Many kids are eager to spend time playing with STEM toys or taking part in science fair programs, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many budget-friendly science experiment programs that are easy to do and use stuff you already have lying around the house. Plus, they’re a great way for your child to practice the scientific method and make hypotheses about their observations.
1. Paper Airplane Experiment for Kids
The Paper Airplane Experiment is a fun and budget-friendly way for kids to learn about aerodynamics. In this activity, they will change the basic design of a paper plane to see how this changes its flight. They will also learn about the four forces that affect flight: lift, weight, thrust, and drag.
To get started, have the kids fold a few different designs of paper airplanes. Then, they will test them out to determine which design will fly the longest distance. It’s a great opportunity for them to use critical thinking skills as they design their own airplanes and think of ways to improve their designs.
Once they have their paper airplanes, they must throw them at least five times to measure how far they fly. They will then need to record each of their measurements so that they can later graph them and analyze them.
2. Pop Rocks Balloon Experiment for Kids
The Pop Rocks Balloon Experiment is one of the budget-friendly science experiments for kids that’s both fun and educational. You’ll only need a few supplies, and you can use them with any age group.
To get started, pour one package of Pop Rocks into a small kitchen funnel and tap the funnel to force it down into the balloon. If the candy doesn’t move easily, try pushing it with a bamboo skewer. Once you’ve placed the mouth of the balloon over the narrow opening of the funnel, you can pour the soda into each bottle and place the balloon over it, taking care to make sure the mouth of the balloon is completely over the top of the soda so that no candy gets dropped into the balloon.
The candy releases carbon dioxide gas as the soda mixes with the Pop Rocks. When the carbon dioxide bubbles in the candy come in contact with soda, they melt together and release the carbon dioxide gas into the air, inflating the balloon. It’s a great way to help kids learn how carbon dioxide bubbles interact with different substances and teach them to take measurements and record their findings.
2. Air Pressure Experiments for Kids
Air pressure can be a challenging concept for kids to grasp, but with these fun and easy experiments, you can help them understand the different terms related to air pressure, such as force, weight, space, and volume.
One way to demonstrate air pressure is to use a straw and a water bottle. Have kids blow the straw up and down in the water bottle, squeezing the bottle harder and harder to make the straw move. This activity is great for kids of all ages and will help strengthen their hand muscles.
Another experiment is to show how air pressure changes with altitude. For example, air pressure at sea level is about 14.7 psi, while in Denver, CO, which is at a higher elevation, it is about 12.4 psi. After showing this to the kids, challenge them to build a tower using wafers or colored blocks, which should be 14 wafers tall, rearrange the wafers in order of increasing pressure, record their results on a worksheet, and explain why certain items have more or less pressure than others.
You can also show kids how air pressure can crush a can with a little extra force, teaching them about air pressure, math, and physics all at once. Another fun experiment is to have them blow up balloons and watch them move as they’re blown away, teaching them about the forces that air molecules exert on each other, which can also be helpful in learning about density and buoyancy.
4. Air Molecule Experiment for Kids
This budget-friendly science program will teach kids ages 6-8 about one of the planet’s most complex substances: air. This simple physics experiment will have students excitedly learning about the basics of thermodynamics and kinetic molecular theory.
With a few standard materials, kids can learn how to get air into a balloon and test various scientific concepts. This squishy airborne molecule can push a ball out of a jar and even deliver a burst of bubblegum, providing a hands-on learning experience that can be applied to many different areas, including biology and chemistry.
Moreover, this experiment demonstrates the power of air molecules and how temperature affects their behavior. Kids will use a simple model to understand this and even get to name their creations.
This experiment can be done with little time and supplies, making it an ideal addition to any classroom STEM celebration. With a little guidance, this simple physics experiment will leave you and your kids buzzing with excitement and eagerness to learn more.
There are many budget-friendly science experiments for kids that they can do at home. These programs provide a great opportunity for children to practice the scientific method, make hypotheses, and use critical thinking skills. The Paper Airplane Experiment, Pop Rocks Balloon Experiment, Air Pressure Experiment, and Air Molecule Experiment are all great examples of fun and educational experiments that can be done with just a few materials.