Science Projects and Experiments
Science is one of the most exciting parts of homeschooling. The kitchen easily converts into a wonderful science lab, and entire days can be spent on experiments and science fair projects. Science experiments include the use of mathematical skills, reasoning skills, analytical skills, research, asking questions, recording data, reporting conclusions — all key steps in the scientific method of conducting experiments. These steps not only incorporate science and math skills, but reading and writing skills, and historical discoveries, as well.
Try some of the following experiments in your kitchen science lab. For instructions on these, visit
Create lemon batteries, electric motors, magnetic levitation, loudspeakers, static electricity, lightning, telegraphs.
Grow algae, fungi, and molds; try photosynthesis, seed germination, plant growth, acid rain, greenhouse effects, biodegradation, and water experiments.
Experiment with colors, compounds and substances, density, ice, liquids, mixtures, oxygen, gasses, and properties.
Replicate earthquakes, magnetic fields, erosion, tornadoes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and the water cycle.
Make hot air balloons, boomerangs, kites, paper airplanes, parachutes, model rockets, water rockets, wind tunnels, and more.
For more science experiments, check out The Everything Kids' Science Experiments Book by Tom Robinson, Science in Seconds for Kids by Jean Potter, and 365 Simple Science Experiments with Everyday Materials by E. Richard Churchill.
In the kitchen lab, engage in tasting games, sensory games, memory games, and food-ingredient games. With children blindfolded, arrange a variety of food samples on a divided plate or tray. Have children taste only a tiny bit and see if they can guess the food, condiment, or beverage. Have them describe the taste, such as sweet, salty, creamy, or bitter.
For a sensory game, arrange small household items or outdoor items on a tray or cookie sheet, then cover the items with a dish towel. Have each blindfolded child touch the items beneath the towel and try to guess the identity of each item. Keep track of all the right guesses and see who has the best sensory touch.
A memory game can be set up in a similar manner. Arrange ten or twelve different items on a tray, cover with a dish towel, and place the tray in the center of a table. Remove the towel and give children a minute or two to view all the items on the tray. Cover the tray and remove it from the table. Have children write down all the items they can remember seeing on the tray.
To determine which foods contain more oils and fats, tear open a paper grocery sack and place on the kitchen counter. Draw several small squares of equal size on the paper sack. Raid the pantry and refrigerator, and have children place bits of food into each square. Label the square with that food's name. Wait twenty to thirty minutes, and check the paper to see how much oil or fat has been absorbed from the foods. Which food left an oilier spot, the potato chip or the cracker, the cheese or the turkey? Compare the square where the olive sat with the square where the lettuce sat. Compare the square containing a dollop of mayonnaise with the square containing mustard, and so on. Discuss why too many fatty foods can be bad for our bodies.
Take pictures of these types of activities and keep photo or photocopies in your child's portfolio. Encourage children to write about their experiences in their science journals, too.