A big part of being a kid is building things, deconstructing things and, in general, discovering how things work — that’s why we buy those starter science experiment kits and toy microscopes to encourage their curiosity. But it’s easy to run out of ideas to keep them interested in science, especially as they get older. Luckily for parents, Scientific American has for years been developing an archive of hundreds of science experiments for kids ages 6-12 to conduct with their parents.
Each post in the archive details the key concepts kids will learn (such as biology, chemistry, physics, angles, friction, force, engineering or frequency), some background on the topic, a list of materials needed, step-by-step instructions, observations and results.
The topics are wide-ranging. Together, you and your kids can discover why fruits get brown, melt ice with salt, make homemade slushies, construct a paper rollercoaster, make a rubber band guitar, or build your own mini-golf course. (That last one is the experiment my 8-year-old son is most excited to try. But first, he wants to make his own golf club).
Most of the experiments require materials you already have around your home, things like paper, scissors, toilet paper rolls, food colouring, rubber bands, oven mitts and towels.
The magazine launched a paywall in April, and now readers can only access three complimentary articles per month before they’re asked to subscribe to the print or digital publication. However, I was able to access at least a dozen experiments on the same day, so the archive itself may only count as one access.
(Of course, if you do hit the paywall, you could subscribe and continue accessing as many as you want; that’s great, too.)
Find the full archive of more than 400 experiments here.