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Dec 18,2020 by Edulab
Over the festive period you’ll spend a lot of your time catching up with family, getting swept away with the excitement of Christmas Day, enjoying your favourite traditions, and loosening the belt straps for that once-a-year meal. But it’s also an important time to explore themed education, and there’s a whole host of Christmas experiments for you and your family to get your hands dirty with.
It isn’t difficult getting the little ones interested in learning about science – particularly when you make it practical, delicious, and fun! These are just a few of our favourite DIY Christmas experiments that will keep everybody entertained, educated, and excited this festive season.
Everybody’s got their fingers crossed for a White Christmas. But what do you do when Christmas day arrives and there’s no snow outside? You make your own!
Salt, water, and ice are all you need to make your own frost this Christmas. Your kids will be amazed watching frost form before their very eyes. And it doesn’t get any simpler than this. Half-fill a can with ice, splash in some water, then add a few teaspoons of salt. Minimal mess, and maximum frost. You can explain all about the freezing point of water and the role that salt plays.
We’ll all enjoy nibbling on some gingerbread this December, but who’s brave enough to use it as a delicious brick and mortar instead? Set up a challenge with your kids and see who can put their knowledge of physics to the test by seeing who wins this adventurous challenge.
Who can build the biggest gingerbread emporium? Draw out sketches and designs on paper before putting the plan to action. Bake a (thin) sheet of gingerbread, and cut several similar-sized pieces (to ensure a fair experiment, of course).
Whip up some icing sugar with water, select your decorative sweeties of choice, and see who can build the strongest structure! Leave it to harden and settle overnight before using a weight test the next day, or a man-made earthquake to see if the structure holds. The winner takes the glory, but everybody gets to eat their gingerbread crumble regardless.
Next up are Christmas catapults! Everybody loves a harmless green-and-red weapon, but how easy are they to build? And who can project their missile the furthest?
You can choose to keep the science simple, or you can teach them a little bit about the laws of dynamics, levels, and stored energy. Either way, make sure that everybody uses the same materials to design, construct, and test their homemade appliance. Rubber bands and ice lolly sticks normally do the trick.
Then it’s competition time! Load your slingshot with a marshmallow cannonball and fire! Measure out your distances and let the judges declare which experiment was the most successful.
Speaking of marshmallows, this is another Christmas experiment that the youngest children, in particular, will love. Similar to the gingerbread experiment, grab your decorative sweeties, icing sugar, a splash of water, and see who can build the biggest snowman.
Once your work of art’s been sculpted, use pens and markers to give it a big festive smile. Or, if they’re still looking for more, keep hold of the marshmallows for some hot chocolate science.
Make three identical hot chocolate mixtures and microwave them for different times (let them choose which). Once you’re good to go, get the timer and dunk your marshmallows into the chocolatey concoction. Whose marshmallow(s) melted the quickest? Did it make a difference when they sunk? And when science lesson is over, everybody can enjoy their gooey hot chocolate goodness.
Your final Christmas experiment is a messy one! But we’re taking a closer look at chemistry and how explosive simple combinations can prove to be.
Empty out some Christmas baubles and fill them with glitter and a tablespoon of baking soda. Try and keep them secure in a holder because, like we said, erupting ornaments can make quite the mess.
Then choose your favourite colour of food dye! Red and green will keep the experiment festive.
Next up, mix the food dye in a big bag with vinegar. Have you explained how chemical reactions work? They don’t believe you? Good! Funnel the coloured vinegar into the baubles and watch their eyes light up.
Don’t be surprised if you’re asked to repeat the experiment – just to make sure they really understood it.
You might be a little bit old for some of the experiments above, that doesn’t mean you can’t create your own science experiments or activities at home. EduLab have a range of kits to suit those in secondary education too. From macro electricity kits to DNA Murder Mystery Lab investigation kits, we have something for everyone.
Enjoy all of these exciting experiments, keep the education interesting, and have a wonderful festive season, from everyone at EduLab.