Activities for Kids: Chemistry

Activities for Kids: Chemistry

If you want to give something to your kids, give them science.  Science teaches us about the way things work, and many science activities are hands-on and exciting.  Get your children away from the TV set this summer with these chemistry activities for kids.

Before you begin any chemistry experiments, you must monitor your kids to prevent any accidents.  Take safety precautions when necessary, such as gloves and goggles. 

Bubbles!

This experiment shows a standard acid-base reaction and explains density.  Put about ¼ cup of baking soda in a clear glass.  Add 1 cup of vinegar and watch the bubbles that are created.  This acid-base reaction (vinegar is acid and baking soda is a base) produces carbon dioxide.  Blow some bubbles into the glass with bubble solution and a bubble wand and watch them float above the acid-base reaction.  The carbon dioxide is heavier than the bubbles, so it sits at the bottom of the glass, and the bubbles you blow are floating on top of the carbon dioxide. 

Cacophony of Color

This activity is a great idea for showing mixtures.  Warm up some milk and pour into a cup.  Add drops of food coloring -- you can even make a design like a triangle.  Put a drop of soap in the middle of the design and watch what the food coloring does.  The soap breaks up the fat in the milk, and the food coloring swirls into places the fat used to be.

Milk Plastic

Teach the properties of matter with this activity.  Start by adding 4 teaspoons of vinegar to 1 ½ cups of milk.  After a few minutes, you will see clumps of a solid substance called curds, and there will also be liquid called whey.  Through the chemical reaction, you have separated the milk into parts.  Stir the milk to get the curds into one blob, then strain to get rid of the whey.  Feel the curd blob, which is similar to that of rubber.  Form the blob into shapes; allow it to try, and you will have a hardened shape that looks like plastic.

Growing Crystals

Make your own crystals while also learning about solutions.  First create the solution by dissolving two cups of sugar in one cup of water.  Stir in the sugar and water over the stove until the sugar appears to be completely gone.  Place the liquid in a clear jar.  Tie a string around a pencil and dip the end of the string (yarn works well) in the liquid.  Use the pencil to hold the string in place by placing it across the top of the jar.  Allow the jar to sit undisturbed for several days; when you come back, your string will be full of sugar crystals!

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Written by: Candice Evans See other articles by Candice Evans
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