Science Experiments

Science isn’t all about lab coats and goggles. Raid your kitchen cupboards, blow up balloons and make water do some very strange things, with 10 fun science experiments for kids you can do at home, all designed and tested by a lovely panel of DOWTK parents.

With handy messiness ratings and easy to follow guides, these projects don’t need fancy ingredients or equipment, making them great for encouraging STEM learning outside of the classroom – they make science a game! Get ready to roll up your sleeves – which science experiment will you try first?

  1. Making an egg bounce

    We all know if you take an egg from its carton and drop it on the floor, it will crack and make a whole lot of mess. But prepare to be shell-shocked, as Beth shows us how to make an egg bounce. Yep, this fun science experiment for kids can be done easily using things you’ll find in the kitchen cupboards.

    Messy Matrix: 3 if all goes to plan, 5 if you end up with an egg that doesn’t bounce!
    Simple Scale: 3 – needs concentration
    Learn a Lesson: Osmosis through a semi-permeable membrane (one for older kids!)

    A woman holding an egg that has been soaked in vinegar as part of a science experiment

  2. Gravity-defying water

    Gravity is what keeps us all with our feet firmly on the ground, but what if we could trick it and turn it into a science experiment instead? Great for doing at home, all you’ll need is a wine glass, some water, a sheet of card and a bucket, as we show you how to make gravity-defying water.

    Messy Matrix: 2, unless defying gravity takes a few goes. Good job it’s only water…
    Simple Scale: 2 – a quick win
    Learn a Lesson: Understand how gravity works, what a vacuum is and how science can sometimes be just like a magic trick

  3. BFG Dream Potions

    Don’t be crodsquinkled, as these dream potion experiments are the best way to bring the bizarrely brilliant world of the BFG to life. These easy to make concoctions will whizz, fizz and pop before your eyes, creating exciting chemical reactions that will have all kids squealing with delight. Again made using things you’ll find at home or can pick up from the supermarket, this is an easy project to try with the kids. Be warned though – this is one of the messiest science experiments for kids on the list!

    Messy Matrix: 5
    Simple Scale: 3 – needs concentration
    Learn a Lesson: Simple chemical reactions made special with a BFG theme

    Fizzing BFG dream potions science experiments

  4. Mixing Colours

    Ideal for introducing science-based activities to young children, Cassie’s experiment for mixing colours and water is a simple science experiment designed for preschoolers. Let your little one choose which colour to use when, ask them to describe the colourful shapes they’ll see dancing in the water and see what happens when you mix more than one colour together.

    Messy Matrix: 1
    Simple Scale: 1 – easy peasy
    Learn a Lesson: Super basic lesson about diffusion, and what happens when liquids meet

    A toddler looking at colours mixing with water

  5. Making Slime

    Ah, slime. It’s the one thing that parents across the UK have been being pestered to make, so why not turn it into a science activity? For our concoction, we mixed shaving foam, PVA glue and a little bit of air freshener (fabric conditioner can work too!), to create a slime that you can swirl, stretch and crack, providing hours of fun. Try changing the quantities to see how the mixture changes, and ask the kids to explain the differences.

    Messy Matrix: 2
    Simple Scale: 3 – needs concentration
    Learn a Lesson: How different things combine to create new textures

  6. Jumping Frogs

    Ever got an electric shock off something? Demonstrate the science behind the shocks with this jumping frogs experiment. With just a balloon, some sugar paper and a woolly jumper, you’ll have frogs leaping in no time demonstrating the power of static electricity. It doesn’t have to be frogs either, let your imagination run wild to create some other jumping stars of this easy science experiment!

    Messy Matrix: 0
    Simple Scale: 1 – easy peasy
    Learn a Lesson: How static electricity works

    A frog jumping towards a balloon as part of a science experiment

  7. Ice Escapes

    Understanding the different states of water is one of the most simple examples of a science experiment, but it’s also a really great way to bring STEM activities into daily life. Kate combined her son’s love of Batman with science, to create a character ice escape experiment. Using parent stealth mode, find some plastic toys to experience the big freeze and get to work. Let kids discover the tools they’ll need to speed up the process and see how quickly they can set them free.

    Messy Matrix: 1 – make sure you place ice in a plastic tub to keep mess to a minimum
    Simple Scale: 1 – easy peasy
    Learn a Lesson: The relationship between water and ice, freezing points and how to speed up reactions

    Batman trapped in ice as part of a science experiment for kids

  8. Rainbow Skittles

    This Rainbow Skittles science experiment can be done in seconds, making it a great way to try science at home even with the most easily distracted of toddler-sized assistant. All you’ll need to do is arrange Skittles in a circle on a plate and fill the middle with warm water. Then sit back and watch as the colours drain and mix with the water, creating a cool rainbow pattern in front of your eyes. Plus, any bonus Skittles = a tasty treat for you.

    Messy Matrix: 1
    Simple Scale: 1 – easy peasy
    Learn a Lesson: All about dissolving colours and that science doesn’t have to take ages!

    A kid doing a science experiment with Skittles

  9. Balloon Hovercraft

    Let’s be honest, we’re all secretly waiting for the hovercraft to be a bonafide mode of transport, but in the meantime why not try this Balloon Hovercraft experiment at home? Using just a balloon, a bottle cap and a CD, you’ll be able to create a hovercraft that glides across the table to move, and with just 3 easy steps to follow, it’s perfect for a quick at-home activity.

    Messy Matrix: 0
    Simple Scale: 1 – easy peasy
    Learn a Lesson: How pressurised air works, this is similar to the science behind air hockey tables at your local arcade!

    Balloon hovercrafts science experiment for kids

  10. Making a Volcano

    Volcanoes are made to erupt, and that’s exactly what’ll happen in this fun science experiment for kids! John and his kids show us how to make an erupting volcano, using vinegar, baking powder, washing up liquid and water, plus a splash of red food colouring for dramatic effect. Add playdough or plasticine to turn your plastic bottle into a more realistic volcano scene, especially if you plan to use this as a science project for school!

    Messy Matrix: 4, you’ll want to head outside for this one!
    Simple Scale: 3 – needs concentration
    Learn a Lesson: All about chemical reactions, why not add a touch of geography by understanding what really happens when volcanoes erupt too?

 If all these science experiments for kids have got your mind-boggling, then why not plan a day out to a science centre near you? With loads of hands-on activities to really bring science to life, find your nearest now:

London Science Museum | ThinkTank – Birmingham Science Museum | Aberdeen Science Centre | Glasgow Science Centre | Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester | Life Science Centre (Centre for Life), Newcastle | National Science and Media Museum, Manchester | Techniquest, Cardiff | Museum of Victorian Science, Whitby | Whipple Museum of the History of Science, Cambridge | Museum of the History of Science, Oxford

Looking for more indoor fun? Check out our list of 100 great indoor activities!

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