As teachers and parents, we all know that kids learn best when they are engaged and motivated. Hands-on activities are one of the best ways to get kids excited about learning. Besides enhancing their cognitive skills these activities also get them moving which helps in developing their fine motors skills.

In this post, I compiled some of the best hands-on activities to use with your kids at home or at school to get them excited about learning science. From creating a volcanic eruption to making slime, these science experiments for kids teach important scientific concepts in an entertaining and interactive way including concepts like engineering, aerodynamics, chemical reactions, Newton’s laws of motion, buoyancy, polymers, sound waves, and more.

Each of these science experiments for kids is accompanied with a video tutorial that you can watch with your kids to see how the experiment was conducted and how it works.

1. Making a Cloud in a Jar 

Screenshot from Sydney Water TV video
This experiment is perfect to show kids how clouds work and the process of condensation. All you need is a clear jar, shaving foam, small cup, cold water, syringe and food coloring. Here are the instructions:

Fill the jar (about three quarters) with cold waterAdd some water and food colouring into the small cup and mix them togetherPour shaving cream on top of the jar to make a fluffy cloudUse the syringe to suck the colored waterSlowly add coloured water on top of the shaving foam cloud and watch it rain.

Watch Sydney Water TV  video tutorial to learn more about this experiment.

2. Rainbow in a Glass

Photo credit: CSEH video

This experiment is perfect to show kids how light refracts through a prism. With just a few items (like water, oil, honey, dish soap, rubbing alcohol, and food coloring), kids can create their own rainbow right before their eyes! 

Cool Science Experiments Headquarters has this helpful video tutorial demonstrating how this experiment works.

3. Aluminium Foil Boat

Photo credit: screenshot from Science Buddies video
The aluminium foil boat experiment is an inventive twist on the classic aluminum foil boat science project. The objective of this experiment is to construct a boat out of aluminum foil such that it can carry a fixed number of pennies while a ball is dropped into the water from higher and higher heights, resulting in bigger and bigger waves. The goal of this experiment is to determine how much the boat can withstand before sinking.

– Aluminum foil
– Pennies or other small coins
– Ball (such as a golf ball)
– Basin of water
– Measuring tape


1. Cut aluminum foil into a rectangle shape, ensuring that it is large enough to hold the desired amount of pennies and wide enough to provide stability.
2. Place the aluminum foil boat into the basin of water and fill with pennies, up to a fixed number.

3. Using

 the measuring tape, measure out different heights at which you will drop the ball from (start small and work your way up).

4. Drop the ball into the water from each measured height and observe the effects on the boat (the size of the waves, how much stability it has, etc.).

5. Record your observations in a chart or graph.

6. Repeat this process until you reach a height that causes the aluminum foil boat to sink.

Watch this video tutorial created by Science Buddies  to learn more about Aluminium Foil Boat experiment.

4. Sound science experiments for kids

In this video, Babble Dabble Do, provides four practical experiments to teach kids about sound waves and the science of acoustics.

The first sound experiment is called How Does Sound Move. Here is how it works: Pour water into a bowl, hit a tuning fork, then lower it into water. The vibrations of the fork create sound waves that transfer into water making it spray.

Photo credit Screenshot from Babble Dabble Do video
The second experiment is called There Is a Drum in My Ear. Here is how it works: Cover a bowl with plastic wrap, sprinkle rice on plastic, hit a tuning fork, touch the plastic with the vibrating fork, the sound waves from the fork making the rice jump which is how our ear drums work. The third experiment is called Stringing it along and the fourth experiment is called Making it Louder.

Babble Dabble Do has this awesome video tutorial where you can see the four sound experiments in action.

5. Paper Airplane

Kids will love making their own paper airplane and exploring the principles of aerodynamics. With just a few simple folds, kids can make their own paper airplane and watch it soar! You can watch this video tutorial to see the experiment in action.

6. The Magical Floating Water Experiment

The floating water experiment is a fun and educational activity for kids to explore the science of buoyancy. In this experiment, kids will mix different amounts of salt in warm coloured water to test if they can make the water float on water. 

They will use a long cylinder, funnel and salt for different amounts of the solution. By doing so, they will learn about the density of different coloured water and the effect that different amounts of salt have on it.

Photo credit:screenshot from RTÉjr video
After gathering all supplies, pour your warm coloured water into the long cylinder. Then measure out small amounts of salt and add it to each colour separately. Stir each solution until fully mixed then use a funnel to carefully transfer each solution back into the cylinder. 

Once all solutions have been added, watch as the water magically floats on top of each other. Through this experiment, children will explore the different densities of salt and coloured water and learn how they affect buoyancy.

Watch this video made by RTÉjr

to learn more about the floating water experiment

7. The Oxygen and Fire Experiment

In the Oxygen and Fire experiment, Amy and Zoe sought to find out what happens when a candle’s oxygen supply is removed. They found that when the oxygen was taken away, the flame of the candle quickly extinguished. 

Photo credit:screenshot from RTÉjr video

They explored this phenomenon further by placing a small jar over the candle after lighting it. After a few seconds, they observed that the flame was extinguished, as the oxygen in the jar had been depleted.

This experiment can be used to teach children how a candle needs oxygen to stay lit and why it is important to always keep candles away from flammable materials such as curtains or blankets.

Watch this video by 

RTÉjr to learn more about the oxygen and fire experiment.

8. Walking Water Science Experiment

The Walking Water Science Experiment teaches children about the process of capillary action, which is how plants and trees are able to draw water from the ground. This fun and educational experiment is easy to do at home using everyday household items. 

Photo credit: Screenshot from Ryan’s World video

To set up the experiment, gather a container of water, paper towels or cotton balls, and food coloring. Place the paper towels or cotton balls into each side of the container and add the food coloring to one side. 

The paper towel will slowly start to draw in the water and color from one side of the bowl to the other, creating an interesting “walking” effect. Through this experiment, children can learn more about how plants are able to absorb water.

Watch this video by Rayan’s World to learn more about the walking water science experiment.

9. Funny Elephant Toothpaste

The Funny Elephant Toothpaste experiment is a fun and educational science experiment that results in an eruption of foam. It involves the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide, with yeast or potassium iodide acting as a catalyst to break it down into oxygen and water. The oxygen and water then mix with the dish soap to create foam. 

Photo credit: screenshot from DIY bama video

Different levels of difficulty can be chosen depending on the type of hydrogen peroxide used, ranging from 10% to 35%. Children will learn about the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide and how different catalysts work.

Watch this video by DIY bama to learn more about the funny elephant toothpaste experiment

10. How to Make a Lava Lamp at Home

To make a lava lamp at home you will need vinegar, vegetable oil, baking soda, food colouring, and a clear plastic or glass bottle. First, add 2 teaspoons of baking soda then fill the bottle halfway with vegetable oil. 

Photo credit Screenshot from Creative SL video

In a different cup, pour 2 to 4 tablespoons of vinegar and add 3 drops of food colouring to it and mix them together. Next pour the mixture into the bottle and place the bottle on a Led light and watch the oil and vinegar form a lava lamp!

This experiment teaches children about how certain liquids have different densities, allowing them to separate and create a fun effect. Additionally, it will teach them about the reaction between baking soda and vinegar which produces carbon dioxide gas that bubbles up through the vegetable oil creating a mesmerizing “Lava Lamp” effect.

Watch this video by Creative SL to learn more about how to make a lava lamp at home

11. Making Homemade Rockets

Making a homemade rocket with vinegar and baking soda is a great STEM activity that teaches children about various science concepts including aerodynamics, Newton’s laws of motion, chemical reactions, engineering and fine motor skills. Make sure you do this experiment outside.

Credit: STEM Little Explorer video
To make the rocket, all you need is a bottle, some vinegar, and baking soda. Start by pouring the vinegar into the bottle – this will be used as fuel for the rocket. Then, add baking soda to the bottle and quickly put the lid on. The reaction between the vinegar and baking soda will create a gas that will propel the rocket.

Watch this video by STEM Little Explorers to learn more about how to make a homemade rocket with vinegar and baking soda.

12. Dancing Raisins Science Experiment

Dancing raisins is a fun science experiment that is sure to fascinate kids of all ages as they watch raisins move up and down in a glass of soda. This experiment teaches children about the effects of carbon dioxide gas on buoyancy.

To perform this experiment, you will need raisins, a glass of clear soda and a teaspoon. Start by pouring the soda into the glass and then adding the raisins. The raisins will immediately sink to the bottom. Then take the teaspoon and stir it in the soda for 10-15 seconds. This will cause carbon dioxide gas bubbles to form around the raisins. 

Credit:screenshot for this video

The bubbles will attach to the raisins and make them more buoyant, causing them to float back up to the surface of the soda. Once on the top, they will eventually fall back down again as the gas bubbles pop.

Watch this video  to learn more about the Dancing Raisins Science Experiment.

13. Creating a Volcanic Eruption

Credit: Ryan’s World video

This experiment is great to show kids how a volcanic eruption works and the science behind it. Through a combination of baking soda and vinegar, create an explosion that demonstrates what happens when pressure builds up in a volcano. 

Watch this video tutorial by Ryan’s World to learn more about  this experiment.

14. Making Slime

Kids will love creating their own slime and watching as it takes on different shapes and textures. This experiment teaches kids about the properties of polymers and allows them to explore matter in a fun way. 

Watch Math’s video to learn more about this experiment.

Credit: screenshot from Matt’s video

15. Milk Bottle Xylophone

Kids can make their own musical instrument with this experiment! It requires a few empty milk bottles, water, and some coins or marbles. By filling the bottles with different levels of water, kids can create a range of tones as they drop the coins into the bottles. This experiment is great for teaching kids about sound waves and the science of music. 

Watch this video tutorial to learn more about a Xylophone experience. 

Credit: Kayli Joseph video