Science fun for kids at home

Your home is full of science experiments waiting to happen.

These experiments take a look at things that affect our bodies, like centre of gravity and absorption. Using items from around the home, you can easily teach your kids fun, new concepts.

You don’t need to be a science teacher to give your kids a science education. Your kids won’t even realise that they’re learning until they are elbow deep in fun and excitement. Here are some great experiments you can do with your kids and even a scientific explanation for each one. Have fun!

Candle centre of gravity

This experiment explores the concept of centre of gravity.

Supplies:

• A long candle
• Scissors or a blunt knife
• 2 drinking glasses to hold the candle
• 2 saucers to catch dripping wax
• A long nail
• A ruler

Instructions:

1. Using the scissors or a blunt knife, scrape away the wax from the bottom side of the long candle to reveal the wick. You will need to light the candle at both ends, so the wick must be accessible on both.
2. Measure the candle and place a mark on the exact middle. Push the long nail through the exact middle of the candle.
3. Place the two drinking glasses side by side and rest the long nail across the glasses so that the candle is laying between them like a seesaw.
4. Place the saucers at each end of the candle where the wax will drip once the candle is lit.
5. Light each end of the candle at the same time and see what happens.

Result:

The candle rocks up and down as the wax drips from each end. As the wax is removed from each side of the candle, it is put out of balance, affecting its centre of gravity.

Did you know: Men and women have different centres of gravity. For most females their centre of gravity is in their hip area, but for men it’s in their upper body.

How our bodies absorb food

This experiment shows how the intestines use the benefit of an increased surface area by being a long tube folded many times upon itself.

Supplies:

• A glass jar
• Roll of paper towels
• Pen or marker

Instructions:

1. Stick a single piece of masking tape down the length of your glass jar.
2. Fill the jar almost to the top with water and mark the current level of the water on your masking tape.
3. Use one piece of paper towel and fold it in half four times to make a small square.
4. Place the paper towel square into the jar and hold it underneath the water.
5. Remove the wet towel and mark the water level on your masking tape.
6. Refill your jar to the original water level.
7. This time, use four pieces of paper towel folding them the same way as your single piece.
8. Dip the new paper towel under the water, holding it as before until it is completely wet.
9. Remove the wet paper towel and mark your new water level.

Result:

Although the size of the two folded pieces of paper look much the same, the multiple folded paper soaks up much more than the single piece of folded paper. This mimics the way our intestines work by being a large surface area folded and twisted onto itself.

More fun with kids

Make your own sherbet
Weekend activities for parents
Fun with sensory play