We have rounded up some simple and fun experiments for children to do at home afterschool. Hands-on experiments are a great way for children to satisfy their curiosity and answer their own questions about the world.
We hope this list gives you some great ideas for fun hands-on experiments at home. If you are looking for ready to use, affordable, and kid-approved science kits, that includes everything, check out Smore Science Kits
1. Why do we have to wear sunscreen when we go outside?
Find out with this experiment about the sun and potentially harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays Use UV-sensitive beads that change color when exposed to sunlight to understand how the Sun produces different wavelengths of light and what materials can protect us from those potentially harmful rays. You can also use black light as a source of UV light.
Project Extension: you can use different SPF sunscreens to cover the beads and see if that helps protect them from the harmful UV rays. You can really tell why your parents say it is important to put on sunscreen when you go outside on a sunny day or at the beach!
2. Do things float better in the ocean or in a river?
This experiment helps you understand the concept of water density. You can find out if the ocean (or saltwater) helps things like boats and animals float better and if so then why. You can test different salt levels to prove whether having more or less salt makes the water more or less buoyant. Be sure to keep track of your measurements!
3. Why do we have to brush our teeth?
Want to know why it’s important to visit your dentist so often? Here’s a very cool experiment using eggshells to simulate teeth enamel, the stuff that covers your teeth. You can soak the eggs in different substances with different amounts of sugar and see how they affect the eggshells. As a bonus, you can test to see how brushing with toothpaste and toothbrush actually helps after you’ve got them nice and dirty. You’ll never look at sugary drinks the same way.
4. Do hand sanitizers really work or is washing your hands better?
Here’s a neat experiment to understand why it is important to wash your hands and how to see microbiology in action. You use actual Petri dishes and establish the scientific need for having a control (untouched) sample. Its both super gross and very cool at the same time! Try to think of other variables you can test as well!
5. Why do pennies get nasty and dark and what will make them shiny again?
In this experiment, you gather lots and lots of dirty pennies and test out different household acids in order to clean them. Why do they get like that and what ingredient cleans them the best? This is a great chemical reaction experiment that leaves you feeling shiny and bright!
6. Squirmy Wormy: Which type of soil do earthworms like best?
If you LOVE getting your hands dirty, here’s a cool zoology project that’ll show you why earthworms are important and what happens to dead plants in the soil. After your project is done, you can place these guys in your garden and let them help add nutrients to your garden soil!
7. PAPER AIRPLANE SCIENCE. What type of airplane flies best?
Who doesn’t love engineering a paper airplane? Yes, it is considered engineering when you design a machine (or paper) to fly. Pick a few different fun designs of paper airplanes and then measure how far each design will go. Try to predict which one will fly the furthest or which one will fly in a loop. What things about each airplane do you think affects its flight? Research about aerodynamics and remember to double-check your measurements!
8. Which ramp surface will a marble roll the farthest on?
This one lets you experiment with different textures and see what factors affect how far a marble can roll. What exactly is friction and how does it affect distance traveled by an object? Check this cool experiment out and see for yourself!
And if you have any questions, feel free to contact us – your friendly science experts.
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