Science for your young child doesn’t have to be technical, require complicated ingredients, or even take more than 15 minutes. Science should be an activity that explores cause and effect, encourages questions and researching answers, and fun! Here are ten activities to get you started with your child!

  1. science activitiesBaking soda and vinegar – Baking soda and vinegar is one of the simplest chemical reactions found around the home. You can start by putting a small amount of baking soda in a clear glass, add some vinegar and watch what happens. From here you can go onto to discussing volcanos and then make your own (create a paper mache volcano creating a well for the “lava”). Once you are ready, add some baking soda to the well, and pour in vinegar (you can dye with food coloring for special effects!) to watch it erupt! Baking soda and vinegar experiments can provide endless hours of fun, but you can also try to create the same reaction using other liquids found around the house (please make sure all are safe for children to be around!).
  2. Melting and freezing – Water and ice are the simplest examples of melting and freezing, and can be found in your own kitchen! Make ice cubes with your child, explain what happens when you lower the temperature of water to below freezing. Melt the ice cubes with your child (it’s a great activity for those really hot days!) and discuss how the ice is changing back into a liquid and why. You can create larger ice blocks by filling larger containers with water and freezing for 24 hours, if you add food coloring before you freeze them you’ll end up with multi-colored bricks!
  3. Trees and nature – Find a small tree in your neighborhood that your child can easily observe year-round. Have them observe the tree and record their findings in a journal. They should look at the leaves, at the trunk, the ground around the tree, and even get a bit closer to the tree and find out what insects might be using the tree. Visit the tree every few months and repeat the observations. Discuss what changes have occurred throughout the year. Taking your child’s photo by the tree each time will help your child see their growth compared to the growth of the tree!

Science isn’t a neat and tidy activity, so be prepared to clean up when you’re done, but know that the experience your child gets out of doing experiments will be well worth any mess that is created in the process! Activities that encourage children to ask questions will help them gain broader knowledge on how the world works around them.

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