This summer keep your kids learning and engaged with fun hands-on experiments and projects that pack in big time fun without the need for a lot of supplies or clean-up afterwards. In fact, if you have glasses and food coloring at home you’re well on your way to scientific fun. Click through the gallery to peek at our favorite science experiments that require five supplies or less.
Make Water Float
Can you make water float? We bet you can. No, you don’t need to be a wizard or a witch. You don’t need to cast a spell. There’s nothing magic about it at all, in fact. You can make water float using good, ol’ fashioned, awesome science. The “trick” to this experiment is air pressure.
A small glass of water
A sink or bathtub over which to do this experiment. Or just go outside. Or do it over the kitchen floor if you’re really daring (and willing to clean). Up to you.
An index card or piece of construction paper large enough to cover the opening of the glass
1. Fill the glass with as much water as you’d like. No need to be precise. Now have your lab partner turn the glass upside down, or maybe over her head on a hot day. That’s right. Go for it. See what happens. The water pours out, right?
2. Now let your junior mad scientist fill the glass again. No need to measure, although for this part, the more you add, the more difficult the experiment becomes. Maybe start half full and go from there.
3. Now that you have a half-filled glass of water, have your lab partner put a card or paper on top of it and press down firmly, while rotating the cup until it’s upside down. Now, have your lab partner remove her hand, leaving the piece of paper in place. Did it work? Did the water remain in the glass? If this doesn’t work for you right away, try a larger piece of paper, or less water and watch as the water stays in place.
Did you make water float? Tell us in the comment section below!
Mike Adamick is a stay at home dad and author of Dad's Book of Awesome Projects (Adams Media, 2013). He also writes for the Adventures in Learning science blog at PBS.org, and many other sites. You can find a copy of his book for $13.59 on Amazon.com.
Photos by Mike Adamick. Excerpted from Dad's Book of Awesome Science Experiments by Mike Adamick. Copyright © 2014 F+W Media, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.
— Erin Lem