Easy Science Project Ideas and Instructions

Valorie Delp
Science detective

Kids love easy science projects. You would be surprised at how intrigued they are simply by observing what is around them be it the chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar or watching a butterfly hatch. Don't forget to record your observations in a notebook so that you can remember what you did.

Easy Science Projects

Observing plants, simple chemical reactions or a bubble mystery are all easy science projects that will help kids grow in their appreciation of science and scientific principles.

Bean Sprouts

To grow bean sprouts you will need:

  • A few beans. . .any type of dried bean will be fine, but kidney beans are preferable
  • Moistened paper towel
  • Baby food jar or other clear, small jar

What to do:

Completely soak the paper towel, and fold it so that it is the same height or a little smaller than the height of the jar. Wrap the wet paper towel around the inside of the jar. Insert one or two beans in between the jar and the paper towel.

What should happen:

One of the great things about this experiment is that the bean will sprout roots rather quickly; therefore, it's a great introduction to plants for younger children. One thing to notice is which way the roots sprout. Does it change depending on the way the bean is sitting in the jar?

A Plain Old Baking Soda and Vinegar Volcano (or Two)

What you will need:

  • Enough clay to make three volcanoes: a short one, a medium one and a tall one. (Model Magic works well--but you can use play dough as well.)
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Dishwashing liquid (like Joy, or Palmolive)
  • Three disposable cups of the same size
  • Tablespoon

What to do:

Build one volcano around each of the paper cups. Make the volcanoes three different heights. The cup is going to serve as the "well" for the baking soda and vinegar. You can make the volcanoes as realistic as you'd like, but you'll find that for younger children a simply "mountain" will suffice.

In each cup, put 1 tablespoon of baking soda. In a separate bowl, mix about a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid with nine tablespoons of vinegar. This simply helps the mixture flow more slowly.

Pour vinegar into each cup one at a time.

What happens:

Everyone knows that baking soda and vinegar mix to create a fizzy, foamy mess. If you're working with younger children you may want to skip building the multiple volcanoes. However, if you do use three models of volcanoes as suggested, the thing to notice is how far the liquid flows after the reaction. The technical term for that is viscosity, and the question that you're looking to answer is whether or not the height of a volcano has any effect on the viscosity of the lava.

Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles

What child is not fascinated with bubbles? Did you know though, that bubbles are actually a scientific study on surface tension?

What you need:

  • A large bucket
  • Glycerin (can be bought at local drugstore)
  • Joy dishwashing liquid
  • Water
  • Optional stuff: string, straws, utensils--you can be creative!

What to do:

Bubble mixture is actually somewhat temperamental. In about a gallon of water, pour in about a quarter cup of glycerin, and a cup of Joy dishwashing detergent. Stir GENTLY. These experiments will work better if the bubble solution has had time to rest. They will also work better if your hands are clean.

You can actually make bubbles using anything! This is because the soapy water molecules are easily attracted to one another. Try some of these tricks:

  • Make a giant bubble--using two straws and a string to make a giant circle. Soak the string and straws thoroughly, and then attempt to lift it out with the bubble still attached. Once you've succeeded, move slowly, and the bubble will grow and grow until it pops!
  • Pass a fork through a bubble--If the fork is thoroughly soaked in the bubble solution, it is possible to pass the fork through the bubble without the bubble popping!

Surface tension and the bond between molecules is not that easily broken. You can also make bubbles simply by using your thumb and index finger as a circle.

Science is Fun

Observing science in action is fun. These easy science projects are old favorites that are good to start with because they almost never fail. Remember to record what you observe and to always use proper safety precautions.

Easy Science Project Ideas and Instructions