Stuck at home with the kids? No need to panic.
There are tons of STEM activities and science experiments you can do at home that are perfect to keep kids away from screens and occupied indoors in a way that won’t rot their brains.
These fun science experiments for kids at home don’t require any weird supplies (because even Amazon is running out of things), and you can do them with things you likely already have at home!
If you need even more inspiration and ideas (after all, we’ll be at home for weeks!), check out our complete list of STEM activities for kids and science experiments for kids.
Supplies for Science at Home
If you have never done a science experiment at home before, or if you’re new to STEAMsational, you may not realize just how many science experiments you can do at home!
We’ve spent the last few years creating at home science experiments (many of them in jars, by the way), that all use household supplies.
Before you start these at home experiments, you may want to make sure you have at least these things on hand:
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)
We end up doing a lot of our science experiments in jars, just because jars are easy to find and you probably have a few in your kitchen.
But if you’re not a jar hoarder like I am, then you can use regular water cups.
I recommend using glass over plastic, just because some of the chemical reactions or food coloring might ruin a plastic cup.
A lot of our at home science projects use food coloring, salt, oil, vinegar, baking soda, or corn starch.
If you find you don’t have the supplies for a project, you can try something else or try to order the products online.
How to Do Science at Home
Science at home isn’t as much about the “facts” side of science. At home, you’re not usually working toward a test or a set of standards, so there is more freedom to explore and have fun with science.
If you’re new to doing science at home, there are a few secrets that will help you stay sane, and maximize the effectiveness of your projects.
Keep it Simple
Simple science experiments are better at home. Doing an experiment or science demonstration on one theme at a time will provide the most value.
Not everything has to be an elaborate, full-scale science experiment with four variables a strict data recording sheet, and multiple tests. Just having fun and exploring the topic is just as beneficial at home, and more so, in some cases, if your children love to explore, but hate to record.
Don’t make science a chore; keep it light, fun, and simple!
Hands-on projects lead to messes. It’s a fact. Place your science area in a part of the house that can get messy and take some deep breaths if the mess bothers you.
Focus on Exploration
You don’t have to worry about kids “learning” when you’re doing these science experiments at home.
Research shows that when kids engage with something through a hands-on activity, they retain that information longer, and more clearly than a child who doesn’t do a hands-on activity.
This is true even if it doesn’t appear like the child is “getting” the lesson. When you do activities with your child, let them explore and you provide simple explanations and vocabulary along the way.
That’s all you need to do!
Follow Your Kids’ Interests
You may like coding, but if your kids don’t, trying to force them to do coding activities for kids won’t end well.
Try to pick experiments that match your child’s interests. Do colorful projects if your kids like color. Do earth science if your kids are interested in how the earth works. Do gross science if your kids like that.
The more your kids are into the topic, the better your experiments will go!
Exciting Science Experiments for Kids at Home
Try out these fun at home science experiments while your kids are trapped indoors!
You can do these science experiments on a rainy day, during breaks, and when they are too sick to go to school, but not too sick to be in bed.
Science Experiments for Toddlers at Home
Toddlers are just starting to learn about the world, which makes science at this age so much fun! Toddlers can learn about cause and effect, the name of shapes and numbers, counting, and discover things around the house and yard. Try the toddler activities listed below, and check out our complete list of toddler STEM projects.
Science Experiments for Preschoolers at Home
Preschoolers love exploring and learning. Doing science experiments with preschoolers is one of my favorite things to do at home! Check out the list of ideas below, and you’ll also want to check out our complete list of science experiments for preschool.
Magnifying glass discovery tray
Science Projects for Kindergarteners at Home
Kindergarten is a fun time for exploring and learning about the world. Kindergarten kids want to know “why,” and you cand find out together with science.
Once you’ve tried the activities below, check out our complete list of STEM activities for kindergarten.
Science Experiments for First Graders at Home
First grader trapped at home? No need to stress! First grade kids are starting to be more self-sufficient, but they will still love doing science experiments with you.
Try out these fun at home science experiments for first grade:
Science Projects for 2nd Graders at Home
Your second grade child will love starting to theorize about the whys behind certain reactions and science projects.
This is when you can start introducing the idea of tests and variables in your science projects or just stick to fun science demonstrations.
Try these science experiments with your second grader:
Science Activities for 3rd Graders At Home
If you have a third grader, they will have a blast with these science experiments.
My third graders always love science experiments that are a bit gross or that have really surprising results. Find our low-prep experiments below:
Science Projects for 4th Graders at Home
A fourth grader will love completing science investigations and coming back with a report.
Try these hands-on science experiments with your fourth graders at home:
What soil is the best for growing plants?
Which trees produce the most oxygen?
What is the best hand-cleaning method?
What happens to eggs left in vinegar?
Science Experiments for 5th Graders at Home
Here are some super fun science experiments for fifth graders that don’t require special supplies.
And if you want even more activity ideas, check out our complete list of STEM activities for 5th grade.
Exploding Minecraft Creeper rockets
Egg drop engineering challenge