Kitchen time with the kids is always a great way to get some fun, educational experiences as well as a chance to bond. But there is so much more that you can do with food to teach kids about the principles of science.
Here are just a few ideas that use inexpensive ingredients that you likely already have on hand to do fun food science experiments for kids.
Making Raisins in the Sun
You can try this with different varieties of grapes to see the differences in color, size, and taste.
- Place clean, dry whole grapes on a baking sheet and cover with a clean towel.
- Set outside in the sun for a few days, checking the progress daily.
- Be sure to throw away any grapes that start to rot, mold, or seem damp.
- Fill several cups or jars about 1/3 full with water that has been colored with various shades of food coloring.
- In each jar, place a piece of celery, preferably with the leaves intact.
- Watch as the celery begins to pull the water up through capillary action and turns the stalks the color of the water.
- In a large bowl or container, place a glass of your favorite fruit juice, then surround the glass with plenty of ice.
- Sprinkle rock salt onto the ice and wait.
- Check the glass every 20- 30 minutes and give the juice a stir.
- The chemical reaction between the ice and salt will cause the juice to begin to freeze, creating a homemade slushie after about an hour or two.
- Carefully place a raw egg into a clear glass container, like a mason jar with a large opening.
- Pour vinegar over the eggs until it is deep enough that they can fully submerge. Let the egg soak in the vinegar for 24 hours, then drain the liquid and replace with more vinegar. After another 24 hours, your egg’s shell will have dissolved, leaving behind a bouncy rubbery membrane. Take care when you bounce the egg, however, as the egg on the inside of the membrane will still be in its normal liquid state.
All you need for this one is a clean mason jar, some heavy whipping cream, and a little elbow grease.
- Fill the jar half full of cream.
- Secure the lid tightly.
- In time, as the fat cells in the cream are agitated, they will begin to break down and bond together, creating a blob of homemade butter.