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Top Chemistry Projects You Can Do at Home

Fun Home Chemistry Experiments & Demonestrations

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Want to do science but don't have your own laboratory? Don't worry if you don't have a chemistry lab.This list of science activities will  allow you to do experiments and projects with common materials you can easily find around your home.

1. Make Slime

Slime
Anne Helmenstine
You don't need to have esoteric chemicals and a lab to have a good time with chemistry. Yes, your average fourth grader can make slime. That doesn't mean it's any less fun when you're older.

2. Borax Snowflake

Borax crystal snowflakes are fun and easy to make.
Anne Helmenstine
This is a crystal-growing project that is safe and easy enough for kids. You can make shapes other than snowflakes, and you can color the crystals. As a side note, if you use these as Christmas decorations and store them, the borax is a natural insecticide and will help keep your long-term storage area pest-free. If they develop a white precipitant, you can lightly rinse them (don't dissolve too much crystal). Did I mention the snowflakes sparkle really nicely?

3. Mentos & Diet Soda Fountain

The mentos & diet cola fountain is easy and fun.
Anne Helmenstine
This is a backyard activity, best accompanied by a garden hose. The mentos fountain is more spectacular than a baking soda volcano. In fact, if you make the volcano and find the eruption to be disappointing, try substituting these ingredients.

4. Penny Chemistry

These pennies are coated with verdigris.
Anne Helmenstine
You can clean pennies, coat them with verdigris, and plate them with copper. This project demonstrates several chemical processes, yet the materials are easy to find and the science is safe enough for kids.

5. Invisible Ink

You can use invisible ink or disappearing ink to write secret messages.
Photodisc, Getty Images
Invisible inks either react with another chemical to become visible or else weaken the structure of the paper so the message appears if you hold it over a heat source. We're not talking about fire here. The heat of a normal light bulb is all that's required to darken the lettering. This baking soda recipe is nice because if you don't want to use a light bulb to reveal the message, you can just swab the paper with grape juice instead.

6. Color Fire

Green fire is easy to make and doesn't require any hard-to-find chemicals.
Anne Helmenstine
Fire is fun. Colored fire is even better. These additives are safe. They won't, in general, produce a smoke that is any better or worse for you than normal smoke. Depending on what you add, the ashes will have a different elemental composition from a normal wood fire, but if you're burning trash or printed material, you have a similar end result. In my opinion, this is suitable for a home fire or kid's campfire, plus most chemicals are found around the house (even of non-chemists).

7. Seven Layer Density Column

You can make a colorful many-layered density column using common household liquids.
Anne Helmenstine
Make a density column with many liquid layers using common household liquids. This is an easy, fun and colorful science project that illustrates the concepts of density and miscibility.

8. Baking Soda & Vinegar Foam Fight

The foam fight is a natural extension of the baking soda volcano. It's a lot of fun, and a little messy, but easy to clean up as long as you don't add food coloring to the foam.

9. Ice Cream in a Baggie

Ice Cream
Nicholas Eveleigh, Getty Images
Learn about freezing point depression, or not. The ice cream tastes good either way. This cooking chemistry project potentially uses no dishes, so clean up can be very easy.

10. Coffee Filter Chromatography

You can use a coffee filter and a 1% salt solution to perform paper chromatography.
Anne Helmenstine
Separation chemistry is a snap. A coffee filter works great, though if you don't drink coffee, you can substitute a paper towel. You could devise a project comparing the separation you get using different brands of paper towels. Leaves from outdoors can provide pigments. Frozen spinach is another good choice.

11. Burning Money

In the burning money demonstration, paper currency is on fire yet is not consumed by the flames.
ICHIRO, Getty Images
This is a magic trick using chemistry. You can set a bill on fire, yet it won't burn. Are you brave enough to try it?

12. Hot Ice or Sodium Acetate

Hot ice generates heat as it changes from liquid to ice.
Anne Helmenstine
Got vinegar and baking soda? If so, you can make 'hot ice' or sodium acetate at home and then cause it to instantly crystallize from a liquid in 'ice'. The reaction generates heat, so the ice is hot. It happens so quickly, you can form crystal towers as you pour the liquid into a dish.

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