60 Easy Science Experiments Using Materials You Already Have On Hand
Not all science experiments require expensive lab equipment or dangerous chemicals. There are lots of cool projects you can do with regular household items. We’ve rounded up a big collection of easy science experiments that anybody can try, and kids are going to love them!
1. Amplify a smartphone
No Bluetooth speaker? No problem! Put together your own from paper cups and toilet paper tubes.
Learn more: Mum in the Madhouse
2. Send a teabag flying
Hot air rises, and this experiment can prove it! You’ll want to supervise kids with fire, of course. For more safety, try this one outside!
Learn more: Coffee Cups and Crayons
3. Watch the water rise
Learn about Charles’s Law with this simple experiment. As the candle burns, using up oxygen and heating the air in the glass, the water rises as if by magic.
Learn more: Team Cartwright
4. Set raisins dancing
This is a fun version of the classic baking soda and vinegar experiment, perfect for the younger crowd. The bubbly mixture causes raisins to dance around in the water.
Learn more: 123Homeschool4Me/Dancing Raisins
5. Race a balloon-powered car
Kids will be amazed when they learn they can put together this awesome racer using cardboard and bottle cap wheels. The balloon-powered “engine” is so much fun, too.
Learn more: ProLab
6. Crystallize your own rock candy
Crystal science experiments teach kids about supersaturated solutions. This one is easy to do at home, and the results are absolutely delicious!
Learn more: Growing a Jeweled Rose
7. Repel glitter with dish soap
Everyone knows that glitter is just like germs—it gets everywhere and is so hard to get rid of! Use that to your advantage and show kids how soap fights glitter and germs.
Learn more: Living Life & Learning
8. Blow the biggest bubbles you can
Add a few simple ingredients to dish soap solution to create the largest bubbles you’ve ever seen! Kids learn about surface tension as they engineer these bubble-blowing wands.
Learn more: Scholastic/Dish Soap Bubbles
9. Build a Ferris Wheel
You’ve probably ridden on a Ferris Wheel, but can you build one? Stock up on wood craft sticks and find out! Play around with different designs to see which one works best.
10. Learn about capillary action
Kids will be amazed as they watch the colored water move from glass to glass, and you’ll love the easy and inexpensive setup. Gather some water, paper towels, and food coloring to teach the scientific magic of capillary action.
Learn More: 123 Homeschool 4 Me/Capillary Action
11. Demonstrate the “magic” leakproof bag
So simple and so amazing! All you need is a zip-top plastic bag, sharp pencils, and some water to blow your kids’ minds. Once they’re suitably impressed, teach them how the “trick” works by explaining the chemistry of polymers.
Learn more: Paging Fun Mums
12. Design a cell phone stand
Use your engineering skills and items from around the house to design and build a cell phone stand.
Learn more: Science Buddies/Cell Phone Stand
13. Recreate the water cycle in a bag
You can do so many easy science experiments with a simple zip-top bag! Fill one partway with water and set it on a sunny windowsill to see how the water evaporates up and eventually “rains” down.
Learn more: Grade School Giggles
14. Conduct an egg drop
Put all their engineering skills to the test with an egg drop! Challenge kids to build a container from stuff they find around the house that will protect an egg from a long fall (this is especially fun to do from upper-story windows).
Learn more: Buggy and Buddy/Egg Drop
15. Engineer a drinking straw roller coaster
STEM challenges are always a hit with kids. We love this one, which only requires basic supplies like drinking straws.
16. Build a solar oven
Explore the power of the sun when you build your own solar ovens and use them to cook some yummy treats. This experiment takes a little more time and effort, but the results are always impressive. The link below has complete instructions.
Learn more: Desert Chica
17. Float a marker man
Their eyes will pop out of their heads when you “levitate” a stick figure right off the table! This experiment works due to the insolubility of dry-erase marker ink in water, combined with the lighter density of the ink.
Learn more: Gizmodo
18. Discover density with hot and cold water
There are a lot of easy science experiments you can do with density. This one is extremely simple, involving only hot and cold water and food coloring, but the visuals make it appealing and fun.
Learn more: STEAMsational
19. Learn to layer liquids
This density demo is a little more complicated, but the effects are spectacular. Slowly layer liquids like honey, dish soap, water, and rubbing alcohol in a glass. Kids will be amazed when the liquids float one on top of the other like magic (except it is really science).
Learn more: Wonder How To
20. Crush a can using air pressure
Sure, it’s easy to crush a soda can with your bare hands, but what if you could do it without touching it at all? That’s the power of air pressure!
Learn more: Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls/Can Crush
21. Build a da Vinci bridge
There are plenty of bridge-building experiments out there, but this one is unique. It’s inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s 500-year-old self-supporting wooden bridge. Learn how to build it at the link, and expand your learning by exploring more about da Vinci himself.
Learn more: iGame Mom
22. Grow a carbon sugar snake
Easy science experiments can still have impressive results! This eye-popping chemical reaction demonstration only requires simple supplies like sugar, baking soda, and sand.
Learn more: KiwiCo/Carbon Sugar Snake
23. Create eggshell chalk
Eggshells contain calcium, the same material that makes chalk. Grind them up and mix them with flour, water, and food coloring to make your very own sidewalk chalk.
Learn more: Kidspot
24. Become a human sundial
Use that homemade chalk for this activity that turns kids into human sundials! They’ll practice measuring skills and learn about the movement of the sun across the sky.
Learn more: Scholastic/Sundial
25. Learn about plant transpiration
Your backyard is a terrific place for easy science experiments! Grab a plastic bag and rubber band to learn how plants get rid of excess water they don’t need, a process known as transpiration.
Learn more: Teach Beside Me
26. Make naked eggs
This is so cool! Use vinegar to dissolve the calcium carbonate in an eggshell to discover the membrane underneath that holds the egg together. Then, use the “naked” egg for another easy science experiment that demonstrates osmosis.
Learn more: Making Memories With Your Kids
27. Make sparks with steel wool
All you need is steel wool and a 9-volt battery to perform this science demo that’s bound to make their eyes light up! Kids learn about chain reactions, chemical changes, and more.
Learn more: The Homeschool Scientist
28. Turn milk into plastic
This sounds a lot more complicated than it is, but don’t be afraid to give it a try. Use simple kitchen supplies to create plastic polymers from plain old milk. Sculpt them into cool shapes when you’re done!
Learn more: Science Buddies/Milk into Plastic
29. Levitate a ping-pong ball
Kids will get a kick out of this experiment, which is really all about Bernoulli’s principle. You only need plastic bottles, bendy straws, and ping-pong balls to make the science magic happen.
Learn more: Buggy and Buddy/Floating Ping Pong Ball
30. Launch a two-stage rocket
The rockets used for space flight generally have more than one stage to give them the extra boost they need. This easy science experiment uses balloons to model a two-stage rocket launch, teaching kids about the laws of motion.
Learn more: Science Buddies/Two-Stage Rocket
31. Pull an egg into a bottle
This classic easy science experiment never fails to delight. Use the power of air pressure to suck a hard-boiled egg into a jar, no hands required.
Learn more: Left Brain Craft Brain
32. Test pH using cabbage
Teach kids about acids and bases without needing pH test strips! Simply boil some red cabbage and use the resulting water to test various substances—acids turn red and bases turn green.
Learn more: Education Possible
33. Clean some old coins
Use common household items to make old oxidized coins clean and shiny again in this simple chemistry experiment. Ask kids to predict (hypothesize) which will work best, then expand the learning by doing some research to explain the results.
Learn more: Gallykids
34. Blow up a balloon—without blowing
Chances are good you probably did easy science experiments like this when you were in school yourself. This well-known activity demonstrates the reactions between acids and bases. Fill a bottle with vinegar and a balloon with baking soda. Fit the balloon over the top, shake the baking soda down into the vinegar, and watch the balloon inflate.
Learn more: All for the Boys
35. Construct a homemade lava lamp
This 70s trend is back—as an easy science experiment! This activity combines acid/base reactions with density for a totally groovy result.
Learn more: Education.com
36. Whip up a tornado in a bottle
There are plenty of versions of this classic experiment out there, but we love this one because it sparkles! Kids learn about a vortex and what it takes to create one.
Learn more: Cool Science Experiments HQ
37. Explore how sugary drinks affect teeth
The calcium content of eggshells makes them a great stand-in for teeth. Use eggs to explore how soda and juice can stain teeth and wear down the enamel. Expand your learning by trying different toothpaste and toothbrush combinations to see how effective they are.
Learn more: Feels Like Home
38. Monitor air pressure with a DIY barometer
This simple but effective DIY science project teaches kids about air pressure and meteorology. They’ll have fun tracking and predicting the weather with their very own barometer.
Learn more: Edventures With Kids
39. Mummify a hotdog
If your kids are fascinated by the Egyptians, they’ll love learning to mummify a hotdog! No need for canopic jars; just grab some baking soda and get started.
Learn more: Science Buddies/Science of Mummification
40. Extinguish flames with carbon dioxide
This is a fiery twist on acid/base experiments. Light a candle and talk about what fire needs to survive. Then, create an acid-base reaction and “pour” the carbon dioxide to extinguish the flame. The CO2 gas acts like a liquid, suffocating the fire.
Learn more: Sick Science/YouTube
41. Do the Archimedes squeeze
It sounds like a wild dance move, but this easy science experiment demonstrates Archimedes’ principle of buoyancy. All you need is aluminum foil and a container of water.
Learn more: Science Buddies/Archimedes Squeeze
42. Step through an index card
This is one easy science experiment that never fails to astonish. With carefully placed scissor cuts on an index card, you can make a loop large enough to fit a (small) human body through! Kids will be wowed as they learn about surface area.
Learn more: Mess For Less
43. Stand on a pile of paper cups
Combine physics and engineering and challenge kids to create a paper cup structure that can support their weight. This is a cool project for aspiring architects.
Learn more: Science Sparks
44. Mix up saltwater solutions
This simple experiment covers a lot of concepts. Learn about solutions, density, and even ocean science as you compare and contrast how objects float in different water mixtures.
Learn more: Science Kiddo
45. Construct a pair of model lungs
Kids get a better understanding of the respiratory system when they build model lungs using a plastic water bottle and some balloons. You can modify the experiment to demonstrate the effects of smoking too.
Learn more: Surviving a Teacher’s Salary
46. Test out parachutes
Gather a variety of materials (try tissues, handkerchiefs, plastic bags, etc.) and see which ones make the best parachutes. You can also find out how they’re affected by windy days or find out which ones work in the rain.
Learn more: Inspiration Laboratories
47. String up some sticky ice
Can you lift an ice cube using just a piece of string? This quick experiment teaches you how. Use a little salt to melt the ice and then refreeze the ice with the string attached.
Learn more: Playdough to Plato
48. Experiment with limestone rocks
Kids love to collect rocks, and there are plenty of easy science experiments you can do with them. In this one, pour vinegar over a rock to see if it bubbles. If it does, you’ve found limestone!
Learn more: Edventures with Kids
49. Recycle newspaper into an engineering challenge
It’s amazing how a stack of newspapers can spark such creative engineering. Challenge kids to build a tower, support a book, or even build a chair using only newspaper and tape!
Learn more: STEM Activities for Kids
50. Turn a bottle into a rain gauge
All you need is a plastic bottle, a ruler, and a permanent marker to make your own rain gauge. Monitor your measurements and see how they stack up against meteorology reports in your area.
Learn More: NurtureStore
51. Use rubber bands to sound out acoustics
Explore the ways that sound waves are affected by what’s around them using a simple rubber band “guitar.” (Kids absolutely love playing with these!)
Learn more: Science Sparks
52. Send secret messages with invisible ink
Turn your kids into secret agents! Write messages with a paintbrush dipped in lemon juice, then hold the paper over a heat source and watch the invisible become visible as oxidation goes to work.
Learn more: KiwiCo/Invisible Ink
53. Build a folded mountain
This clever demonstration helps kids understand how some landforms are created. Use layers of towels to represent rock layers and boxes for continents. Then pu-u-u-sh and see what happens!
Learn more: The Chaos and the Clutter
54. Play catch with a catapult
Catapults make fun and easy science experiments, but we like the twist on this one that challenges kids to create a “receiver” to catch the soaring object on the other end.
Learn more: Science Buddies/Build Ball Launcher
55. Take a Play-Doh core sample
Learn about the layers of the Earth by building them out of Play-Doh, then take a core sample with a straw. (Love Play-Doh? Get more learning ideas here.)
Learn more: Line Upon Line Learning
56. Project the stars on your ceiling
Use the video lesson in the link below to learn why stars are only visible at night. Then create a DIY star projector to explore the concept hands-on.
Learn more: Mystery Science
57. Build a better umbrella
Challenge students to engineer the best possible umbrella from various household supplies. Encourage them to plan, draw blueprints, and test their creations using the scientific method.
Learn more: Raising Lifelong Learners
58. Make it rain
Use shaving cream and food coloring to simulate clouds and rain. This is an easy science experiment little ones will beg to do over and over.
Learn more: Mrs. Jones’ Creation Station
59. Use water to “flip” a drawing
Light refraction causes some really cool effects, and there are multiple easy science experiments you can do with it. This one uses refraction to “flip” a drawing; you can also try the famous “disappearing penny” trick.
Learn more: Go Science Kids
60. Send a soda geyser sky-high
You’ve always wondered if this really works, so it’s time to find out for yourself! Kids will marvel at the chemical reaction that sends diet soda shooting high in the air when Mentos are added.
Learn more: Scholastic/Soda Explosion
Looking for even more science fun? Get the best science experiments for every grade K-8 here.
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