Engaging and fun science projects for kids can be found in your very own kitchen
One of the best parts of being an early childhood educator is watching our young students see things for the very first time, and living that fascination vicariously through their eyes. Recently, we shared some pretty rad pre k science projects, and we’re following up with another round of fun science projects to pique kids’ interests… and please their palates.
Introducing science to children at a young age is vitally important to developing curious and thoughtful minds. In this piece, we’ll look at how you can teach kids about science while engaging them by making something edible.
#1 – Homemade Butter
This is a great way to show kids that food doesn’t just magically appear out of thin air; that there’s often preparation involved. Most young children aren’t aware butter is actually made from cream.
For this fun science project, you’ll need a container with a very tight fitting lid. A baby food jar is ideal for this experiment since the smaller the storage space, the faster the cream will transform into butter. For some perspective, and a lesson on size and space for kids, using a smaller baby food jar will take around ten minutes for the cream to congeal. A larger mason jar will take about half an hour.
Pour some heavy cream into a clear (so you can watch the process), sterilized container and add a clean marble to serve as a stirring agent. You can also elect to add a little bit of salt to it, for flavor later. Then let the kids do the work by shaking the jar like crazy. You can make a game of it by sitting everyone in a circle on the floor and rolling the jar back and forth across the circle. Or, you can make is a lesson in sharing and cooperation by having each child take turns shaking the jar, then passing it to a friend until the butter is ready.
Either way, once the cream has transformed into butter through the miracle of science, the buttermilk will be separate from the butter and can be poured off. Be sure to refrigerate this fun science project and let them eat it with their breakfast, lunch, and/or snack.
This fun science project for kids is great for in-home childcare programs because it teaches children so many lessons. They get to watch the change in a substance, they learn a little about how butter is made, and they can learn lessons in sharing and cooperation. They also get to move around a bit and use some of that boundless energy—it’s a win all around!
#2 – Rock Candy Baby
Making rock candy isn’t really a complicated process, but the complete directions are a bit lengthy. Watch this video from the Sci Guys with your little scientists to learn how to create this sweet and tasty treat. Boiling water is involved in the beginning of this fun science project for kids, so of course it’s best for an adult performs this step and pour the solution into a jar. Again, a glass container is best for children to observe the crystallization process that happens later.
Waiting for the sugar to attach to the stick (or you can also use string) is a bit like watching paint dry, but you can educate your kids about how the process works. After the sugar dissolves, you’re left with a super-sugary-saturated solution and it contains more sugar than is able to remain in the watery solution.
The sugar begins to fall out of the solution as it cools and turns into precipitate or particles. The precipitation begins to crystallize and the particles begin attaching themselves to the sugar on the stick or string and voila, rock candy.
You can add a bit of art and color to this fun science project as well by bringing out the food coloring. Show kids how mixing different colors creates a new color and watch their amazement!
#3 – No Bake Chocolate Playdough Dinosaurs
This fun and tasty science project, there is something to be said about how properties change after making this recipe. For example, after the dough has been created, it’s common for the mass to become dry if left untouched or after being refrigerated. But all your little scientists have to do is a little bit of kneading and it will be pliable again in no time.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup table salt
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 1-1/2 cups boiling water
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
Place all the ingredients into a large bowl and stir until completely combined and a small ball begins to form. Allow the mixture to cool before kneading and now it’s time to get creative. Roll out the dough and use dinosaur cookie cutters with your students to create chocolate playdough dinosaurs! You can, of course, use any shape of cookie cutter to educate your students.
To make this science project a bit more fun for older kids, include them in creating the dough and teach them about the processes that work to change individual ingredients into the dough consistency. Then, give them an “assignment” to sculpt their own dinosaur.
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