Kids are naturally fascinated by science, but they develop different interests at different ages. Their inclinations, passions and skills vary, and for some it might take a bit more time and effort to get them interested in science. If your children are older then you can look at getting some extra help in the form of a tutor, it’s becoming lot more mainstream with 96% of parents saying they wouldn’t judge other parents for employing one. If your children are young then there is time to teach them that science is fun, here are some fun science lesson ideas to help ignite your child’s love of science.
The walking water science experiment
You will need:
3 empty glasses
Select the colours you want to mix – red and yellow looks good. Fill a jar with water for each colour and add the food colouring. You then place a third glass in between the other two.
Take two equal lengths of kitchen roll and fold them into quarters lengthwise. Dip one end of the towels into each glass, and the other end into the empty one in the middle. Explain to your child that capillary action will cause the water to travel up the paper towel and into the empty jar, which will fill until the level of water in all three jars is equal.
With two primary colours, you’ll also find this is a great opportunity to teach about mixing colours to make new ones.
The glowing oil and water experiment
You will need:
A large clear container
Some neon paint
This activity will be most effective with a UV blacklight, and some UV safety
glasses would be a good idea. Start by filling a container with baby oil and putting it to one side. Next, add a teaspoon of neon paint to a bowl – use one bowl for each glowing paint colour. Fill those bowls with warm water and stir until the paints dissolve. You will now have glowing waters to use.
Next, have your child use a pipette to drop the glowing waters into the container full of oil. This will cause the water to form into beads and create
really dazzling effects.
No matter how much coloured water you add, the oil and the water will never mix. Teach your child about the densities of the two liquids, and the fact that water molecules are polar while oil ones are non-polar.
Make an overnight crystal garden
You will need:
A measuring cup
Pebbles or sand
Start by measuring up and mixing your Epsom salts with warm water. Use a 1:1 ratio, and combine them in the jar. Next, add in the food colouring – a dash of colouring will do, just stir it in thoroughly. Do your best to dissolve all of the salt into the water, but it doesn’t matter if some salt remains undissolved.
Now, drop in a pebble or some grains of sand. Crystals require something
to grow on, and these should ensure they have a place to start forming.
Once this is done, place the jar in the freezer for 10 minutes to quickly cool
the water, then transfer it into the fridge. Leave it there overnight, and make sure it isn’t disturbed.
The next morning, slowly pour out the excess liquid. Gently wipe away any
excess salt, and you should be left with a beautiful crystal garden. Just be
warned they are very fragile.
Crystals are formed by patterns of repeating molecules. When a liquid cools slowly, or when it evaporates from a chemical mixture, the solute is left behind. The solute molecules form geometric shapes, and this is what you see in your crystal garden.
There are plenty of other ideas for fun science lessons you can share with your children. Nurturing an interest in science is all about showing how fascinating it can really be. Whatever age your child is, it’s important that they have a thirst for knowledge, and science is full of amazing things for them to discover. Simply show the interest yourself, and make the effort to share these fun experiments with them.