It’s easy to turn young minds on when you bring fun to learning, and that’s exactly what happens with these home science experiments for preschoolers. Imagine just combining simple ingredients that can be found in your kitchen — such as baking soda, vinegar, and raisins — to create excellent opportunities to teach them about science and chemistry.
As parents, we often find ourselves compartmentalizing our kid’s schedules. We have separate times for learning and separate times for fun and games. Incorporating quick and simple at-home science projects can be a great way to merge the two.
Whether you need something to finally lure your preschooler away from the television, or you want to add excitement to the mundane grooves of life during a pandemic, an at-home science project will work wonders.
Below, I’ve listed three of my son’s favorite experiments I know your kids will equally enjoy.
1. Inflating Balloons with Chemical Reactions
What You’ll Need
- Lemon Juice
- Lime juice
- 6 Tbsp Baking soda
- 3 balloons
- 3 empty water bottles
- Take each water bottle and label them lemon juice, lime juice, and vinegar.
- Fill each bottle about 1/4
- Scoop 2 tablespoons of baking soda into each balloon.
- Carefully wrap the opening of each balloon around the lip of each of the bottles. Make sure to not spill the baking soda into the bottle yet.
- Let your child flip the balloons to release the baking soda into each of the liquids.
- Watch as the chemical reaction of the baking soda and each liquid causes the balloons to inflate. Ask your child what they think is inside the balloon and whether it is a solid, a liquid or a gas. Ask them what they think would happen if the balloon wasn’t there!
2. Dancing Raisins
What You’ll Need
- Warm water
- 1 clear glass cup
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 box of raisins
- A tray (to place the glass in vinegar)
- Fill the glass cup halfway with the warm water. Sit the glass on the tray.
- Add baking soda to the water and stir.
- Fill the rest of the cup with vinegar
- Add your raisins.
The baking soda and the vinegar react to produce carbon dioxide bubbles. The bubbles are filled with gas and less dense than the liquid and start to rise. They stick to the wrinkles on the raisin and lift the raisin up to the top with them!
Pro tip: You can also try this experiment with popcorn kernels.
3. Baking Soda and Vinegar Reaction
What You’ll Need
- 1 bowl
- baking soda
- Add some baking soda into the bowl.
- Slowly add vinegar to the baking soda. Let your child watch as the baking soda and vinegar chemical reaction takes place.
As you go through each experiment, work with your child to identify the liquids, solids, and gases used within the experiment. You can also talk to them about the difference between a physical and chemical change.
About the Author
Stephanie Ryan has a strong background in chemistry and biology and enjoys applying her background to develop superior educational products. She is also interested in how mathematics and science intertwine. Stephanie has experience in curriculum development, assessment, and training staff how to use technology and software. She has also taught science in formal and informal settings from K-16, and developed curricula for After School Matters programs in Chicago, Illinois.
To learn more about Stephanie, visit Let’s Learn About Science and Ryan Education Consulting. You can also follow her on Instagram to find more fun home science experiments for preschoolers and older kids.