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20 Awesome DIY Science Projects to Do With Your Kids

20 Awesome DIY Science Projects to Do With Your Kids

Before the advent of the uber-popular show Mythbusters or the push for more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in schools, parents and their kids were doing at-home science experiments. Now, the trend continues to blossom, although many of the experiments have remained somewhat the same…and always awesomely exciting!

If you’re a parent and you want to do something with your kid that isn’t related to cleaning the toilets or forging through homework, check out these 20 great science projects that you can complete in the confines of your humble abode. Most of them use around-the-home items that you probably have on hand, although some will require a little bit of shopping ahead of time. To help you decide which are best for your children’s needs, the 20 have been divided into projects for younger students and projects for older ones.

11 Cool Science Projects for the Younger Set

1. Now You See It, Now You Don’t!

bleach science experiment

    Want to visually explain how bleach works? This is as easy as it gets!

    What you’ll need for this project:

    • Two clear plastic cups
    • Food coloring (red is great to use)
    • Bleach
    • Water

    Directions:

    1. Fill one plastic cup three-quarters of the way with water
    2. Add several drops of food coloring to the water and mix it up until it is red/pink
    3. Fill the other plastic cup one-quarter of the way with bleach
    4. Slowly add the bleach to the water mixture
    5. Watch as the bleach expands the molecules of dye attached to the water molecules, thereby making the water look clear again

    WARNING: Do not under any circumstances drink the bleached water!

    Source

    2: Buoyancy “Magic”

    science experiment

      For this project, you’ll need only a ketchup packet and a one- or two-liter plastic bottle filled about three-quarters of the way to the top with water. Pop the ketchup packet into the bottle, and then squeeze the bottle to see if you can make the packet move up or down. Try different packets, such as those of mustard or soy sauce. Do they move the same way as the ketchup packet did?

      Source

      3. Rain, Rain, Don’t Go Away!

      weather science experiment

        Make it rain inside your house.

        You’ll need:

        • A plate
        • A glass mason jar
        • Ice cubes (about one or two cups)
        • Very hot water

        Place the hot water into the glass jar, about a third of the way up. Put the plate on top of the jar. Place all the ice cubes carefully on the plate. Watch the inside of the jar start to exhibit rain!

        Source

        4. Sunscreen Importance 101

        sunscreen science experiment

          Do your kids whine about wearing sunscreen? Show them the value of it with some sunscreen and black construction paper. Put a dab of sunscreen onto the paper and then smear it around. Place the black construction paper into direction sunlight for a few hours. Notice how the construction paper fades where the sunscreen wasn’t applied.

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          5. What Color is Your Celery?

          science experiment

            Little kids love to see how foods can be used for the purpose of science. In this experiment, they’ll play with celery and food coloring.

            You’ll just need some celery stalks, water, clear glasses and several shades of food coloring. Fill each glass halfway with water and then add some food dye to each glass. Cut the celery stalks so the leafy part is at the top. Place the other end directly into the glass. Over several hours, the colored water will begin to move up into the stalk. After a period of time, the kids will see how the porous celery has absorbed the colored water.

            NOTE: Some children are allergic to certain food dyes, so it’s best not to eat this experiment as a snack!

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            6. Make Your Own Jellyfish

            science experiment

              This experiment is mostly for pleasure, but kids really do love the results.

              You’ll only need a one- or two-liter clear bottle (cleaned), a clear plastic grocery bag, dyed water (blue is nice), scissors and a white string. First, fill the bottle halfway with the dyed water. Then, lay out your plastic grocery bag. Start cutting it into small strips (you may need to do some trial runs with this.) Tie the strips together to form a jellyfish-like shape.

              Now, push the plastic “jellyfish” into the dyed water. Gently add more dyed water on top of it, leaving at least two or three inches of air at the top of the bottle. Tightly secure the top to the bottle, and then allow your children to play with the “jellyfish in a bottle”.

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              7. Magnetic Magic

              magnetic science experiment

                Want to show a little one the power of magnets? Get an empty, clear two-liter soda bottle. Fill it with half-inch long pipe cleaner bits. (You can just cut them to this size.) There should be about 3-4 inches worth at the bottom of the soda bottle when you’re finished.

                Now, let your child use a larger magnet to run along the side of the soda bottle. The metal-based pipe cleaners will be attracted to the magnets.

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                8. Will It Dissolve?

                preschool science experiment

                  This is another fast experiment that doesn’t take much time to set up, but can provide a lot of fun discussions. You’ll just need a clear bowl filled with water, and several other bowls each filled with a variety of items: salt, sugar, baking soda, rice, tea, coffee, spices. Allow your child to put one ingredient into the bowl of water. Then, see if it dissolves. Continue with the experiment, removing the old water and re-filling the bowl each time.

                  Source

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                  9. How Does an Elephant Brush His Teeth?

                  toothpaste science experiments

                    Have you ever wondered what elephant toothpaste might look like? Tell your kids that you’re going to make some together.

                    What you’ll need for this project:

                    • A two-liter soda bottle, cleaned
                    • Hydrogen peroxide solution (at least 6% or greater)
                    • Dishwashing soap (liquid)
                    • Warm water
                    • One yeast packet
                    • Food coloring
                    • A cooking pan (such as for a roast)

                    Directions:

                    1. Place the soda bottle upright in the middle of the cooking pan
                    2. Fill the bottle with a half cup of hydrogen peroxide, a few drops of the food coloring, and a few drops of the dishwashing soap
                    3. In another bowl, mix together two tablespoons of the warm water and the yeast, allowing the yeast to dissolve
                    4. Allow your child to SLOWLY pour the yeast mixture into the soda bottle mixture and watch the elephant toothpaste come to life

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                    10. The Twisted Candy Cane

                    science experiment for Christmas

                      Have too many candy canes after the holidays? Don’t pitch them or force yourself to eat them – turn them into science projects instead!

                      For this experiment, you’ll need several candy canes (any flavors or sizes should do), a baking sheet, an oven and some aluminum foil. Carefully unwrap the candy canes and place them onto pieces of aluminum foil that are shaped like they are. Put the aluminum foil and candy canes onto the baking sheet.

                      Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When the oven is hot, pop the baking sheet into the oven. After two or three minutes, check on the candy canes. Don’t allow them to melt; they should just be malleable, not drippy! Test them with tongs, not your fingers. When they seem bendable, take them out of the oven and wait a minute so they won’t burn your hands. At the point that they can be safely touched, allow your children to twist them into shapes. Make pretzels and circles and curlicues!

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                      11. Make Giant Gummies

                      science experiment with candy

                        Who doesn’t love a gummy bear? It’s even better when you see your favorite gummy treat expand to twice its size… or greater. Simply drop a gummy into a clean mason jar filled with water and wait. The porous gummy will absorb the liquid and expand.

                        Source

                        9 Amazing Science Experiments for Older Kids and Teens

                        1. It’s Conductive!

                        science experiment

                          This experiment tests the electrical conductivity of several water-based liquids. It’s fascinating to see which conduct electricity and which don’t.

                          What you’ll need for this project:

                          • One conductivity board (you can make your own or buy one online)
                          • A glass bowl
                          • Water
                          • Different water-soluble liquids and solids (bleach, laundry detergents, food coloring, glycerine, salt, sugar, baking soda)

                          Directions:

                          1. Hook up the conductivity board
                          2. Pour water into the glass bowl
                          3. Test the conductivity of the water alone
                          4. Add one of the water-soluble liquids or solids to the water and then retest, making note of any differences or similarities

                          NOTE: This makes a fun classroom experiment for homeschoolers.

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                          2. It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Hovercraft!

                          science experiments for kids

                            Create a simple hovercraft that’s cool to operate using only a CD (make sure it’s one you don’t want to use again), a push-up top from a water bottle (cleaned), a balloon (round is best) and some superglue.

                            Directions:

                            1. Superglue the push-up top to the middle of the CD
                            2. After the glue is dry, blow up the balloon
                            3. Affix the balloon over the push-up top
                            4. Place the CD onto a non-carpeted, bare floor and watch as the CD hovers from the escaping balloon air

                            Source

                            3. How Egg-cellent!

                            science experiments with eggs

                              Did you ever want to walk on eggs, just to see what would happen? This project is hilarious, and great for groups of kids. While it’s fine for the younger set, it’s probably more impactful for older children.

                              You’ll need plenty of egg cartons filled with large eggs to create an eggy “walkway”, so if you’re doing this as a group, ask for donations. Lay down a layer of plastic garbage bags under the cartons of eggs, and line the cartons up lengthwise two cartons deep. Two-by-two, you can create long walkways.

                              Have all the kids remove their shoes and socks, and then line them up. Two kids can assist the child who is walking on the eggs. He or she should be asked to keep his or her foot as flat as possible to make this work. The assistants should help by alleviating some of the weight. Ideally, the child should be able to walk across all the eggs without breaking any.

                              NOTE: Be prepared for some eggs to break during the project. This means you’ll need some way to wash off goopy feet!

                              Source

                              4. DIY Tornado

                              tornado science experiment

                                You can easily show how a tornado works with a mason jar, water and dishwashing detergent. Simply fill the mason jar about three-quarters of the way full with water, and add a few drops of the dishwashing detergent. Secure the top on the jar, and then shake it hard. Place the jar on a table, and a funnel should appear. Voila! Instant tornado!

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                                5. Oobleck Fun

                                coolest science project

                                  If you’ve never heard of Oobleck, it’s a creation of two cups of cornstarch mixed with one cup of water. When you play with it, it’s like a solid. When you allow it to rest, it becomes a liquid. Have fun trying some different ways of making it turn from a solid to a liquid and back again. This can make a really intriguing science fair project.

                                  Source

                                  6. Help a Plant See the Light

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                                  plant science

                                    Plants will always try to seek the sunlight, and you can show how this happens by making a maze out of shoebox, and then adding an everyday bean plant to the bottom of the maze. As the plant stretches and grows, it will twist and turn throughout the maze in order to reach the sun.

                                    NOTE: This experiment takes place over several weeks. Again, it’s great for a science fair project or classroom experiment because of its length.

                                    Source

                                    7. Eeek! That Egg Is Naked!

                                    science experiments with eggs

                                      When most eggs are without their shells, they certainly can’t be easily handled. But what would happen if you allowed an uncooked egg to sit in a glass filled with vinegar for about a day? Try it and carefully remove the shell, which will already been partially removed from the acidic solution. The egg should feel rubbery. See if it will splatter when you drop it from a height of a few inches.

                                      Source

                                      8. Make Fireflies with a Glow Stick

                                      fireflies in a jar

                                        Tired of waiting around for summer to come and the fireflies to make their presence? Buy some glow sticks at the dollar store and open them up very carefully. Put the contents of the sticks into cleaned mason jars. Seal the jars, and then shake them well. The glow stick chemicals will affix to the jar sides and provide a soft glow. This is actually a nifty experiment if kids are going to have a classroom party and want a cool effect for table lanterns.

                                        Source

                                        9. It’s “Snot” Funny!

                                        slime

                                          Okay, it really is funny. Snot, that is. So why not create your own? Yes, it’s disgusting… but it’s an unforgettable experiment.

                                          What you’ll need for this project:

                                          • Boiling water
                                          • A cup
                                          • Plain, unflavored gelatin
                                          • Corn syrup

                                          Directions:

                                          1. Fill the cup half-full of the boiling water
                                          2. Add three teaspoons of gelatin to the water
                                          3. Allow the gelatin to soften, then stir it with a fork
                                          4. Add a quarter of a cup of the corn syrup to the gelatin mixture
                                          5. Stir the new mixture with the fork again
                                          6. Check out the strands of “snot” that have formed

                                          As the mixture continues to cool down, add small amounts of water to it. Then, gross out everyone. What’s not to love?

                                          ADDED BONUS: Put some green food coloring into the boiling water.

                                          Source

                                          Remember that you don’t have to go hog-wild with science projects. Even uncomplicated ones can pack an amazing wallop of fun.

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                                          Last Updated on October 5, 2020

                                          Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

                                          Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

                                          Intermittent fasting weight loss is a type of diet that’s rapidly growing in popularity and becoming the way to lose weight. Scientists and nutrition experts like it, too. New books and articles on the topic are being published daily. Intermittent fasting is also popular with followers of the Paleo diet since our ancestors appear to have eaten this way for thousands of years.

                                          I’ve been following this type of diet myself for 2 years. Doing so helped me lose and keep off 70 pounds without ever having to count calories, limit carbohydrates, or eat 6 to 7 meals a day.

                                          This article teaches you all about intermittent fasting weight loss and details why it is one of the best weight loss diet hacks around. Once you finish, you will be able to implement into your diet and experience the benefits it offers almost immediately.

                                          What Is Intermittent Fasting?

                                          As you may have figured from its name, intermittent fasting weight loss is a diet plan where you set fasting periods during the day. This is usually between 16-20 consecutive hours, but it can be as little as 12 hours or as much as 24 hours (or even 36 hours).

                                          While fasting you can eat and drink low calorie or calorie-free foods. Think coffee, tea, water, and vegetables.

                                          The more time you spend fasting every day, the better your results. You can do these fasts as often as you like. Again, the more often you do so, the better[1].

                                          Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting

                                          Following this diet plan is super simple. All you have to do is choose a period of time during the day that you will fast. This should be between 16-20 hours.

                                          The longer you fast each day, the better. Don’t worry about calorie restriction or measuring carbohydrates. Just focus on going about your day until it’s time to eat.

                                          It’s best to choose a set period of time to conduct your fast. I like to fast from 8 PM to 4 PM the following afternoon. I’ll then have my first meal of the day and a snack or two a few hours later. Once 8 o’clock rolls around, it’s back to fasting.

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                                          My experience with intermittent fasting is that it’s best to start with a 16 hour fast (i.e. 8PM one evening to 12PM the next day) for the first 1-2 weeks. Once you are comfortable with this schedule, you can increase the amount of time you spend fasting. Do this by adding 30 minutes to each fast until you get to where you are fasting for 20 hours at a time.

                                          You don’t have to fast every day in the beginning either. You may be more comfortable breaking in slowly with 2 or 3 days per week, or trying alternate day fasting. Add additional days of intermittent fasting as you become more comfortable with this style of eating.

                                          Tips To Make Intermittent Fasting Easier

                                          1. Drink Plenty of Water

                                          Squeeze a little lemon or lime juice into your water to help get rid of any cravings you experience. You can also drink coffee, tea, or other calorie-free beverages. After a few weeks, you will find that intermittent fasting keeps you from craving sugar entirely.

                                          2. Take in Caffeine in the Morning and Early Afternoon

                                          The caffeine in coffee and tea may actually make intermittent fasting weight loss a little easier since it’s good for curbing your appetite. Be careful not to overindulge as this may lead to you feeling a little too wired. I also recommend these natural energy boosting tips to keep you going during the day.

                                          3. Avoid Artificially Flavored Drinks

                                          One type of calorie-free drink that should be avoided are diet sodas and other beverages that use artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Sweet & Low. Studies show that the can actually stimulate your appetite[2] like a drink that contains sugar and cause you to overeat.

                                          4. Don’t Gorge at Your First Meal

                                          The first meal after your fast should be the amount of food you typically eat. Binging will only make you feel awful and diminish the benefits you get from the fast.

                                          To avoid this, try creating meal plans, at least for the first few weeks. This will help you get into the rhythm of eating regularly portioned meals during your eating window.

                                          5. Minimize Processed Carbohydrates and Sugars

                                          While intermittent fasting does make it possible to eat a little looser than normal, you should still eat as little bread, pasta, rice, etc. as possible.

                                          Focus instead on eating protein from beef, fish, or pork, carbohydrates from vegetables, fruit, and sweet potatoes, and healthy fats from foods like almonds, avocados, fish, and olive oil.

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                                          You can find some carb sources that will aid your weight loss journey here.

                                          How Intermittent Fasting Helps You Lose Weight

                                          Eating this way has many benefits with regard to weight loss. The first is that when you’re fasting, your body will be forced to use its stored body fat for energy. Burning calories this way, instead of from the food you’re eating throughout the day, will help you experience significant weight loss, but specifically lose weight from any excess body fat you’re carrying.

                                          This means that you won’t just be thinner, but you will also look better and be much healthier than if you lose weight the old-fashioned way[3].

                                          Intermittent fasting can help optimize the release of the key fat-burning hormones in your body. This is especially true for the two most important hormones: human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin.

                                          Human growth hormone plays a key role in turning on your body’s fat-burning furnace so that it gets the calories you need to work and play from stored body fat. Studies show that fasting can significantly increase the production of HGH[4].

                                          The influence intermittent fasting weight loss has on insulin is just as impressive and possibly more important. Keeping your insulin levels low and steady is key to losing excess fat and keeping it off.

                                          Diets that are rich in processed carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice) and simple sugars (candy, cookies, and soda) have the opposite effect. They cause your insulin levels to rapidly spike and then crash every time you eat one of these foods. The net result of this phenomenon is that your body will store more of what you eat as excess body fat instead of burning it off as energy.

                                          Chronically elevating your insulin levels like this can also lead to the development of type II diabetes, obesity, and other chronic health problems. Intermittent fasting easily solves this problem.

                                          One study found that men who participated in intermittent fasting had “dramatically lower insulin levels and significantly improved insulin sensitivity”[5].

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                                          This happens because you’re not giving your body food, so it will not produce insulin, allowing insulin levels to balance out until you eat again. This helps your body stay in a calorie and fa-burning state. You’ll also find that it gives you more energy throughout the day.

                                          Another great weight loss benefit of intermittent fasting is that hunger pangs and cravings that may normally plague you throughout the day will be reduced, if not altogether eliminated. This is probably due to its ability to balance your insulin and blood sugar levels and, in turn, help correct other hormonal imbalances.

                                          Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss FAQs

                                          Now that you know what intermittent fasting is and how to get started, it’s time to answer your other questions.

                                          Below are answers to the questions frequently asked about intermittent fasting. These answers should help you and make getting started a lot easier.

                                          How Much Weight Will I Lose?

                                          The amount of weight you lose with fasting is determined by how often and long your fasts are, what you eat afterward, and other factors. Fasting for 16-20 hours a day can help you safely lose 2-3 pounds of fat every week.

                                          While losing this much weight every week is great, it’s how it makes it happen that’s really cool. Losing weight with intermittent fasting means that you will never have to count calories or plan and prepare several meals a day.

                                          Can I Work out While Fasting?

                                          Yes, you can. In fact, doing the right type of workout while fasting will help you lose weight faster and even build muscle.

                                          The best workouts to do while fasting for weight loss are 3-4 intense strength training workouts weekly. This means anything from standard strength training to kettlebell or body weight workouts.

                                          Focus on doing 3-4 total body exercises per workout with as little rest as possible between sets. Doing this will help you burn more calories during and after your workout. You’ll also build muscle, which will help you look and feel better as the weight comes off.

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                                          Won’t I Lose Muscle When I Fast?

                                          First of all, you aren’t fasting long enough for your body to start breaking down muscle for energy. You have, perhaps, hundreds of thousands of calories from your stored body fat to use before that will begin to happen. Studies actually show that even after fasting for 3 days, no muscle is lost.

                                          Is Fasting Safe?

                                          As long as you are healthy, not pregnant, and aren’t taking medications, fasting is safe. Like all diets, you should discuss it with your doctor before beginning an intermittent fasting style of dieting.

                                          I also feel that it may not be smart to follow this type of diet when you’re especially stressed. Since this diet can be a little stress-inducing at first, doing so when your ability to be relatively stress-free and rested probably isn’t a good idea.

                                          Are There Any Supplements I Can Take to Make Fasting Easier?

                                          As with any other weight loss plan, it’s a good idea to take a few nutritional supplements to ensure that your daily requirements are met. This includes a once or twice daily multi-vitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D.

                                          I’ve also found taking 10 grams of branch chain amino acids before and after my workouts really helps, too. They’re great for giving you more energy during your workout and decreasing post-workout muscle soreness.

                                          For supplements to specifically help with digestion, check out this article.

                                          Conclusion

                                          Now you know what intermittent fasting is and how it can help you lose weight quickly, safely, and pretty much effortlessly.

                                          If you want to give it a try, find a fasting schedule that fits with you lifestyle and give it a go.

                                          More About Intermittent Fasting

                                          Featured photo credit: Toa Heftiba via unsplash.com

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