Science Activities for Kids Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: A Newfound Love for Science
- Chapter 2: Ignite Interest in Science (or any topic) with the Play Technique
- Chapter 3: What Are STEM Toys?
- Chapter 4: Science Activity Categories
- Chapter 5: Great Science Kits That Spark a Thirst for Knowledge
- Science Sets for Preschoolers
- Science Sets for Kids in Elementary School
- Science Sets for Middle and High School Students
- Chapter 6: Leading Science Toy Brands
- Chapter 7: Science Activities Around the House
- Make Your Own Lava Lamp
- Make Candy Glass
- Making Oobleck
- Making a Paper Mache Volcano
Today, I'm super excited to share with you proven ways to improve scientific knowledge with fun science activities for kids. It doesn't matter what it is or how boring the topic might be. As I have shared many times in the past, activities and play are amazing and fun ways to learn anything. But first, let me share a quick story about a boy who didn't care for science at all. Watch how that quickly changes.
A Newfound Love for Science
I had a customer come in with her son who was probably between 8-10 years old. We spoke about a few things while her son was looking at different toys in the store.
At one point in our conversation, she brought up that her son needed to do a science project for school and had been putting it of because he really didn't like the class. When I heard this, I challenged myself to find a way to help her kiddo discover that science can be fun.
I quickly brought him over to a table and asked him to wait there for a moment. I grabbed a science set from Thames and Kosmos; more specifically, the Ooze Labs Chemistry Station. Thames and Kosmos was kind enough to send us a demo to use in our store if we wanted, so I opened it up and set it up on the table for him. I then showed him one of the experiments. He was a little interested, but not completely. Then I had him try the next experiment. He was now having fun and asked if he could do another experiment. I'm pretty sure he spent about an hour in the store doing different experiments in that set, before ultimately buying one to bring home.
A few weeks later, I got an email from the customer, telling me that her son's least favorite subjects is now the one that he looks forward to the most. She told me that he looks at science in a completely different way. And as for the science project for school? He did great on it and enjoyed every minute of preparing it for school.
These types of emails are what make me love what I do. But more importantly, he found a way to enjoy a topic that he originally found to be boring.
I don't think I need to say how incredible the power of play can be. That's the secret. Simple but effective. Play is the way to enjoy any subject, including science.
Ignite Interest in Science (or any topic) with the Play Technique
So here is the simple step-by-step process of getting a child more interested in a subject such as science.
- Identify an improvement area or lack of interest
- Find a game, toy, activity or kit that is related to that topic.
- Show them how it works.
- Let them try, play, and immerse themselves into it.
This technique doesn't mean you have to buy a new toy. There are plenty of science activities for kids that can be done with things around the house. More on that in a bit.
Also, if you are ever struggling on finding a specific toy to grow in an area, we'll list out some ideas here for you as well. Alternatively, you can always give us a call for help finding something.
I know this sounds simple, but why make it complicated? Science kits are incredible STEM toys.
What are STEM Toys?
So what exactly is a stem toy? A stem toy is a toy that meets four requirements. It should involve science, technology, engineering, and math. The acronym for this is STEM.
Why are STEM toys important? Well, they're fun to play with and you're learning something at the same time. It doesn't get much better than that!
Science Activity Categories
There are a number of science activities for kids across many different categories. Here are some great science categories that you can get kits for or experiment with from items around your house. I will also provide an example science set of each category for you.
Alternative energy usually refers to renewable energy, which is collected from renewable resources that over time, are naturally restored. Some example sources include geothermal heat, rain, sunlight, waves, wind, and more.
Shop alternative energy science sets.
Astronomy & Space
The natural science known as astronomy studies celestial objects using chemistry, mathematics and physics. Simply put, it's the study of the planets, stars and everything one might find in space.
Shop astronomy and space science sets.
Biology, also a natural science, is the study of life itself. Organisms, which are made of cells, are plentiful and diverse.
Shop biology science sets.
Welcome to the scientific study of properties and the behaviors of matter. This natural science explores the elements that make up the world around us.
Shop chemistry science sets.
Electrical science focuses on electrical charges that are a result of the presence of motion and matter. Magnetism also falls under electrical sciences.
Shop electricity science sets.
Engineering science focuses on the technology related to designing and building a number of different things.
Shop engineering science sets.
Geography science is the study of lands as well as their features, phenomena, and inhabitants.
Shop geography science sets.
Geology, Crystals and Earth Science
This earth science explores the solids and liquids of the Earth, their composition and how they change over time.
Mathematics studies the changes and relationships between numbers, quantities, shapes, spaces and formulas.
Shop mathematic science sets.
Paleontology & Natural History
Paleontology is the scientific study of past life, the fossils that made up that past life, and discovery that pieces together what life existed and how they interacted in the past.
Shop paleontology and natural history science sets.
Physics is the study of matter, energy, force, and how it relates to space and time. It helps us understand how things behave.
Shop physics science sets.
Robitcs falls under computer science and focuses on the construction and operations of robots, as well as how they are used. Robots are designed to help humans perform tasks.
Shop robotics science sets.
At Maziply Toys, we also offer Multi-Subject Science sets, which explore more than one branch of science.
As you can see, there are awesome scientific categories to explore and experiment with. Definitely be sure to go back and check out sets from your favorite categories by clicking on the links above.
Great Science Kits That Spark a Thirst for Knowledge
Here are some of our favorite science activity sets for kids, that they're sure to enjoy. I know I do!
Science Sets for Preschoolers
- Kids First Science Laboratory
- Kids First Robot Engineer
- Thames and Kosmos Andy: The Code & Play Robot
- Thames and Kosmos Intro to Gears
Science Sets for Elementary School Students
- Thames and Kosmos Gummy Candy Lab
- Thames and Kosmos Geckobot
- Thames and Kosmos Telescope
- Thames and Kosmos Windbots
- Copernicus Toys Human Powered Light Bulb Kit
Science Sets for Middle and High School Students
- Thames and Kosmos Roller Coaster Engineering
- Thames and Kosmos SpringBots
- Thames and Kosmos Tummy Rainbow Lip Balm Lab
- Thames and Kosmos Happy Atoms
Leading Science Toy Brands
If you couldn't tell, we really like Thames and Kosmos here at Maziply Toys. There quality is superior to most science kits on the market today and deserve to be recognized for that. They also have a large number of award winning products.
But who else is out there? Here are some great brands that make science activities for kids with fun and interactive kits and toys:
- Be Amazing Toys
- Copernicus Toys
- Creativity for Kids
- Educational Insights
- Snap Circuits
- Steve Spangler Science
- Thames and Kosmos
Science Activities Around the House
Here are a few fun and easy science experiments to try out at home. Most likely, you'll have everything you need already. Be sure not to dump any of this down the sink when you're done. And when you are done, I bet you will have learned a thing or two about chemistry.
Make Your Own Lava Lamp
- Clear glass
- Vegetable oil
- Food coloring
- Alka-Seltzer tablets
- Fill about a quarter of your glass with water.
- Add some drops of the food coloring.
- Add vegetable oil until your glass is about three quarters full.
- Break off a quarter of the Alka-Seltzer tablet and drop it into the water.
Experiments and Observation
- What happens when you drop the Alka-Seltzer in the solution?
- How long does it last? (Drop more when you need to)
- Try turning off the lights and lighting the glass with a flashlight from underneath.
- What happens if you try this experiment with cold or hot water (be careful not to burn yourself)?
- What happens if you use an entire tablet instead of just a quarter of the tablet?
- Maybe try other ingredients instead of Alka-Seltzer. Did you try salt?
Make Candy Glass
How about a chemistry experiment that you can eat?!
- 2 cups granulated white sugar
- 2/3 cups light corn syrum
- 3/4 cups of water
- flavoring if desired
- baking pan
- parchment paper
- Combine the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil (children, make sure your parents are with you).
- Insert a thermometer and when it reaches 300 degrees, remove immediately and transfer to a baking pan that is lined with the pachment paper.
- Cover and place in the freezer for 45 minutes.
- Once it's hard, lift it up and drop it down to see it shatter into "glass".
- Mmmmm. Enjoy!
Experiments and Observation
- What happens if you add food coloring?
- Try adding other flavors to see what it tastes like.
- Try letting it sit on the counter instead of putting it in the freezer. Notice how it takes a few hours but still hardens?
We've all played with. If you haven't, you gotta try this. It's really quite interesting how it's consistency can change based on pressure. Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid.
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 3/4 cup water
- Add cornstarch to bowl.
- Slowly pour in the water.
- Mix it up for about 10 minutes. Mix it really good.
Experiments and Observation
- Try adding food coloring to make it different colors.
- What happens if you use more or less cornstarch?
- How does it feel when you place your hand on top?
- How does it feel dripping through your open hands?
- How does it feel when you put pressure on it?
- What is the consistency like?
Make a Paper Mache Volcano
This is a classic! Follow along to make your own paper mache volcano.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- 2 cups vinegar
- plastic bottle
- Cut the cardboard into a circle.
- Cut a hole in the middle of the cardboard (just big enough to fit the bottle into.
- Place the plastic bottle in the hole.
- Crumple up some newspaper so it has a mountain-like form.
- Mix water and flour together until paste-like.
- Dip strips of newspaper into the mixture and then place over your "mold" until it takes the shape of a volcano
- Set aside until dry. Can take hours or even a day.
- Paint as desired.
- Set aside until dry.
- Pour baking soda and then vinegar into the top to make it erupt.
Experiments and Observations
- Try adding cola and Alka-Seltzer instead of baking soda and vinegar. WARNING: Be ready for a mess if you do this.
- What happens if you add food coloring?
- What happens if you change the ratio between baking soda and vinegar?
We covered a lot of ground in this post. We discovered how play is a great way to discover new sciences. We also learned about STEM, the Play Technique, discovered many different science topics, and explored some of the best science sets, based on age. We had a glimpse of the leading science toy manufacturers and then did some experiments with items from around the house.
I appreciate you taking the time to learn a little more about science activities for kids and how beneficial they truly are.
If you got some value from my post, I'd be honored if you'd to share it with others.
Ready to find some science activities for kids? Check out our many science sets that are available online or in-store at Maziply Toys.