Science, like math, is around us daily, from the plants growing in our backyard to the electronics in our home. Our kitchens are also an exciting place to encounter science. Kitchen science lab experiments are a great way to bring science to your day-to-day life.
Experiments in the kitchen are a fun way to spark their curiosity as well as answer questions they may have asked. Science experiments can happen with just a few things you probably already have in your kitchen.
Here are a few fun ones to start your kitchen science lab off right.
Look at States of Matter
Discussions about the different states of matter are found all over in the kitchen. Here are a few easy suggestions.
One of the simplest ways to see the different states of matter at work is using water. Begin by filling an ice cube tray with water and freezing the water to form solid from liquid. Then melt the ice and watch the solid become a liquid again. You can then boil water to see condensation and evaporation at work. Another fun activity that requires a bit more time but is worth the wait is to fill a cup of water and mark your level on the cup. Leave the cup of water sitting outside and mark each day’s level to watch the evaporation that happens over a few days.
If you have a few extra, eggs are a fun way to see the changes in matter as well. This experiment is a great way to mix in a bit of learning with breakfast! First, break a raw egg in a bowl (liquid) then fry the egg, and it becomes a solid. Then boil another egg and see that it becomes solid as well.
Hot afternoons can turn into an exciting science lesson. Ice cream is a fun and tasty way to watch the melting process happen. First, pick your favorite ice cream and scoop a bit into a bowl. Take a bite of your solid ice cream, and it will quickly melt to a liquid in your mouth. Leave it out of the freezer for a bit, and the melting process will happen before your eyes. Refreeze if you want to watch the process again.
Your kitchen science lab can be as simple as using a container of water and some random objects from your house. This experiment is a great way to teach density. First, fill a container with water and make a prediction stating if you believe that the item will sink or float. Place the item in the water and see what happens. If the item has more density than the water, it will sink; if it is less dense, it will float.
Make Rubber Naked Eggs
One of our favorite experiments is making the shell of an egg disappear. This is a simple experiment that will amaze you and your kids. Submerge an egg in a cup of white vinegar and let it sit for a day. The next day, change out the vinegar and let it sit for another day. By the third day, your eggshell should have disappeared, and you will be able to see through the egg.
Grow Plants from Their Seeds
Botany is another great way to use your kitchen science lab. The abundance of plants that can be grown from their seeds make this a simple way to see how plants grow. Tip: Pick up some of these items from your local farmers’ market, and your seeds will have a better chance of growing. Here are some of our favorites.
If you’ve never used dates, you can experience this sweet and nutrient-rich ingredient to make a Date Loaf. Be sure to get dates with the seeds so you can do a little growing with them. Cut the date in half and pull the seed out of the date, soak it in water for 15-20 days. Dry the seed off and plant it in soil. Keep the soil moist and place it in a sunny spot. You should have a sprout in a few weeks.
Instead of discarding the avocado pit, wash it and put a few toothpicks in the side of the pit. Place the pit broad side down over a glass of water. The water should cover about one inch of the bottom half of the pit. Place the glass in a warm area but away from direct sunlight. Keep the water fresh. You should begin to have roots and/or a stem in 2-6 weeks. (If you do not, try a new seed.) When the stem is about 8 inches, cut it in half. Once the roots are strong and the stem has regrown leaves, you can put the seed into soil. Place the plant in direct sunlight and water to keep it moist.
Lemons have an abundance of seeds and are a fun way to start lemon trees. Cut a lemon and pull out the seeds. Remove the pulp from the seed and place it about a half inch deep in your soil. Mist the pot with water and cover it with plastic wrap. Make a few small holes on top and place the pot in a sunny spot. Keep the soil moist, and once your sprouts start, take off the plastic and continue caring for your new lemon plant.
The beautiful crown of a pineapple is a great way to start a new pineapple plant. Cut your pineapple crown off and clean as much of the pineapple juice and fruit as possible. Let the crown dry out for a few days then place the crown in a pot of soil. Put the pot in an area where it will receive indirect sunlight. Keep the soil moist while the roots grow. Once roots emerge, place it in direct sunlight and let the soil dry out between watering.
Grow Food From Scraps
Another fun way to make the most of your food is to regrow it from the scraps. There are many types of food that you can do this with, and they are typically easy to regrow. Here are a few that we have done with success in our own kitchen science lab.
After cutting the lettuce off the stem, place the stem in a small bowl with about an inch of water. Place it in a sunny window and change the water every few days. Soon new leaves will begin to grow. In about 10 days, you will have lettuce again!
Like the lettuce above, cut the celery from the stem and place the stem in about an inch of water. Place it in a sunny window and watch it grow.
Cut what you need from your fresh green onions and then place the remaining roots and onion into a shallow glass of water. Continue cutting the green onions as needed.
These are only a few ways you can make the kitchen your new science lab. Brainstorm with your children even more ways to bring science into your kitchen?