Published: March 28, 2017

    Water-Based Experiments That Kids Will Love

    Water education should be fun and exciting; it’s important for your kids to understand the basic properties of water, our most important natural resource. Have a blast with your kids by conducting some simple and engrossing water experiments at home that won’t cost an arm and a leg. Here are some of our favorite water-based experiments that are designed for kids.

    Water Absorption

    Why do some materials absorb water but others don’t? What are the properties these materials have in common? Water absorption is an integral concept for preschool and kindergarten children to discover, and you can help them explore with this easy experiment!

    All you need to get started is a bowl of water (preferably colored water – it will make observation much easier), an eyedropper, and the materials you want to test. Examples of common household items you could use include a sponge, a napkin, Styrofoam, construction paper, saran wrap, aluminum foil, a paper towel, and cotton balls.

    Have your children guess what materials will absorb water, and which ones will not. Gauge their reactions as you use the eyedropper to test each item. Experiment with different colors, or go deeper and explain why certain materials can repel water.

    Salt Water Density

    Many early childhood science classes will conduct the classic “sink or float” test to determine what items sink in water and what items don’t. But this experiment takes this concept one step further by demonstrating how salt water has different properties than drinking water. You and your kids can discover density by having a blast!

    To setup the experiment, simply fill two large measuring cups with equal amounts of water. Pour about 1/3 cup of table salt into one measuring cup, and stir thoroughly until it’s dissolved. No need to get salt water from the ocean!

    Once you have your fresh water and salt water ready to go, choose several household objects to test what floats and sinks in each measuring cup. Eggs are terrific for this experiment, as a normal egg will float in salt water and sink in fresh water.

    As you test each object and record what happens, you can explain to your kids that adding salt to fresh water adds weight, making it denser. The objects must have a higher density than the water to sink, and in salt water objects can float more easily due to the higher density of the water. Learn exactly how to conduct this fun experiment here.

    The “Sticky Ice” Experiment

    This experiment is guaranteed to fascinate children and be invaluable as an educational aid! The experiment revolves around the freezing point of water, and how adding salt to ice can dramatically lower the freezing point. After all is said and done, your children will watch in awe as they lift ice from a bowl with just a string.

    All you need to prepare this experiment are three bowls, salt, ice, and some string. Fill one bowl with some ice, another with filtered tap water, and another with some table salt. Show your children the string, and then plop some of the ice into the water bowl. Ask you children to try to lift the ice from the water only using a string. After their attempt, sprinkle the ice and the string with salt. Place the string on the surface of the water, touching the ice, and wait one minute. Now ask your kid to try again. It’s like magic!

    There are many lessons to be learned from this experiment. For full instructions and a rundown of the science, click here. Whenever you’re conducting water experiments with your children, ensure you’re using cleaner, purer filtered water.