These stimulating activities from Street Science will inspire your child’s curiosity for the world and get their brains working.
1. Rainbow jar
A rainbow jar relies on substances that won’t mix, to stay in their dedicated colour segmentations. The ooey-gooey consistency is quite mesmerising and children will spend a significant amount of time putting this together. The experiment is safe, easy and the results are quite beautiful. Choose a decorative jar in case the kids want to hold onto the rainbow jar.
- Tall glass jar
- Food colouring (Red, blue and green)
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup blue dishwashing detergent
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup rubbing alcohol
- Jars for mixing and pouring
- Teaspoons for mixing
- Mix red and blue food colouring with ¼ cup of honey to make a thick purple solution. Pour it into the jar.
- Next, add blue dishwashing detergent straight over the purple solution in the jar.
- Now add a drop of green food colouring to ¼ cup of water and add it to the rainbow jar. Prevent the water from penetrating the other layers by trickling it down the side of the jar.
- To create the yellow layer, give the green a chance to settle and then pour the olive oil as slowly and carefully as you did the green.
- Add a few drops of red food colouring to ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol and again, pour it slowly down the sides of the jar. Always pour the layers slowly to prevent them from mixing.
2. Leak-proof bag
As if stabbing a bag of water isn’t thrilling enough, older children will be amazed that there’s no water leaking from the bag. Younger children—as young as three or four—will enjoy using a sharp pencil to pierce the bag.
- Storage bag
- Sharpened pencils
- Fill a clear bag with water. (You can make it more interesting by adding food colouring to the water, but be sure to conduct your experiment in an area that you don’t mind getting wet. The bag isn’t supposed to leak in this experiment, but these activities can progress and lead to other activities which can cause spills.)
- Suspend the bag of water and run a sharp pencil through the plastic bag. Supervise the game as there are sharp pencils in use.
3. Milk art
This activity can be used as a sensory experiment for younger children or an opportunity to exercise artistic flair in older children. This experiment is an easy way to demonstrate how soap chases away germs and why it is important to use soap when we wash our hands.
- full-cream milk (not low-fat or skim)
- shallow dish or pan
- food colouring in various colours
- dishwashing detergent
- Pour milk into a shallow dish or a pan.
- Add some food colouring (just drop the blobs of various colours each in one place).
- Either drop in blobs of dishwashing detergent or take a toothpick and dip it in detergent.
- If you drop the detergent straight in, you will see the colours dance beautifully together, mixing and swirling each time you add more dish soap.
- If you use a toothpick, you can actually manipulate the colours: The toothpick will be like a magic wand, repelling the food colourant.