Free Science Experiments

Here is a huge assortment of fun and educational science experiments that you can perform at home.  Best of all, they are free and simple, and most only require basic household items.

  1. Use Chemistry to Hatch a Dinosaur Egg!

    Use Chemistry to Hatch a Dinosaur Egg!

    Got a dinosaur enthusiast at your place? Make a dinosaur egg they can hatch with a chemical reaction!

     

    You Need:

    A packet of Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda, from the supermarket)

    Some food colouring

    Mixing Bowl

    Water

    Gloves

    Small dinosaur figurines (or other animals that hatch out of eggs, such as lizards or birds)

    Baking tray with a sheet of baking paper or foil to line it

    Vinegar in a small cup or bowl

    Pipette (eye dropper) or small spoon

     

    What To Do:

    Pour the sodium bicarbonate into the mixing bowl.  Put on the gloves, then add a little water and a few drops of food colouring. Mix with a spoon or your hands to form a mouldable paste, adding more water if necessary.

    Take a handful of the paste and mould it into a small bowl that you can place a figurine inside. Place more paste on top of the figurine and mould into an egg shape, ma

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  2. Hatch a Dinosaur out of an Ice Egg!

    Hatch a Dinosaur out of an Ice Egg!

    This activity is perfect for keeping young dinosaur enthusiasts cool on a hot day.

     

    You Need:

    Some small dinosaur figurines (or other animals that hatch out of eggs, such as lizards or birds)

    Some round balloons (not water balloons)

    Scissors

    Some toy tools, or other safe objects for breaking or melting ice

     

    What To Do:

    Stretch a balloon carefully around the figurine, taking extra care not to puncture it with any spikes or claws. (Water balloons are too thin and can break at this point).

    Place the opening of the balloon over the end of a tap. Turn the tap on gently and fill the balloon with enough water to surround the figurine.

    Seal the balloon and place it gently in the freezer overnight.

    When your ‘ice egg’ is completely frozen, use the scissors to remove the balloon.

    Place the egg in a tray with appropriate tools,  and invite your young dino-e

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  3. Candy Cane Chemistry

    Candy Cane Chemistry

    If you suck on a candy cane long enough, it will dissolve in your mouth. In this experiment you can observe the process up close, and also find out which liquid will dissolve a candy cane the fastest. It is easy to set up with household materials and substances (and a packet of candy canes), and a great opportunity for developing the science skills of hypothesising, observation, measurement, fair testing, comparison and analysis. It also a great way to use up your left over candy canes at Christmas!

    You Need

    • 6 candy canes, any plastic wrapping removed
    • 6 clear glasses or jars
    • A stopwatch
    • bar magnet
    • 6 different liquids such as cold water, hot water, salty water, water with food colouring, vinegar, oil, juice, milk etc.

    What To Do

    • Pour different liquids into each glass or jar, then label
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  4. Buzzing Balloon

    Buzzing Balloon
    Use a hexnut or a coin to make a balloon sound like a bee.

    What You Need:

    • A Balloon
    • A Hex Nut or a 50 Cent Piece 

    What to do:

    • Place the hexanut (or 50 cent piece) inside the balloon, inflate it and tie it off.
    • Hold the balloon as shown and move it around in a circular motion by rotating your wrist. The hexanut should spin around the inside of the balloon and create a strange buzzing sound. 

    Why is it so?

    As the hexanut moves around and rubs against the sides of the balloon, it causes the balloon to vibrate, which in turn causes the air both inside and outside the balloon to vibrate. The balloon acts as a ‘resonator’, or natural amplifier, of the sound.

     

    Buzzing Balloon

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  5. Musical Drinking Straws

    Musical Drinking Straws
    It will be music to your ears: simple drinking straws creating sounds at different pitches.

    What You Need:

    • Straight drinking straws

    What to do:

    • Press the end of a plastic drinking straw flat and cut two triangular shapes off each side to make a pointy end.
    • Flatten this end some more, then seal your lips around the point, and blow. You will hear a squawky whistle, and the whole straw will vibrate. It's a bit tricky at first, so don't rush or blow too hard.
    Variations
    Once you have mastered the simple whistle, you can try these variations.
    1. As you are blowing, use scissors to progressively cut the end shorter and shorter, and listen to the change in the pitch of the sound.
    2. Cut tiny holes into one side to make a straw recorder. Place your fingers over different holes to create different notes.
    3. Insert another straw in
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  6. Magnetic Attraction

    Magnetic Attraction

    A wonderfully simple exploratory activity for little scientists that incorporates plenty of scientific thinking.

    You Need

    • A magnet, such as a horseshoe magnet or magnet wand 
    • An assortment of metal and non-metal household items such as: A key, some coins, a food can, a soft drink can, a metal spoon, a wooden spoon, a gold or silver necklace, a paper clip, aluminium foil, a baking tray, a metal toy car, a plastic toy, a small piece of wood, a small glass marble or glass jar, a rubber band, and a cork.
    • Two large bowls or containers, labeled ‘Yes’ and ‘No’.


    What To Do

    • Hand the child the magnet and let them work their way through the samples, sorting the magnetic ones into the ‘Yes’ bowl and the no
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  7. Make Your Own Compass

    Make Your Own Compass

    Turn an ordinary sewing needle into a compass, with the help of a magnet.

    You Need

    • A small bowl (not a metal one)
    • A small piece of cork or foam
    • A sewing needle
    • A bar magnet
    • A compass

    What To Do

    • Place some water in the bowl so the cork/foam can float easily.
    • Hold the needle firmly on the bench with one finger on one end.
    • Take the bar magnet and stroke the needle firmly with the South pole end, all the way from the eye to the tip. Do this at least 50 times, stroking the whole length of the needle in the same direction each time.
    • Push the needle through the middle of the cork/form, then float it gently in the water.
    • Allow the needle to orient itself. If you place a compass next to the bowl, you will find the compass needle and the floating needle will be pointing in the same direction – North.
      (T
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  8. The Anatomy of a Flower

    The Anatomy of a Flower

    Learning Objectives:

    • To understand that the flower is the reproductive centre of the plant.
    • To identify the key parts of the flower involved in reproduction.

     

    What You Need:

    • A selection of different flowers, particularly those with a ‘classic’ structure, such as hibiscus or lilium.
    • A pair of tweezers
    • A scalpel or another small, sharp blade
    • Any magnification tools, such as a magnifying glass, viewer or microscope will also be helpful.

     

    What to do:

    Use the tweezers (or very gently, your fingers) to remove the petals on one side of the flower.

    Use the diagram below as a guide to identify the following parts on your flower:

    Anther: The parts that produce pollen grains. Each pollen grain contains a male sex cell. There will be more than one anther on the flower.

    Filament: The long strands that attach

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  9. STEM Bouyancy

    STEM Bouyancy:

    Book: WHO SANK THE BOAT? Pamela Allen

    Songs: “ROW, ROW, ROW Your Boat” and “A Sailor went to See See See"

    Key Concepts: Buoyancy, Hydrophobic materials, boat construction and mass.

    Bouyancy


    When a boat floats, it settles into the water, pushing the water aside to make room for itself. The force that it is pushing the boat into the water is called gravity. It is a two way pushing match, however. Water pushes back onto the bottom of the boat. This force, called buoyancy holds the boat out of the water. The more water a boat pushes aside, the more force there will be pushing back on the boat and supporting it. This is why a boat’s size and shape makes such a difference in how much of a load it can carry without sinking.

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  10. Marshmellow Challenge

    Marshmallow Challenge:

    STEM Challenges

    Build the highest, free-standing structure from 20 sticks of (uncooked) spaghetti, one metre of string and one metre of masking tape, in just 18 minutes. The tower must be able to support a marshmallow at the top.

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