Kindergarten

Here are a couple of easy science experiments that young kids can do with just a little adult supervision. No advanced scientific concepts are necessary to understand these experiments.

Their purpose is only to introduce kids to the fundamental scientific principle of testing out our ideas and observing the world around us with care and attention.

 

Project #1:
Soda Chemistry




This easy science experiment is a classic. All you need is a roll of Mentos and a bottle of Diet Coke.

MATERIALS:

  • 1 roll of peppermint Mentos
  • a 2-liter bottle of diet coke

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Couldn’t be simpler – just unroll the Mentos and drop them into the coke all at once.

2. Watch the fireworks!

3. Can you explain why the candy and the soda reacted this way? What must be happening inside the bottle in order to cause this fountain of sugary soda?

*HINT FOR ADULTS: Try to lead the child to an understanding of the chemical process of gas being released inside the bottle.

The reason the coke shoots out the top is because the Mentos have dissolved into a high-pressure gas that then needs to escape, bringing the Coke with it (this is not strictly scientifically accurate, but it is a close analogy that young kids will readily grasp). You can also expand this easy science experiment by placing your thumb over the top of the bottle when the Coke sprays out. Can the child explain why the fountain shoots higher when you do this?

 

 

Project #2:
Backyard Ecosystem




An exciting experience for young naturalists, this easy science experiment involves only your own eyes and ears, and a backyard or park to observe.

MATERIALS:

 

    • Park, large backyard, or other nature area
    • Pencil and paper
    • Magnifying glass
    • Binoculars (optional)

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Start by just listening. Close your eyes and stand in one spot for several seconds. How many different sounds can you hear? Are there birds? Bugs? People? Write down a list of the sounds you hear.

2. Next, make a heading on your paper for “Animals.” Keep an eye out for birds and mammals while you look around the area. How many different species can you see? Animals can come and go very quickly, so keep your eyes peeled while you are working on the other steps, and add to the list as you go

3. Make a heading on your paper for “Large Plants.” Spend some time looking around the area for different kinds of trees and bushes. How many different types can you identify? How do you know which ones are the same type?

4. The next heading should be “small plants and animals.” Pick out one small area (maybe three feet on a side) and try to count all the small plants in that area. Are there flowers? Shrubs? Vines? Grasses? Use your magnifying glass to observe the plants in detail. Try drawing a few. While you are working on this step, keep an eye out for insects and other small animals that may be crawling among the plants. Write them all down on your list.

5. When you are done, count up all the species you found? Are you surprised how many you saw in just a small space?

*HINTS FOR ADULTS: Depending on the age of the child, this may be a good time to introduce some ideas about taxonomy. What is the difference between a mammal and a bird? Why is a worm not considered a type of insect? These easy science experiments are great ways to introduce some age-appropriate knowledge of evolution, as well.

 

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