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23 Easy Science Experiments for Kids You Can Do at Home With Everyday Items

Hello, STEM! These easy science activities are perfect for kids.

at home science experiment for kids

The cool thing about science is that it describes what's happening all around us, all the time. Sometimes, though, kids find it hard to connect what they know about science to the real world. These easy science experiments for kids can be done at home, with everyday household items, to show kids that the abstract concepts they may have hard about actually have influence over their normal, everyday lives. Next time your kids are looking for fun indoor activities, set up one of these experiments and watch them be amazed — we tried to find DIY projects that have a flair for the dramatic.

You can find a subject they're particularly interested in, whether it's Earth science, weather, magnetism, astronomy, or even chemistry, which is often the hardest one to grasp in the real world. But, of course, it must be said that even when you're not in the lab, safety counts: wear goggles and coats or aprons if need be (sometimes kids get a kick out of how scientific the protective gear makes them look), and always make sure that the kids are supervised when doing them (especially the projects that involve fire). Then, pave the way for your future Nobel winner.

science experiments for kids   apple oxidation
Amy Stults/Jennifer Findley
1 of 24
Apple Oxidation

What works best for keeping an apple from turning brown? Test to find out! Slice up an apple, and let each slice soak in a different liquid. Then take them out, lay them on a tray, and check the brownness after three minutes, six minutes, and so on. Not only does this test the properties of different liquids, it also helps students practice the scientific method if they create hypotheses about which liquids would be most effective.

Get the tutorial at Jennifer Findley »

RELATED: 50 Fun Activities for Kids Will Keep Them Entertained for Hours

science experiments for kids   chromatography flowers
Steam Powered Family
2 of 24
Chromatography Flowers

Chromatography is the process of separating a solution into different parts — like the pigments in the ink used in markers. If you draw stripes around a coffee filter, then fold it up and dip the tip in water, the water will travel up the filter and separate the marker ink into its different pigments (in cool patterns that you can display as a craft project). This family made the end-result even brighter by adding an LED circuit to the center.

Get the tutorial at Steam Powered Family »

science experiments for kids   water walking
Fun Learning for Kids
3 of 24
Water Walking

You'll need six containers of water for this one: three with clear water, one with red food coloring, one with blue coloring, and one with yellow coloring. Arrange them in a circle, alternating colored and clear containers, and make bridges between the containers with folded paper towels. Your kids will be amazed to see the colored water "walk" over the bridges and into the clear containers, mixing colors, and giving them a first-hand look at the magic of capillarity.

Get the tutorial at Fun Learning for Kids »

science experiments for kids   magic milk
Living Life and Learning
4 of 24
Magic Milk

Put a few drops of food coloring in a shallow bowl of milk, and they'll stay that way — as self-contained blobs. But add a little dish soap to a toothpick or a Q-tip and touch the food coloring, and the colors will swirl around on their own like magic. It all has to do with surface tension: At first, the food coloring stays on the surface, but the soap causes a chemical reaction that breaks the surface tension.

Get the tutorial at Live Life and Learning »

RELATED: Fun Learning Activities for Kids to Enjoy at Home

science experiments for kids   star crystals
One Little Project
5 of 24
Grow Crystals

Bend pipe cleaners into fun shapes, and watch them grow crystals when left overnight in a Borax solution. (Words of warning: Always be careful with Borax and kids, and make sure they understand that the end result is not candy even though it looks like it could be.)

Get the tutorial at One Little Project »

science experiments for kids   magnets
Buggy and Buddy
6 of 24
Gravity-Defying Magnets

Hang paperclips from a ruler or dowel, and they dangle, as they should, because of gravity. But you can show kids how other forces can overcome gravity by putting strong magnets on a ruler and using them to get the paperclips to stand straight up.

Get the tutorial at Buggy and Buddy »

science experiments for kids   water in a bag
Fun With Mama
7 of 24
Pencils Through a Bag of Water

Kids might guess that if you pierce a bag of water with a sharpened pencil, the water would all leak out. In fact, if you do it right, the polymers of the bag's plastic will re-seal around the pencil, and your counters will stay dry (and your kids will be amazed). You can get them thinking about the chemical compositions that make up everyday items.

Get the tutorial at Fun With Mama »

science experiments for kids   mold science
Life With Moore Babies
8 of 24
Mold Science

Mold experiments are always grossly fascinating, and you can see how different additives (salt, vinegar, etc.) affect the growing of mold on bread. For a twist on this experiment that might lead to more hygienic habits, you can also see how mold grows on bread that's been touched by hands that have been washed with soap and water, cleansed with hand sanitizer, or not washed at all. That'll get them scrubbing for 20 seconds.

Get the tutorial at Life With Moore Babies »

science experiments for kids   instant ice
Only Passionate Curiosity
9 of 24
Instant Ice

Give your little scientists the powers of Elsa! Water can turn into ice as it's being poured. The secret is to chill water in the freezer until it's almost frozen, then pour it over ice placed on an overturned ceramic bowl. Kids can see the transformation between the states of matter, and also how ice crystals are formed.

Get the tutorial at Only Passionate Curiosity »

Science Experiments for Kids - Self-Inflating Balloon
Mess for Less
10 of 24
Self-Inflating Balloon

A twist on a vinegar-and-baking-soda experiment, if you put baking soda in an empty bottle and vinegar in a balloon, when you attach the ballon over the mouth of the bottle and let the vinegar pour in, the resulting gas will be enough to inflate the balloon on its own. Bonus: This experiment is less messy than a vinegar-baking-soda volcano.

Get the tutorial at Mess for Less »

science experiments for kids   tea bag rocket
Paging Fun Mums
11 of 24
Tea Bag Rocket

Want a memorable way to teach kids that hot air rises? Take the tea out of a tea bag, hollow it out and stand it up, and (carefully) take a match to it. The hollowed-out bag is so light, it rises along with the hot air, and becomes a flying tea bag.

Get the tutorial at Paging Fun Mums »

science experiments for kids   lava lamp
Rookie Parenting
12 of 24
Lava Lamp

Oil and water with food coloring don't mix, teaching kids about density. For fun, add an antacid tablet, and bubbles start to flow all around like a groovy lava lamp.

Get the tutorial at Rookie Parenting »

science experiments for kids   diy sundial
Happy Brown House
13 of 24

Making a homemade sundial is one of the lowest-prep science experiments you can do: You just need a dowel or a good stick, a paper plate, and a marker. Mark the position of the dowel's shadow every hour, and you've got an easy opening into talking about the Earth's rotation. The next day, see if your sundial tells accurate time while playing outside.

Get the tutorial at Happy Brown House »

science experiments for kids   sink or float
Fun With Mama
14 of 24
Sink or Float?

Having kids figure out what makes certain objects sink and what makes them float is a good way to teach them about density — and an even better way to get them practicing the scientific method, if they make a hypothesis first about what will sink and float and then measure the results.

Get the tutorial at Fun with Mama »

science experiments for kids   tornado in a bottle
Gift of Curiosity
15 of 24
Tornado in a Bottle

Secure two two-liter bottles together with water inside, flip upside down, give a shake, and watch a tornado form its distinctive funnel shape. You can also put glitter or small items in the bottle to show how a tornado's winds would whip objects around in the real world.

Get the tutorial at Gift of Curiosity »

summer activities for kids   ice cream in a bag
16 of 24
Ice Cream in a Bag

Finally! An experiment you can actually eat. Toss the ingredients in a bag, seal it up, and have your kids shake it vigorously for 10 minutes. Will they absorb the lesson about how energy transforms states of matter? Maybe, but, either way, you get to have a treat.

Get the tutorial from Delish »

science experiments for kids   skittles
Coffee Cups and Crayons
17 of 24
Skittles Patterns

For another experiment you can do with food, set Skittles into a shallow bowl of water, and see how the colors swirl. Skittles are basically pure sugar and dissolve in water, so you can use this as in intro to solvents, solutes, and solutions.

Get the tutorial at Coffee Cups and Crayons »

science experiments for kids   mms
Coffee Cups and Crayons
18 of 24
Floating Ms

Another way you can introduce kids to solvents, solutes, and solutions is by "lifting" the Ms off of M&Ms. All it takes is water!

Get the tutorial at Coffee Cups and Crayons Delish »

science experiments for kids   egg in a bottle
Left Brain Craft Brain
19 of 24
Egg in a Bottle

A peeled hard-boiled egg can't fit into a bottle without smushing into a big mess, can it? It can — if you put a burning piece of paper in the bottle first. The burning paper in the bottle causes the air to expand and the pressure to go up. When the fire runs out of oxygen, the temperature cools and the air contracts, sucking the egg through the bottle opening. The fire and the sucking of the egg makes this an extra-dramatic experiment.

Get the tutorial at Left Brain Craft Brain »

how to grow avocado tree
IngridHSGetty Images
20 of 24
Grow an Avocado Tree

For an easy lesson in Earth Science, your family can grow an avocado tree from a pit. You can buy an AvoSeedo kit, or just peel the seed and suspend it over water with toothpicks.

Get the tutorial »

science experiments for kids   ballon car
Raising Whasians
21 of 24
Balloon-Powered Car

This project focuses mostly on the engineering side of STEM. You need some household items (toothpicks, bottle caps, coins) and an empty juicebox to construct the car — and then you can inflate the balloon through the straw and watch it go!

Get the tutorial at Raising Whasians »

science experiments for kids   shaving cream clouds
Alice and Lois
22 of 24
Shaving Cream Water Cycle

Give students a brush-up on the water cycle by setting shaving-cream clouds on top of a glass of water. Use a dropper to add in blue water, and when the clouds get saturated — blue rain.

Get the tutorial at Alice and Lois »

RELATED: Amazing Indoor Activities for Kids' Rainy-Day Fun

science experiments for kids   color cabbage
Itsy Sparks
23 of 24
Color Cabbage

You can show them how plants get water from their roots to their leaves — literally — by putting cabbage (or celery, but cabbage is more colorful) in food coloring. You can also use this as an an example of capillary action, like the water-walking experiment,

Get the tutorial at Itsy Sparks »

Good Housekeeping
24 of 24
For More Hands-On Stem
Looking for more amazing experiments?
Good Housekeeping
Now 11% off

Check out this book! Budding scientists will thrill to the 83 hands-on experiments in this book, which are led by the scientists from the Good Housekeeping Institute. The book goes from room to room in the house and explains the scientific concepts behind the phenomena you might find there, like why bathroom mirrors get foggy or what makes sweaty sneakers so stinky. Then, the experiments let them explore the concepts a little deeper.

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