Children are natural scientists who want to investigate, experiment, imagine, and create. To teach them the real value of learning, turn your home into a lab with these fun Montessori-inspired science experiments. Each of these experiments uses common household items to teach different scientific principles. You’ll love them as much as your children will!
Do cocoa powder and milk love each other as much as we think they do, or would your cocoa powder rather be left alone? This experiment builds on one of the concepts introduced in the First Great Lesson: attraction and repulsion of particles. More specifically, you will learn about hydrophobicity and hydrophilicity – whether or not a particle is attracted to or repulsed by water. Don’t forget to reward yourself with some hot cocoa when it is all done!
You may know that food preparation and cooking can be a great way to integrate practical life activities into your daily routine, but did you know that you can also use aspects of food preparation for a Montessori science experiment at home? Children love this experiment because it shows them what is hidden away in their food. All that you need is a little cereal, a plastic bag, a magnet, and some water. You will crush the cereal as small as you can make it, then soak it in water. When it is thoroughly soaked, holding a magnet to the side of the bag might just surprise you. While you should never try to eat metal directly, it is hidden away in more food than you think!
This experiment will have you create a beautiful rainbow tower, and test the properties of the water in the tower. Your job will be to use sugar-water, salt-water, and plain water to create your rainbow, and test the properties of each type of water to see how the solutes (salt and sugar) affect buoyancy! Do your grapes float, sink, or land somewhere in the middle?
The law of solids and the law of liquids would have us assume that snow (a solid form of water) takes up less space than water in its liquid form. Is that the case though? Round up some snow (or crushed up ice) and scoop it into a cup. Measure how much snow you have, then wait for it to melt. Does the water take up more or less space than the snow?
The best Montessori science experiments you can do at home start with a question or observation from the child’s environment. If frost occurs where you live, we’re sure you’ve gotten a question or two about it. In this experiment, you will create your very own frosted can to experience what frost is, and how it forms. Simply save a couple of empty food cans, grab some ice from the freezer, get some salt from the table, and you’re ready to make frost!
These experiments are great for elementary-aged children and can help them learn a lot about different scientific principles. More importantly, they are a ton of fun for everyone, so they will be sure to spark your child’s interest.