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Science experiments for a 5 year old?

(22 Posts)
TheNightIsDark Wed 02-Apr-14 20:17:28

Asking here as I'm hoping some teachers might see!

DS got a science kit for his birthday which is shit and doesn't work. Can anyone point me in the direction of some experiments we can try out over the Easter holidays please?

He really wants to "do science"!

crazykat Wed 02-Apr-14 20:19:56

Mints dropped into a full bottle of cola is fun but messy so needs to be done outside.

You can also make uncooked eggs into bouncy balls by soaking them in vinegar but it takes about a week iirc.

CaulkheadUpNorth Wed 02-Apr-14 20:19:56

Have a look on Pinterest. Making a volcano or lava lamp is always fun.

Innat Wed 02-Apr-14 21:05:02

This is what I do for a job!!! There's so much you could do, start with your child's interests and go from there. The Steve Spangler website is really good although don't buy kit from there as it has to be shipped from the US. There are some good usborne books like 50 science experiments, or science things to make and do are two of my favourites. Once you have a topic there are usually tons of ideas on you tube or pinterest etc. just be aware that some of the ideas are pretty dangerous (eg making a mentos and diet coke bomb) so do think of the risks before copying some of them. There's a lot you can do with bicarbonate of soda and vinegar - make mini volcanoes, rockets (and clean sinks!).
Just have fun :-)

Tex111 Wed 02-Apr-14 21:10:13

Agree that Pinterest is good for this. One of our favourites is just cornflour and water to make a non-Newtonian fluid. Can play with it for ages.

SavoyCabbage Wed 02-Apr-14 21:13:20

There's an usbourne book of science experiments.

BertieBotts Wed 02-Apr-14 21:15:45

Lol. My 5yo is always asking to "do science" too smile

I suspect he really means "Can I add stuff to other stuff to see what cool things happen"?

Googling an idea from someone else on here the other day I found this website which has some great experiments for younger children.

Dumpylump Wed 02-Apr-14 21:19:39

Second corn flour and water....bit of food colouring too in this house. Also, polos in 2l bottle of the cheapest lemonade - do this outside and stand well back!
Growing cress went down well too.

BertieBotts Wed 02-Apr-14 21:23:22

Experiments for older children too, BTW, so may be one to look at alone and pick things out for him if he's like mine "YEAH let's make the rocket launcher/bomb/electrical circuit breaker for the entire neighbourhood!"

TheNightIsDark Wed 02-Apr-14 21:37:46

Thanks everyone.

I sell usborne and didn't think to look there blush

Looks like we will have lots to do over the holidays grin

CURIOUSMIND Wed 02-Apr-14 21:40:26

Use two glasses, one put oil in water, another one put honey in water, what will happen?
Same glasses with different amount of water, knock it with a spoon, can you make a tune?
Floating or not? Try empty sealed plastic bottle, solid plastic toys, something metal, etc.

LittleMissGreen Wed 02-Apr-14 21:52:38

Boil up purple cabbage to make an indicator dye - put the purple water into vinegar, bicarb of soda etc to see it change colour.

mrz Wed 02-Apr-14 21:52:57

RueDeWakening Wed 02-Apr-14 22:10:08

Make his own butter - 1/3 fill a small 250ml ish bottle with double cream and shake it till it turns into butter.

Make volcanoes (air drying clay, plasticine or similar), fill with bicarb and make it erupt with vinegar.

Make ice cream - get a ziploc bag, put some fruit puree and double cream in, close, then place in larger ziploc bag along with some ice cubes and salt. Shake it around till it turns into icecream (look up guiding/scouting campfire cooking for proper recipes).

Get some kitchen roll, cut into strips, put a dot of different coloured felt tips on the end. Dangle the non-dotted end into a cup of water and wait - the ink separates out into different colours as the water travels up the kitchen roll.

Experiments with growing cress - what do things need to grow? Try with no light, different amounts of water, record observations.

PastSellByDate Thu 03-Apr-14 11:06:21

My current favourite comes from Science Bob and has to be the oreo cookie phases of the moon: - If you have an android tablet/ phone download sky map and go star gazing as well:

another cool experiment for this age is to get photo sensitive paper collect leaves or flowers (but ferns are really beautiful) - place the plant item on the paper and set out in the sun. The colour will fade away where directly exposed to the sun, but will remain where it was shaded by the plant. This is basically how the early cameras worked. There's a bit more detailed explanation than a 5 year old would ever follow here:

If your DC has a Nintendo DS3 (but may be on earlier versions) - you can make stop motion films. So a simple but rewarding experiment is to plant a seed (beans or sunflowers are great) - and photograph the plant every 2-3 days. Link the images together and you can see the entire process of the seedling sprouting, first cotyledon leaves, formation of proper leaves, formation of flower(s), formation of seeds, etc....

Watch bumble bees or set up a bird feeder to attract birds and record what birds come to your garden (encourage photographs with DS or your smart phone).

Visit a pond and look out for dragon flies/ damsel flies/ water boatmen/ frog spawn/ tadpoles/ frogs/ etc...


mrz Thu 03-Apr-14 19:08:21

curlytoes Thu 03-Apr-14 19:51:55

Floating and sinking. Sort a big pile of objects into those which float & those which sink. Experiment with play dough/ kitchen foil. Do sChoose materials from 'junk' and make a boat which will float.

curlytoes Thu 03-Apr-14 19:54:42

Arg posted too soon. Meant to say, experiment with play dough or foil to see if some shapes float and some shapes sink. Then go on to make a 'junk' boat choosing the materials and shapes which will stay afloat.

mrz Thu 03-Apr-14 19:58:19

TheNightIsDark Thu 03-Apr-14 21:23:32

Thank you everyone grin

I'm used to early years (2&3 year olds) so I'm going to use some of the ideas here and some of my nursery planning and see how he gets on.

I am crap with science so I may as well make the most of the easy introduction to it!

mrz Thu 03-Apr-14 21:28:59

Google discovery bottles for early years

MidniteScribbler Thu 03-Apr-14 22:03:56

I take a lot of my inspiration for science experiments from Mythbusters. grin There's actually quite a bit that can be adapted from there for kids, although you do need to avoid the guns and explosives (for the most part lol). What is good about it is that they do a lot of small scale and experimentation, as well as focusing on data collection. For example, the Diet Coke and Mentos experiment is always a real crowd pleaser, but you can extend it to working out why those two products react (like they did on the show). Will it work with other soft drinks, will it work with other candies, which of the ingredients in the products cause the reaction.

They have some good other experiments you try here:

Lots of experiments can be done which are great fun, but starting to incorporate tracking results and critical analysis are also great ways of increasing interest and developing good science skills for future years.

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