Teaching Kids Science in the Kitchen
Science comes easy to kids because they are curious by nature. As a parent it's your job to build on their inquisitiveness. It’s easy to brush them aside when you are busy in the kitchen baking or making a grocery list. But with a few easy ideas you’ll interest kids young and old in the chemistry that takes place in the kitchen! Kids need all the help they can get in the sciences. In my older kid’s school her science program has been cut down to the bare minimum. They learn from a book and have very little hands on learning at all!
Tips to Get Kids Talking About Science
Be a good parent/scientist and get them talking about the scientific method by doing the following:
- State the Problem: What do you want to find out?
- Hypothesize: What do you think is the cause of your problem?
- Plan Your Experiment: Select some variables, and test other similar situations.
- Make a Prediction: Using your hypothesis, make a prediction about the outcome.
- Gather, Analyze and Conclude: Choose data to collect, write it down and help your kids make conclusions about what you’ve found out.
Don’t worry about ‘failed’ experiments. Everyone learns more when events go haywire. Watch as your child comes up with ways to make it better the next time! I ran a beat the boredom science series over on GoodNCrazy.com, check it out for more ideas.
5 Hands-On, Indoor Science Activities for Kids
1. Popcorn Soap
My little boy is 6. And he is in love with all things science. When we head to the library, it’s not to pick up the latest Captain Underpants. Instead we never leave the ‘project’ area (as he calls it) meaning: the little kid non-fiction area. We bring home book after book of ‘how-to’ titles.
Pictured here is an easy experiment where he is testing out whether or not Ivory Soap really is ‘the Soap that Floats’? And one step further (as outlined in the new Steve Spangler book: Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes) watch what happens when you microwave chunks of Ivory Soap versus other brands. Popcorn Soap!
2. Edible Slime
Slime is easy to make and you can Google any number of simple recipes. But how much more fun to EAT your slime-y creation? Edible slime can be colored with food coloring and stored in the fridge for a few days. (Think about the April Fool’s Day possibilities!)
3. Diet Coke Bombs
Steve Spangler has made Mentos experiment famous on the Ellen DeGeneres show. All you need is Diet Coke and a package of Mentos. In fact one pack of Mentos is enough for two bombs. So try two types of diet cola and test the difference? Ask lots of questions. Why does it blow up? Which soda will work better? Will it work with different flavors of Mentos?
4. Rainbow Flavored Density Experiment
With simple kitchen ingredients make a colorful density experiment (it doubles as a bright drink!).
5. Zoom Into a Virtual Kitchen Experience Online with PBSkids!
Learn about acids and bases with the virtual items in the online kitchen. Watch what happens when different items are dumped into red cabbage juice (a natural acid/base indicator). Vinegar, Orange Juice and Baking Soda? Remember to make a prediction first!
What simple activities do you do to teach your kids science?
In a former life, Carissa Rogers was a molecular biologist. In her current life, she is the chief researcher of bloggy karma, parenting dos (and some don’ts), new recipes, and for spice she pretends to be a photographer. She started blogging in February of 2008 and publishes her good & crazy thoughts on GoodNCrazy.com. Find her on Twitter and Facebook.
Disclosure: Carissa was given a copy of Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes, which she referred as research for this post.
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