Think back to your elementary school days. What was your favorite subject? What are some of your favorite memories from that class? You might think about a fun game you played in Phys Ed or learning how to play the recorder in music class; but do you know which subject in grade school was so great, yet so underrated? Science class!
It was in science class that we learned how to make ooey-gooey substances and awesome homemade volcanoes. We learned about the solar system and the dinosaurs and the basics of physics in grade school science. The experiments we tried in science class sparked our curiosities and got us asking questions about the world around us, making us better learners in the process!
If science experiments were this great, why did we stop in grade school? No matter your age, there’s always time to learn something new and to have fun. Below are some of the absolute best science experiments that we did as kids - from gross green slime to balloon-propelled cars - that you can try at home with just a few materials. Try them out with your own children or even with your adult friends for a little nostalgia!
1. Balloon-propelled car
This science experiment was one of my all-time favorites! It was so easy to make and so fun to play with. With just a water bottle, balloon, straws, wooden skewers, and four bottlecaps, you would have a little toy car in no time that could go super fast by balloon power!
2. Oobleck (Goop)
Making oobleck in school was always the highlight of the school year. During Read Across America, AKA Dr. Seuss’ birthday, we would read Bartholomew and the Oobleck and then make our very own oobleck (i.e. slime or goop) to play with. I’ll never forget the crazy, messy fun we would have making the sticky, green goo!
3. Homemade volcano
In our elementary school science class, it was common knowledge that making our own volcano was the class’ favorite experiment. What kid doesn’t love volcanoes? Our teacher would call a few students up to the front to pour different substances into the volcano, and with each addition, we got more and more excited about the coming eruption. As the teacher poured in the last ingredient and the “lava” started pouring out, we all shouted and laughed. It was amazing to see a volcano in action in our little classroom!
4. Diet coke and mentos
This experiment is probably the simplest on this list, but it is a crowd favorite. All you have to do is add a mento into a 2-liter of diet coke, and then run! You’ll have a diet coke geyser right before your eyes. At my school, my teachers showed us this experiment on field day. A couple of lucky kids got to be the ones who dropped the mentos in, and the best part was running away from the diet coke geyser like you were an explorer escaping an avalanche.
5. Elephant’s Toothpaste
When this experiment was performed in class, it was sure to produce an extra messy but fun result! To make elephant’s toothpaste, all you need is a 16-ounce soda bottle, some hydrogen peroxide, yeast, water, and dish soap. Once all these ingredients are mixed together, look out! A foamy fountain will erupt from the soda bottle, looking like toothpaste when you squeeze it out from the tube. This experiment is silly and fun, and can make a whole room of elementary school-aged kids engaged and excited to learn!
What kinds of science experiments did you do in your science classes? Do you remember trying any of these as a kid? I have some pretty awesome memories from doing these experiments in elementary school. The next time you’re bored on a weekend or a rainy day, bust out some safety goggles and do some experiments of your own! Let your inner-child go crazy and have some good-old-fashioned educational fun.