Science Play: Simple Experiments

by Amy on May 14, 2010

{Color Changing Milk – Steve Spangler Science}

We always seem to have a lot of science play going on – experimenting, making concoctions, building inventions, exploring outside, etc.  In addition, our homeschooling studies this year included learning about the basics of the scientific method – asking a question, making a hypothesis, experimenting, observing, and discussing our results.

The scientific process part, I have found, comes quite naturally to kids – they are always asking questions and trying things out! I just pair the scientific words with the things they are already doing.

I’m always on the look-out for simple, safe demonstrations and experiments that don’t require a lot of extra materials or ingredients. I love being able to pull together something interesting without a lot of prep.

Some of the places I get ideas for science play are:

Many of the demonstrations and experiments on these sites are appropriate for preschoolers and up – with help from a willing grown-up, of course!

How can you incorporate more science play into your child’s playtime?

  • Keep some basic materials on hand for easy-prep science projects: salt, baking soda, vinegar, cornstarch, food coloring, oil, borax, balloons, etc.
  • Have a Family Science Night – just like a Movie Night or Game Night, spend an evening doing experiments together!
  • Set-up an experiment at night so you can grab-and-go the next day when the mood strikes.
  • Remember that science play is all about experimenting and discovering – prepare for mess and go for it!

What does science play look like in your house or classroom?  Do you have a great science resource for young kids?  If so, please share!

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Pathfinder Mom May 14, 2010 at 8:25 am

You may enjoy The Happy Scientist as well. Some of the content is free and his photo blog is quite good – http://thehappyscientist.com/blogs/rkrampf.

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Amy May 20, 2010 at 7:36 am

Thanks for the link – his photos are excellent! :)

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Ruthie May 14, 2010 at 9:11 am

THANK YOU for posting this! I have been trying to put together some ideas for Science experiments over the summer and this will be very helpful! :)

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Amy May 20, 2010 at 7:36 am

You’re welcome! Hope you find some great ideas to keep you kiddos busy this summer!

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jeana May 14, 2010 at 10:45 am

Yes, thank you for putting this together! I have been trying to come up with activities for the summer too and I never even thought of having a science night…great idea! I’ve been using some of the ideas from Prekinders for our little ones, they have some good ideas too http://prekinders.com/

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Amy May 20, 2010 at 7:37 am

You’re welcome! And, I love PreKinders – such an awesome resource. :)

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Zoe @ Playing by the book May 16, 2010 at 10:18 pm

I love this Australian site:
http://science-at-home.org/
A really excellent resource!

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Amy May 20, 2010 at 7:38 am

Awesome site! I will definitely have to spend some time browsing all the goodness there…thanks! :)

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Christy May 19, 2010 at 8:35 am
Amy May 20, 2010 at 7:39 am

Looks like a fun gift – love the giant test tube! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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anupama June 5, 2010 at 1:48 pm

There are loads of ideas on http://www.arvindguptatoys.com. I find this man a genius who promotes science through making toys.

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Rachelle June 30, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Hi Amy,
I find your site so inspiring. My daughter just turned 2, and we’ve been busy experimenting with all sorts of fun things — this idea will be in the works tomorrow, for sure. Also, I hope it’s alright that I’ve added a link to your site off of mine — do let me know. And keep the great ideas coming!
Cheers,
Rachelle

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