Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 5 December 2020

Make rainbows and explosions: 6 simple science experiments you can do at home with the children

Little ones will learn and have fun at the same time with these quick and easy activities

Make baking soda and vinegar react to create an explosion of colours. Courtesy Kidzapp
Make baking soda and vinegar react to create an explosion of colours. Courtesy Kidzapp

Running out of ideas to keep the little ones busy and interested at home? Karim Beidas, the founder of Kidzapp, has a bunch of ideas for fun and simple science experiments you can try together as a family.

Make squishy soap

This can be messy, but fun. All you need are a couple of ingredients that you probably already have lying around the house.

What you’ll need:

1/2 cup corn flour / corn starch

4 tbsp liquid soap (even washing up liquid will do)

4 tsp cooking oil

Food colouring

How to do it:

  • Use a spoon to mix the corn flour and liquid soap in a medium-sized bowl. Then pour in the cooking oil and stir.
  • Drop a good squirt of food colouring into the mix and stir.
  • Knead the mixture until you’ve got a lump with somewhat even colouring.
  • Break off a small piece of the lump and use as soap the next time your little ones need to wash their hands.

Watch a demonstration of the experiment here:

Watch a stickman move

This experiment will leave your little ones amazed as they watch their drawings pop off the glass.

What you’ll need:

A glass plate, bowl or picture frame

Dry erase marker

Water

How to do it:

  • Draw a simple picture on the glass. A stick figure is a good one to start with.
  • Slowly pour water on to the plate or into the bowl to lift up the drawing.
  • Swirl the water around to make the picture dance and move.

Watch a demonstration video here:

Watch an explosion of colours

This is a fun and easy baking soda and vinegar experiment that will have your children jumping around in excitement as they witness a splash of colours exploding right before their eyes.

What you’ll need:

Baking soda

Vinegar

Food colouring

Muffin tray (or small see-through cups)

Tray (to limit the mess!)

An empty bottle or a cup to pour the vinegar

How to do it:

  • Insert a few drops of food colouring into each container in the muffin tray. You can mix and match some colours if you want more options.
  • Cover the colours with a teaspoon of baking soda (try to do this part before showing your children, to keep the element of surprise once the colours start popping up).
  • Ask your child to pour some vinegar on the baking soda and watch the excitement on their faces as colours start exploding from the muffin tray.

Watch a demonstration video here:

Make colour-changing milk

Find out what happens when you mix a little milk, food colouring and a drop of dish detergent. You’ll have a budding Jackson Pollock in your home in no time.

What you’ll need:

Milk

Dinner plate

Food colouring (red, yellow, green, blue)

Dishwashing soap

Cotton swabs

How to do it:

  • Pour enough milk on the dinner plate to completely cover the bottom to the depth of about a quarter of an inch. Allow the milk to settle.
  • Add one drop of each of the four colours of food colouring – red, yellow, blue and green – to the milk. Keep the drops close together in the centre of the plate of milk.
  • Find a clean cotton swab for the next part of the experiment. Touch the tip of the cotton swab to the centre of the milk. It’s important not to stir the mix; just touch it with the tip of the cotton swab.
  • Now place a drop of liquid dishwashing soap on the other end of the cotton swab. Place the soapy end of the swab back in the middle of the milk and hold it there for 10 to 15 seconds. Look at that burst of colour.
  • Add another drop of soap to the tip of the swab and try it again. Experiment with placing the cotton swab at different places in the milk. Notice that the colours in the milk continue to move even when the swab is removed.

Watch a demonstration video here:

Storm in a cup

Brew up a storm inside your house. You only need ingredients you will already have at home to get started.

What you’ll need:

Shaving cream

A large glass

Water

Food colouring

A spoon

How to do it

  • Fill the glass half full with water.
  • Spray some shaving cream on top of the water to fill the glass to three quarters full.
  • Use your finger or a spoon to spread the shaving cream evenly over the top of the water. The top of the shaving cream should be flat.
  • Mix half a cup of water with 10 drops of food colouring in a separate container. Gently add the coloured water, spoonful by spoonful, to the top of the shaving cream. When it gets too heavy, watch it storm!

Watch a demonstration video here:

Create a rainbow in a glass

This one will have your children mesmerised by the colours.

What you’ll need:

Skittles

Water

A mug

5 separate cups

A tablespoon

A clear glass

A dropper or pipette

How to do it:

  • Separate the Skittles into the cups, in these amounts: two red, four orange, six yellow, eight green, and 10 purple.
  • Heat a mug of water in the microwave for long enough that the water is hot, but not boiling. Be careful removing the water from the microwave – it’s hot!
  • Measure and pour two tablespoons of hot water into each cup, on top of the Skittles.
  • Stir each cup carefully so no water splashes out. The cups need to be cool for the next part of the experiment, so leave them somewhere where they won’t get knocked over. Stir them every 10 minutes or so until the Skittles are dissolved and the water is room temperature.
  • Using the dropper, add the coloured water from the five cups to the clear glass. Start with purple, then add green, then yellow, orange, and red last. Go slowly here, we don’t want the different layers to mix.
  • Congratulations, you made a rainbow – and you didn’t even have to go outside!
Use Skittles to create a rainbow in a glass. Courtesy Kidzapp
Use Skittles to create a rainbow in a glass. Courtesy Kidzapp

Updated: May 18, 2020 12:07 PM

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