Education and experimentation doesn’t have to be limited to school. Young people can learn a whole lot about the world around them in the comfort of their own home. There are all kinds of experiments that can be performed to enhance understanding!
This means that anybody can perform science experiments around the home. Young children that are bored during the holidays, teenagers looking to hone their skills ahead of a high school science fair, or simply curious adults; there’s something to appeal to everybody!
Let’s take a look at all the possible experiments that can be conducted in the home. We’ll take a journey room by room, expanding knowledge and experience as we go. Before we start, though, there are a few ground rules to remember.
- Stay safe! If you are going to perform an experiment, assess the area and remove any risks first. That means ensuring that you should have plenty of space, there is no risk of fire, and that you are wearing any protective clothing that you may need. This could include aprons, safety goggles or gloves.
- Clean up after yourself. Experimenting in the kitchen can be fun, but it can be a real pain if somebody needs to cook a meal afterwards and your things are everywhere!
- Ask permission. If it’s not your house that you are working in, make sure you get the approval of the homeowner. They may not be happy about you embracing your own inner Dr. Frankenstein in their property.
- Have fun, and learn something! Education and entertainment are equally important when it comes to science experiments at home. Expand your knowledge, but have a good time while you’re doing so.
And now, let’s start to review the exciting experiments available to curious aspiring scientists.
On paper, the kitchen is the perfect place for a science experiment. Most of the surfaces will be wiped clean, and you will have no shortage of materials to use. Just make sure you create a big enough space for your work and keep anything flammable away from a heat source.
- General Kitchen Experiments. There are so many potential experiments that could be conducted in the kitchen that may resources collate them. Take a look at ThoughtCo, Babble Dabble Do, Middle School, Science Kiddo or Modern Parents Messy Kids for a variety of ideas and inspirations.
- Testing Water Hardness. Wondering if you water is safe to drink? Then check out Science Buddies’ experiment on how to test the hardness of your household water supply.
- Find the Speed of Light. The University of Maryland has a short and simple experiment to help children find the speed of light using marshmallows.
- Edible Experiments. All this experimentation can be hungry work – good job you’re in the kitchen! We are Teachers provides a number of edible science experiments for the kitchen.
- Bouncing Eggs. Eggs can make a great bouncy ball if you know how. A Plus has a great experiment that explains just how to do this.
Obviously, you’ll have to be careful if you’re experimenting in the kitchen. Make sure that you don’t leave any trace of dangerous chemicals behind on a food prep station!
Much like the kitchen, a bathroom can be a great place to experiment. You’ll be out of the way, and the presence of porcelain all around means you’re unlikely to permanently stain anything. Provided your experiments are no averse to moisture, the bathroom could make a fantastic makeshift laboratory!
- Fun Bath Experiments for Young Children. Wired and KinderCare are among the websites that recommend fun experiments for tots. No more battling to get a youngster into the tub!
- The Iodine Clock Reaction. Have a rummage through your bathroom cabinet and you’ll find the ingredients for this experiment. Follow the advice of Imagination Station Toledo to learn how to turn colorless liquids to a deep blue.
- Secret Mirror Messages. Writing a secret message on the bathroom mirror is just one of the suggestions from Boys’ Life.
- Tearing Toilet Roll. TP all over the bathroom floor is a common sight for parents and pet owners. Physics Central has an experiment that may make this a thing of the past.
Once you’re done, wash your hands and move on. That’s the great thing about experimenting in the bathroom – there’s little in the way of mess to worry about!
Living Room and Communal Areas
As long as you’re not disturbing anybody else, a living room or lounge makes a great place to experiment. These are usually the largest rooms in a house, with tall ceilings and wide walls. Just be careful not to spill anything that will permanently stain the family furniture!
- Fun with Physics. Sci Fun has a whole range of physics experiments that can be conducted from the comfort of your own living room.
- Dusting for Fingerprints. If you’re keen to embrace your inner detective, understanding how to dust for fingerprints is essential. eHow has a guide that can provide plenty of fun and discovery.
- Test Your Reflexes. Neuroscience for Kids and Chron have guides on how to ensure that your reflexes are in top shape.
- Disappearing Coin Trick. Is it science, or is it magic? As Science Sparks explains, it’s possible to use light to create illusions!
- The Science of Sound. Most young children are delighted when they realize they can create a telephone from paper cups and string. Reach Out Michigan has a guide on how to do just this.
- Make Your Own Lava Lamp. The 1980s are fast becoming fashionable again, so surely Lava Lamps will soon become must-have additions to your home. Home Science Tools offers an experiment as to how you can create your own bespoke lamp!
If you have turned your living room into a laboratory, be sure to clean up after yourself. Remember that the rest of your family will be keen to relax in this room for the rest of the day.
If there’s ever a room in the house where it’s suitable to make a mess, it’s the laundry room. After all, you have all the equipment and apparatus you could wish for to clean up straight afterwards!
- Dry Laundry without a Dryer. Save on your electricity bills by following com’s instructions!
- Test for Bacteria. There is only one purpose to laundry – getting your clothing clean. As Annie’s Experiments explains, however, some methods are more effective than others.
- Glowing Water. If your kids claim that water is boring and won’t drink it, show them this experiment from Oh Wow Kids.
- Remove Permanent Staining. Some of these experiments may get a little messy. Thankfully, Science Buddies have some experiments with bleach that may just be able to remove even the toughest of stains!
There is so much more than can be done in the laundry room than just cleaning and drying your clothing. Embrace the spirit of experimentation!
Backyard and Garden
Of course, not every experiment needs to take place indoors. Sometimes the great outdoors offers a fantastic environment for scientific trials and tests. Just make sure that any household pets and your neighbors don’t end up as unwitting participants!
- Garden Projects for Young Children. PBS Parents has a selection of different activities and experiments for young children. Meanwhile, Red Tricycle offer 13 more. The perfect way to pass a day at home with a curious child!
- Backyard Rockets. Firing a rocket from the lawn of a backyard is an American institution. Instructables have a selection of different designs and methods to choose from.
- Weather Station. If you are sick of making plans around the TV weather forecast and finding it incorrect, why not build your own weather station? Teach Engineering offer insights into how this is possible.
- Build Your Own Ant Farm. If you’re keen on collecting some creepy-crawly pets, there will be plenty of ants in your yard. Ask a Biologist has instructions on how to build your own ant farm.
- Measuring the Speed of Sound. Sound moves even faster than light in some cases. Applying this experiment provided by Practical Physics will allow you to measure the speed of sound with the aid of echoes.
- Go Fossil Hunting. Did a triceratops or a T-Rex once dwell in your own backyard? There’s only way to find out – go hunting for fossils! Rosie Research has all the information you need to do just that.
Now, pick a weather appropriate day and get outside!
Feeling inspired to start experimenting? We hope so! Remember to stay safe and pay attention, but there is a whole lot to learn. Use your imagination, and see what else you can come up with. There is no limit to what can be achieved by a curious mind. Keep at it, and you could end up being a 21st-Century Louis Pasteur.