10 Easy Science Experiments for Kids

Science can be confusing and boring for younger children, especially when talking about abstract concepts. One way to get elementary and middle school students excited about science is by incorporating science experiments into your lessons.

science experiments for kids

Don’t worry. You don’t have to be a science major or have a lab full of chemicals to create simple, engaging demonstrations in the classroom. A science experiment is a great activity after a long day of testing or an assembly that disrupts the normal schedule. In this article, we will share some of the best science experiments for elementary and middle school students.

Keeping a few household items on hand will let you quickly organise fun science experiments that will excite your students. Science activities are a great way to introduce new concepts or reinforce learning objectives before an end-of-unit test or benchmark exam.

Middle-grade students can use a simple science experiment to practice the steps of the scientific method and record the results in a science journal. Lab activities also reinforce the proper and consistent use of safety equipment (i.e. gloves, goggles, tweezers).

Most simple science experiments involve just a few ingredients and only take a few minutes to set up if you already have materials on hand.

Here are some items you will want to keep in your classroom. I found it easiest to keep these things in a large plastic tote and store it in an out-of-the-way corner.

  • Baking soda Food coloring
  • Liquid dish soap Borax laundry powder
  • Hydrogen peroxide Lemon juice
  • Paper towels Alka Seltzer tablets
  • White vinegar Glycerin
  • Rubber bands Balloons
  • Popsicle sticks Sugar
  • Empty jars (plastic is better) Cotton string

What are some cool science experiments for kids?

Erupting Geyser

This easy, hands-on science experiment is a favorite of elementary and middle school students. A few simple ingredients create a lot of excitement in a few minutes.

  • two-litre diet cola
  • roll of mentos
  • 2-inch squares of cardstock

Step 1: Open the soda bottle and place the cardboard square on top.
Step 2: Place three or four of the mentos on top of the cardboard.
Step 3: Quickly pull the cardboard out, allowing the candy to fall into the soda bottle. The eruption will be fast, so step back.
How it works: The candy coating of the mentos looks smooth and slick, but in actuality, many tiny craters cover the surface. These craters provide the perfect landing spot for the microscopic carbon dioxide molecules in the soda. Dropping the mentos into the bottle disrupts these molecules that normally settle at the bottom of the bottle. Disrupting the carbon dioxide molecules causes the fizzing action of shaken soda. When they are disturbed, they look for a new place to land. The mentos provide the perfect landing spot for the carbon dioxide to settle and grow.


Making oobleck is the perfect kids’ science activity for 5-8 year-old students to use in connection with reading the popular Dr Suess book Bartholomew and the Oobleck. Oobleck is great for teaching states of matter since it is a non-Newtonian substance. It is neither solid nor liquid but an interesting cross between the two.


  • Mixing bowl
  • Cornstarch
  • Water
  • Food coloring (optional)

Step 1: Measure 2 cups of cornstarch into a large bowl.
Step 2: Slowly pour in 1 cup of water.
Step 3: Knead the ingredients by hand in the bowl until it is thoroughly mixed. Add a drop of food coloring if you wish.

Middle school students love this hands-on activity. Not only is it slimy and messy, but the resulting product is fun to play with. Oobleck making covers the following standards: states of matter, chemical changes, solutions vs suspensions, and steps of the scientific process.

Caution: Don’t pour oobleck down the drain. It will clog pipes. Instead, pour it into a plastic bag and toss it in the garbage.

Lava Lamp

Many of us are old enough to remember lava lamps. Today, students can make their own lava lamp using just a few different liquids and an empty jar. This is one of those cool science experiments kids love because they can take home the finished product.

The lava lamp experiment is one of the easiest but teaches so many objectives. Properties of matter, density, physical changes of colors, surface tension, viscosity, and motion are all addressed with this easy science project.


  • Empty jar
  • Oil
  • Alka Seltzer tablet
  • Food coloring

Step 1: Add water to the jar until it is about half full.
Step 2: Slowly pour the oil into the water until the jar is about 3/4 full.
Step 3: Break an Alka Seltzer tablet into 3 or 4 pieces. Drop the pieces one at a time into the jar.
Step 4: Add three drops of food coloring on the water’s surface in different places.

As students complete the process steps, they should carefully observe the reactions and notice the layers that form after each addition of liquid.

Dancing Raisins

This science experiment is similar to the mento and coke project, relying on carbon dioxide molecules to create the movement.


  • A bottle of Sprite
  • Raisins
  • Clear plastic cup

Step 1: Pour in Sprite to fill the cup three-fourths full.
Step 2: Drop five or six raisins into the cup.

This is one of the easiest diy science activities for kids. The movement of the raisins relies on the carbon dioxide molecules settling into the recessed craters of the raisins. When the raisins are first dropped into the cup, they sink because they are denser than the soda. As the carbon dioxide molecules attach to the raisins, they will cause the raisins to rise and fall. 

Volcanic Eruption

Kids love the volcanic eruption experiment. It is often used for science fair exhibits. Only a few materials are needed, but the results are amazing. Because this experiment causes a chemical reaction, safety equipment such as gloves and goggles should be used.


  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar

Step 1: Pour some baking soda into a small bowl. Use your fingers to create a mound, then make a depression in the center with a pencil eraser.
Step 2: Slowly pour a small amount of white vinegar into the depression. The baking soda will foam and fizz as it melts under the vinegar.
This experiment demonstrates the reaction between the base chemical sodium bicarbonate and acids like vinegar. To modify this for older students, have them make a hypothesis, journal the experiment’s steps, and test each element’s PH with litmus paper.

Capillary Action and Plant Cell Vacuoles

Older students study the components of cells, while elementary students learn the difference between plant and animal cells. An easy experiment to demonstrate how water travels from the roots up to the leaves of a plant is to use colored water to fill vacuoles in plant cells in celery.


  • Celery
  • Food coloring
  • Jar
  • Water

Step 1: Break a few celery stalks from the bunch.
Step 2: Put a few drops of food coloring in a jar of water. Place the celery stalks in the water.
After a few days, students will observe color travelling up the celery stalks. It will eventually reach the leaves and stain the edges.

Invisible Ink

A cool experiment to do with older students involves paper, lemon juice, and a hair dryer or iron.


  • Fine-point paint brush (or toothpick)
  • Lemon juice
  • Paper

Step 1: Have students use a toothpick or fine-point paintbrush to write their name on the paper using lemon juice as the ink. Set the paper aside to let the juice dry and soak into the paper.
Step 2: Heat the paper until the hidden message appears.
NOTE: Because this experiment uses heat, adult supervision is required.
This experiment demonstrates a chemical reaction that causes the carbon compounds in the fruit juice to be revealed when heat is applied. This is because the acids in the lemon juice cause slight damage to the paper’s fibers. When heat is applied, the juice discolors, revealing secret messages before the paper discolours.

Elephant Toothpaste


  • Active dry yeast (in the baking section of the supermarket)
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Empty soda bottle
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Large disposable roaster pan or plastic tarp 

Step 1: Mix the dry yeast powder with about three tablespoons of warm, not hot, water. Set it aside while you prepare the other materials.
Step 2: Pour one-half cup of hydrogen peroxide into the soda bottle. Add a squirt of the dish liquid.
Step 3: Add the yeast mixture to the bottle. Step back, as this will react quickly.
The foaming action is caused because the yeast acts as a catalyst to break down the hydrogen peroxide into oxygen gas and water. The dish soap adds surface tension and holds the gas bubbles tightly together rather than letting them rise into the air and vanish.

Magical Air Pressure Experiments

Your students will be convinced you are a magician with these demonstrations.

  • Card and Cup

Fill a plastic cup about half full with water. Place a piece of cardstock on top that is larger than the cup’s opening. Holding the card in place, quickly flip the cup upside down. Remove your hand. The air pressure outside the cup will hold the card in place because there is less pressure in the cup.

  • Ball and Funnel

Place a ping-pong ball in a funnel. Place the narrow, straw end of the funnel in your mouth and blow into the opening. The ball will not leave the funnel, no matter how hard you blow. This is because your blowing creates fast-moving air that wraps around the ball and then reunites on the other side of the ball. This creates more air pressure to hold the ball in place.

Disappearing Eggshells

This experiment works best as a demonstration unless you want a bunch of cups filled with vinegar and eggs sitting in your classroom for a week or more. This vinegar experiment demonstrates how acids dissolve food in your body.


  • Plastic cups or mason jars
  • You will also need a way to cover the containers
  • A piece of fabric and a rubber band works well
  • Egg
  • White vinegar

Step 1: Place a raw egg in the container.
Step 2: Pour white vinegar into the container until the egg is completely covered. You will want about a half inch of space above the egg.
Step 3: Cover the container. If using mason jars, do not screw the lid on tightly. The expanding carbon dioxide molecules might cause the jar to break.
How it works: The eggshell is made of calcium carbonate. The acidic nature of the vinegar breaks down the solids of the eggshell, just as stomach acid breaks down food. When the entire shell has dissolved, the egg’s albumen and yolk will be held inside the membrane. It will be like a clear ball, but don’t break it open!

Resources for other experiments

This is just a small sampling of science experiments that will entertain and educate your students. Other demonstrations using household materials can help students learn concepts such as the water cycle, sound waves, static electricity, solar power, and Newton’s Laws of Motion. Do a Google search for STEM activities to find many great ideas. You can also find science experiment books on Amazon.

Looking for more great ideas?

Head over to our Science Activities and Experiments Activities resource hub where you'll find a trove of science experiments, activities and accompanying resources to help you.

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About the author

Teresa Taylor


About Teresa

Teresa Taylor has over 20 years of experience teaching in elementary and middle school settings. During her teaching career, Teresa has worked as a reading specialist,… Read more

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