Simple science experiments for kids

BUGS!Simple science experiment
Some bugs help us, some annoy us, and some are downright dangerous. But you can learn a lot from bugs.

What you'll need

An insect guide guide from the library - preferably ones with pictures
Your magnifying glass
Your science journal

What to do
  1. Search your home and neighborhood for bugs. Look:
    - Around your front door
    - In cracks in the sidewalk
    - On lamps
    - On lights hanging from the center of the room
    - On plants
    - In crevices in drawers
    - In corners of rooms
  2. Simple science experiments
  3. Identify types of bugs using the guides. Did you find:
    - Ants?
    - Spiders?
    - Fleas?
    - Silverfish?
    - Moths?
    - Flies?
    - Ladybugs?
  4. Ants can teach us how some insects work together as a community.
    - Watch ants scurry in and out of their ant hills or find some spilled food on the sidewalk.
    - Do they eat their food on the spot, or carry it back to their anthill?
    - When an ant finds food, it runs back to the hill to "tell" the others. As it runs, it leaves a trail that other ants in the hill can smell. The ants find the food by smelling their way along the trail.
  5. Find out what the difference is between an insect and a spider.
    - Why do spiders spin webs?
    - What are webs made of?
  6. Write down possible answers to all these questions in your journal or draw pictures of what you see.
Bugs do what they do to survive. They are constantly looking for food. Some bugs are both good and bad. Termites, for example, have a nasty reputation because they destroy peoples houses by eating the wood. But they also break down old trees, keeping the forest floor from becoming too cluttered with dead trees.

We don't usually stop to wonder why a big cruise ship can float as well as a feather. This activity helps to explain.

What you'll need

1 solid wood building block
1 plastic cap from a bottle
2 pieces of aluminum foil (heavy duty if you have it)
1 chunk of clay
Grown-up alert!
1 pair of pliers
1 bathtub (or sink) filled with water
Your science journal

What to do
  1. Hold the wood block in one hand and the plastic cap in the other hand.
    - Which one feels heavier?
    - Do you think the wooden block will float, or will it sink?
    - Will the plastic cap float, or sink?
  2. Put both of them on the water to test your predictions. What happens? Put both of them under the water. What happens now?
  3. Take a piece of aluminum foil and squeeze it into a solid ball with the pliers. Drop it in the water. Does it float or sink?
  4. Get another piece the same size and shape it into a little boat. Place it on top of the water. Does it float now?
  5. Try the same experiment with clay. Make a ball and drop it in the water. What happens?
  6. Shape the clay into a boat and put it on the water. Does it float now?
The clay and foil balls sink because they are squeezed into small shapes, and only a small amount of water is trying to hold up the weight. When you spread out the clay or foil, it floats because the weight is supported by a lot more water.

Raising Our Kids

Help your child learn
- Learn to read and write
- Early childhood math
- Math for K-5
- Science for kids
- Preschool children

Preschool children

Learn to read and write

Math activities

Science for kids

Elementary math