Where do you start when it comes to doing at home science with your children? It sounds daunting, dangerouns and messy. But guess, what? It doesn’t have to be. I will be highlighting below the basic supplies you need to get started (hint, most of them you probably already have in your house), finding a safe area in your home to do these experiments, kids science safety ground rules, and the importance of having a science notebook!
Supplies! Believe it or not, you can get started experimenting with the items that are already in your kitchen and bathroom! Science experiment supplies does not have to hit your wallet!
Over time in our house some of my old kitchen supplies have migrated and become our “stash” of experiment supplies. I would suggest going by a Goodwill or a Resale shop for some cheap reusable items! These are our favorite and most used!
- thick plastic bowl
- sturdy metal bowl
- cooking utensils
- rimmed cookie sheet
- rectangle casserole dish
- apron/old clothes
If you are into quick and easy clean up items, then I suggest stocking up on paper plates, paper bowls, and plastic wear! This makes cleanup super easy. We are pretty earth conscience as our house, and only use one use items if we feel that it will destroy our regular materials, such as using concrete or epoxy.
In regards to the apron, this is just to protect yours and your kid’s clothes for particularly messy experiments. I have found that having an apron for my daughter helps her feel more “professional” and prepared for fun science! If you don’t feel like getting an apron, or can’t find one for cheap, use a set of old clothes! They work just as well!
Safety science with kids is a huge priority! Having a safe area to do experiments will allow you to relax a little more and help you and your kids have more fun focusing on the craft at hand. Flooring and work space are the two most important factors in deciding where to do the majority of your experiments. Choose a counter that can be covered with a cloth or some type of material and a floor that can be easily cleaned. If you are worried about spilling on your floor the whole time, guess what . . you won’t be having fun.
Also always consider ventilation. Some experiments can emit odors or other chemicals that you might not want to breathe in. I will always provide possible warnings and caution items when it comes to each of our experiments!
Discussion about Safety
Talk to your kid(s) before each experiment and set some ground rules. Ground rules will help you feel safe while you and your kids learn and explore together! You should have BOTH basic ground rules for all of your experiments and then ground rules that are experiment specific.
In our house, we have two basic ground rules for every experiment.
1. You must always listen to mom.
2. Mom or an approved adult has to be around to do an experiment, unless I specifically say it is ok.
The experiment specific rules can really vary. One example of experiment specific rules, if we are dealing with the oven, mom is the only one allowed to open the oven and touch the pans. Simple enough and it keeps all of us safe and not worried about who will have to do what.
When it comes to the experiments that I am sharing, I will always tell you our ground rules. From there, you need to decide on your own experiment rules based on your children.
The importance of a science notebook
Having an experiment or science notebook was a huge game changer for us! It made my daughter more serious about the experiments and made her feel like a real scientist! This is why you have to have one!
1. Your kids can write their observations and changes
2. Preparation for the scientific method
3. You child can go back and reference the experiment
4. Your child can share with their friends ( I would much rather here kids talking about experiments than mindcraft or cute boys)
5. Memories with your children!!
You have learned what supplies you need to get started, how to decide where to do these experiments, the basic ground rules, and why your child needs to have a science journal!
SO! Grab your first experiment, some supplies, a notebook for your little and get started!