At Home Science

Central Rivers parents and students – are you ready for some at-home science?  I will be trying to post some easy ideas with things you might have around the house.  Don’t be afraid to let your child experiment – encourage them to share their ideas and ask questions to get them thinking even deeper.  Remember that your role is not to try and explain the “right answers” but to let them practice their scientific thinking – we are practicing a process and that is more important than a “right” answer!

Try asking questions such as:

  • What are you noticing?
  • What does this make you wonder?
  • How can you test your ideas?
  • Does there seem to be a pattern?
  • What else does this make you think of?
  • What evidence do you have for your ideas?

Encourage your child to record their ideas – scientists need to write things down so that we remember our ideas.

Encourage your child to think of ways to organize their data as they experiment – scientists need to be able to analyze their data to draw conclusions.

Don’t rush the process – scientists run multiple trials of the same tests to see if they get the same results.


Dry Erase Floatation

Dry Erase Floatation can be found as a google slide with directions or can be seen below:

Write on a plate with a DRY ERASE marker.  Pour water onto the plate.  What do you notice? What do you wonder?  Experiment and record your discoveries!


Colorful milk

Colorful milk can be found as a google slide with directions or can be seen below:

Pour enough milk into a bowl to cover the bottom.  Add some drops of food coloring.  Add a drop of dish soap

.  What do you notice? What do you wonder?  Experiment and record your discoveries!

Ivory Soap

Ivory soap can be seen on a Google slide with instructions or can be seen below:

This challenge involves putting a bar of Ivory soap into the microwave and noticing what occurs and then trying to make sense of that phenomena.  (Safety note:  this will only work with Ivory soap!)  Can you draw or model why you think this happened?

Experiment and discover:  Does it still work like soap in this new form?  Can you somehow “put it back together?”  What if you only microwaved small chunks of Ivory soap instead of a whole bar?  What if you stopped the microwave halfway through the 90 seconds?  So much to explore, but remember – only use Ivory soap!


Hammer Drop Day 1

Hammer drop Day 1 can be seen on a Google slide with directions or below:

This really is possible and there is no “trick” to it other than discovering the correct ratio.  Experiment and see if you can discover the correct ratio.  On day 2, I will share the ratio that was used to make this video.

Hammer drop day 2

Did you discover that a 14:1 ratio makes this demonstration work?  Now, what are you wondering?  Maybe if a “close ratio” would also work?  What you if put a GI Joe on one side, what amount of weight would be needed on the other?  What if, hypothetically, YOU were on one side??   Does the length of string matter?  How far does the heavy end drop in this demonstration?  So much more to experiment and discover!!

Hoop Gilder

The directions and video for this can be seen as a Google slide or below.

To build a Hoop gilder, you will cut an index card into 3 equal strips.  Then you will tape 2 strips together and make a “hoop” out of the large strip and the small one.  Tape those strips to the ends of a straw (I only had a bendy straw at home so I taped the joint so it wouldn’t bend).  Throw like a paper airplane.

So much to wonder and test!  Could I make a “straw” instead if I don’t have one? What if I use 3 hoops?  What if I use 2 large hoops?  What if I throw it “big hoop” first?  You are limited only by the questions you ask!

Rainbow in a Glass

You can find the directions and images on a google slide or can see them below:

Using only sugar, water, and food coloring, make colored layers in a glass.  Here is one helpful hint – use a spoon to pour the liquid into the glass in a gentle manner.  How many layers can you make?  What do you wonder? What can you discover?

Glass with 4 colored layers












Junk Drawer Classification

You can find the directions for the Junk drawer on google slides or written below:

Go to your junk drawer and select 16-20 objects (or, better yet – have someone else pick for you!)  Now, see how many ways you can classify those objects.  See below for an example:

Random items from junk drawer







Here are a few ways I classified them:

Items that can hold things together

Items that hold things together

Flashdrive, key, and hex key

Items that fit into an opening











For some advanced options:

Can you create categories so items only fit in ONE category?  For example, with my examples, I could not have another category of “metal objects” because the key could fit into that category as well.

Can you create a grid out of your objects so objects in each horizontal row share the same category and items in each vertical row each share a category?

Balancing Act

You can find the directions for Balancing Act on a google slide or below:

Find a ruler, a pen/pencil, and some small items to balance.  First, balance the empty ruler on your pencil/pen, then balance the items you collected.  What are you noticing? What are you wondering?  What do you discover?  Experiment and learn!

Items needed for activityBalance stuff3







Balance stuff4











Head shot


Reach out to the author:

Mandie Sanderman,
Consultant for science and TAG
Twitter:  @AmandaSanderman