Contents
Colourful Candy
Lava lamps
Jumping Snowmen
Ice fishing
Build a gingerbread house
Optical Illusion
Christmas Flowers
Christmas Parachute
Ice Decorations
Fizzy Snowballs
Minty Chocolate Leaves
Balancing Out
Colourful Candy
This is a fun kitchen science experiment to demonstrate dissolving! The
colour from the skittles dissolves into the water giving a lovely colourful
Effect. If you look carefully you might even see a floating ‘S’ on the top
of the water.
ls!
Materia
ish
Flat d
les
Skitt
Warm
r
Wate
Method!
• Place some skittles into your dish.
• Pour some warm water over the top.
Watch the colour coating of the skittles dissolve into the water
Discuss!
skittle
Does the whole
leave it
dissolve if you
long enough?
s...
Extension Task
• Can you try an M & M?
• Does cold water work as well as
hot water?
Lava Lamps
Lava lamps are a simple but great fun science activity for kids using
simple materials you probably already have in your kitchen cupboard.
They are a great way to learn about liquids having different densities and
chemical reactions.
ls!
Materia
bottle
r or
a
j
r
Clea
r
Wate
Food
Alka
ing
colour
r
e
Seltz
able
Veget
oil
Method!
• Fill the bottle or jar about 1/3 full of water,
•
add food colouring.
• Fill to almost the top with vegetable oil
• Drop an alka seltzer into the jar and watch the fizz.
Discuss!
Why does the oil sit
on top of the water?.
s...
Extension Task
• What happens if you use two alka selzters?
• If you shake your jar what happens?
Jumping Snowmen
Did you know some materials such as wool and plastic attract each other
when rubbed together? This is called static electricity. If you rub a balloon on your
hair, it makes tiny particles pass from your hair to the balloon causing a build
up of static electricity, which pulls on the tissue paper lifting it up in the air.
ls!
Materia
n
Balloo
er
e pap
Tissu
hair
er or
Jump
Woolly
ors
Sciss
Method!
• Blow up a balloon
• cut tissue paper into snowman shapes
• Rub the balloon on your hair or a woolly jumper.
• Hold the balloon over your tissue paper• snowmen.
Discuss!
How long does it take
for the charge
to wear off?
s...
Extension Task
• What happens if you try normal paper?
• Do fabrics other than wool work?
Ice fishing
The aim of the activity is to discover whether ice melts faster in hot
or cold water, using fish frozen into snowball shaped ice cubes.
Freeze some string into the ice and tie to a long stick to make your
fishing rod.
ls!
Materia
2-3
Tubs
ld
nd co
Hot a
r
wate
h
ic fis
Plast
s
Stick
ube
ice c
s
tray
Method!
Pour water into ice cube trays and add small toy fish.
Add a piece of string to each and place in the freezer.
Once frozen remove and tie a stick to the end of the string, this is your fishing rod.
Set up three tubs of water, hot, warm and cold.
Hold a different rod into each tub and time how long it takes for the fish to become free.
Discuss!
How does the ice
Change over time?
s...
Extension Task
• Can you predict which will melt first?
• How could you speed up the ice melting?
• Can you record the water temperature?
Does it change as the ice melts?
How strong is a Gingerbread House?
This is a great science activity you can combine with some lovely
seasonal baking . Or if you don’t fancy baking you could use three
rectangular biscuits and make a triangle shape.
ls!
Materia
s
ce
ad pie
rbre
Ginge
Icing
r
Suga
ts
Swee
Method!
• Use your gingerbread pieces to construct
•
a house shape.
• Fix the house together using icing sugar.
•
• Leave overnight to harden.
• Test for strength by rolling a marble at the house.
Discuss!
How else could you
test your house?
s...
Extension Task
• What other sticky substances could you test?
• Try making the icing sugar thicker.
• Can you pick your house up?
Optical Illusions
This clever optical illusion lets you turn two pictures into one. If you draw
two pictures and spin them very quickly, it gives the illusion of one
picture.
ls!
Materia
board
card
White
s
ip pen
Felt t
w
Stra
ape
Sellot
Method!
• Cut out two shapes from a sheet of white cardboard.
• Draw a Christmas tree on one shape and decorations on the other.
• Glue or sellotape a pencil between the two pictures.
• Hold the pencil between your palms and spin around.
Discuss!
Can you think of a
practical application
for this?
s...
Extension Task
• Can you draw a different illusion?
How about a fireplace and a santa?
Christmas Flowers
Did you know you can add some colourto white flowers using food colouring?
Water is transported up the stem of a plant via a process called
transpiration. It’s a bit like water being sucked up a straw. This can be
demonstrated by adding food colouring to the water a flower is placed in.
ls!
Materia
r
Wate
Food
ing
Colour
ch
rs su
flowe
White
as
tions
carna
Method!
• Trim the flowers leaving a short stem•
• Add water and food colouring to a jar or vase.
• Place your flowers into the water and wait.
• You should see colour reach the petals after a couple of hours.
Discuss!
Can you try this with
celery?
s...
Extension Task
• Try splitting the stem in half,
place one half in red food colouring and
one in green, what happens?
Note: Natural food colourings do not work
Santa’s Parachute
Parachutes are a great way to learn about air resistance. If you drop a lego man
and a piece of paper from the same height the paper will drop more slowly because
it has a larger surface area and so has to push against more air as it drops. The
air resistance is greater and so it drops more slowly. Your parachute should slow
the descent of the figure you test it with.
ls!
Materia
tmas
Chris
tmas
Chris
g
Strin
Small
Paper
rial
Mate
re
s figu
tma
chris
ors
Sciss
Method!
• Cut a large square from your paper or material.
• Make a hole in each corner
• Cut 4 pieces of string the same length and tie one to each corner.
• Fasten the other end of each string to your figure.
Discuss!
Does a
e
larger parachut
work better?
ke it a fair
How can you ma
test?
s...
Extension Task
•Try different materials and time the
descent of the parachutes.
•Which work the best?
Ice Decorations
These ice decorations are super easy to make and look great. We used a cake mould to get
a fun star shape and added some LEGO pieces to make it more colourful.
Water can be a solid, liquid or gas. In liquid form the water particles can move around freely,
so the water takes the shape of the container it is in. When you cool water down the
movement of the particles slow down and the particles become tightly packed together,
which means its shape cannot change easily.
ls!
Materia
s
ation
Decor
er
Freez
g
Strin
Mould
r
Wate
Method!
• Carefully pour cold water into your mould.
•
• Add your decorations.
• Tie the string at one end and place into the water.
•
Put the mould in a freezer until frozen.
Discuss!
Why do think ice
is sticky?
s...
Extension Task
• Try leaving a water filled mould outside
on a cold day to see if it freezes.
• Try leaving frozen decorations in different
locations to see which melt first.
Fizzy Snowballs
Vinegar (an acid) and bicarbonate of soda ( an alkali ) react together to
neutralise each other. This reaction releases carbon dioxide, a gas, which
is the bubbles you see when you add vinegar to your baking soda snowballs.
ls!
Materia
r
Wate
a
g Sod
Bakin
ar
Vineg
ts
ec
s Obj
tma
Chris
Method!
• Pour the baking soda into a bowl and add
•
water little by little until you
get a thick paste.
• Mould into snowball shapes and leave in a fridge for a couple of hours.
• Remove from the fridge and gently drop vinegar on top.
Discuss!
This is an example of
a chemical reaction.
s...
Extension Task
• What other shapes can you make?
• Try adding baking soda to water to make
fizzy ice!
Minty Chocolate Leaves
These easy minty chocolate leaves are a fun way to learn about changes
of state. Making the leaves demonstrates the melting process ( solid to
liquid ) and cooling ( liquid to solid ).
ls!
Materia
Mint
es
Leav
late
Choco
Plate
Bowl
r
wate
f hot
Pan o
Method!
•
Put the chocolate in your bowl and then place the bowl over a pan of hot water.
•
Stir the chocolate until melted.
•
Check the chocolate is not too hot and dip your• leaves into the chocolate covering one side.
•
Leave in the fridge to cool, once set peel the chocolate
•
carefully from your leaves.
Discuss!
Can you see the imprint
of the leaves in the chocolate.
s...
Extension Task
• Try adding butter or golden syrup to the
chocolate, does it change the time taken
for the chocolate to set?
Be very careful with the hot chocolate and water
Balancing Out
Find out how the weight of different Christmas decorations compare to
each other with this fun activity.
ls!
Materia
Coat
r
Hange
s
ic cup
plast
mpty
2 e
g
Strin
s
n
ratio
deco
tmas
Chris
Method!
• Cut 4 pieces of string to the same length.
• Tie a piece of string to each side of both cups.
Attach one container to each end of the coat hanger.
• Add objects into the containers? What happens?
Discuss!
Did you know the force
pulling down on an object
is called gravity?
s...
Extension Task
• Can you get the containers to hang
level?
Top Tips for Science at Home
1. KEEP IT SIM PLE
Science at home doesn't have to be complicated or expensive, you
can create fun and exciting activities for children of all ages with
the contents of your kitchen cupboards.
2. DON'T PANIC
An experiment not working is part of the fun, as long as you talk
about why it didn't work and maybe plan an alternative. In fact,
devising experiments is an experiment in itself. We have learned a
lot
just
creating
the
activities
in
this
book.
Experiment
with
experimenting.
3. HAVE FUN
With the best will in the world, sometimes people just aren't in the
mood. Just do your best and keep it light hearted. The idea is to
spend time doing something with your children, if it stops being
fun, move on to something else. There's no pressure here (except
when we're discussing balloons).
Science Sparks takes no responsibility for any injuries received as a
result of trying our investigations and experiments. We advise that
children should be supervised at all times, especially for the kitchen
science experiments.
Published by Wild Sparks Enterprises Ltd.
For more science activity ideas
check out
www.science-sparks.com
@sciencesparks
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