Any Sites with Fun Science Experiments for children under 6?
July 2, 2004 11:36 AM   Subscribe

I have a friend with small children, and he and his wife are actively looking for fun science experiments they can do with them (aged 6 and under).

I've seen sites online before (but can't recall them), so URLs to the best science-for-kids sites would be welcome... as would any science experiments you know of yourself (and remember: these are young children).
posted by silusGROK to Science & Nature (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Check out Bill Nye the Science Guy, click on the Home Demos section.
posted by grateful at 11:51 AM on July 2, 2004

Go to the library and look through the World Book Encyclopedias from the '60s or '70s. Those have lots of great science projects in them, scattered throughout the articles. I think there's an index of projects somewhere as well. For all I know they still have them in the newer ones, but there's something retro-cool about the vintage ones.
posted by kindall at 12:19 PM on July 2, 2004

Laser Pointer Holography is something you might look into. Holograms completely blew my mind when I was 6 and they still do today. You can buy the kits here. The parents will need to mix the chemicals and do the actual developing, since the developers are somewhat toxic. Okay, maybe not the best idea for kids this young, but the parents will certainly have fun.

Glow-in-the-dark things were always cool when I was a kid. A blacklight and some glow-in-the-dark paint can be a whole lotta fun. You can buy gallon cans of it at walmart, paint an entire wall with it, and use it to snap silhouettes of the children. Use a strobe or a blacklight and have the kids stand in front of the wall making shadowy copies of themselves. I remember something like this at a science museum when I was that age and I absolutely loved it.

Solar energy is always cool. Power something with a solar cell or make a hotdog (tofudog) cooker out of aluminum foil (or mylar) and posterboard.

Magnets are definitely cool too. Make sure they're not too strong and not so small that the kids can choke on them. Get some magnetic viewing film so the kids can see the magnetic fields. I remember playing with this stuff as a kid and my mind was once again blown.

Disclaimer: I am not a parent or an educator, just a six year old kid pretending to be in his twenties.
posted by estey at 12:28 PM on July 2, 2004

The Mad Professor
Check this page for some ideas
FirstGov for Kids has this page of project ideas
And I think I got this page of experiments from a MeFi thread, but maybe I'm remembering wrong
posted by jazon at 1:20 PM on July 2, 2004

Go to your local library, and check out a book from Janice VanCleave's series (Science for Every Kid). With titles like 201 Awesome, Magical, Bizarre, & Incredible Experiments , you can't go wrong.

I work with kiddos in a public library, and VanCleave's books are constantly flying off the shelf.

On the web, check out this site, this site, this site, or this site.
posted by bradth27 at 2:21 PM on July 2, 2004

build a rail gun.
posted by Hackworth at 2:27 PM on July 2, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks everyone!

: )

Keep 'em coming!
posted by silusGROK at 3:24 PM on July 2, 2004

There have been two threads about Tim Hunkin. one was mine. Lots of people had great links and suggestions in both threads. The amateur science page has a good list. And some things in readymade magazine might be useful as well.
posted by milovoo at 3:55 PM on July 2, 2004

I second one of bradth27's suggestions: Bizarre Stuff You can Make in your Kitchen has lots of cool projects, and they're explained well.
posted by Daddio at 4:58 PM on July 2, 2004

I still have my copy of Science Experiments You Can Eat and the 2nd volume. My brother and I had a lot of fun with them--my parents learned things, too--and we both turned out to be excellent cooks.
posted by mimi at 9:31 PM on July 2, 2004

I don't know if it's summer where you are, but it is here. That means you could raise monarchs or painted ladies or ...
posted by plinth at 6:30 AM on July 3, 2004

Krampf Experiment of the Week
posted by dhartung at 12:28 AM on July 4, 2004

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