Kids love chemistry. The seemingly magical reactions that happen when you mix two substances captures imaginations and often leaves kids begging for more. Chemistry for kids is about making this branch of science fun, accessible and real. The best way to foster a love of the sciences is by letting kids play, explore, and grow that love of chemistry. To help start kids off on the right foot in chemistry, I’ve gathered up some of the best chemistry for kids resources, challenges, activities, books and lessons. Let’s get kids fired up about chemistry!
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CHEMISTRY FOR KIDS
This list of fun chemistry experiments and activities is designed for kids starting as young as Kindergarten through to Middle School. It is not about hardcore chemistry, but instead about making chemistry fun and to engage children’s curiosity and desire to learn the sciences!
CHEMISTRY EXPERIMENTS FOR KIDS
This list includes some of our favourite chemistry experiments for kids, plus those that are extremely popular with our STEAM Powered Family readers. There is the perfect experiment for your chemistry students here!
Salt and Ice
Explore why do we put salt on ice to help melt it in the winter with this fun experiment that provides dramatic results and is perfect for older kids.
Younger kids will enjoy this fun way of exploring the same principles of how salt and ice interact, with this winter fishing experiment.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
This classic reaction between two readily available household ingredients is the perfect solution for creating easy experiments at home or in the classroom. We have used Baking Soda (also known as Sodium Bicarbonate or Bicarbonate of Soda) and Vinegar in so many different ways over the years and every time it is a HUGE hit with students.
Here are a few of our all time favourite ways of using baking soda and vinegar in our chemistry lessons.
Rubber Eggs (aka Naked Eggs Experiment)
This Rubber Egg experiment can get messy, but it is also one of those experiments that your kids will remember always. Using chemistry, we remove the shells from eggs, creating a rubber egg that bounces! It is also a wonderful experiment for learning about osmosis and animal cell structures.
One of my favourite experiments is growing crystals. I love searching for natural geodes and crystals when out hiking. There are a number of different Crystal Growing Experiments we have done over the years. We have grown crystals using borax and alum and even sugar. Find the perfect one for your students and enjoy the sparkles!
Probably the most famous chemistry experiments that we see at science fairs everywhere, is the volcano. Kids love building homemade volcanoes that erupt in glorious big reactions! This is a great way to explore chemistry and can be great fun for everyone.
We love playing with this non-Newtonian Fluid! Not only is it very easy to make, but it combines lots of lessons in physics and chemistry. Chemistry is a central science, which means it is an important part of other major sciences. This is one experiment where you can explore how the sciences all work together. One of the best Oobleck experiments for this is our magic colour changing Oobleck that explores pH.
One of our favourite discoveries in our chemistry studies, was when we learned that we could make bioplastics using items from our pantry and kitchen! Over the years we have used this knowledge to create all sorts of cool creations. We have made white milk plastic and crystal clear plastic.
Perhaps you have seen the Elephant Toothpaste experiment done on TV or at your local science centre. The chemical reaction they create in those settings is SPECTACULAR and blasts to the ceiling. But here we have a much more simple, safe version you can do at home with simple household items.
DIY Lava Lamp
Creating your own lava lamp using chemistry is a wonderful experiment in a jar project for students. The results are mesmerizing and will keep kids enthralled. There are a number of different ways you can make a lava lamp at home, and we explore a few approaches here.
Kids love these creations that fizz in a warm bath. Did you know you can make them at home? Making bath bombs with kids is a fantastic way to explore chemistry. Best of all kids LOVE bath bombs!
Oxidation and Rust
As blacksmiths we love working with chemistry and metal. In this Metal Art experiment, kids can explore how oxidation and rust reactions occur on steel.
One of the best ways to explore how chemistry is part the world around us, is through food and kitchen science. Chemistry is part of so much baking, candy making and cooking, it is wonderful way to capture the imagination of children, while also giving them practical life skills.
Chemistry Kits and Subscriptions
Back when I was growing up getting a chemistry set was a big deal! They came loaded with so many projects and ideas. It was a wonderful way to explore and grow a love for chemistry and the sciences.
Today there are some incredible new ways to provide your kids with Chemistry Kits, and they come as subscription boxes with new experiments and lessons every month. These are so much better than the old sets, with much more complex experiments, and everything you need comes in the box. No need to race around trying to find pipettes or test tubes.
There are two chemistry boxes available that are absolutely amazing. Creation Crate Chemistry and MEL Chemistry.
Creation Crate has a brand new Chemistry box that is simply amazing. We are just getting started with this new box and can’t wait to share more about it.
MEL Chemistry is one we have been using and loving for years. You can see some of our experiments we have shared with STEAM Powered Family readers.
More Chemistry Resources for Kids
Chemistry resources for kids need to be designed in a way that isn’t intimidating. The information should be fun and accessible. I also love interactive and hands-on tools that bring chemistry out of the lab and into the real world. I mean elephant toothpaste is fun and all, but I don’t think anyone is going to be trying to brush an elephants teeth. So what exactly do all those funny letters on that table mean? Where are they in our world? What practical uses do they have in our lives? And what exactly are molecules? You can find out with these chemistry resources!
An interactive Table of Elements that teaches the purpose and uses for each of the elements.
Ted-Ed – Interactive Video Periodic Table of Elements. With a video linked to each element you can dive deep and learn lots about the elements. A fun way to introduce chemistry for kids.
MolyMod Chemistry Molecular Model Set – This is a fantastic tool. It’s like tinker toys for chemists allowing you to build molecular structures and demonstrate chemical reactions.
Chemistry Haiku? Why yes, this is a thing and it is brilliant!
For an extremely fun and brilliant introduction to the Periodic Table of Elements checkout this video from ASAP Science. These guys are awesome!
Online Chemistry Lessons for Kids
There will be time for the hardcore chemistry lessons in high school and university, for now chem lessons should answer questions about the world and have a high level of cool factor! Like these cool chemistry lessons.
The Chemistry of Honey – Why doesn’t honey go bad? Even after spending thousands of years in an Egyptian tomb, scientists discovered honey that was still edible. But would you be brave enough to eat it?
The Chemistry of Fireworks – How do all those colors fill the sky during a fireworks display? It all comes down to chemistry.
The Chemistry of Candy – Learn how chemistry is responsible for turning sugar into all your favourite delectable treats.
Basher Science does a great job of creating books on tough subjects, but in a way that makes them accessible to young kids or struggling learners. We found these books for my gifted son who was so young, but really wanted to learn all about chemistry. Both Basher Periodic Table of Elements and Basher Chemistry are great books.
Theodore Gray creates some of the most visually stunning books about science available on the market. These are an amazing resource to have, as they show what you would see under very powerful microscopes. These books have been favourites of my children for many years.