Chemistry Projects - How-To Guide
- Chemical Volcanoes
- Chemistry Magic Tricks (35)
- Color Projects
- Crystals for Kids
- Dry Ice Projects (8)
- Fun Fire Projects
- Glow in the Dark Projects (34)
- Holiday How-To's (37)
- Home Chemistry Kit
- Lava Lamps (2)
- Reviews & Product Guides (18)
- Slime Recipes (14)
- Smoke & Smoke Bombs
Science Projects Photo Gallery
The best part about science projects is actually doing them, but seeing them is pretty cool too. This is a photo gallery of science projects so you can see what to expect from projects. I've included links to instructions for doing these projects yourself or buying kits online.
Household Product Recipes
You can use home chemistry to make many of the everyday household products that you use. Making these products yourself can save you money and allow you to customize formulations to avoid toxic or irritating chemicals.
Top Chemistry Projects for Bored Kids
Are you searching for something fun and educational to do that suitable for kids? Here are some great chemistry activities and projects to get you started. They are safe and use easy-to-find materials.
Gifts You Can Make Because You Know Chemistry
Your command of chemistry gives you a certain edge in the gift-making department. Use your skills to make some cool presents, to keep for yourself or give to others.
Chemical Volcano Video Tutorial
The baking soda and vinegar volcano is the classic chemical volcano that you see at science fairs. Watch how easy it is to make a chemical volcano that produces a memorable eruption.
Colored Smoke Recipes
Colored smoke is easy to make and requires few ingredients. Here's a list of some colored smoke formulations to try.
Baggie Chemistry - Experiment with Chemical Reactions
Introduce students to chemical reactions and experimentation using common materials and baggies.
Crystal Spikes in the Sun
Most crystals take days or weeks to form. Use this technique if you have a sunny day and want crystals FAST!
Use chemistry to make gifts or to pamper yourself. These are instructions for scented and colored bath salts.
Bend Water with Static Electricity
Use static electricity to bend a stream of flowing water. This is an easy science activity that illustrates how opposite electrical charges attract each other.
Aspirin Synthesis - Acetylsalicylic Acid
Learn how to synthesize aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid, from salicyclic acid. Get information about the history of aspirin, the effects of salicylates, and see the structures of the reactants.
Black Powder or Gunpowder
Black powder is used as a propellant for bullets, as well as for fireworks and rocketry. Use these instructions for history, not practical application!
Edible Fake Barf
Making a simulant is a form of chemistry, right? Here are instructions for making your own edible fake barf. Ick!
Colored Soap Bubbles
Make brightly colored pink and blue soap bubbles that won't stain clothing or surfaces.
Baking Soda Volcano
Okay, it's the kitchen equivalent of a volcano, not a real one. The 'eruption' is cool all the same! It's also more or less non-toxic, which adds to its appeal.
Exothermic Chemical Reaction
Exothermic chemical reactions produce heat. In this reaction vinegar is used to remove the protective coating from steel wool, allowing it to rust. When the iron combines with oxygen, heat is released.
Let's combine chemicals (ingredients) to make fake wounds suitable for Halloween or other special events.
Big Alum Crystal
Do you want to grow a big single crystal instead of a mass of crystals? Then try out these instructions for growing a big alum crystal. You can apply the techniques used here to grow big single crystals of other substances, too.
Black Snakes or Glow Worms
You can make black snake or glow worm fireworks yourself, safely and easily.
Bismuth is one of the easiest and prettiest metal crystals that you can grow yourself. The crystals have an interesting geometric hopper shape and are rainbow-colored from the oxide layer that quickly forms on them. Try these step-by-step instructions for growing bismuth crystals.
Crystal Geode Project
Natural geodes are hollow rock formations that contain deposits of crystals. Assuming you don't have a geological timeframe to obtain a geode, it's easy to make your own crystal geode using plaster of paris, alum, and food coloring.
Blue Fire Instructions
It's very easy to make blue fire. Here are a few of the ways you can make blue fire yourself.
Briggs-Rauscher Oscillating Color Change Reaction
The Briggs-Rauscher reaction, also known as 'the oscillating clock', is one of the most common demonstrations of a chemical oscillator reaction. Three colorless solutions are mixed together, producing a mixture that oscillates between clear, amber, and deep blue.
Bouncing Polymer Ball
Use chemistry to make a bouncing polymer ball, then alter the procedure to see the effect the changes have on the charactertistics of the bouncing ball.
These are step-by-step instructions on how to make fruity putty.
Borax Snowflake Instructions
Do real snowflakes melt too quickly? Grow a borax snowflake, color it blue if you like, and enjoy the sparkle all year long!
You can use chalk and alcohol to perfom chromatography to separate the pigments in food colorings or inks. After you've finished making your chromatogram, you'll have colored chalk.
Charcoal Crystal Garden Instructions
Make delicate, colorful crystals! This is a great classic crystal-growing project. You use charcoal briquettes (or other porous materials), ammonia, salt, bluing, and food coloring to grow a sort of crystal garden.
Classic Chemical Volcano
Here are the instructions for making the classic chemical volcano. This demonstration uses ammonium dichromate to produce 'Vesuvius fire', with glowing sparks and a cone of deep green ash.
Here are simple instructions for preparing common gases from ordinary chemicals. The gases include carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen, methane, nitrous oxide, chlorine, and several others.
Use a chemical reaction to create a genuine silver ornament. The oxidation-reduction reaction silvers the inside of a glass ball, essentially forming a mirror inside the glass.
Candle Science Magic Trick
You know you can put out a candle flame by pouring water on it. In this science magic trick, the candle will go out when you pour 'air' onto it.
Gel Air Fresheners
Feeling crafty? If you can make Jello, then you can make your own gel air fresheners. It's easy and fun. You can choose your own scents and colors. For holiday fun, consider layering different colored gels or using seasonal fragrances (e.g., pine or cinnamon for Christmas).
Chemistry Fun with Pennies
Use pennies, nails, and a few simple household ingredients to explore some of the interesting properties of metals. Clean the pennies chemically, make verdigris, and plate the nails with copper.
Colorful gelatin shapes can be used to make jewelry, mobiles, decorations, and more!
Green Fire Video
See how to make green fire using common chemicals. You can apply the same method to produce fire in other colors using different metal salts.
This is sort of like slime, but drier and very non-toxic if left uncolored.
Have you ever wanted to color fire? Here are simple, nontechnical instructions for making your own colored flames. Add extra interest to your fireplace or campfire!
Handheld Fireball Video
All fire is not created equal! If you apply a little chemistry know-how, you can make a fireball cool enough to hold in your hand. See how it's done, then try this simple fire project yourself.
Christmas Tree or Floral Preservative Recipe
Is there a secret special ingredient in those little packets of floral preservative? No! It's easy and economical to make your own Christmas tree or cut flower preservative, using ingredients found at home.
Colored Fire Spray Bottles
You can spritz a flame with chemicals to change the color of the fire. Colored fire spray bottles are easy to prepare and use common chemicals.
Hot Ice Video Tutorial
Hot ice is a non-toxic chemical you can make in the kitchen from baking soda and vinegar. You can cause the saturated solution of hot ice to crystallize in 'ice' that gives of heat or you can build crystalline towers as you pour the hot ice onto a container. Here a step-by-step video that shows you what to do.
Glow in the Dark Slime
What is better than regular slime? Slime that glows in the dark, of course! This is an easy and fun project that is suitable for kids.
This recipe results in an edible, fruit-scented playdough.
Laundry Detergent Recipe
It's easy to make your own laundry detergent, plus the cost of using it is about a tenth the price of using store-bought laundry detergent. Here's how you make this cleaner yourself.
This is a recipe for non-toxic sticker glue.
Luminol Chemiluminescence Test for Blood
You can use the luminol chemiluminescence reaction as a quick and easy forensic test for blood. Here's a look at what you need to perform the test, how to do it, and an explanation of how the luminol test works.
Natural Plastic from Dairy
Plastics are generally produced from petroleum, but they can come from other sources as well! All that is really required is the ability to join molecules containing carbon and hydrogen together, which you do whenever you curdle milk.
Diving Ketchup Magic Trick
Place a ketchup packet in a bottle of water and make it rise and fall at your command, as if by magic. Of course, the magic involves some basic science. Here's how to do the diving ketchup trick and how it works.
Copper Sulfate Preparation
Mske copper sulfate or copper sulphate yourself from copper and sulfuric acid.
Copper Plating Christmas Ornament
Copper plate a holiday decoration as a Christmas ornament or for other decorative uses.
Natural Easter Egg Dyes
These are easy instructions for making your own natural Easter egg dyes, using fruits, vegetables, and spices.
Copper and Brass Cleaner
Use these easy instructions to combine common household ingredients to make your own copper, brass, and bronze cleaner.
Cut Flower Preservative Recipes
It's easy and economical to make your own cut flower preservative. Adding floral preservative will help keep your flowers beautiful much longer than if you simply filled a vase with water.
Endothermic Reaction (Safe)
Most endothermic reactions contain toxic chemicals, but this citric acid and sodium bicarbonate reaction is safe and easy.
Copper Sulfate Crystals
Copper sulfate crystals are among the easiest and most beautiful crystals that you can grow. The brilliant blue crystals can be grown relatively quickly and can become quite large. Here's how you can grow copper sulfate crystals yourself.
Kitchen Science Experiments
Do you want to explore science, but can't find or can't afford chemicals? Here are science experiments and projects you can do that use common kitchen chemicals.
These finger paints are just right for aspiring artists! Use soap and water for clean-up. Be aware that the food coloring could stain fabrics and furniture.
Electroactive Slime Instructions
This recipe makes cool, non-toxic slime that appears to have a life of its own!
Disappearing Ink Instructions
Learn how to make blue or red ink that will disappear after exposure to air. Tips for restoring the color and an explanation of the acid-base chemistry of the reaction are also included.
This is the classic, simple flour paste.
How to Grow Great Crystals
Do you want to grow crystals, but you aren't sure where to start or what to do to make sure your crystals turn out well? Here's some basic information on crystal growing. I've provided links to recipes so you can start growing crystals. These instructions are general, so if your recipe calls for something special (like no vibrations or dark), be...
Dry Ice Bubble
The giant bubble you can make using dry ice and bubble solution sort of resembles a crystal ball. This is an easy and spectacular science project.
Lava Lamp - Realistic Version
These instructions for making a lava lamp or lava lite are for the experienced hobbyist, not kids or novices.
This is a gooey, gross variation of the traditional slime recipe, great for Halloween and other occasions requiring snot.
Red Cabbage pH Indicator
Make your own pH indicator solution! Red cabbage juice indicator is easy to make, exhibits a wide range of colors, and can be used to make your own pH paper strips.
Resin Papier Mache Paste
This papier mache paste dries to a hard finish.
Rock Tumbler Instructions
Here are instructions for tumbling rocks using a rotary drum tumbler and a vibratory tumbler, as well as instructions for polishing jewelry in a rock tumbler. Helpful tips are included for improving the polish and troubleshooting problems.
Remove Fluoride from Drinking Water
Learn how to remove fluoride from drinking water. Also learn ways to reduce fluoride exposure and find out what types of filtration don't reduce fluoride concentration.
Fizzy Bath Bomb
Use your chemistry to make a fizzy, scented bath bomb. Make them for yourself or give them as gifts!
You can make your own shampoo from scratch using simple ingredients and a little chemistry know-how. Here's a shampoo recipe to get you started.
Make your own version of Floam, a type of slime that contains polystyrene beads so that you can mold it into shapes.
Learn about the history of Silly Putty, how it works, how to make your own, and what you can do to explore the interesting properties of this viscoelastic liquid.
Potassium Chlorate from Bleach and Salt Substitute
Potassium chlorate is an important potassium compound that can be used as an oxidizer, disinfectant, source of oxygen, and component in pyrotechnics and chemistry demonstrations. You can make potassium chlorate from common household bleach and salt substitute.
These are the instructions for making your own gentle hand or face soap. It's work, but worth the effort!
Snow Globe Using Benzoic Acid
Snow made from water crystals melts at room temperature, but snow made from benzoic acid crystals will still be decorating your snow globe when the weather warms up. Here's how to make a snow globe by precipitating benzoic acid to make the 'snow'.
Magic Crystal Christmas Tree
A magic crystal Christmas tree is an easy crystal project you can do for the holidays.
Sparkly Paint Recipe
This non-toxic paint uses starch and salt for its glittery effects.
Glow in the Dark Crystal Geode
It's very easy to make a glow in the dark crystal geode. The rock is a natural mineral (eggshell). You can use one of several common household chemicals to grow the crystals. The glow comes from phosphorescent paint, which you can get from a craft store.
Use dry ice to freeze bubbles solid so that you can pick them up and examine them closely. You can use this project to demonstrate several scientific principles, such as density, interference, semipermeability, and diffusion.
Seed Crystal Instructions
A seed crystal is a small single crystal that you use to grow a much larger crystal from a saturated crystal solution. This is how you can grow a seed crystal yourself.
Glow in the Dark Mountain Dew
All it takes is a few easily-obtained materials to turn a bottle of Mountain Dew into a glow in the dark bottle of Mountain Dew.
Fried Green Egg
Red cabbage juice contains a natural pH indicator that changes color from purple to green under basic (alkaline) conditions. You can use this reaction to make a fried green egg.
Glow-in-the-Dark Crystal Snowflake
Learn how to make a glow-in-the-dark crystal snowflake or other glowing holiday ornament. This is a safe and easy project that's great for kids and kids-at-heart. The crystal decorations are light-weight and inexpensive to make.
Use chemistry to make a real flower glow in the dark.
Chemical Snow Recipe
This is a recipe for chemical snow. This is a dry snow made from calcium silicate crystals. It's a fun crystal project or useful if you want snow that won't melt!
Saponification Reaction Instructions
Making your own soap can be a time-consuming process, but you can demonstrate the saponification reaction quickly and easily by reacting oil of wintergreen and sodium hydroxide to make sodium salicylate.
You can cool water below its stated freezing point and then crystallize it into ice on command. This is known as supercooling. These are step-by-step instructions for supercooling water at home.
Stink Bomb Recipe
Make your own homemade stink bombs using this easy stink bomb recipe. The stink bombs are as stinky as those you'd get at the store and can be made with common household ingredients.
Geode of Copper Sulfate Crystals
Geodes are rocks that contain crystals. Normally, millions of years are required for flowing water and minerals to deposit crystals, but you can make your own 'geode' in only a few days. Grow blue copper sulfate crystals inside an egg shell to make your own geode.
Hollow Penny Project
This is an easy chemistry project that uses common materials. You take a post-1982 penny, score the copper surface to expose the zinc interior, react the zinc with acid, and are left with a hollow copper penny.
Glow in the Dark Alum Crystals
Alum crystals are among the quickest, easiest, and most reliable crystals you can grow. Did you know you can make them glow in the dark by adding a common household ingredient to the crystal growing solution?
Smoking Fingers Trick
Make your fingers smoke when you rub them together and glow in the dark. All you need is a matchbox and a way to burn the striker portion.
Instant Fire Chemistry Demonstration
Learn how to perform the instant fire chemistry demonstration in which potassium chlorate and sugar are reacted to produce an incredible purple flame and a lot of smoke.
Bubbles are already awesome, but glowing bubbles are even better. It is easy and safe to make bubbles glow, plus it doesn't require any hard-to-find materials. Here is what you do.
Ice Cube on a Wire
Pull a wire through an ice cube without cutting the cube! This trick works thanks to a phenomenon called regelation, in which the ice melts from the pressure of the wire and freezes up after the wire passes. Here's how to put a wire through an ice cube or hang the ice on wire.
Sulfuric Acid and Sugar Demonstration
Ordinary table sugar and sulfuric acid react to produce a growing black column. This demonstration is an example of an exothermic reaction and a dehydration reaction. It is good for discussions about the nature of carbohydrates, hydrogen bonds, and carbon properties.
Invisible Ink - Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is acidic and weakens paper. When paper is heated, the remaining acid turns the writing brown before discoloring the paper.
Iron from Breakfast Cereal
Cold breakfast cereals are usually fortified with iron. What does the iron look like? Find out here!
Gold and Silver Pennies
Take copper pennies and turn then silver, then make them gold. This is an easy chemistry project that uses common laboratory chemicals.
Invisible Ink - Corn Starch
The writing for this invisible ink technique is done using corn starch. An iodine solution is used to reveal the message.
Green Fire Instructions
It's easy to make brilliant green fire. This cool chemistry project only takes two household chemicals.
Rainbow in a Glass Density Column
Make a rainbow in a glass using colored sugar solutions with different densities. This project is very easy and safe enough to drink.
Lava Lamp - Non-Toxic Version
While real lava lamps and lava lites rely on trade secrets, you can get a similar effect with simple household ingredients.
Ivory Soap Microwave Trick
Microwave a bar of Ivory soap and watch it expand to over six times its original size. The foam trick is good clean fun, plus it can be used to demonstrate Charles' Law, physical change, and foam formation.
Grow Silver Crystals
All it takes is silver nitrate and either copper wire or mercury to grow these sparkling metal crystals.
Kid-Friendly Elephant Toothpaste Demo
The elephant toothpaste demo produces a growing column of foam that looks like what you would get if an elephant squashed a giant tube of toothpaste. Here's a kid-friendly version of this classic chemistry demonstration.
Liquid Magnets - Synthesize Ferrofluid
Make your own ferrofluid, or liquid magnet, which can be used with a magnet to change the liquid's density and to form spikes and other amazing shapes.
Wave tanks use liquids with two different densities that won't mix together. Here's an easy, non-toxic method.
Modeling Clay Recipes
There are several ways you can make homemade clay for modeling, making ornaments, and for other projects and crafts. Here are several clay recipes, including a refrigerator clay, a clay you bake to harden, one you coat for a glossy finish, and one that works up and stays pliable much like store-bought modeling clay.
Paper Chromatography with Leaves
Most plants contain several pigment molecules, so experiment with different leaves to see the wide range of pigments.
Red Cabbage pH Paper
Learn how to make your own pH indicator test strips using red cabbage. This is a fun, safe, and easy chemistry project that you can do at home.
Rubber Egg & Chicken Bones
You can make a hard boiled egg bounce like a rubber ball and cause chicken bones to become soft and rubbery. All you need is a common kitchen ingredient.
Make your own invisible ink so you can write and reveal secret messages. Get information about inks that are activated by heat, chemical reactions, and ultraviolet light.
Sharpie Pen Tie Dye
You can create a pattern resembling tie-dye using colored Sharpie pens and rubbing alcohol. It's a fun and educational project that is great for kids.
Mentos & Diet Soda Chemical Volcano
Candies and diet soda together can make a chemical 'volcano' with an eruption several feet high. If the normal baking soda volcano is too tame for you, give this project a try.
Ultimate Colored Smoke Bomb
Make a smoke bomb that billows clouds of brightly colored smoke. This project is easy and safe enough to at home. Adult supervision is required.
The reaction used to make nylon sometimes is called the nylon rope trick because nylon is produces as a single long hollow tube or rope. Here is how to make nylon or perform the nylon rope trick.
Potassium Nitrate Recipe
Make potassium nitrate (saltpeter) from common household ingredients. Potassium chloride from lite salt and ammonium nitrate from a cold pack are reacted to yield potassium nitrate and ammonium chloride. This is an easy way to make your own potassium chloride if you can't find it in a store or just want to try a fun chemistry experiment.
The thermite reaction is a highly exothermic reaction in which metal essentially burns. The thermite reaction has practical applications, such as for welding, plus it makes for a memorable chemistry demonstration. Here's how you can perform the thermite reaction, safely.
Learn how to make your own sparklers, for Independence Day or New Years Day fun. Use your understanding of chemistry to color the sparks.
Nitrogen Triiodide Chemistry Demonstration
Learn how to perform the nitrogen triiodide chemistry demonstration, a spectacular touch-sensitive decomposition that produces a cloud of purple smoke and a loud 'snap'.
Write a message using a special invisible ink. Reveal the message in fire with this fire writing chemistry project.
Sand or Silica How-To
Sand that you find on a beach consists of several minerals and organic matter. If you could separate out the impurities, you would have pure sand, which is silica or silicon dioxide. Here is how to prepare pure sand yourself in the lab.
It's very simple to make violet or purple fire. All you need are two easy-to-find ingredients.
Red Fire Instructions
Red fire is easy to produce. This is a classic color for sparklers and fireworks as well as holiday parties. It would also be a cheery coloration for a campfire or fireplace.
Poinsettia pH Paper
You can make pH indicator from poinsettia flowers, then use the indicator to make your own pH paper test strips.
Most flames from candles or wood burning fire are yellow, but you can color a blue flame so that it will become yellow. Here's what you do.
If ordinary fire just doesn't do it for you, why not kick it up a notch by making it into orange fire? It's easy to make orange flames. Here's what you do.
Water into Wine Demonstration
Turn a clear liquid into a red liquid, then back to clear again. This demonstration is commonly called turning water into wine or blood, and can be used to demonstrate acid-base indicators.
Patriotic Density Column
This is a fun chemistry-type decoration for July 4th or any time you want a colorful demonstration of density layers. Use different colored lamp oils and food colors for other holidays.
Magic Rocks - Chemical Garden
Learn about the chemistry behind magic rocks and make your own chemical crystal garden.
The slime you might find in a real Mad Scientist's lab would probably be the result of some horrible genetic mutation. You can make slime that looks radioactive and toxic, yet is actually easy to make and safe. Here's how you do it.
Recrystallization is a laboratory technique used to purify a sample based on the different solubilites of its components. Learn how to perform a recrystallization and get tips on how to avoid common problems and improve your product yield.
Tin Crystal Growing Instructions
It's easy to grow crystals of tin metal using a simple replacement reaction. You can see the crystals in an hour or so, or leave them overnight for more/larger crystals.
Purple Chromium Alum Crystals
Learn how to grow purple chromium alum crystals and how to grow clear crystals over a core of colored crystals.
Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream
Make liquid nitrogen ice cream as a cool cryogenics or phase change demonstration or for a quick and tasty treat.
Red Potassium Ferricyanide Crystals
These are instructions for growing easy red monoclinic crystals. Don't let the 'cyanide' part of the chemical name put you off -- these crystals aren't edible, but neither are they more toxic than most other compounds.
Sulfur Hexafluoride Demonstrations
Sulfur hexafluoride is a non-toxic, invisible gas that you can use to perform interesting chemistry demonstrations. Breathe it in and make your voice much deeper when you talk. Pour it into a container and float an airplane or a ship on 'nothing'.
Silver Crystal Tree
In this simple chemistry demonstration or crystal growing project you'll grow a silver crystal tree.
Smoke Bomb Instructions
You can easily make a smoke bomb using inexpensive materials to produce safe smoke.
Sugar Crystals - Make Your Own Rock Candy
Sugar crystals are also known as rock candy since the crystallized sucrose resembles rock crystals and because you can eat your finished product. You can grow clear sugar crystals with sugar and water or you can add food coloring to get colored crystals. It's simple, safe, and fun.