Kitchen Science Experiments for Kids

Kitchen Science Experiments for Kids

Not all science requires expensive and hard to find chemicals or fancy laboratories. You can explore the fun of science in your own kitchen. Here are some science experiments and projects you can do that use common kitchen chemicals.

Click through the images for a collection of easy kitchen science experiments, along with a list of the ingredients you will need for each project.

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Rainbow Density Column Kitchen Chemistry

You can layer a density column using sugar, food coloring, and water. Anne Helmenstine

Make a rainbow-colored liquid density column. This project is very pretty, plus it's safe enough to drink.
Experiment Materials: sugar, water, food coloring, a glass

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Baking Soda and Vinegar Volcano Kitchen Experiment

The volcano has been filled with water, vinegar, and a little detergent. Adding baking soda causes it to erupt. Anne Helmenstine

This is the classic science fair demonstration in which you simulate a volcanic eruption using kitchen chemicals.
Experiment Materials: baking soda, vinegar, water, detergent, food coloring and either a bottle or else you can build a dough volcano.

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Invisible Ink Experiments Using Kitchen Chemicals

Reveal an invisible ink message by heating the paper or coating it with a second chemical. Clive Streeter / Getty Images

Write a secret message, which becomes invisible when the paper is dry. Reveal the secret!
Experiment Materials: paper and just about any chemical in your house

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Make Rock Candy Crystals Using Ordinary Sugar

Rock candy consists of sugar crystals. You can grow rock candy yourself. If you don't add any coloring the rock candy will be the color of the sugar you used. You can add food coloring if you'd like to color the crystals. Anne Helmenstine

Grow edible rock candy or sugar crystals. You can make them any color you want.
Experiment Materials: sugar, water, food coloring, a glass, a string or stick

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Make pH Indicator in your Ktchen

Red cabbage juice can be used to test the pH of common household chemicals. From left to right, the colors result from lemon juice, natural red cabbage juice, ammonia, and laundry detergent. Anne Helmenstine

Make your own pH indicator solution from red cabbage or another pH-sensitive food then use the indicator solution to experiment with the acidity of common household chemicals.
Experiment Materials: red cabbage

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Make Oobleck Slime in the Kitchen

Oobleck is a kind of slime that behaves as either a liquid or a solid, depending on what you do with it. Howard Shooter / Getty Images

Oobleck is an interesting type of slime with properties of both solids and liquids. It normally behaves like a liquid or jelly, but if you squeeze it in your hand, it will seem like a solid.
Experiment Materials: cornstarch, water, food coloring (optional)

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Make Rubber Eggs and Chicken Bones Using Household Ingredients

Vinegar leaches out the calcium in chicken bones, so they become soft and bend rather than break. Brian Hagiwara / Getty Images

Turn a raw egg in its shell into a soft and rubbery egg. If you're daring you even bounce these eggs as balls. The same principle can be used to make rubber chicken bones.
Experiment Materials: egg or chicken bones, vinegar

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Make Water Fireworks in a Glass from Water and Dye

Food coloring water 'fireworks' are a fun and safe science project for kids. Thegoodly / Getty Images

Don't worry - there is no explosion or danger involved in this project! The 'fireworks' take place in a glass of water. You can learn about diffusion and liquids.
Experiment Materials: water, oil, food coloring

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Magic Colored Milk Experiment Using Kitchen Chemicals

If you add a drop of detergent to milk and food coloring, the dye will form a swirl of colors. Trish Gant / Getty Images

Nothing happens if you add food coloring to milk, but it only takes one simple ingredient to turn the milk into a swirling color wheel.
Experiment Materials: milk, dishwashing liquid, food coloring

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Make Ice Cream in a Plastic Bag in the Kitchen

You don't need an ice cream maker to make this tasty treat. Just use a plastic bag, salt, and ice to freeze the recipe. Nicholas Eveleigh / Getty Images

You can learn how freezing point depression works while making a tasty treat. You don't need an ice cream maker to make this ice cream, just some ice.
Experiment Materials: milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, ice, salt, baggies

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Let Kids Make Glue from Milk

You can make non-toxic glue from common kitchen ingredients. Difydave / Getty Images

Do you need glue for a project, but just can't seem to find any? You can use kitchen ingredients to make your own.
Experiment Materials: milk, baking soda, vinegar, water

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Show Kids How To Make a Mentos Candy and Soda Fountain

This is an easy project. You'll get all wet, but as long as you use diet cola you won't get sticky. Just drop a roll of mentos all at once into a 2-liter bottle of diet cola. Anne Helmenstine

Explore the science of bubbles and pressure using Mentos candies and a bottle of soda. As the candies dissolve in soda, the tiny pits formed on their surface allow carbon dioxide bubbles to grow. The process occurs quickly, producing a sudden burst of foam from the narrow neck of the bottle.
Experiment Materials: Mentos candies, soda

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Make Hot Ice Using Vinegar and Baking Soda

You can supercool hot ice or sodium acetate so that it will remain a liquid below its melting point. You can trigger crystallization on command, forming sculptures as the liquid solidifies. The reaction is exothermic so heat is generated by the hot ice.

Getty Images

You can make 'hot ice' or sodium acetate at home using baking soda and vinegar and then cause it to instantly crystallize from a liquid in 'ice'. The reaction generates heat, so the ice is hot. It happens so quickly, you can form crystal towers as you pour the liquid into a dish. Note: The classic chemical volcano also produces sodium acetate, but there is too much water present for the hot ice to solidify!
Experiment Materials: vinegar, baking soda

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Fun Pepper and Water Science Experiment

All you need is water, pepper, and a drop of detergent to perform the pepper trick. Anne Helmenstine

Pepper floats on water. If you dip your finger into a water and pepper, nothing much happens. You can dip your finger into a common kitchen chemical first and get a dramatic result.
Experiment Materials: pepper, water, dishwashing liquid

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Cloud in a Bottle Science Experiment

Make a cloud in a bottle using a flexible plastic bottle. Squeeze the bottle to change the pressure and form a cloud of water vapor. Ian Sanderson / Getty Images

Capture your own cloud in a plastic bottle. This experiment illustrates many principles of gases and phase changes.
Experiment Materials: water, plastic bottle, match

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Make Flubber from Kitchen Ingredients

Flubber is a non-sticky and non-toxic type of slime. Anne Helmenstine

Flubber is a non-sticky slime. It's easy to make and non-toxic. In fact, you can even eat it.
Experiment Materials: Metamucil, water

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Make a Ketchup Packet Cartesian Diver

Squeezing and releasing the bottle changes the size of the air bubble inside the ketchup packet. This alters the density of the packet, causing it to sink or float. Anne Helmenstine

Explore the concepts of density and buoyancy with this easy kitchen project.
Experiment Materials: ketchup packet, water, plastic bottle

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Easy Baking Soda Stalactites

It's easy to simulate the growth of stalactites and stalagmites using household ingredients. Anne Helmenstine

You can grow baking soda crystals along a piece of string to make stalactites similar to those you might find in a cave.
Experiment Materials: baking soda, water, string

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Easy Egg in a Bottle Science Experiment

The egg in a bottle demonstration illustrates concepts of pressure and volume. Anne Helmenstine

An egg doesn't fall into a bottle if you set it on top. Apply your science know-how to get the egg to drop inside.
Experiment Materials: egg, bottle

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More Kitchen Science Experiments To Try

If you really love doing kitchen science experiments, you can try molecular gastronomy. Willie B. Thomas / Getty Images

Here are more fun and interesting kitchen science experiments you can try.

Candy Chromatography

Separate the pigments in colored candies using a saltwater solution and a coffee filter.
Experiment Materials: colored candies, salt, water, coffee filter

Make Honeycomb Candy

Honeycomb candy is an easy-to-make candy that has an interesting texture caused by carbon dioxide bubbles that you cause to form and get trapped within the candy.
Experiment Materials: sugar, baking soda, honey, water

Lemon Fizz Kitchen Science Experiment

This kitchen science project involves making a fizzy volcano using baking soda and lemon juice.
Experiment Materials: lemon juice, baking soda, dishwashing liquid, food coloring

Powdered Olive Oil

This is a simple molecular gastronomy project to turn liquid olive oil into a powdered form that melts in your mouth.
Experiment Materials: olive oil, maltodextrin

Alum Crystal

Alum is sold with spices. You can use it to grow a large, clear crystal or a mass of smaller ones overnight.
Experiment Materials: alum, water

Supercool Water

Make water freeze on command. There are two easy methods you can try.
Experiment Materials: bottle of water

Edible Water Bottle

Make a ball of water with an edible shell.

This content is provided in partnership with National 4-H Council. 4-H science programs provide youth the opportunity to learn about STEM through fun, hands-on activities, and projects. Learn more by visiting their website.