By Jennifer Lindquist

While on my yearly hunt for fun inexpensive décor, my four year old daughter came up to me with two beakers in her hand.

“I want these to make potions, Mommy, please.”

“Potions, hmmmm” I thought and put them into the cart.

Having not taken a science class for over 18 years, it took some thought.

The first day, we did color mixing and vinegar baking soda explosions and that was the extent of my science knowledge. So I scoured Pinterest and asked my more science headed friends. As I tested projects, I modified a few of them to work for my daughter and my pantry. I am pretty pleased with the below projects, they were not only educational (for both of us) and inexpensive but a lot of fun! I will definitely be making more “potions” with my daughter soon.

 

Sidewalk Bombs

sidewalk bomb DIY

This project is a bit messy, so I would recommend wearing play clothes when doing it. My daughter loved doing this on a not so snowy day-this would also be a perfect activity to do in the summer. 

Ingredients needed:

Sandwich or snack bags

Paper Towels

Baking Soda

Vinegar

Food Coloring (optional)

Instructions:

Pour vinegar into sandwich bag, you want it fairly full

My daughter liked to put food coloring into the vinegar, but that step is not needed

Pour baking soda on paper towel and fold up

Put paper towel in vinegar bag, seal up as quick as possible and move away from the bag

If the “bomb” didn’t open the bag on its own, my daughter loved to step on it to get it to open

 

Ice Age Experiment

ice age experiment

This project for as simple as it was, captivated my daughter for HOURS! Definitely a great project for all ages.

Ingredients needed:

Plastic animals

Water

Plastic freezer safe container

Tray or tub

Salt

 

Instructions:

Place animals in plastic container (I did several small containers to stretch this out)

Add water to container

Freeze

Wait until frozen-

Place block of animals onto the tray or tub (if the ice is not releasing from the container, try running a bit of warm water over the plastic container)

Let your little one experiment with adding salt and warm water to “excavate” the toys

BONUS PROJECT-

Once excavated, you can create your own little habitat with the animals-we added blue water to a mason jar and dropped her freed fish in.

 

Rock Candy

 

This is definitely more of a parent’s hands on activity, but it was so neat, I had to include it.

*Note: The sugar/water mixture is 2:1, if you would like to make more than one jar of rock candy double as needed

 

Ingredients Needed:

Sauce pan

Water

Candy Sticks (I used cake pop sticks, worked great)

LOTS of sugar

Mason jar

Piece of cardboard or cardstock

Food coloring (optional)

Candy flavoring (optional)

 

Instructions:

Wet candy sticks, roll in sugar, set aside to dry

Add one cups of water to the pot turn on medium heat

Once water is boiling, add two cups of sugar, still until dissolved-add more sugar until the sugar no longer dissolves.

Boil sugar mixture about 8-10 minutes stirring constantly

Pour hot mixture into a canning jar or other glass container

Add food coloring/flavor as wanted stir well

Take piece of card stock, punch holes for the number of sticks you want to do

Put dry sugar sticks in mason jar (yes, you can put them all in the same jar)

Put hole punched cardstock on top of sticks to keep them in place

Set jar aside and watch the magic begin

It takes about 24 hours to start seeing big crystals and about one week before the candy is ready

 

Now we do a science experiment a week-I look forward to it as much as she does. What are your favorite science experiments to do with kids? Let me know in the comments-I am always looking for ideas.

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Jennifer Lindquist graduated from Concordia College, Moorhead MN in 2005 in business and French. She currently acts as Social Media Manager for Sleeping Baby. She is also a photojournalist and has been featured on the Army News Service, Fort Sill Cannoneer, Fort Gordon Signal and Fort Huachuca Scout. She lives in New York with her husband, four year old daughter and cat.

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