Staycation Series: Summer Science Experiments Using Kitchen Items

No need to panic, parents! The coming summer months can actually be creative, productive and lots of fun for your kids—meaning less stressful for you. The key is coming up with "boredom busters" that can be done just around the house and yard, like building home forts, cooking and baking, bug hunting, dino digging, and science experiments!

Nothing too fancy or pricey either. In fact, these 8 experiments we discovered use ingredients you’d most likely have in your kitchen and pantry anyway. Plus we chose those that are safe and simple enough for preschoolers to pre-teeners to manage with minimal supervision, as they learn something new!

8 Simple Science Experiments for Kids

Get ready to share "oohs" and "ahhs" with your little ones as they experience some pretty cool surprises in these experiments. Be sure to capture these teachable moments with questions like "What do you think will happen?" "Was your guess right? Why or why not?" "What did you notice?" "What might turn out differently if you change some parts of this experiment?"

8 Simple Science Experiments for Kids

Click on each link for the full how-to and an easy explanation of what your kids will be learning!

1 – Ice and Salt Science Experiment (from Typically Simple)
Materials: pre-frozen ice in small containers/trays, food coloring, salt, paint brushes or pipettes
What kids learn: Which melts ice faster—water (tinted with food coloring to add some fun) or salt?

2 – Balloon Chemistry Experiment (from Little Bins for Little Hands)
Materials: balloons, empty water bottles, baking soda, vinegar, small funnel
What kids learn: The chemical reaction of baking soda mixed with vinegar that produces gas (CO2) and inflates the balloons

3 – Celery Science Experiment (from Coffee Cups and Crayons)
Materials: celery stalks with the leafy parts still on, empty jars, water, food coloring
What kids learn: The process of "transpiration" where the colored water is sucked up by each celery stalk and turns the leaves and top parts the color of the water in each jar

4 – Grow Sugar Crystals for Rock Candy (from Little Bins for Little Hands)
Materials: water, mason jars, sugar, string, edible glitter, food coloring, straws
What kids learn: How sugar dissolved in water becomes a supersaturated solution as the water evaporates (takes about a week) and forms crystals; then how the crystals look under a magnifying glass or microscope

5 – Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder Science Experiment (from STEAM Powered Family)
Materials: test tubes, baking soda, baking powder, vinegar, rubbing alcohol, juice, liquid soap
What kids learn: The different types and degrees of reactions when the different ingredients are combined with either a baking soda solution or baking powder

6 – Rainbow Baking Soda Science Experiment (from Messy Little Monster)
Materials: small paper cups, baking soda, vinegar, food coloring
What kids learn: The fizzy "eruption" effect caused by the chemical reaction of adding vinegar (an acid) into the cups of color-tinted baking soda (a base)

7- Magic Milk Science Experiment (from A Dab of Glue Will Do)
Materials: milk, casserole dish/baking pan/plate, food coloring, liquid soap
What kids learn: Surface tension and the reaction of the fat molecules in milk to the molecules of soap; shown by the swirling around of the food coloring drops as the soap is added

8 – Apple Oxidation Science Experiment (from Jennifer Findley)
Materials: apple slices, plain water, salt water, sugared water, honey water, pure lemon juice, lemonade, apple juice, orange juice
What kids learn: The difference in the extent of browning (oxidation) of the apple slices immersed in each of these different liquids

Science is definitely a fascinating and fun way for your kids to keep learning, even while school is out!

More really cool ideas for kids’ staycation time this summer:

How to Keep the Kids Busy This Summer When You’re Stuck at Home

9 Fun Homebound Activities for Boys (Indoor and Outdoor)

Alternatives to Online Camps for Kids: 5 New Things to Learn This Summer