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FUN and Easy Science Activities To Try At Home 

Here is a selection of some really FUN and easy experiments you can do at home with easy to find ingredients at home. No need to go and buy any fancy stuff. 

Dancing Raisins

You will need

  • Raisins or sultanas

  • Lemonade or sparkling water

  • 1 glass or plastic clear glass

STEP 1 – Pour lemonade into the glass.

STEP 2 – Add in a handful of raisins.

STEP 3 – Now sit back and watch them ‘dance’ 

Observe 

STEP 4 – Keep an eye on how long they dance for. Are they slowing down or speeding up?

The science 

When you first put your raisins into the lemonade or sparkling  water  they sink to the bottom because they are more dense than the fizzy drinks. Your lemonade is carbonated, like most fizzy drinks, and it’s those bubbles of carbon dioxide that are grabbing and clinging onto the surface of the raisins and pulling them up to the top of the glass and makes them float.

At the top the carbon dioxide gets released out. Without the carbon dioxide bubbles to pull them up the raisins fall back to the bottom once again.

What else can you Try

  • Could you use different types of fizzy drinks?

  • What happens if you add more raisins into your lemonade?

  • Does the temperature of your carbonated drink make any difference? Ask an adult to help. 

The Power of Friction

You will need

  • Bag of rice (uncooked)

  • Small plastic bottle

  • Paper (to make a funnel)

  • Pencil or pen ​

STEP 1 - Fill your bottle with rice, using a funnel or a paper funnel

STEP 2 - You must attempt to pick up the bottle just by pushing in your pencil and lifting up the bottle with just the pencil.

 

STEP 3 - For this to work you have to make sure that the bottle is compacted and filled right up to the top with rice. Make sure to tap it to get rid of extra air

 

STEP 4 - Now your bottle is compacted, stick your pencil into the rice and carefully lift up!

Pretty Amazing!

Observe 

STEP 5 – Observe as you magically lift the bottle up with just one pencil.

The science 

The experiment works because of a force called friction. The more the bottle is filled and packed with rice, the less space there is between the grain of rice. This means that when the pencil is pushed into the rice there isn't much space left and so the rice is pushing back against the pencil. This friction between the two is enough to make the experiment work. 

What else can you Try

  • Why not try other objects such as scissors, chop stick

  • How about different types of rice, will it still work? 

Surface Tension Art

You will need

  • A plate

  • Full fat milk

  • Washing up liquid

  • Food colouring (selection of colours)

  • A tooth pick

STEP 1 – Pour milk into the plate making sure to cover the whole surface of the plate

STEP 2 – Add a few drops food colouring  (one colour or different colours)

STEP 3 – Cover the end of the toothpick with washing up liquid

STEP 4- dip the toothpick into the middle of the milk. 

Observe 

STEP 5 – Now watch in amazement as the colours move and dance their round the plate. Enjoy!

 

The science 

The surface tension is the force between the molecules on the surface of the milk. Adding the washing up liquid weakens and breaks some of the surface tension of the fat molecules in the full fat milk and pulls the milk outwards taking the food colouring with it!

What else can you Try

  • Is the type of milk used important? why not try semi skimmed or skimmed milk

  • Try using different types of soap (hand wash soap, shower gel)

  • Make notes of your observations and decide which combination works best

Skittle Rainbow Magic

You will need

  • Packet of skittles

  • Glass of water

  • White plate

 

STEP 1 – Arrange your skittles in a circle around the plate, making sure to use a selection of different colours.

STEP 2 – Very carefully pour the water into the middle of the plate slowly not to break up the circle.

STEP 3– Make sure the water covers the bottom of all the skittles. 

Observe 

STEP 4 – Keep a very careful eye on the sweets as a rainbow begins to form in front of your eyes. Keep watching as the rainbow spreads to cover the entire plate. 

 

What could be causing the colours to run off the sweets?

The science 

What is going on?

The colour coating on the sugary sweets are water soluble (they dissolve in water). As they begin to dissolve there is a high concentration of colour next to the sweets. The colour then starts to spread and equalise. This happens at the same time around all the sweets and forms the amazing rainbow of colours.

The bad news is that this experiment demonstrates how much sugar and unnatural things are in our sweets. 

What else can you Try

  • Try the experiment using warm water and observe what happens

  • Does this affect the rate  or speed of the experiment?

  • Try other types of sweets and see if the experiment would work.

  • Try making other funky designs with your sweets on the plate.

Paper Helicopters

You will need​

  • A piece of paper

  • Some scissors

  • A paperclip

 

STEP 1 - The perfect size to make your helicopter is 1/8th of a piece of paper. Great news as you can make 8 of them out of one sheet of paper! Fold your paper into eights and cut one out ready.

STEP 2 - I've marked on the image how to make it! Just make a cut where you see a solid line and make a fold where you see a dashed line!

STEP 3 - Make the two small cuts and fold the paper over and use a paperclip to hold it in place, as shown.

STEP 4 - To make the wings simply make the cut down the middle of the unused side and fold the wings down so you've got something that looks like our final helicopter!

STEP 5 - No pre-flight checks needed! Simply hold the helicopter up high and drop it! Watch how it spins! If you're feeling brave you can try throwing it but pretty soon you might need to make another helicopter!

Observe 

STEP 6 – Keep an eye on how long they dance for. Are they slowing down or speeding up?

The science 

As you helicopter starts to fall the air pushes past the wings. Most of this air pushes upwards against the falling helicopter (which is why it falls slowly) but each wing causes some of that air to push to the side. There's an equal sideways push on each of the wings but in opposite directions and that's what causes the helicopter to spin!

  What else can you Try

  • What happens if you add more weight? Blue Tac is great for this!
    What are the perfect proportions to make your helicopter spin as fast as possible?

Together Making Science Fun, Inclusive, Inspiring, and an Unforgettable and Memorable Experience   

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