make herself stand out. I love, love, love how fun this little scientist is and how she becomes known for something she is good at.

 

Jillian Riley is a writer who focuses most of her creative energy into her playful learning, playful parenting blog A Mom with a Lesson Plan. She is mom to an almost 8 year old son and a 6 year old daughter. Jillian is passionate about kid activities, learning and creativity! Find her on Facebook, Pinterest and Google.

Science week

Tomorrow we wrap Science Week up with a round up of easy science activities for kids. Do not miss it!

Kitchen Science For Kids { What will freeze first?}

kitchen science experiments for kidsWhen it comes to science I usually let my kids lead with questions and suggest we investigate from there. One morning last week my son didn’t finish his milk and I asked him to please pop it in the fridge so he could have it with his lunch. Instead he asked if he could put it in the freezer to see what would happen. Of course I was game. After he put it in the freezer I asked him what he thought would happen. At 6 it was no shock that he thought it would freeze, so I asked him how long he thought it would take. That sparked this simple kitchen science experiment we did a few days later. My kids love kitchen science for kids and I love doing it with them. Fun together time with science!

Our question was:  Which kitchen liquid would be the first to freeze ?

  1. Gather your materials. You will need an ice cube tray, a line up of different kitchen liquids , a timer ( not really a must ) and a freezer. We had a measuring spoon too! Our liquids were water, vinegar, chocolate syrup, ranch dressing, dish soap, milk and apple juice.freezer science
  2. Start by filling your tray with the different liquids. kitchen science for kids what will freeze the fastestBefore you ask your kids to make predictions ask them what they already know about the different liquids. My kids and I noted that we freeze water all the time and it takes an hour or two. They noted that milk will freeze so they knew that more than just water can freeze. After they go over all their background knowledge ask them to make a hypothesis or prediction if you are focusing more on results not the reason for the results. If they make a prediction simply say “why do you think that will happen?” and voila you will also get a hypothesis out of them.kitchen science freezer exp
  3. Freeze it! We set my iPhone timer to go off at regular intervals.
  4. Observe what is happening. The apple juice was the first to form crystals. The water quickly caught up by the next time we checked. The dish soap had cool bubbles and was getting harder to stir, and the chocolate still tasted great although it wasn’t really ever frozen. We checked on the tray for 3 hours and by then end of that everything was solid except the chocolate syrup which still has a dough like texture days later.kitchen science activity for kids
  5. After the results are in ask your child what they noticed. My daughter noticed that the vinegar and water froze pretty easily and that the chocolate never did. My son noticed that the thicker liquids were much slower to freeze than their thinner counterparts. That’s when I jumped in with the word viscous. We talked about how the water, milk , vinegar ,and apple juice froze faster because they all have lower viscosity than the dish soap , ranch dressing and chocolate syrup. I kept it very simple explaining that the less viscous a liquid is the easier it is to take another form and for the cold to get to every part of it. The thicker liquid was harder to freeze because the cold air had to work harder to get all of it cold enough to freeze. I tend to over explain things to my kids and have learned their signals for when my answer is shifting into a lecture. If they keep asking questions keep answering them but those blank stares are a sure fire sign that you should keep it simple, at least for now! kitchen science for kids what can you freeze

The best part about simple kitchen science for kids is that it lets your children see that science is everywhere. It’s in their kitchen and is accessible to all.

Science week

Tomorrow we are talking about how teach the scientific method to young kids with Jillian from A Mom With A Lesson Plan!

Egg Drop Science Project

science for kids with eggs

We’ve been having fun with recycled materials and a few days ago when I heard my son say ” I’m bored!” I replied with ” Want to throw some eggs off the porch? ” He’s 5 so of course he said yes! I told him there was one rule we had to make a escape pod and try to protect the egg from cracking. This is a classic egg drop science project but my bet is your kids have never seen it so go grab some eggs, and your recycle bin and experiment!

  1. Gather your materials. We rummaged through our recycle bin, my art closet and playroom. This is what we decided we might use. Immediately there was talk of a parachute. When I found a treat box it was quickly tagged as a possible parachute. egg toss We also used bubble wrap, an egg carton, some tape, cotton balls, party streamers and yarn. Use what you have that’s the whole idea, to use what you have to make something useful to protect the egg . egg toss craft for kids
  2. First he lined the carton ( that we cut in half) with cotton balls and bubble wrap and added strips of party streamers.egg toss craft for kids
  3. Then we poked holes in the treat box to make a parachute and threaded yarn through. egg toss craft
  4. Tied it on to the carton.egg toss craft for kids
  5. Added the egg. Closed it up and used a little tape too.egg toss
  6. Then we trekked out to the porch and …. wait wait first we made predictions. My son predicted it would be OK. I thought it would be smashed. Then he dropped it .egg toss craft
  7. It didn’t crack! egg toss
  8. ” Let’s do it ’til it cracks!”  OK!
  9. 2nd time it hit the flower box … as soon as it did my son said ” I bet that made it crack!” toss craft
  10. He was right.  I asked him to explain why it would make it crack but the ground wouldn’t. He explained it simply but logically. ” The parachute didn’t have time to help yet and it hit hard.”

This wasn’t a planned activity but it was a blast. It would be so fun in a class to keep throwing them until only one survives!

 

Play Date with Science – Easy Fun Experiment

science for kids Making science fun and exciting for kids when they are young lays the foundation for the years ahead.  Have a blast with this simple science experiment , it was a huge hit with my son and one of his buddies at a play date we had yesterday.  I told the boys that we had a mystery to solve which powder would make the biggest eruption? That was all two 5 year old boys needed to hear.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some small containers , something for your little scientists to pour the vinegar out of ( ours were little food containers used for dip), cookie sheets to keep your kitchen from becoming a mess, a  and some paper and marker to make numbers. Then you will also need some baking powder, baking soda , cornstarch and vinegar.  I made a little chart but we didn’t use it , they were too excited and that excitement was my goal so we just asked questions and made predictions verbally. science for kids
  2. Start by pouring the vinegar into a smaller container. This made it much easier to refill the cups between pours.
  3. Fill the containers with the powder and place in order on the trays.
  4. Call the kids.Have them check out the powders however they want and decide which will make the biggest eruption.
  5. Pour ! #1 was baking powder which has baking soda in it so it bubbled over ( more than I expected ) but it didn’t erupt.
  6. #2 was cornstarch and both boys declared it a “Dud” .
  7. #3 was the grand finale and it didn’t disappoint.science for kids
  8. After the experiment was over they played and poured until there were no more bubbles to be had. science for kidsThey were chattering so quickly to each other about droids and potions and giggling it was hard to catch what they were pretending it all was, but it was clear they were having a ball. After the play date was over my son asked to do more science at play dates. I am more than willing!