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Dublin: 6 °C Tuesday 20 November, 2018

5 nifty science experiments you can do at home with the kids

Weird science.

“PLASTIC TUBES AND pots and pans, magic from the hand – we’re making… Weird science!”

Yep, Oingo Boingo said it best. We’re here today to go through some extremely fun, easy and educational science experiments you can do at home with the little ones.

Just don’t tell them they’ll learn anything, and they’ll be all for it. Check out science.ie if these experiments have tickled your fancy for lots more info on how to get the youngsters into all things science.

Each experiment listed has a video to show you what to expect, plus a link to a full information sheet with instructions.

Lab coats on please…

1. A tornado in a bottle

Source: HooplaKidzLab/YouTube

As if our Irish weather outside wasn’t enough, now you can bring a little bit inside. We jest, don’t worry. This experiment is all about the flow of water within the bottle, and children (and indeed adults, let’s be real) will have lots of fun messing around with the rotation and motion between the bottles. Full information sheet here.

2. Creeping colours chromatography

Source: The Royal Institution/YouTube

This one certainly has a fancy-sounding name, doesn’t it? Just imagine yourself at the school gates tomorrow, saying in an off-hand manner: “Oh yes myself and the kids just kicked back and experimented with a bit of chromatography last night, you know yourself.” Here’s how to do it.

3. Dancing raisins

Source: Kay Holt/YouTube

This one is dead simple – all you need to get going is some water, a just-opened fizzy drink and some raisins. Ideal if you suddenly need an activity to occupy the little ones. It’s all about comparing the motion of the raisins between the still liquid and the carbonated one and observing the results. And eating the raisins afterwards, obviously. In the name of science. Instructions here.

4. Paper pocket rocket

Source: Howcast/YouTube

The learning objective in this one is teaching children how the air can make things move. A basic introduction to energy and forces – for children and adult who love rockets. So that’s everyone then. Oh, and impress the kids by letting them know that this experiment actually comes from the International Space Station’s education kit. Info here.

5. Diving drops and sinking feelings

Source: DaveHax/YouTube

A simple density experiment – and no, that’s not a veiled insult. This is about showing the kids about the density of liquids and why oil floats on top of water, while syrup sinks. It can also be expanded to other transparent everyday liquids and objects to float. Full instructions can be found here.

And if that’s whetted your appetite for all things science, then check out the full event listings below to find lots of fun events in your area – there are hundreds and hundreds all around the country. Science Week is 13 – 20 November nationwide. 

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