With the summer holidays on the approach many parents are making the decision between having a family beach-side break or sending their kids to an expensive camp. But with enough free and fun science experiment tutorials online to turn your toddler into the next Einstein, why not save your money and hold your own science camp at home? We’ve selected some of our favourite and inexpensive experiments for you to try yourself.
All you need to make Oobleck is cornflower and water. This amazing mixture is solid when handled quickly but relaxes into a liquid state when left alone. For the ultimate science-themed party, cover a speaker with Clingfilm and carefully place the Oobleck on top. Turn up the music and watch in awe, as the speaker becomes a dance floor for a group of mini, slimy, festivalgoers.
The Egg Walk
Nobody likes having to walk on eggshells but this cool experiment will have you reaching for the eggs at every kids’ party. Simply get a few boxes of raw eggs and place them as stepping-stones on a large piece of plastic (just in case!) Ask the kids to take off their shoes and socks and walk across the eggs. See if they can work out why the eggs aren’t breaking.
Accidents can happen…
Kids will be desperate to go to their rooms to launch their homemade parachutes out of the window. All you need is a plastic bag or some light material, some string and an unfortunate test jumper (we recommend a light plastic toy). Challenge your kids to find the perfect parachute material, size, and shape. Want to step up the fun? Replace the toy with a raw egg and see who can get it to land safely on the ground. Make sure you supervise them at all times though, especially if they are reaching out of the window.
It’ll be err… fine.
Grow your own bacteria
This is a fun and cheap way of teaching your kids about bacteria and how germs are spread from place to place. Order some agar petri dishes (cheap and available online) and then ask the kids to swab different areas around the home with a cotton bud. Carefully wipe the cotton bud on the agar dish and watch your own pet bacteria grow and grow. Ask the kids to swab under their fingernails to show why they need to wash their hands. Make sure you seal and don’t open the dishes after they have begun cultivating though, and simply dispose wrapped up in an old newspaper.
Remember to throw the bacteria away, so you don’t end up with another mouth to feed!