4 Fantastic Science Experiments You Can Do in Your Kitchen
We often consider cooking, baking and other culinary endeavors to be arts, but when you think about it, a great deal of science goes into food preparation. From determining how long to boil an egg before it becomes hard, to staging the right environment to create a beautiful soufflé, and making the moistest from-scratch cake possible, it takes kitchen chemistry knowledge, practice, and sometimes a bit of luck.
You can teach your kid about science by pulling out your favorite cookbook. In fact, some kiddos find it fascinating to whip up muffins or help make dinner. However, kitchen science is not limited to rustling up meals or preparing the perfect pastry.
The heart of your home is also an ideal place to experiment with things that are gooey, slimy, sticky, bouncy and even explode-y (okay, so explode-y is not an actual word, but you get the picture). Don’t panic, though; there are loads of kids’ science projects you can pull off in the kitchen without any huge messes. As an added bonus, some of them result in playthings that will entertain your brood for hours on end.
Here are just a handful of simple projects you can make in the kitchen as a family that will teach different science concepts and bring on tons of fun. You probably have most of the necessary materials in your fridge, pantry or laundry room already, and if not, you won’t have to break your budget grabbing them at the grocery store.
Spiced Up Play Dough
Even if you have never made play dough in your own kitchen, chances are good that your mom mixed some up when you were a kiddo. At the very least, you were aware that you could blend flour, water and a few other basic ingredients to make a homemade version of the children’s modeling compound.
Making play dough can teach kids basic scientific concepts, such as combining several materials to create a new substance, evaluating properties of a substance, and how changing an object’s dimensions alters its volume. But what if you skipped food coloring or other additions and found natural ways to tint the dough? What other effects might doing so have on the mixture?
A crafty mom named Georgina decided to test this concept on her blog, Craftulate. Instead of dyes, she turned to spices and herbs to color batches of DIY play dough. Check it out and then experiment in your own kitchen. Discuss how the seasonings change the scent, texture and even the flavor of the dough.
Gak, slime and other goopy concoctions are all the rage and they are generally quite simple to make using common household products, such as Borax, glue or liquid starch. However, if you have one of those kids who cannot resist putting interesting objects into his or her little mouth, these might not be the best options.
You don’t have to forgo a slimy science project for fear of your little eating the goop. Rather, choose a recipe that calls for edible ingredients, such as the one shared by Asia Citro on her blog, Fun at Home with Kids. This concoction is just as ooey, gooey and sticky as the chemical-containing recipes are, but it only calls for cornstarch, water, food coloring and a secret (but super safe) ingredient you would likely never consider, so you can help your kids learn about Newtonian fluids and viscosity with no worries.
Disappearing Egg Shell
If you want to remove an egg’s shell without making a sticky mess, you might hard-boil it first. Another way to achieve this is to use science to make the shell “disappear,” leaving behind an egg that almost seems to be made of rubber.
Sometimes referred to as “naked eggs,” this chemistry project displays the effect of acidity on a porous surface, such as an eggshell (it’s also a terrific way to show kids how soda and other acidic beverages affect their teeth!). On her blog, Go Science Girls, Danya Banya shares the simple steps to perform this experiment using common items in your kitchen.
Density is a characteristic property of a substance that shows the relationship between its mass and its volume. Density jars are an enjoyable way to explore this scientific concept in your kitchen.
Much like retro lava lamps, the density of different substances, such as oil and water, create fascinating reactions. Chelsey Marashian shares the materials and steps required to create a basic density jar on her website, Buggy and Buddy. Take this experiment a step further by adding different substances to see how they respond. Try liquids such as dish soap, milk and maple syrup or solids such as a plastic bottle cap, grains of rice or beads.
Whether you have made some of these ideas in the past or have not yet tried your hand at any of these kitchen science projects, you and your bunch will have a blast experimenting, discovering and learning together. Cleaning up will be well worth the effort.
What are some of your favorite science projects to whip up in the kitchen? Share with us!Tags : education science experiments activities