Science experiments are a lot of fun to do with kids, but it’s always frustrating to realize that many of them call for special ingredients.
It can be a hassle to get these supplies at any time, but particualrly right now!
Rather than skip science altogether, why not try these no-prep science experiments that require basic supplies that you probably already have at home!
If you like these science experiments you’ll also want to try these no-prep STEM activities for kids!
What is a no-prep science experiment?
A no-prep science experiment is an experiment that can be done with very little to no advanced set-up or planning.
These are science experiments you can do if you were to say, “you know what, I want to do a science demonstration today!”
You’ll have everything you need for these most likely at home or in your science classroom already, so there is no need to make a special trip to the store or prep things days in advance.
Most of these activities are science demonstrations, rather than true experiments, because they illustrate scientific concepts rather than explore a hypothesis.
Nevertheless, kids can learn a lot even without much advanced prep!
How can I used these low-prep science experiments in the classroom?
If you’re doing these experiments in the classroom, I suggest breaking the kids into groups for 4-5 for exploratory play.
Pick something that needs less oversight from a teacher, and that is a bit less messy than some science experiments.
Allow the kids to explore the experiment and process after you explain the concept, then have them record their data on a science experiment worksheet!
How can I do these no-prep experiments at home?
If you’re doing science experiments at home, I suggest doing these experiments in the kitchen, or even outside.
Kids can make things messy fast, so doing the experimetns in a mess-safe environment will keep your sanity.
Find out a bit about the science behind the activity before starting so that you can share the experiment highlights as your kids work through the experiments.
What do I need for no-prep science activities?
You’ll find these supplies helpful for completing these low-prep experiments. These are affiliate links.
The Mason Jar Scientist: 30 Jarring STEAM-Based ProjectsBall Regular Mouth Mason Jars with Lids and Bands, 16-Ounces (4-Pack)Crisco Pure Vegetable Oil, 32 OunceBarbasol Soothing Aloe Thick & Rich Shaving Cream 10 Oz (2 Pack)Alka-Seltzer PFY BXAS50 80659297 Antacid and Pain Relief Medicine, Two-Pack (Pack of 50)Kadaon 10X Handheld Magnifier Antique Mahogany Handle Magnifier Reading Magnifying Glass for Reading Book, Inspection, Coins, Insects, Rocks, Map, Crossword PuzzleBORAX 20 Mule Team Laundry Booster, Powder, 4 PoundsFine Ground Celtic Sea Salt – (1) 16 Ounce Resealable Bag of Nutritious, Classic Sea Salt, Great for Cooking, Baking, Pickling, Finishing and More, Pantry-Friendly, Gluten-FreeMcCormick Assorted Food Color, 1 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)Food Coloring – 12 Color Vibrant Cake Food Coloring Set for Baking, Decorating, Fondant and Cooking – Upgraded Liquid Concentrated Icing Food Color Dye for Slime Making, DIY Crafts – .25 fl. oz. Each30% Pure Vinegar – Home&Garden (1 Gallon)Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda, 5 lbArgo Corn Starch 16 oz. Box (Pack of 4)
17 Exciting and Fun No-Prep Science Experiments for Kids
Now that you’re all set to do no-prep science experiments, here are some of our favorites!
Try one today, or plan a whole week of science for a fun science camp theme!
Did you know that cold water is denser than warm water? See it in action in the temperature water density experiment.
All you need is an egg and a candle to do the silver egg science experiment!
Learm how trees make oxygen using a jar, water, and a leaf!
All you need to make a fizzing rainbow is baking soda, vinegar, and food coloring or watercolors!
Try the non-newtonian fluid experiment and learn about Non-Newtonian fluids.
Walking water is a funny name for this surface tension and capilary action science experiment. All you need is food coloring, paper towels, and water!
Kids have to try the baking soda and vinegar reaction at least once a year. All you need is… baking soda and vinegar. But dish soap helps!
Use whatever you have on hand to make a liquid density tower!
If you have whole milk, you can do this milk surface tension experiment. If you don’t have milk, just use pepper and water!
Pencils and plastic baggies are all you need to do the leak-proof bag experiment.
Make your very own tornado in a jar with some water and a jar.
If you have ice and a jar, you can create a real cloud in a jar!
With whipped cream or shaving cream and food colloring you can make a raincloud in a jar and learn about the water cycle.
You don’t need anything for this dissecting a flower activity, other than a flower!
With some pennies, salt and vinegar, spend the afternoon turning pennies green and learning abotu chemical reactions!
Have a balloon and some tape? You can do the laminar flow experiment.
All you need for the pencil refraction experiment is a pencil and a clear jar or glass.
Where to Buy Supplies for Science Experiments
We like to get our supplies at the grocery story, and we find a lot of cool stuff on Amazon, too! Below is a list of some of our favorite science experiment kits and STEM resources for kids.
The Mason Jar Scientist: 30 Jarring STEAM-Based ProjectsCreative Kids Flakes – 600 Piece Interlocking Plastic Disc Set for Fun, Creative Building – Educational STEM Construction Toy for Boys & Girls – Non Toxic, Ages 3+Straw Constructor STEM Building Toys 300 pcs-Colorful Interlocking Plastic Enginnering Toys- Fun- Educational- Safe for Kids- Develops Motor Skills-Construction Blocks- Best Gift for Boys and Girls …CoolToys Monkey Balance Cool Math Game for Girls & Boys | Fun, Educational Children’s Gift & Kids Toy STEM Learning Ages 3+ (65-Piece Set)Learning Resources Code & Go Robot Mouse, Coding STEM Toy, 31 Piece Coding Set, Ages 4+DK Workbooks: Science, Kindergarten: Learn and ExploreTinkerActive Workbooks: Kindergarten ScienceScientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kids Science Experiment KitLearn & Climb Science Kit for Kids – 21 Experiments Science Set, Hours of Fun.UNGLINGA Kids Science Experiment Kit with Lab Coat Scientist Costume Dress Up and Role Play Toys Gift for Boys Girls Kids Age 5 – 11 Christmas Birthday PartyLearn & Climb Kids Science Kit – Over 60 Experiments, Fun with Science!4M 5557 Crystal Growing Science Experimental Kit – Easy DIY STEM Toys Lab Experiment Specimens, A Great Educational Gift for Kids & Teens, Boys & GirlsDiscovery Extreme Chemistry Stem Science Kit by Horizon Group Usa, 40 Fun Experiments, Make Your Own Crystals, DIY Glowing Slime, Fizzy Eruptions, Gooey Worms & MoreCrayola Color Chemistry Set For Kids, Gift for Age 7+