Kindergarten Chemistry Projects

Kindergarten is about more than just learning the ABCs, coloring and playing with blocks. Young children love to learn. Science projects in the kindergarten classroom help kids begin to think about the world around them while sharpening their observation skills. Kindergarteners do not need in-depth explanations about why chemical reactions occur. It is enough at this age to simply show them that reactions do, in fact, occur.

  1. Dancing Pasta

    • Teach kindergarteners observation skills and chemistry all at once by showing them that items that look the same can actually be very different. Fill a glass mixing bowl at least halfway full of water. Pour approximately five tablespoons of vinegar into a glass measure cup. Allow the children to look at the vinegar and water, noting that they are both clear and appear very similar. Next have them smell the two, so they can observe the difference. Pour three tablespoons of baking soda into the water and mix well. Ask the kids if they notice any changes to the water. Break pieces of spaghetti into one-inch pieces and put them in the water. Then add the vinegar to the bowl. The pasta will begin to float around and appear to be dancing in the water. Explain that even though vinegar looks like water, when it mixes with the baking soda, it creates lots of bubbles, and those bubbles in the water push the pasta around and make it dance.

    Homemade Ice Cream

    • Show kindergarteners that science can be fun and delicious by making homemade ice cream. You can use your favorite recipe for homemade ice cream (or see the resource section for recipes). The kids can pour the ingredients into a gallon-sized zipper storage bag and seal it well. Remind them that ice cream is very cold so you need to add ice to make the milk and other ingredients become ice cream. Add ice to a second bag and put the bag of ingredients inside the ice bag as well. Have the children take turns shaking the bag. Then ask them what happened. The milk does not become ice cream. Next add rock salt to the ice and have them try shaking the bag again. This time the ingredients will turn to ice cream. Explain that just ice is not cold enough to make ice cream but salt helps the ice get even colder, cold enough to make delicious ice cream. Be sure to end the lesson by allowing everyone to eat some of the treat you made.

    Salt Volcano

    • Begin the class by displaying a lava lamp for the students. Turn out the lights and let them watch the fun colors and changes to the shapes. Explain that you are going to do a science experiment that makes the same thing happen. Fill a glass half way with water. Then pour vegetable oil over the water. Ask the kids to observe what happens. Do they mix? Does one float? Which one? Explain that oil floats on water and the two do not mix. Next add salt to the glass. Have one of the students shake the saltshaker five or six times over the glass. Allow them to observe what happens. You can also add food coloring to the glass and observe what happens. Explain to the students that some of the oil sticks to the salt and sinks down into the water. When the salt dissolves, the oil floats back up.

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