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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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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.
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).
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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?
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.