Simple Controlled Experiments for Kids


Kids are curious by nature, and if you're a parent you can use this curiosity to conduct educational experiments with them using everyday household items. Although the experiments are relatively easy to do, you should keep a close eye on your child while conducting them. Some experiments require items or materials that should not be swallowed or ingested.

Simple Controlled Experiments for Kids
(Taran Rai/Demand Media)

Children use their hands for a variety of reasons, not all of which are educational. A simple experiment with friction can motivate your child to drop his video game controller for a moment and discover the concept of heat. Ask your child to place his hands together and rub them back and forth. He should notice a slight increase in hand temperature due to the friction. The faster he rubs his hands together, the more heat will be created. Next, ask him to rub his hands quickly against his arms. Have him take note of how both his hands and arms are getting warmer. This experiment in friction can help your child deal with cold weather in the future, especially if he's not wearing a jacket.

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If you have access to water, salt, an egg and a glass, you can teach your child about density. Start by pouring water into the glass until it is half full. Then, add six tablespoons of salt. After that, fill the remainder of the glass with water, making sure not to disturb the saltwater portion. Have your child drop the egg into the glass. The egg will sink through the unsalted portion of the water. Once it reaches the salted portion, it will start to float in the middle of the glass. Tell your child this is due to density. Salt water is denser than normal water, and this density allows the egg to float.

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If you want to amaze your child -- or give her the ability to amaze her friends -- teach her how to tie a bone into a knot. This experiment requires a jar, a cup of vinegar and a chicken bone. Pour the vinegar inside the jar and add the chicken bone. Seal the jar with a lid. Allow the bone to rest inside the jar for a day. When you remove the bone, it will be soft. This is due to the acetic acid in vinegar, which removes the carbon portion of the calcium carbonate in the bone, making it soft. Next, tie the bone into a knot and let it sit in the open air for a day. The calcium will have captured back carbon from carbon dioxide in the air, making it hard again.

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Baking soda and vinegar can be combined to create an explosive result, similar to a volcano. Find a container such as a glass and add baking soda to it. Next, add vinegar and take a step back. When the baking soda and vinegar interact, they create carbonic acid, which is unstable by nature. This will cause the compound to break apart, creating an explosive fizzing effect. The more vinegar and baking soda you add, the bigger the explosion.

Taran Rai/Demand Media


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