Whether the kids are learning at home or in the classroom, science is so much fun! It’s the kind of subject that opens children’s eyes in bewilderment, encourages them to question everything, and provides them with the opportunity to get stuck in to hands-on experiments. So, why not reinforce what your kids are learning about at school by trying some simple experiments at home? Here are a couple of science experiments you can do in your kitchen on a rainy weekend or over the Christmas holidays.
First, turn on the cold tap. Let it trickle out and gradually turn the pressure down until you have a very thin stream of water flowing from it. Then, ask your child to run a plastic comb through their hair at least ten times. Once they’ve done this, they can slowly bring the comb to the line of the flowing water. Don’t let them touch the water with it, and all being well, they’ll see that the stream of water bends towards the comb… like magic! You can use this activity to demonstrate the fact that things with a negative charge (the electrons collected on the hair comb) attract to things that have a positive charge (the water), using what seem like superhero water-bending powers.
This experiment is great if you want to encourage your kids to eat their leafy green vegetables at the dinner table. First, ask your child to keep a bone from a dinner you’ve cooked for them (a chicken leg works best of all). Clean the bone under running water and dry it. Then, ask children to try gently bending it. They’ll notice that they can’t as the bone is hard. This is because of the calcium in the bone, and it’s just the same for the bones in our body too. Then, ask them to put the bone in a jar filled with vinegar, sealing it with a lid for three days. Once three days have passed, ask your child to take the bone out and try bending it again. Their patience will pay off, and they’ll see that the bone is now rubber-like and has become bendy! This is a good demonstration to show that vinegar – a mild acid – can dissolve calcium in the bone, and once the calcium has gone, the bone becomes soft and rubbery. It’s the perfect opportunity to encourage your kids to eat green vegetables and drink milk if they want their bones to grow hard and strong, demonstrating that calcium is important for bone strength.
If these experiments sound like fun and you fancy going all scientific at home over the Christmas holidays, you can stock up on science supplies from an educational supplier like this one.
Article written by Bethany Taylor